Madeline Woda

Madeline Woda - Editor

New York, NY, USA

Developmental and Copy Editor with a specialty in memoir, fiction, and query letters. Previously FSG, Oxford, and Massie and McQuilkin.

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Overview

I am a Columbia University-educated editor with experience at Farrar, Straus, and Giroux; Oxford University Press; the National Book Foundation; and others. After specializing in South Asian literature, I was the editor-in-chief of the Columbia Review for over two years. I have worked on books by Lydia Davis, Ben Lerner, and Jonathan Safran Foer. I have seen a book through every stage of development: from an agency, to the editorial process, to the marketing and publicity campaign. I now work at a mid-size publisher specializing in book club fiction and memoir.

While I am committed to assisting a client craft a perfect sentence, I believe that beautiful words mean nothing without innovative, organized ideas behind them. I focus first on developmental edits and then copy edits, working with an author to bolster their ideas before fixing their word choices. This technique applies to both fiction and nonfiction--I hold every story to the same level of clarity as a thesis chapter.

For authors looking to improve their queries: I have worked at three different literary agencies and currently hold a position at a top agency. I accept and reject hundreds of submissions per week and know what you need to do to stand out.
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Christian Non-Fiction
History
Political Science & Current Affairs
Writing & Publishing
Fiction
Contemporary Fiction
Cultural & Ethnic
Short Story

Awards

  • Seymour Brick Memorial Prize

Work experience

Literary Assistant

Massie & McQuilkin
January, 2021 – March, 2022 (about 1 year)

Read hundreds of query letters and helped develop manuscripts to be sold to major publishing houses such as Penguin, Random House, Flatiron, Macmillan, and others.

Developmental editor

Self-employed
March, 2020 – Present (over 2 years)

I have provided developmental and line edits for a number of books including memoir, fiction, and academic pieces.

Geology and Astronomy Developmental Editorial Intern

W.W. Norton
January, 2020 – March, 2020 (2 months)

• Reviewed and prepared digital manuscript resources for review by instructors
• Assisted the marketing team with social media content, online trend data, and other promotional materials

Editorial intern

Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
January, 2019 – May, 2019 (4 months)

• Coded manuscripts for Executive Managing Editor Debra Helfand and assisted the production team in transferring copyedits and editing front and back matter for works before publication, including those by Lydia Davis, Robert Lowell, and Elizabeth Bishop
• Read and wrote reports on solicited manuscripts for 10+ novels a week for Assistant Editor Julia Ringo
• Provided comments for Editor-in-Chief Eric Chinski on contracted work, including that by Jonathan Safran Foer and Sherrod Brown

Editor-in-chief

The Columbia Review
September, 2016 – May, 2020 (over 3 years)

As editor-in-chief of the country's oldest collegiate literary magazine, I sourced submissions from authors like Lydia Davis and Dan Popnick, copyedited and proofread pieces, organized meetings, and promoted the biannual magazine.

Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell

Bishop, Elizabeth, Lowell, Robert, Travisano, Thomas, Hamilton, Saskia

Madeline has 8 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Rebecca Watkins
Madeline's editorial assessment has been extremely beneficial in highlighting what is working in my manuscript and what needs to be improved. Her feedback was thorough and concise. In reading it and in my communications with her, I have felt very supported. I would definitely hire Madeline again and I highly recommend her.

Rebecca Watkins, September 2022

Madeline Woda
I’m so happy! I can’t stress enough that you’re an excellent writer with a beautiful story. I’m happy I got to be apart of the process!

Reply from Madeline Woda


Ricky Kerr
Madeline was eager to work on my manuscript and provided professional feedback. Her assessment highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of my characters and identified areas that needed work. She was complimentary on the parts of my story that were well written and offered suggestions on ways to improve the plot and the overall manuscript. Madeline greatly exceeded my expectations. She was easy...
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Ricky Kerr, November 2021


Carmen Fields
I am a first-time author and sought developmental guidance on a memoir about my father's travels as a big band leader. I required a quick turnaround to meet a deadline set by a potential (academic) publisher. Over about four weeks, she gave weekly feedback as she reviewed the manuscript chapter by chapter. Her observations were thoughtful and mostly on point. After the developmental portion, I ...
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Carmen Fields, September 2021


Sharon Harris
Good work.

Sharon Harris, June 2021


Emily Jordan
Maddie was wonderful to work with. Her focus on detail was impressive, and her follow-through was thorough. She completed the project in a timely manner and answered questions I may have had. I highly recommended her!

Emily Jordan, April 2021

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