Margaret Diehl

Margaret Diehl - Editor

New York, New York,

Published novelist and memoirist with extensive editing experience who takes pleasure in assisting other writers solve problems.

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Overview

I'm a fiction writer and editor who has published three New York Times Notable Books of The Year (two novels and a memoir), won a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and been helping other writers improve their work for over a decade. I bring to the table a deep understanding of the writing process—writing blocks, confusion about what the story is or could be, and indecision about choices. I know that helpful criticism requires both honesty and kindness, as well as a profound appreciation of how stories and language work.

I work with writers of any genre and at all stages of their career. I offer creative, in-depth story analysis, with suggestions based on the intent of the manuscript and your strengths; support and advice on how to improve your writing in general. The service generally includes extensive comments on the manuscript and a several-page critique, but I can work with your needs and your budget to give you exactly what you want.
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Fiction
Fantasy
Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Mystery & Crime
Paranormal Romance
Short Story

Certifications

  • BA, English, University of New Hampshire

Awards

  • National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction

Work experience

Newsletter Editor/ Grant Writer

Cathedral of St John the Divine
February, 2010 – May, 2018 (about 8 years)

I wrote and edited newsletters, brochures, and grants on all aspects of the famous cathedral's programming, including education, social justice, and the arts.

Editor

MKDiehl Editing Services
February, 2007 – Present (over 13 years)

After publishing three books, and reviewing books for The New York Times and other publications, I started editing and assessing manuscripts for friends and friends of friends. Gradually, this turned into a business and now I work at it full-time.

Portfolio (14 selected works)

Salt Houses

Hala Alyan

Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR * Nylon * Kirkus Reviews * Bustle * BookPage “Moving and beautifully written.” — Entertainment Weekly “[Alyan is] a master.” — Los Angeles Review of Books On the eve of her daughter Alia’s wedding, Salma reads the girl’s future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel and luck. While she chooses to... read more

Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR * Nylon * Kirkus Reviews * Bustle * BookPage “Moving and beautifully written.” — Entertainment Weekly “[Alyan is] a master.” — Los Angeles Review of Books On the eve of her daughter Alia’s wedding, Salma reads the girl’s future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel and luck. While she chooses to... read more

Hatching Charlie: A Quest for Happiness and Meaning

Charles McCormack

Hatching Charlie takes you on the life trajectory of one talented psychotherapist, who with incredible candor, humor, spice, and self-reflection tells of the challenging pursuit of happiness and a personally meaningful life. McCormack details a lonely youth of disrupted attachments, and we agonize with him through an excruciating banishment, at age 11, to a boarding school in France where sadi... read more

Hatching Charlie takes you on the life trajectory of one talented psychotherapist, who with incredible candor, humor, spice, and self-reflection tells of the challenging pursuit of happiness and a personally meaningful life. McCormack details a lonely youth of disrupted attachments, and we agonize with him through an excruciating banishment, at age 11, to a boarding school in France where sadi... read more

The Stuttering Jock's Opera

Bill Sevald

The Stuttering Jock’s Opera is a thinly disguised hero’s journey—complete with three challenges. The lead character is physically reckless, but socially shy because of his halting speech. He trains in the early morning, works temporary clerical jobs during the day, and grapples with an English libretto to a neglected German opera in the evening. A victory celebration in a San Francisco Chinato... read more

The Stuttering Jock’s Opera is a thinly disguised hero’s journey—complete with three challenges. The lead character is physically reckless, but socially shy because of his halting speech. He trains in the early morning, works temporary clerical jobs during the day, and grapples with an English libretto to a neglected German opera in the evening. A victory celebration in a San Francisco Chinato... read more

Not Everything Dies (Princess Dracula)

John Patrick Kennedy

From Vampire to Beast…When Ruxandra wakes in the castle of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, she has no memory of her past and a terrible alter ego created from years of hunger: the Beast.Elizabeth Bathory promises to help Ruxandra rediscover herself and help control the Beast, in exchange for obedience while she stays with her.Now Ruxandra must face both her past and the Beast within if she is to t... read more

From Vampire to Beast…When Ruxandra wakes in the castle of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, she has no memory of her past and a terrible alter ego created from years of hunger: the Beast.Elizabeth Bathory promises to help Ruxandra rediscover herself and help control the Beast, in exchange for obedience while she stays with her.Now Ruxandra must face both her past and the Beast within if she is to t... read more

The Trudeau Vector

Juris Jurjevics

When three members of the Trudeau Research Center scientific team are murdered at the onset of an arctic winter, epidemiologist Jessica Hanley finds her investigation intersecting with the secret mission of a decorated admiral from Moscow, who has been assigned to locate a missing submarine. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.

When three members of the Trudeau Research Center scientific team are murdered at the onset of an arctic winter, epidemiologist Jessica Hanley finds her investigation intersecting with the secret mission of a decorated admiral from Moscow, who has been assigned to locate a missing submarine. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.

Riding with the Wind: Three Generations of My Family in China

Fay Hoh Yin

In Riding with the Wind, Fay Hoh Yin paints an indelible portrait of three generations of her family in China as the imperial era ends and war with Japan begins. Her parents are among the first young people to escape the archaic traditions of foot binding and arranged marriage, then use their newfound freedom to study in the West. They return home in the early 1920s to become pioneering educat... read more

In Riding with the Wind, Fay Hoh Yin paints an indelible portrait of three generations of her family in China as the imperial era ends and war with Japan begins. Her parents are among the first young people to escape the archaic traditions of foot binding and arranged marriage, then use their newfound freedom to study in the West. They return home in the early 1920s to become pioneering educat... read more

The Boy on the Green Bicycle: A Memoir

Margaret Diehl

In a memoir of her large Southern family, the author focuses on her four siblings, rendering each with vivid compassion and revealing the joy and innocence that marked their passage to adulthood.

In a memoir of her large Southern family, the author focuses on her four siblings, rendering each with vivid compassion and revealing the joy and innocence that marked their passage to adulthood.

Men

Margaret Diehl

Beautiful, talented Stella James explores the heady power of her own sexuality by seeking out anonymous sexual encounters. Though the men may long to see her again, by dawn Stella is always gone. She revels in the intensity and honesty of her encounters and delights in the discoveries she makes about men and herself.

Beautiful, talented Stella James explores the heady power of her own sexuality by seeking out anonymous sexual encounters. Though the men may long to see her again, by dawn Stella is always gone. She revels in the intensity and honesty of her encounters and delights in the discoveries she makes about men and herself.

Ravenstone (The Ravenstone Chronicles Book 1)

Louise Franklin

Born into a privileged life in London during the Regency era, all that is required of Georgiana Wyndham is to live a life of virtue and obedience. She fails at both when her father abuses her. Headstrong and high-spirited, though crippled by his severe beating, she remains strong and refuses to allow him to crush her indomitable will. When her father threatens those she loves, Georgiana knows ... read more

Born into a privileged life in London during the Regency era, all that is required of Georgiana Wyndham is to live a life of virtue and obedience. She fails at both when her father abuses her. Headstrong and high-spirited, though crippled by his severe beating, she remains strong and refuses to allow him to crush her indomitable will. When her father threatens those she loves, Georgiana knows ... read more

A Soldier's Son

Jack Estes

In 1968, Mike Kelly's chopper is shot down over the jungles of Vietnam. The crew is dead. Most of his team is dead and the enemy is near. Today it is 2004, and Mike is a successful author who writes for the daily newspaper. He lives in a big house on the lake with his wife, Claire, college aged daughter, Madie and 18 year old son, Mick. Not all is well in the Kelly home. Mike is haunted by Vie... read more

In 1968, Mike Kelly's chopper is shot down over the jungles of Vietnam. The crew is dead. Most of his team is dead and the enemy is near. Today it is 2004, and Mike is a successful author who writes for the daily newspaper. He lives in a big house on the lake with his wife, Claire, college aged daughter, Madie and 18 year old son, Mick. Not all is well in the Kelly home. Mike is haunted by Vie... read more

Raven's Shadow (The Ravenstone Chronicles Book 2)

Louise Franklin

Georgina's new found love is put to the test in the stunning sequel to Louise Franklin's novel Ravenstone. In this second book in the spellbinding Ravenstone Chronicles series, author Louise Franklin combines a regency setting and adventure to create a love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.Georgiana Fairchild is leading a double life. By day, she is the genteel wife of Edward Fairchild... read more

Georgina's new found love is put to the test in the stunning sequel to Louise Franklin's novel Ravenstone. In this second book in the spellbinding Ravenstone Chronicles series, author Louise Franklin combines a regency setting and adventure to create a love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.Georgiana Fairchild is leading a double life. By day, she is the genteel wife of Edward Fairchild... read more

Death Postponed

Gustaf Berger

In this debut novel from Gustaf Berger, a journalist whose fireman father died on 9/11 pursues a couple of slick scammers who benefited from the disaster. On the morning of 9/11,Ted misses his appointment at the World Trade Center to shack-up with his girlfriend. When he calls his business partner to let him know he’s still alive, Sal reminds him of their five million dollar partners insurance... read more

In this debut novel from Gustaf Berger, a journalist whose fireman father died on 9/11 pursues a couple of slick scammers who benefited from the disaster. On the morning of 9/11,Ted misses his appointment at the World Trade Center to shack-up with his girlfriend. When he calls his business partner to let him know he’s still alive, Sal reminds him of their five million dollar partners insurance... read more

Pearl

Karleen Staible

Emily Fenner, an aspirant Broadway star, hopes to find all of her dreams in the big city and flashing lights. With beauty, talent, and an irrepressible desire to succeed, Emily is in the perfect position to take hold of the career she’s always wanted—until stirring emotions both from and toward her manager complicate everything.Lost in the fame, secrets, lies, and lust of New York City’s high-... read more

Emily Fenner, an aspirant Broadway star, hopes to find all of her dreams in the big city and flashing lights. With beauty, talent, and an irrepressible desire to succeed, Emily is in the perfect position to take hold of the career she’s always wanted—until stirring emotions both from and toward her manager complicate everything.Lost in the fame, secrets, lies, and lust of New York City’s high-... read more

Crane Boy

Diana Cohn

Every year, Kinga and his classmates wait for the black-necked cranes to return to the kingdom of Bhutan. The birds fly south over the highest mountains in the word to winter in the valley where Kinga lives, deep in the Himalayas. The cranes have been visiting the valley since ancient times, but every year, fewer cranes return. Kinga is concerned. "What can he do?," he wonders. He and his clas... read more

Every year, Kinga and his classmates wait for the black-necked cranes to return to the kingdom of Bhutan. The birds fly south over the highest mountains in the word to winter in the valley where Kinga lives, deep in the Himalayas. The cranes have been visiting the valley since ancient times, but every year, fewer cranes return. Kinga is concerned. "What can he do?," he wonders. He and his clas... read more

Margaret has 34 reviews

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

Douglas Richardson
Margaret's judgment and suggestions, both with respect to the content of my writing and to the dynamics of its target markets, have been superior. Hers is a mature, candid voice that moves readily between the momentous and the trivial, and her comments are well thought-out and thought-provoking. For this debut novel and its rookie novelist, her assistance and perspective have been invaluable.

Douglas Richardson, May 2020

Margaret Diehl
Thanks!

Reply from Margaret Diehl


Victoria Costello
Margaret Diehl did a thorough, creative edit of my literary novel which has helped me enormously to bring my work to the next level. I'd been overly cautious on things like my protagonist's voice and the amount of her scientific braininess I allowed in it. It was great to have her line by line suggestions and questions help guide me to add where it would be beneficial to the story. Her style o...
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Victoria Costello, April 2020


Neil Pollack
Margaret. Your edit was on the money. Your comments have gotten my creative juices flowing. It will take time for me to get back to you with another draft. In the meantime, stay safe. Neil

Neil Pollack, April 2020

Margaret Diehl
Thanks, Neil. I look forward to seeing it again. Take your time and stay safe as well. Margaret

Reply from Margaret Diehl


Janelle Garcia
Excellent experience on a developmental edit from start to finish. The feedback provided has proven invaluable. I highly recommend Margaret for her insight and expertise as well as an unsurpassed attention to detail.

Janelle Garcia, April 2020


Annette Libeskind Berkovits
I am very pleased to say that Margaret provided me with a thorough and insightful critique of my manuscript in a timely manner. I was particularly impressed by the depth and quality of her comments. It is obvious Margaret took time to do a close reading and lavished great care in honing in on all areas of the manuscript she found lacking. But she doesn't leave the writer despairing for solutio...
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Annette Libeskind Berkovits, February 2020

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