Martha E Lang

Martha E Lang – Editor

Ivy League-educated developmental editor, book coach, and ghostwriter of self-help & memoirs. Let's illuminate and inspire with your words!


I am currently accepting one new client for September 2024.

I am a seasoned developmental editor, ghostwriter, and published author with 32 years of experience. I have helped hundreds produce their best work and become better writers. I would like to do so for you, too. My interdisciplinary Ivy League Ph.D. allows me to move seamlessly across multiple areas of nonfiction. Because I have decades of experience as an editor and formal writing instructor, I work effectively with writers of varied experience and ability.

I have developed a unique editorial assessment process that includes a detailed report that addresses the "big picture" while also providing detailed, chapter-level feedback. From there, I use a customized color-coded and symbol-coded checklist system that breaks down every element of the revision and guides the author through each step of that process. Finally, I include with every assessment a follow-up coaching session to aid authors in the revision process.

You may be looking at my picture and asking yourself, "What's that on her head?" It is a Quaker bonnet that forms a part of my religious observance. While I keep my work and religious lives separate, the values of Quakerism, such as integrity, social equity, and clarity, guide my approach to working with authors. Together, they also inform my underlying work philosophy: that each piece of writing is a form of storytelling and that each writer has a unique voice and truth to share through their narrative.


"I am excited to tell you that because of you, I have been asked to send my manuscript to a Literary Agent! Woohoo! I know that your professionalism, accuracy, timeliness, and patience while working with me were the only reasons I was asked to send my manuscript! Again, thanks so much for your help!!!"

"Martha is wonderful to work with. Her color-coded editorial assessment is detailed, organized, and to the point. Our zoom meetings were very helpful…I really like the way she follows up, confirms, and communicates, all with precision and clarity...Martha is an empathetic coach who has me pointed in the right direction as we move onto developmental editing. I look forward to continuing working with Martha and feel fortunate I found her through Reedsy."

My experience in numbers:

33 years of editing

28 years of professional writing experience

14 years of teaching college writing

4 years of academic editing

7 years of freelance editing

4 years of book coaching

1 Ph.D. from Brown University

11 academic articles published

2 #1 Amazon new releases authored

2 #1 Amazon bestsellers authored

Biographies & Memoirs Health & Wellbeing Inspirational LGBTQ Non-Fiction Music Religion & Spirituality Self-Help & Self-Improvement Sociology
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (UK) English (US)
  • Bayard Rustin Center Angelic Troublemaker Award, Guilford College
  • Best Organizational Advisor, Guilford College
  • Faculty Hearts and Hands Award, Guilford College

Work experience


Apr, 2022 — Present


Sep, 2017 — Apr, 2022 (over 4 years)

• Clients include Cactus Communications, academics, artists, and self-help authors.
• Maintained 100% deadline conformance across hundreds of manuscripts.
• Provided proofreading, copy editing, and structural editing of abstracts, research proposals, journal articles, book chapters, edited volumes, and book-length manuscripts.
• In November 2017 received a commendation in an internal newsletter from Cactus Communications as a “Positive Participator,” with the following note: “Martha’s relatively new to our systems and processes but has grasped our service scopes well and is quick to clarify any potential issues. She’s maintained a high QI [internal quality index rating] and has steadily increased her productivity on CACTUS assignments.”
• In December 2017, January 2018, February 2018, and March 2018 was among the 10 editors with highest combined productivity and internal quality index ratings for my division at Cactus Communications.


Jan, 2003 — Jul, 2017 (over 14 years)

• Served as a peer reviewer for the International Journal of Health Policy and Management, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Sociological Compass, and Women’s Health Issues.
• Reviewed introductory sociology textbooks for McGraw-Hill, Oxford, SAGE Pine Forge, and Thomson Wadsworth.

Brown University, Tufts University, Guilford College, UTEP, Smith College, and Providence College

Sep, 2002 — May, 2017 (over 14 years)

• Served at Providence College, Smith College, University of Texas at El Paso, Guilford College, Tufts University, and Brown University.
• Developed and taught courses in sociology, environmental studies, history, and women’s studies, including general education courses in which formal writing instruction was a primary component.
• Developed effective classroom and online pedagogies for teaching writing to students from a variety of backgrounds including first-generation college students, second language learners, and adult students.
• Served as an advisor for honors theses and capstone projects, mentoring student through the processes of development, research, drafting, revision, and defense.
• Provided for colleagues copy editing and substantive editing of grant proposals, articles, book chapters, and book manuscripts.

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

Jan, 2000 — Mar, 2005 (about 5 years)

• Tracked and measured over a three-year period the effectiveness of a voluntary home visitation program for a cohort of approximately 2300 families living in poverty.
• Collaborated closely with supervisor, stakeholders, and research associates in the research process and dissemination of findings.


Developmental Editing Editorial Assessment Book Coaching
Developmental Editing Copy Editing Editorial Assessment Proofreading Book Coaching
The Triumph of the Man Who Acts

Purinton, Edward Earle

Developmental Editing Editorial Assessment Book Coaching
Let's Get Sincere

Berrios-Ayala, Mr. Mark K

Developmental Editing Copy Editing Editorial Assessment Proofreading
Copy Editing Proofreading
History was made when the United Nations published Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and world leaders stepped up to pledge unifying commitments to secure a s... read more
Developmental Editing
The point of departure for Managing to Care is widespread concern that the present delivery of health and social welfare services is fragmented, uncoordinated, inefficient, costly, wasteful, a... read more
Developmental Editing
Research on social inequalities has a very long tradition in sociological research, and discussion of the impact of social inequalities on health and health care delivery has long been one of the more important topics covered by medical sociologists. The resea... read more
Composed entirely of specially commissioned chapters by many outstanding scholars in medical sociology, this edition reflects important changes in the study of health and illness. In addition to updated and reconceived chapters on the impacts of gender, race, ... read more
An authoritative, state-of-the-art collection that brings together key experts to provide an overview of the field. This new paperback edition includes 3 new chapters on human resources and health, end-of-life care and complementary and alternative medicine as... read more
This unique multidisciplinary volume examines the dynamics of behavioral change and its maintenance, from the individual to the wider domains of public policy. Coverage traces how change may be achieved, sustained, or derailed, as well as underlying neurobiolo... read more

Martha E has 46 reviews





Diamond K.

Diamond K.

Jun, 2024

I read reviews about Ms. Martha before reaching out to her, and I'm so glad we decided to collaborate on my project. Ms. Martha is delightful, responsive, and incredibly detailed. While I had some expectations for the editorial assessment phase based on research and her explanation, her feedback surpassed all my expectations! She not only highlighted the strengths of my work, which was very enc...
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Larry C.

Larry C.

Jan, 2024

Working with Martha was an absolute pleasure. As the developmental editor for my project Martha was just fantastic; to say she has talent is an understatement. I can honestly express, often throughout our collaboration Martha knew better than I did what I was trying to express through my writing. I consider her ability to get inside my head - to be intuitive - to the nth degree - a real skill o...
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Eric D.

Eric D.

Dec, 2023

Martha was great to work with. Her comments were insightful and always on the mark. I will work with her again if I ever get the bug to write another book!
Jill K.

Jill K.

Nov, 2023

Martha is quite simply amazing and has helped me tremendously in my memoir writing journey. She is thoughtful, detailed oriented, thorough and a true delight to work with. My collaboration with her began with an editorial assessment. The analysis of my manuscript that she produced was beyond anything I could have expected. The level of detail included in her review combined with her highly-or...
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Karie Ann N.

Karie Ann N.

Jul, 2023

Tears form in my eyes when I think of the depth and width of Martha's assistance on my project. There are no words to capture it concisely. She brought the whole project into accurate focus for me, setting a visible path for how to proceed at every layer, from the big picture to the minute comma. And her genuine care about both the writer and the writing shines through, lights the path, and mot...
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