Mary Cook

Mary Cook - Editor

Santa Bárbara, CA, USA

Experienced copy editor, proofreader, and fact-checker who has worked with award-winning authors of creative nonfiction, poetry, and fiction

Request a quote


I specialize in copyediting, proofreading, and fact-checking memoirs and essay collections about race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nature and the environment, grief/death/loss, love/desire, and travel.

I have a bachelor of science in biology (Cornell University) and a master of arts in English (University of Vermont), and I am a current English PhD candidate (University of California, Santa Barbara).

For six years, I worked as a freelance development editor for pediatric nursing textbooks published by Pearson. Then, before becoming a part-time college professor of English, I began copyediting, proofreading, and fact-checking for literary titles in creative nonfiction, poetry, literary fiction, and occasional genre fiction (mystery/thriller) and still take on such freelance work to this day.
English (US)
Literary Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Sex & Relationships
Sports & Outdoors


  • Lake Tahoe Community College Molly Owen Creative Writing Award (2013)
  • Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Postcolonial Essay Award (2021)
  • Lake Tahoe Community College Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Award (2022)

Work experience

Freelance Copy Editor, Proofreader, Fact-Checker, and Book Designer

January, 2012 – Present (over 10 years)

Job specifications: copyedit, proofread, fact-check, and lay out manuscripts of diverse lengths and mediums (literary journals, anthologies, poetry collections, memoirs, novels); knowledge of MLA and Chicago styles, Microsoft Office, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Illustrator.

Instructor of English, Part-Time Faculty

Lake Tahoe Community College
September, 2018 – Present (almost 4 years)

Specialties: American literature, world literature, composition and rhetoric, research writing, creative nonfiction writing, and basic skills in the Incarcerated Student Program.

Literary Journal Managing Editor

Lake Tahoe Community College
May, 2012 – Present (over 10 years)

Job specifications: responsible for all aspects of Lake Tahoe Community College’s literary journal, The Kokanee, including call for submissions; submission management, review, and selection; contributor communication; manuscript organization; copyediting; manuscript layout and design; cover design; proofreading; manuscript preparation for printer; marketing; and book launch.

Freelance Development Editor

Pearson Education
September, 2010 – October, 2016 (about 6 years)

Job specifications: project management and completion on deadline and within budget of college-level pediatric nursing textbooks; management of the art program, peer-review process, and contributing authors; development of pedagogical features; analysis of competing texts; adherence to APA style; and preparation of manuscripts for release to production.

Portfolio (19 selected works)

The Academy of Hay

Shipley, Julia

Field Study

Mossotti, Travis

This Is the Ocean

Krut, Robert

Plotting Temporality

Roberts, Suzanne

Principles of Pediatric Nursing: Caring for Children

Ball DrPH RN CPNP, Jane, Bindler, Ruth, Cowen, Kay, Shaw, Michele

Maternal & Child Nursing Care

London, Marcia, Ladewig, Patricia, Davidson, Michele, Ball DrPH RN CPNP, Jane, Bindler, Ruth, Cowen, Kay

Maternal & Child Nursing Care (4th Edition)

London, Marcia L., Ladewig, Patricia W., Davidson, Michele C., Ball DrPH RN CPNP, Jane W., Bindler, Ruth C., Cowen, Kay J.

Child Health Nursing

Ball DrPH RN CPNP, Jane, Bindler, Ruth, Cowen, Kay, Shaw, Michele

Explore the Reedsy Community

Reedsy is a community of top publishing professionals. Join Reedsy today to browse 1000+ profiles.

Cathy Suter

Formerly with Hachette Books, Columbia University Press, and Abrams. Over ten years of experience editing best-selling nonfiction titles.

New York, NY, USA

Natalie Bolderston

Award-winning writer and versatile editor working in genre fiction publishing. Especially interested in fantasy, poetry and women's fiction.

London, UK

To view 1,000+ more profiles, Join Reedsy