Matthew Somoroff

Matthew Somoroff – Editor

Copy and developmental editor specializing in humanities, social sciences, general and creative nonfiction, as well as literary fiction.

Overview

With years of experience in the publishing industry, an extensive background in scholarly and nonfiction writing, and an obsession with the craft of prose, I can take on editing projects ranging from light copyedits to intensive developmental editing. Each writer is different, and each project is unique. With a supportive, encouraging attitude, I work closely with authors to help them achieve their writing goals.

Testimonials from clients and authors:

"I want to send my thanks to you for the superlative copy edit. Your insights and suggestions are spot-on, and at many turns you've helped make the book a better and more accurate read." —Jas Obrecht, author of Talking Guitar: Conversations with Musicians Who Shaped Twentieth-Century American Music

"Thanks for your careful attention to my manuscript. I appreciate all the great catches." —Silas House, author of Southernmost

"Matthew made a lot of great catches, finding mistakes I’d made, and I’m most grateful. He also made a lot of great tweaks, improving sentences, and clarifying meaning." —Stacy Horn, author of Damnation Island

"Thank you so much for an incredibly smart and careful editing job! You have made the book immeasurably better and I'm grateful." —Amy Gash, Senior Editor at Algonquin Books

AWARDS won by books for which I have provided developmental editing support:

- 2022 Gilbert Chinard Book Prize, presented by the Society for French Historical Studies


- 2022 Award for the Best Historical Research on Recorded Jazz category, presented by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards for Excellence in Historical Sound Research


**Please see the gallery below for acknowledgments from books in print.**
Services
Non-Fiction
Art Biographies & Memoirs Education & Reference Geography History Music
Fiction
Literary Fiction
Languages
English (CAN) English (UK) English (US)
Certifications
  • BA, New York University
  • PhD, Duke University

Work experience

Self-employed

Jul, 2014 — Present

Copy editing (light to heavy); developmental editing on book manuscripts, journal articles, and book chapters; content creation for textbook supplements; proofreading; fact-checking; formatting (citations and bibliography); clients include Harper Wave Books, Algonquin Books, Turtle Point Press, UNC Press, Duke Univ. Press, Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, Univ. of Arkansas Press, New Mexico Magazine, MPS North America, tenured and junior scholars at universities in the U.S. and Canada.

UNC Press

Sep, 2014 — Jan, 2016 (over 1 year)

Communications-focused, deadline-driven publicity operations at a publisher that releases 100+ books per year
• Preparing, copyediting, and updating publicity materials, according to house style
• Coordinating and executing large-scale mailings to media outlets and business partners

Duke University

Sep, 2008 — Dec, 2013 (about 5 years)

Primary instructor of undergraduate classes; teaching assistant for large lecture courses; designed course syllabi; courses included particular emphasis on developing writing skills

Portfolio

The Souls of Womenfolk

Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh

Beginning on the shores of West Africa in the sixteenth century and ending in the U.S. Lower South on the eve of the Civil War, Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh traces a bold history of the interior lives of bondwomen as they carved out an existence for themselves and ... read more
Children of the Soil

Tasha Rijke-Epstein

In Children of the Soil, Tasha Rijke-Epstein offers an urban history of the port city of Mahajanga, Madagascar, before, during, and after colonization. Drawing on archival and ethnographic evidence, she weaves together the lives and afterlives of built spaces ... read more
Southernmost

Silas House

“A novel for our time, a courageous and necessary book.” —Jennifer Haigh, author of Heat and Light In this stunning novel about judgment, courage, heartbreak, and change, author Silas House wrestles with the limits of belief and the infinite ways to love. In t... read more
Passion Plays

Randall Balmer

Randall Balmer was a late convert to sports talk radio, but he quickly became addicted, just like millions of other devoted American sports fans. As a historian of religion, the more he listened, Balmer couldn't help but wonder how the fervor he heard related ... read more
"Grace Schulman makes me want to live to be four hundred years old, because she makes me feel there is so much out there, and it's unbearable to miss any of it."—Wallace Shawn The romance of Grace Schulman and her husband, Jerome, a distinguished scientist, bu... read more
The British composer, conductor, and pianist Thomas Adès has achieved a level of recognition and celebrity within the world of classical music today that is almost unmatched. Once seen as the heir to Benjamin Britten, both in his importance to British music an... read more
Walter Link and Miriam Wollaeger, a young geologist couple in 1920s Wisconsin, set out to find oil to supply the surging U.S. demand. This exciting work will allow them to build their lives in South and Central America, Indonesia, and Cuba. But from the first ... read more
When Shoba Narayan, a writer and cookbook author who had lived for years in Manhattan, moves back to Bangalore with her family, she befriends the milk lady, from whom she buys fresh milk every day. These two women from very different backgrounds bond over not ... read more
For eight days in March 1970, over 200,000 postal workers staged an illegal "wildcat" strike--the largest in United States history--for better wages and working conditions. Picket lines started in New York and spread across the country like wildfire. Strikers ... read more
The Army of the Potomac was a hotbed of political activity during the Civil War. As a source of dissent widely understood as a frustration for Abraham Lincoln, its onetime commander, George B. McClellan, even secured the Democratic nomination for president in ... read more
In the summer of 1978, the B-52's conquered the New York underground. A year later, the band's self-titled debut album burst onto the Billboard charts, capturing the imagination of fans and music critics worldwide. The fact that the group had formed in the sle... read more
Between 2009 and 2013, as the nation contemplated the historic election of Barack Obama and endured the effects of the Great Recession, Matthew Frye Jacobson set out with a camera to explore and document what was discernible to the "historian's eye" during thi... read more
In this lively collection of interviews, storied music writer Jas Obrecht presents a celebration of the world's most popular instrument as seen through the words, lives, and artistry of some of its most beloved players. Readers will read--and hear--accounts of... read more
This second edition of Arkansas in Modern America since 1930 represents a significant rewriting of and elaboration on the first edition, published in 2000. Historian Ben F. Johnson fills in gaps, reconsiders his original conclusions, and reflects on new develo... read more
In Arkansas Travelers, historical geographer Andrew J. Milson takes readers on an enthralling tour with William Dunbar, Thomas Nuttall, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, and George William Featherstonhaugh as they explored the Arkansas frontier in the early nineteenth c... read more
Once considered a kind of delinquent activity, skateboarding is on track to join soccer, baseball, and basketball as an approved way for American children to pass the after-school hours. With family skateboarding in the San Francisco Bay Area as its focus, Mov... read more
Donald Harington, best known for his fifteen novels, was also a prolific writer of essays, articles, and book reviews.The Guestroom Novelist: A Donald Harington Miscellany gathers a career-spanning and eclectic selection of nonfiction by the Arkansawyer noveli... read more
Intrepid Kathleen Purvis traveled extensively throughout the South to create this first-ever guide to the region's burgeoning craft-liquor movement, capturing her journey in the creation of six original Liquor Trails. As fascinating as the craft itself are the... read more
Freedom fighters. Guerrilla warriors. Soldiers of fortune. The many civil wars and rebellions against communist governments drew heavily from this cast of characters. Yet from Nicaragua to Afghanistan, Vietnam to Angola, Cuba to the Congo, the connections betw... read more
For over 125 years, the Daily Tar Heel has chronicled life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at times pushed and prodded the university community on issues of local, state, and national significance. Thousands of students have served on it... read more
There have been many books written about Johnny Cash, but The Man in Song is the first to examine Cash’s incredible life through the lens of the songs he wrote and recorded. Music journalist and historian John Alexander has drawn on decades of studying Cash’s ... read more
From Cinderella to comic con to colonialism and more, this companion provides readers with a comprehensive and current guide to the fantastic, uncanny, and wonderful worlds of the fairy tale across media and cultures. It offers a clear, detailed, and expansive... read more
At a time when race and inequality dominate national debates, the story of West Charlotte High School illuminates the possibilities and challenges of using racial and economic desegregation to foster educational equality. West Charlotte opened in 1938 as a seg... read more
Follow the Sun

Edward J. Delaney

"Follow the Sun is just plain fantastic. Edward J. Delaney has orchestrated a tight, tense page-turner and a harrowing, deeply imagined literary portrait of an entire family. . . . What a knockout read." ―Paul Harding"In this pungent, gritty novel, hardscrabbl... read more
A compelling portrait of rock's greatest guitarist at the moment of his ascendance, Stone Free is the first book to focus exclusively on the happiest and most productive period of Jimi Hendrix's life. As it begins in the fall of 1966, he's an under-sung, under... read more
This is the amazing untold story of the Los Angeles sanctuary movement's champion, Father Luis Olivares (1934–1993), a Catholic priest and a charismatic, faith-driven leader for social justice. Beginning in 1980 and continuing for most of the decade, hundreds ... read more
Joseph Keckler?s signatures are his magnificent three-plus-octave operatic voice and the mesmerizing stories he tells. Combining original pieces with material from his acclaimed performances, Keckler confirms his storytelling mastery, revealing still more of h... read more
The essays in Chop Suey and Sushi from Sea to Shining Sea fill gaps in the existing food studies by revealing and contextualizing the hidden, local histories of Chinese and Japanese restaurants in the United States.The writer of these essays show how the taste... read more
The gripping voices of the inhabitants of Blackwell's Island make this history come alive. Today it is known as Roosevelt Island. In 1828, when New York City purchased this narrow, two-mile-long island in the East River, it was called Blackwell’s Island. There... read more
When a grassroots revolution prevailed on America's doorstep, it provoked the wrath of the American political establishment but fueled intense interest within the multiracial American Left. In this groundbreaking book, historian Teishan A. Latner contends that... read more
In Dust of the Zulu Louise Meintjes traces the political and aesthetic significance of ngoma, a competitive form of dance and music that emerged out of the legacies of colonialism and apartheid in South Africa. Contextualizing ngoma within South Africa's histo... read more
The origin story of hip-hop—one that involves Kool Herc DJing a house party on Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx—has become received wisdom. But Joseph C. Ewoodzie Jr. argues that the full story remains to be told. In vibrant prose, he combines never-before-used ar... read more
Chiropractic is by far the most common form of alternative medicine in the United States today, but its fascinating origins stretch back to the battles between science and religion in the nineteenth century. At the center of the story are chiropractic's colorf... read more
An inside look at the obsessive, secretive, and often bizarre world of high-profile stamp collecting, told through the journey of the world’s most sought-after stamp. When it was issued in 1856, it cost a penny. In 2014, this tiny square of faded red paper sol... read more

Matthew has 1 review

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Donald M.

Donald M.

Jul, 2020

Matthew provided exactly what I was looking for to make my book the best it could be. He understood exactly what I was trying to accomplish and succeeded in making an average manuscript more polished. I recommend him highly. I would definitely use him again.
Matthew S.
Thank you, Don! It was a pleasure to work with you.

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