Melissa Haskin

Melissa Haskin – Editor

Expert recipe + cookbook editor. Skilled economics editor (dissertations, journal articles, books). 15 years experience.

Overview

As an experienced recipe editor, cookbook editor, and food writer, I'm an expert at fixing confusing or incomplete recipe instructions, correcting erroneous cook times, and noticing when ingredient amounts are fishy. Among others, my editing and proofreading clients have included Hachette Book Group, Time Inc. (now Meredith), Rodale (now Hearst), and Keen Publishing.


If you've ever been midway through cooking a new recipe only to realize that you have an ingredient and no idea what to do with it because it isn't mentioned anywhere in the instructions, then you probably know why it's important to hire a recipe editor.


Recipe editors help cookbook authors by catching errors and discrepancies. We fix recipe-specific problems that can range from scaling issues to missing ingredients. We rewrite directions so that they're easy to follow and make the most sense. For example, in a recent cookbook, an author called for readers to pan-fry bell peppers, set them aside and then cook chicken for an hour. I suggested we tweak the recipe to call for readers to cook the chicken first, then add the peppers in towards the end. The proposed change saved the ingredient from sitting on the counter, unused, for an hour. It also cut down on the cook time and number of dirty pans since the peppers were being cooked with the chicken in the same pan instead of two separate pans at different times.


When I work on recipes, I rely on my professional training and experience, which includes extensive work on-staff at a cooking magazine, where I helped rate and troubleshoot dozens of recipes each day. I also hold a master's degree in journalism. During my studies, I took two food writing courses including a weekend workshop with Jonathan Gold and I wrote my final paper on the ethics of food writing.


I correct recipes using Word, Google Docs, or .pdfs. I check each recipe to ensure that every ingredient used in the recipe is listed in the ingredients list and vice versa. Likewise, I check for typos, consistency, and tone. I can shorten a recipe or change the instructions so that they are easier to follow. I can verify that cook times and photos are accurate. I can also make sure that recipes conform to a specific style guide.


I have a $50 minimum for projects.


Economics editing: In addition to cookbook editing, I specialize in economics manuscripts. Researchers at institutions such as Berkeley, Harvard, and Stanford trust me with their work. If you're looking to polish a nonfiction manuscript or journal article, I would love to hear from you.

Services
Non-Fiction
Cooking, Food, Wine, & Spirits Economics Nature
Languages
English (US)
Certifications
  • Master of Science, Journalism
  • Bachelor of Science, Economics

Work experience

Men's Health Magazine owned by Hearst

Aug, 2014 — Jan, 2016 (over 1 year)

● Edited articles on health, nutrition, and fitness. Provided particular expertise in all things food related.
● Edited articles for accuracy, completeness, and clarity. Maintained brand’s light-hearted, witty style in all copy, whether it was for print, web, or social media.
● Edited recipes for. Tested recipes for. Collaborated with nationally recognized chefs to adapt their restaurant-style recipes to recipes for home cooks serving 2-4 people. Edited recipes for readability, completeness, and accuracy.

Oxmoor House Books

Dec, 2012 — Aug, 2014 (over 1 year)

● Edited ~50 recipes per month that would eventually reach an audience of almost 2 million readers; Edited recipes to be clear, concise and accurate; Revised instructions to be easy to follow; Corrected recipes to match in-house style guide; Ensured all ingredients were included in instructions and listed in the correct order.
● Wrote compelling web and print content that broke traffic records and drove engagement. Wrote copy for cookbooks and special editions.

Self-employed

Nov, 2011 — Present

● Copyedit documents for style, tone, and voice. Proofread for typos, grammar errors, and misspellings. Suggest where and how to improve clarity, word choice, and organization.

Selected recent projects:
Proofreader, “Home Winemaking: The Simple Way to Make Delicious Wine,” by Jack Keller, Adventure Publications, 582 pages, published May 25, 2021. Proofread all copy (including 65 recipes). Provided marked-up .pdf to the publisher within 7 business days of receipt.

Proofreader, “Native Plant Gardening for Birds, Bees & Butterflies: Southeast,” by Jaret C. Daniels, Adventure Publications, 440 pages, published April 6, 2021. Proofread all copy. Corrected typos, queried author/publisher with editorial concerns and questions, and fixed grammar mistakes. Ensured all photos were accurately placed and represented the correct plant or animal.

Selected clients: Hachette Book Group, Adventure Publications

Portfolio

Proofreading
Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2014

Editors of Cooking Light Magazine

Throughout the year, Cooking Light magazine produces some of the most unique and sought-after recipes derived from cutting edge food science, exotic world flavors, and the latest research on healthy eating. All those phenomenal recipes from 2013
Proofreading
Proofreading
Cooking Light 3-Step Express: Comfort Food shows you how to prepare hearty favorites in three simple steps with less than 30 minutes of hands-on prep time. On those hectic weeknights when you're pressed for time, what could be better than spending less time in... read more

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