Pamela Sourelis

Pamela Sourelis – Editor

Developmental editor, writing coach; 25+ years helping fiction and memoir writers deepen and shape their work, and strengthen their voices.

Overview

I’ve helped hundreds of writers find and strengthen their voices; get comfortable with the writing process; dig more deeply into their craft; and explore, structure, and refine their work.


I began my editing career as an independent contractor working with business and education publishers, such as Scott, Foresman; McGraw-Hill; and Houghton/Mifflin.


Soon after earning an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, I started my own company and began working directly with authors—primarily writers of fiction (historical, sci-fi, fantasy, young adult, literary) and memoir—as an editor, workshop facilitator, and coach.



HOW I CAN HELP


Here at Reedsy I offer two services: Developmental Editing and Coaching


DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING is "big-picture" editing done on a completed (or nearly completed) manuscript.


I look at the shape and pacing of the work, your use of setting, the complexity of your characters, your use of language (your voice and tone, the consistency of your style), and at the strength of the connection you’ve created with your audience.


I think of a manuscript as a living being with a personality and a sense of purpose and direction.


A skilled reader and listener (yes, I listen to the story), I can identify the places a writer can better serve their story by following its lead rather than trying to haul it into a preconceived shape.


There are no hard-and-fast rules, of course, only choices. It’s my job to point them out to you in a clear, respectful way and help you work through them, which sometimes involves inviting you to move out of your comfort zone.



If you need help beginning a manuscript or getting unstuck or getting more comfortable with your writing process or brushing up on any of the elements of fiction or memoir (characterization, setting, point of view, scene, dialog . . .), I can help you in my role as WRITING COACH.



I think the best way forward is for us to schedule a short (20-30 minute) Zoom chat so we can meet each other, discuss your project, and see if we’re a good fit. If you send me a request, we can set something up.



P.S. Reedsy suggests we add something about ourselves that might surprise you. So here goes: I’m also a professional animal communicator. The animals, my own (including the two in my photo) and the many I have worked with, have taught me a great deal about listening.



TESTIMONIALS


I didn’t always agree with the master at first, but in the end I found out she was always spot on.

- James Conroyd Martin,

Award-winning historical fiction writer



[Pam’s] guidance helped me venture into the deeper layers of my story I didn’t know existed.

- Bingz Huang



. . . Pam brought balance to both strong and weak aspects of my work, pushing me where I needed to be pushed.

- Stephanie Dos Santos



Services
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Health & Wellbeing
Fiction
Fantasy Historical Fiction Literary Fiction Science Fiction Short Story Young Adult Fantasy
Languages
English (US)
Certifications
  • MFA Writing, Vermont College of fine Arts
  • MA English, DePaul University
  • BA Journalism, Temple University

Work experience

Self-employed

Jan, 1996 — Present

As a developmental editor, I help creative writers deepen and shape their drafts, and strengthen their writing voices.
*

As a writing coach, I help writers who don't know how to begin, begin; find ways of getting unstuck; get more comfortable with their writing process; brush up on any of the elements of fiction or memoir (characterization, setting, point of view, scene, dialog . . .); and ultimately create a workable first draft.

*
I also facilitate writing workshops: journaling, fiction, memoir

Multiple Chicago-Area Publishers

Jan, 1990 — Jan, 1996 (about 6 years)

For a number of years before starting my own company, I was a freelance developmental editor and copyeditor for a number of Chicago-area education and business publishers, including Heinemann, McGraw-Hill, Prentice-Hall, Scott-Foresman, Richard D. Irwin , and IDG books, now Wiley (publisher of the Dummies books)

One of my favorite projects was working with Patrick Pfeiffer, a new writer at the time, on his book Bass Guitar for Dummies, which has been translated into five languages. I also began working with James Conroyd Martin, also a new writer at the, time, and continue working with him today. Most of his books (historical fiction) have been translated into Polish, and several of them have won prestigious awards.

DePaul University, Loyola University

Jan, 1983 — Jun, 1993 (over 10 years)

I'm including this experience, in a very general way, to illustrate that I've been working with writers for a long time. I was a rebel of sorts at both universities, allowing students to choose their own topics, structuring the classroom to be student centered, teaching student writers about the process of writing and the need for multiple drafts to allow their thoughts to take shape, teaching student writers how to respond to each other's drafts.

The classroom was a collaborative environment. I learned so much from these people and have taken much of that knowledge and experience into my work as a developmental editor and writing coach.

Portfolio

Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
Copy Editing
Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
Copy Editing
Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
One Star Away

Salva, Imogene

Developmental Editing
Copy Editing
Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing

Pamela has 37 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

barry S.

barry S.

Jan, 2024

Pamela, a few adjectives: sensitive, smart, cogent comments, insightful, provided both positive and corrective directions. we will definitely work together again. Barry Schweiger
Min T.

Min T.

Jan, 2024

Happy to have collaborated with Pamela! For the Editorial Assessment on my manuscript, she has rendered her professional reviews, provided me with valid points and value-added feedbacks that led me to think further, e.g. which part of my story that I still need to further elaborate, amend, and expand. She patiently read through my manuscript and shared some honestly blunt thoughts on my story ...
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Sanjukta S.

Sanjukta S.

Jan, 2024

Pam is very insightful and provides some tangible suggestions. I will utilize her editing services again.
RW B.

RW B.

Dec, 2023

I worked with one editor through three novels and a short story. We had a terrific working relationship. Unfortunately, he's now suffering from cancer and is unable to help me with my fourth novel. I was a little nervous about working with someone else and was skeptical about choosing someone I didn't know. Luckily, I found Pamela and I think we are a good fit. She's direct and not afraid to te...
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Nick P.

Nick P.

Dec, 2023

Pamela is an excellent editor and coach. I used her services for book coaching and came back for editing. She has my trust through this process and is definitely an excellent editor. I hope I can collaborate with her again on future projects.

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