After completing my MFA in Fiction at The New School in 2009, I moved from New York to Ann Arbor, where I’ve taught creative writing and worked as a freelance editor for the past decade. In 2017, I became the Fiction Editor at “Michigan Quarterly Review,” the flagship literary journal of the University of Michigan. I very much enjoy selecting fiction and working with writers toward publication in the magazine. A story I edited will be published in the “Best Debut Short Stories 2020: The PEN America Dau Prize”anthology.
I’ve worked on academic manuscripts for a number of professors at the University of Michigan and other scholars in the humanities. I’ve also edited fiction, memoir, and poetry for McSweeney’s Publishing and Wayne State University Press, as well as a range of individual clients.
My story collection, “Look How Happy I’m Making You,” was published by Doubleday, and was named one of Kirkus Reviews’ “Best Short Story Collections of 2019,” Amazon’s “Best Books of 2019 for Literature and Fiction,” and Glamour’s “Best Books of 2019.” Fiction, essays, and book reviews have appeared in the “O. Henry Prize Stories,” “Glimmer Train,” “New York Magazine’s The Cut,” the “New York Times Book Review,” the “San Francisco Chronicle,” and “Lit Hub.”
My other professional experience includes working as an assistant to a literary agent and providing program management for arts and education nonprofits in Seattle and New York.
I look forward to working with you!
“Polly was a fantastic help in preparing my memoir manuscript for submission. She did an all-in-one job: line editing, copy editing, and inserting key questions at critical points in the manuscript to help me flesh out ideas where needed. I highly recommend her!”
--Mira Sucharov, author of Borders and Belonging: A Memoir (Palgrave, Macmillan, September 2020)
“Polly copyedited my debut novel The Fire in His Wake. It is a lengthy book, and she was fast, fastidious, precise and responsive, everything I’d look for in a copyeditor. She was a pleasure to work with and I recommend her highly.”
--Spencer Wolff, author of The Fire in His Wake (McSweeney’s, July 2020)
“A good chunk of being a writer is revising and polishing, but when a story gets to a certain point, the fixes become harder and harder to find. Polly helped me finalize my work—to get it to a place beyond where I had the capacity to take it. She corrected, repaired, and made suggestions, and along the way, gave me opportunity to consider larger revisions which I hadn’t before noticed. It was not a solo process but a true collaboration. She marked up my work. I accepted/rejected. Since this was my first book and really didn’t understand the editing and typesetting process, I really appreciated her patience and kindness and especially her encouraging remarks. At all points, it was obvious that she and I shared the same motive, we were both dedicated whole-heartedly to making my book the very best it could be.”
--Steve Hughes, author of Stiff (Wayne State University Press, 2018)
“Polly edited my debut short story “Summertime,” which was published by Michigan Quarterly Review. As someone new to publishing, I had no idea what shape the editorial process would take. From a handful of dramatic accounts that float on the web and find a way to one’s inbox, I assumed that the relationship between an editor and a writer was a fraught one. When I received Polly’s comments on my draft, I realized I had no reason to worry. Polly’s detailed notes revealed that she had read my story extremely carefully; it felt great to be understood so well! We had a pleasant conversation about the story in which we discussed what I wanted to do with the text and how a reader coming to it for the first time might react to it. At no point did I feel that as a new writer, I was not taken seriously. Polly is a meticulous, careful, empathetic reader and she wants each of her writers to find the best possible version of his or her voice. I feel grateful to have the chance to work with her—I now know what is that mysterious thing that makes a good editor.
--Mohit Manohar, debut short story selected for Best Debut Stories 2020: The PEN America Dau Prize (Catapult, August 2020)
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Experienced commissioning editor, enthusiastic about literary fiction and narrative non-fiction. Competitive rates and publishing advice.
Freelance book editor and writing/editing teacher with over fifteen years' publishing experience, specializing in manuscript development.