Christopher Ryan

Christopher Ryan – Editor

Narrative is my specialty, be it fiction, memoir, or CNF. A meticulous, forthright editor, I offer both developmental and close editing.


I'm an American-born writer and editor living in the far north of Europe, where books are sacred and literature flourishes. In my decade of professional editing, I have guided memoirists, novelists, teams of nonfiction authors, and young scribes from their first drafts to the publishing stage. My clientele includes award-winners, big thinkers, and successful entrepreneurs.

I specialize in two forms of editing:

1.) developmental editing — the big-picture essentials of structure, plot, pacing, character arcs, point of view, tone and voice, tense, style, and so forth.

2.) line editing — examining closely the creative elements of your text, including syntax, word choice, verbs and action, tension and conflict, dialogue and mannerisms, and other key aspects that comprise a rich, compelling work

I believe that narrative is the fundamental human condition, that we tell stories to bridge the chasm between our lived lives and the grand notions in our heads. We all have a story to tell, but even the greatest of writers needs someone to help eliminate linguistic clutter, to hone in on the strongest themes, and to encourage us in our darkest moments. Even I need someone in my corner when the literary fight is underway.

My own debut novel is forthcoming in late 2022, and I've published over fifty stories of varying length in reputable journals around the world, including Pank, Baltimore Review, Grist, and Copper Nickel. I write because I love unfolding the hidden narrative of everyday events, and I edit because I seek to help others reveal that narrative, to refine their work, and to not only be heard but to stand out.

An editor who him- or herself writes and submits their work for publishing understands the commitment, psychological pitfalls, and thrill of success inherent to the process. An editor who doesn’t write is merely a technician, as indifferent and removed from the outcome as an AI program. It's my goal to retain the human element in narrative.

Some words of praise from past and current clients:

"Chris is a superior editor. There's no shortage of things I could say about his skill set. His editing was concise, thorough, insightful, and honest. After working with Chris, my novel was a finalist in the Writer's League of Texas Manuscript Contest." - Rusty A., novelist

“Working with Chris was like having a superb editor, patient writing coach, and an encouraging friend all in one. If you’re looking for an editor to match any superlative you can think of, Chris is your guy. He quickly grasped what I want to convey with the non-fiction book I’m working on and also the tone I’m after. His structural edit was impressive and immensely helpful, encouraging me to and enabling me to weave in an overall narrative into the book. His editing is sharp and clever, yet also very respectful of a writer’s voice. On top, he’s funny – which I benefited from both in his editing and also in the many chats we had, which were incredibly encouraging. When the people around you would rather do gardening than read yet another draft of the same text, it’s wonderful to have someone who’s incredibly quick to respond to any message, who provides clear, constructive feedback, and who comes across just as much as a friend like an editor. During the weeks we worked together I repeatedly told Chris I wouldn’t have been able to do this without him, and I truly believe that. An absolutely brilliant editor to work with!” - Kari E., nonfiction author

"Chris is not only a brilliant wordsmith in his own right, he was also able to bring out the hidden writer in me. His critique is always precise, supportive, and encouraging, and he was able to elevate my writing to make it shine like I never thought possible. I have now produced a finished book and learned so much about myself in the process." Don M., novelist

"Deep gratitude for your patient, incisive, and supportive edits." Justine B., nonfiction author
Biographies & Memoirs Humanities & Social Sciences
Humor & Comedy Literary Fiction Science Fiction
English (US)
  • Kone Foundation Literature Grant, 2020
  • Baltimore Review Winter Contest, 2nd place, 2019
  • Helsinki Library System Literary Contest, 2nd place, 2019
  • Berrigan Award for Excellence in Writing, Naropa University
  • Synkroniciti "Intersections" contest, 1st place, fiction, 2022
  • Pushcart Prize Nomination, 2022

Work experience


Jan, 2017 — Present

Ghostwriting services for literary and commercial fiction, sci-fi, memoir, narrative nonfiction, and short fiction (stories and novellas).


Oct, 2015 — Present

I run my own firm specializing in all things books: writing them, developing them, editing them, and turning them from a collection of words into a work of art.


Heliophobia: A Novel

Ryan, Christopher X

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