Samantha Held

Samantha Held - Editor

El Paso, TX, USA

All-purpose editor with 6 years of experience in college non-fiction and digital publishing, focusing on social sciences and current events.

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I have six years of editing and project management experience in the college textbook publishing industry, and I've edited the gamut of higher education texts in both print and digital form—from introductory to upper-level textbooks, from student assessment materials to instructors' guides.

I have particular subject matter experience in (and a fondness for!) political science and anthropology, and I'm a proficient fact checker and researcher in these disciplines. I also have broad knowledge of trends in the first-year composition market, ed tech, and open educational resources. While I love editing in the social sciences, I'm open to working on all sorts of non-fiction projects; I find that learning about something new as I read helps me be an even more engaged, attentive editor, ready to point out language infelicities or inconsistencies that may cloud your message.

I love working with authors to distill complex topics into cogent, memorable prose, and I enjoy collaborating to enliven academic writing through connections with current events. I have an ear for animating wooden, repetitive, or ambiguous writing and an eye for spotting errors in the crevices of your work. I'm also proficient in APA and Chicago style, and I (weirdly, probably) love to clean up reference lists.


"Sam, you are doing a great job with the editing. Not only in terms of your word-smithing, which greatly improves the quality and clarity of the prose, but also on the substance. Thanks for your great work!" —David Canon, Professor of Political Science, University of Wisconsin–Madison

"Your practice as an editor is, line by line, to make my writing better. It's such a privilege." —Brian Goedde, Assistant Professor of English, Community College of Philadelphia

"It's been so reassuring seeing the eagle-eyed comments you've brought to the slide decks. Thank you a thousand times for getting these into proper shape to go out in the world!" —Danny Fuerstman, State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota

English (US)
Education & Reference
Political Science & Current Affairs


  • BA in English Literature
  • BA in Anthropology

Work experience

Freelance media editor

November, 2020 – Present (6 months)

Managed the production of digital instructor support and student assessment materials to accompany college political science, psychology, and philosophy textbooks, including instructor's guides, test banks, and lecture PowerPoints.

Monitor and quality check projects at all stages of editorial development and production with a close eye for detail and accuracy, and edit content to align with market needs and expectations.

Freelance editor

November, 2019 – Present (over 1 year)

Line edit, copyedit, and proofread college-level textbooks and instructor support materials in a variety of disciplines, including political science, interpersonal communication, sociology, psychology, religion, and composition.

Develop and maintain style guides for individual titles. Advocate for style changes and updates to reflect broader style trends, current events, and inclusive language.

Work remotely with authors to ensure clarity, accuracy, consistency, and proper citation of all prose.

Correct errors of fact, style, grammar, and spelling.

Review page proofs for typographical and art errors and ensure consistency.

Clients include W. W. Norton & Co., Northwestern University's School of Professional Studies, the University of Alabama's Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, and you, on Reedsy!

Media editor

W. W. Norton & Company
May, 2018 – October, 2019 (over 1 year)

Developed and managed the production of digital instructor support and student assessment materials to accompany college composition, communication, and philosophy textbooks, including instructor's guides, digital adaptive quizzes, test banks, and ebooks.

Contracted and cultivated relationships with subject matter experts, and coached SMEs through authoring content for instructor and student support materials. Edited content to align with market needs and expectations.

Monitored and quality checked projects at all stages of editorial development and production with a close eye for detail and accuracy. Collaborated with colleagues in production, instructional design, and project editorial departments to ensure quality and timeliness of materials.

Researched trends in the composition, communication, and philosophy markets to develop saleable resources in response to instructors’ demonstrated needs. Designed and administered comprehensive market surveys to inform and guide product development.

Presented digital products to Norton’s sales team and to prospective customers on campus, at focus groups, and at academic conferences in a sales and marketing capacity.

Associate editor

W. W. Norton & Company
December, 2016 – May, 2018 (over 1 year)

Executed revision plans for new editions of political science textbooks in creative and strategic collaboration with authors and editorial team members. Line edited book chapters in response to market feedback with a keen eye for detail, quality, and clarity.

Worked proactively and collaboratively with manuscript editorial, production, and design departments to ensure coordinated and effective teamwork and strict adherence to production schedules.

Assistant editor

W. W. Norton & Company
May, 2014 – December, 2016 (over 2 years)

Portfolio (10 selected works)

Campaigns and Elections (Third Edition, 2018 Election Update)

Sides, John, Shaw, Daron, Grossmann, Matt, Lipsitz, Keena

American Politics Today (Full Sixth Edition)

Bianco, William T., Canon, David T.

Essentials of Sociology (Eighth Edition)

Giddens, Anthony, Duneier, Mitchell, Appelbaum, Richard P., Carr, Deborah

Cases in Comparative Politics (Seventh Edition)

O'Neil, Patrick H., Fields, Karl J., Share, Don

Cases and Concepts in Comparative Politics (Second Edition)

O'Neil, Patrick H., Fields, Karl J., Share, Don

The Japanese Part of Me

Kashii, Kumiko

American Government: Power and Purpose (Sixteenth Edition)

Lowi, Theodore J., Ginsberg, Benjamin, Shepsle, Kenneth A., Ansolabehere, Stephen

The Religion Matters Reader

Laycock, Joseph, Mikles, Natasha

Samantha has 2 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Jason Baker
Samantha was punctual and engaging from the very start. Even her offer for services provided a paragraph of feedback and exactly how she thought she could help. Her help greatly aided my book proposal and allowed me to refocus the remainder of my work. I’ll definitely be calling on her again as I continue writing.

Jason Baker, August 2020

Samantha is a professional that I had a great experience working with. With her skills, attentiveness, and willingness, the submitted text transformed into a complete piece of writing that I am very happy with.

K K, August 2020

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