Sara Kelly

Sara Kelly - Editor

Nashua, NH, USA

Flexible, fierce, efficient editor with decades of experience in editing everything from horror to science fiction to literary fiction.

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Overview

NOTE: My earliest availability starts with openings in late June/early July, 2022. Limited additional openings may become available for returning clients.

My experience working for an educational publisher, in addition to my passion for editing a diverse array of genre fiction over the last fifteen years, has instilled in me a well-balanced approach of both analytical and creative editing. Fueled by too much caffeine, I will relentlessly pursue excellence to ensure your content is impeccable. Whether it's proofreading, copyediting, or more robust developmental editing and content development, let's work together to meet your goals. I love to think outside the box and frequently offer customized or hybrid solutions in order to meet each individual project's needs. I will always include a "reader's perspective" as part of my edit, no matter what service I provide, in order to offer you the insight you need.

Having had several short stories published in horror anthologies and a great deal of experience editing countless works within this genre, I consider it my primary specialty, along with speculative fiction at large. I also have a soft spot for poetry and comedy. I love a good monster story, dark or quirky tales, psychological thrillers, and I love stories that provide a reflection on the human condition.

I welcome new, emerging, and established writers alike. Staying true to your voice and vision, I will help your manuscript reach its full potential and provide you with the tools you need to develop and refine your craft.

Testimonials:

Sara is awesome: thorough, competent, friendly, and helpful. She doesn't underedit or overedit. I accepted nearly all her changes to my manuscript, something that almost never happens when I hire an editor. She knows what she's doing, and I ought to know because I'm a professional editor myself. Hire her.

--Michael Totten, Reedsy Client, Award-winning Journalist and Author of The Road to Fatima Gate and the Resurrection Trilogy (Resurrection: A Zombie Novel: Resurrection Book 1 now optioned for film)

I will only work with Sara. With her, you get a meticulous editor who scrutinizes every comma, period and space of your work. As this is my second book with her, she kept a reference of things from the first book to ensure continuity. She tracks every name, physical attribute and personality trait of your characters to make sure that your writing remains true to them. Nothing escapes her attention. She's respectful. Professional. You never feel stupid if she makes a correction. I have learned so much from her. Every suggestion is just that: an idea that will improve your vocabulary or phrasing, making it clearer. She is adamant that your voice remains intact. She's also available. If I have a question, even after our contract ends, she's always willing to help.

But what I prize most is the way she reacts to your story—as a reader. Each week, I rushed to open the edits to read what she wrote in the margin. She'd guess the direction of the plot and rejoice when a plot twist took her by surprise. And her praise filled me with joy. I highly recommend her. I've already started my third book and when I write, I have her in mind. Thank you, Sara, for making my books perfect.

--Lynn Fraser, Reedsy Client

I cannot believe how lucky I was to have Sara edit my book! She has a keen eye for corrections and the fantastic ability to improve your work while simultaneously letting you keep your own voice. Not only does she correct grammar, adjust pacing, ensure consistency and the like, but she also gives you a reader's perspective as well! Getting edits back from Sara is like opening presents on Christmas morning. You get a lot of what you need, but she also makes sure you get what you want too. It is marvelous! I have already booked Sara for my next project and will continue to seek her out as often as I can.

--Jeff Lach, Reedsy Client, Author of Freakishly Human: The Rise of Jayden

Sara is a pure delight to work with - efficient, agile, responsive and so very kind. She knows her stuff and I know I've leveled up enormously as a writer just by having her insights. She is great at identifying particular weaknesses with suggestions to improve. Highly recommended and can't wait to work with Sara again!

--Dixon Reuel, Reedsy Client, finalist in The Wishing Shelf Indie Book Awards

Sara was amazing. She was not only very professional and communicative in our back and forth, but she also seemed to actually care about my story. It felt like I really had someone on my side trying to make this the best it could be, rather than just paying someone to robotically do their job and wait to get paid. Also, her edits were spot on and greatly improved my story. I highly recommend Sara.

--Randy Walker, Reedsy Client

I have worked with Sara on two books now and both experiences have been wonderful. These were the second and third parts of a trilogy. She dug right in and read the first book, providing valuable feedback about it, before starting to work on book two. Her feedback and thoughtful questions helped me navigate some tricky passages, avoiding significant logic and other story pitfalls. This was a true collaboration. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for an editorial partner for their work.

--Daniel Damkoehler, Reedsy Client

Sara was wonderful to work with. Besides her thorough editing, she provided constructive comments and gave thoughtful feedback. She kept in touch, was prompt to answer back, and even delivered a day before the deadline. I highly recommend her.

--A.M. Kherbash, Reedsy Client

I had Sara help me with a beta-read/final check of my dark fiction/soft, sci-fi novella and she was everything I was looking for in an editor. She communicated clearly and gave me places to take action on. She was thorough in checking notes and having a true discussion with me. Her critical thinking and analysis and professionalism are top notch.

--Roxana Hasanat, Reedsy Client
Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Contemporary Fiction
Horror
Military Science Fiction
Paranormal Romance
Short Story
Time Travel
Urban Fantasy

Work experience

Freelance Editor

Self-employed
October, 2018 – Present (over 3 years)

Editorial services include copyediting, proofreading, developmental editing, and line editing for emerging and established writers. I specialize in the genres of horror, sci-fi, urban fantasy, and literature. I also offer customized or hybrid solutions in order to meet each individual project's needs. Built-in “reader's perspective” feedback included in all services.

Manager of Vendor Manager Office

Ascend Learning
May, 2018 – October, 2018 (5 months)

In my role as manager of the Vendor Management Office, I led a three-person team responsible for an integral function within the supply-chain management framework, liaising with internal stakeholders and with suppliers to drive the successful completion of all print products, while also advising on supplier-driven processes for all of the organization’s key initiatives and digital products.

Senior Vendor Manager

Ascend Learning
September, 2015 – May, 2018 (over 2 years)

• Managed end-to-end products, including answering queries from the vendor, monitoring schedules, tracking key project milestones, reviewing sample materials, conducting milestone meetings at midpoint and postmortem stages, reporting weekly status to internal product team, and escalating any issues.
• Provided high-level oversight in customized E2E workflow for all CDX print projects during pre-production and production stages. Attended project-specific status calls and overarching strategy meetings as needed, acting as intermediary between other internal teams and CDX team to ensure overarching support for effective communication. Managed vendor relationship and maintained oversight of process improvements and workflows.

Production Editor

Jones & Bartlett Learning
April, 2010 – September, 2015 (over 5 years)

• Provided project management for a variety of prominent Math and Computer Science titles, along with extensive experience working on Nursing, Criminal Justice, Biological Science, Health Science, and Public Health titles.
• Acted as vendor liaison between 30 production editors and six preferred composition vendors, including the daily tasks of assigning projects, mitigating issues, and refining documentation and processes.

Portfolio (19 selected works)

The Last City: A Zombie Novel (Resurrection Book 3)

Michael J. Totten

The stunning, final chapter in the Resurrection Trilogy The end has come. Seattle has burned to the ground. The Rocky Mountain West is as empty as a moonscape. But the eastern United States is teeming with the infected, with militias, with bandits . . . and worse. Annie Starling is still alive, though, and she carries a great and terrible secret. If she and her companions can make it all the w... read more

The stunning, final chapter in the Resurrection Trilogy The end has come. Seattle has burned to the ground. The Rocky Mountain West is as empty as a moonscape. But the eastern United States is teeming with the infected, with militias, with bandits . . . and worse. Annie Starling is still alive, though, and she carries a great and terrible secret. If she and her companions can make it all the w... read more

Mountain Of Fangs

Hart, Carlo

The Squeamish Vampire

Saygo, Andrei

Transport Unfriendly Skies

Robert Day

Ivan Volkov - pilot of the Avem Vecto. Originally owned one of the megalithic corporations. Ivan flew her for many years until the world turned to shit. He escaped with Avem Vecto before she could be scrapped. Taros Crosse, Ivan’s partner, and gunner of the Avem Vecto. A giant bull of a minotaur biped. If there’s a fight to be had, that’s where you’ll find him. The Avem Vecto. A large armed he... read more

Ivan Volkov - pilot of the Avem Vecto. Originally owned one of the megalithic corporations. Ivan flew her for many years until the world turned to shit. He escaped with Avem Vecto before she could be scrapped. Taros Crosse, Ivan’s partner, and gunner of the Avem Vecto. A giant bull of a minotaur biped. If there’s a fight to be had, that’s where you’ll find him. The Avem Vecto. A large armed he... read more

Fall of Two

Dixon Reuel

Basically, The Blood Brute Series = gay vampires in a zombie apocalypse. English Countryside. Ancient & secret knowledge. Blood drinking. A terrible, toxic love that spans centuries. Greed. Capture. Did I mention gay vampires? Capture. Old Dreams. New Powers. On the verge of a lifetime of servitude under the evil Warwolves, The Vampire Rise hatches an escape plan. But when Rise fails to rescue... read more

Basically, The Blood Brute Series = gay vampires in a zombie apocalypse. English Countryside. Ancient & secret knowledge. Blood drinking. A terrible, toxic love that spans centuries. Greed. Capture. Did I mention gay vampires? Capture. Old Dreams. New Powers. On the verge of a lifetime of servitude under the evil Warwolves, The Vampire Rise hatches an escape plan. But when Rise fails to rescue... read more

Out of Time

Ben Armstrong

Since he was 10, Daniel Williams has only ever experienced one dream. Nearly every night, he is transported to 1965. Not even being born yet, this year was not significant to him in any way. As time goes by, the dreams become less like a dream, and more like a reality. What do you do when your idea of reality is pushed to its limits? Daniel is living a life he doesn’t quite believe is real any... read more

Since he was 10, Daniel Williams has only ever experienced one dream. Nearly every night, he is transported to 1965. Not even being born yet, this year was not significant to him in any way. As time goes by, the dreams become less like a dream, and more like a reality. What do you do when your idea of reality is pushed to its limits? Daniel is living a life he doesn’t quite believe is real any... read more

Four Weird Tales of Horror

Larry Nocella

FOR REASONS UNKNOWN AND UNKNOWABLE Authorities are calling it the American Dyatlov Pass incident. Four campers on an overnight hike fail to return. Only three bodies are found. Authorities piece together what happened using the latest in cell phone video enhancement and GPS tracking technology, but disturbing questions remain. A literary take on the "found footage" horror film genre! LUNATICS ... read more

FOR REASONS UNKNOWN AND UNKNOWABLE Authorities are calling it the American Dyatlov Pass incident. Four campers on an overnight hike fail to return. Only three bodies are found. Authorities piece together what happened using the latest in cell phone video enhancement and GPS tracking technology, but disturbing questions remain. A literary take on the "found footage" horror film genre! LUNATICS ... read more

The Tooth Fairy

Davide Tarsitano

Johnny Hawk is a successful entrepreneur in the tech field, escaping from his former life after an utter breakdown. During his trip across the country, his route crosses with Wendy Jag, a beautiful woman who works as a dentist in New Mexico. As the attraction between the two lost souls escalates furiously, they engage in a passionate and daring physical affair. For the first time in a while Jo... read more

Johnny Hawk is a successful entrepreneur in the tech field, escaping from his former life after an utter breakdown. During his trip across the country, his route crosses with Wendy Jag, a beautiful woman who works as a dentist in New Mexico. As the attraction between the two lost souls escalates furiously, they engage in a passionate and daring physical affair. For the first time in a while Jo... read more

Singularity Heights

Jay Solomon

Singularity Heights takes us to a future that feels simultaneously familiar and deeply strange. It’s a world where bots do all the work, everyone has profoundly personal relationships with their AI, even if their human relationships are quite shallow, and wealth is distributed through an unfair and cruel system designed to perpetuate vast inequality. The sickness in society came about so natur... read more

Singularity Heights takes us to a future that feels simultaneously familiar and deeply strange. It’s a world where bots do all the work, everyone has profoundly personal relationships with their AI, even if their human relationships are quite shallow, and wealth is distributed through an unfair and cruel system designed to perpetuate vast inequality. The sickness in society came about so natur... read more

World War of the Dead

Eric Brown

As World War II rages across Europe, a bombing run awakens an ancient evil. It rises from the depths of darkness to bring Hell itself with it into the world of man. Armies of the dead claw their way out of their graves to eat the flesh of the living. Germany is overrun within days as the plague of the hungry dead spreads around the globe and not even the streets of America are safe. Three men,... read more

As World War II rages across Europe, a bombing run awakens an ancient evil. It rises from the depths of darkness to bring Hell itself with it into the world of man. Armies of the dead claw their way out of their graves to eat the flesh of the living. Germany is overrun within days as the plague of the hungry dead spreads around the globe and not even the streets of America are safe. Three men,... read more

Acadia Event

M Preston

In 2012 and 2013, Author, M.J. Preston set out to run the world's longest Ice Road. Now he's returned with the much anticipated novel Acadia Event. Marty Croft's past has come back to haunt him. Faced with a threat by the psychopathic son of his former gangster boss, he has been forced into a heist that will take him literally to the top of the world.But this is the least of his worries. Becau... read more

In 2012 and 2013, Author, M.J. Preston set out to run the world's longest Ice Road. Now he's returned with the much anticipated novel Acadia Event. Marty Croft's past has come back to haunt him. Faced with a threat by the psychopathic son of his former gangster boss, he has been forced into a heist that will take him literally to the top of the world.But this is the least of his worries. Becau... read more

2018 Nurse's Drug Handbook

Jones & Bartlett Learning

Jones & Bartlett Learning 2018 Nurse's Drug Handbook is the most up-to-date, practical, and easy-to-use nursing drug reference. Updated annually, it provides accurate and timely facts on hundreds of drugs from A-Z. Written in a no-nonsense style that speaks your language in terms you use every day, it offers concise and consistently formatted drug entries organized alphabetically.The 2018 Nurs... read more

Jones & Bartlett Learning 2018 Nurse's Drug Handbook is the most up-to-date, practical, and easy-to-use nursing drug reference. Updated annually, it provides accurate and timely facts on hundreds of drugs from A-Z. Written in a no-nonsense style that speaks your language in terms you use every day, it offers concise and consistently formatted drug entries organized alphabetically.The 2018 Nurs... read more

Advanced Engineering Mathematics

Dennis G. Zill

Modern and comprehensive, the new sixth edition of award-winning author, Dennis G. Zill's Advanced Engineering Mathematics is a compendium of topics that are most often covered in courses in engineering mathematics, and is extremely flexible to meet the unique needs of courses ranging from ordinary differential equations, to vector calculus, to partial differential equations. A key strength of... read more

Modern and comprehensive, the new sixth edition of award-winning author, Dennis G. Zill's Advanced Engineering Mathematics is a compendium of topics that are most often covered in courses in engineering mathematics, and is extremely flexible to meet the unique needs of courses ranging from ordinary differential equations, to vector calculus, to partial differential equations. A key strength of... read more

Exploring Mathematics: Investigations with Functions (Jones & Bartlett Learning Series in Mathematics)

Craig Johnson

Includes Access to Student Companion Website!Exploring Mathematics: Investigations with Functions is designed for one- or two- term mathematics courses for humanities and liberal arts majors. This unique ten-chapter text covers modern applications of mathematics in the liberal arts and situates the discipline within its rich and varied history. Exploring Mathematics draws on examples from the ... read more

Includes Access to Student Companion Website!Exploring Mathematics: Investigations with Functions is designed for one- or two- term mathematics courses for humanities and liberal arts majors. This unique ten-chapter text covers modern applications of mathematics in the liberal arts and situates the discipline within its rich and varied history. Exploring Mathematics draws on examples from the ... read more

Azure Chase: An Incubus Short Story

Roxioxx

Even though Alexander decided not to replace all the humans with its parasites, simply coexisting with their constricting rules was not the life it wanted. It deserved more.After waking up from a 13-year hibernation, the alien parasite known as Alexander looked in a mirror and observed its masterfully sculpted, newly transformed human host–it was perfect. Now, this incubus could blend in seaml... read more

Even though Alexander decided not to replace all the humans with its parasites, simply coexisting with their constricting rules was not the life it wanted. It deserved more.After waking up from a 13-year hibernation, the alien parasite known as Alexander looked in a mirror and observed its masterfully sculpted, newly transformed human host–it was perfect. Now, this incubus could blend in seaml... read more

Kings of the Earth

Christopher Stanton

The lonely Michigan surfing town of Great Water has a long history of inexplicable occurrences. A shocking double murder and suicide there in 1918 still draws tourists who want to see the house where Jack Spivey went mad. But that is only the best-known event in a list of unsolved disappearances and visits by vengeful ghosts. In November 2000, three people try to survive the weekend when a blo... read more

The lonely Michigan surfing town of Great Water has a long history of inexplicable occurrences. A shocking double murder and suicide there in 1918 still draws tourists who want to see the house where Jack Spivey went mad. But that is only the best-known event in a list of unsolved disappearances and visits by vengeful ghosts. In November 2000, three people try to survive the weekend when a blo... read more

What Really Happened to Steve Nathan

Mary Marchese

Two half-siblings meet for the first time in Vietnam where their common father, Steve Nathan, died mysteriously at the end of the Vietnam War. Their search for truth leads them to other discoveries along the way. While going through her elderly mother's things, Lindsey Casselton discovers a photo of her mother in the arms of a stranger. The photo is dated nine months before Lindsey was born. T... read more

Two half-siblings meet for the first time in Vietnam where their common father, Steve Nathan, died mysteriously at the end of the Vietnam War. Their search for truth leads them to other discoveries along the way. While going through her elderly mother's things, Lindsey Casselton discovers a photo of her mother in the arms of a stranger. The photo is dated nine months before Lindsey was born. T... read more

Sara has 134 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Marissa A
Sara is an absolutely wonderful editor! She gave me biweekly updates on the status of the edit, keeping me in the know throughout the entire process. Her edits on the manuscript were professional, and she provided a detailed explanation of why she made the changes, along with some insights on what I could do to make my writing better. She was a wonder to work with, and I will definitely be requ...
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Marissa A, May 2022

Sara Kelly
Thank you, Marissa! I’m excited to find out what develops next in your series!

Reply from Sara Kelly


Peter Eliott
I really can't say enough about Sara as an editor. She's as professional as they come, super responsive, and she literally knows every rule of grammar, punctuation and style ever invented. On top of that, she has a terrific grasp of story structure and was able to make great suggestions on how to strengthen my manuscript, from the smallest minutia to issues of narrative flow. I used her prima...
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Peter Eliott, May 2022

Sara Kelly
Thank you, Peter! I look forward to all of our future collaborations! It's been a pleasure.

Reply from Sara Kelly


Jayson Adams
Sara is awesome! I look forward to working with her again.

Jayson Adams, April 2022

Sara Kelly
Thank you, Jayson! Looking forward to our next collaboration!

Reply from Sara Kelly


Jeffrey Lach
I cannot believe how lucky I was to have Sara edit my book! She has a keen eye for corrections and the fantastic ability to improve your work while simultaneously letting you keep your own voice. Not only does she correct grammar, adjust pacing, ensure consistency and the like, but she also gives you a reader's perspective as well! Getting edits back from Sara is like opening presents on Chr...
Read more

Jeffrey Lach, April 2022

Sara Kelly
Thank you, Jeff! I so appreciate your kind words. Preserving an author's voice is very important to me! It was a pleasure to work together and am already looking forward to the next installment!

Reply from Sara Kelly


Jay Rosmarin-Meyer
This was the first time in choosing a professional editor and I'm very happy I found Sara to help me. All the corrections were positive and i learned more from each one. Her comments on the story as a whole made me feel that I had accomplished something worth reading. I've already notified Sara that I will be sending her another story very shortly for review. J. Rosmarin-Meyer

Jay Rosmarin-Meyer, April 2022

Sara Kelly
Thank you, Jay! It was a pleasure to work with you!

Reply from Sara Kelly

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