Sarah Cypher

Sarah Cypher – Editor

Twenty years specializing in literary, LGBTQIA+, multicultural, and spec-fic novels. My clients get deals with PRH, S+S and Hachette.

Overview

I love collaborating with a writer to find the "ah-ha" moments of a great revision. In my 23 years as an editor, I've edited New York Times bestsellers and helped clients on their way to deals with Big Five publishers, foreign publishers, and production companies, so I can also help your manuscript and query stand out. I'm also the author of The Skin and Its Girl (Ballantine 2023). By being a working writer *and* editor, I have unique insight into how to keep the creative fire burning as you move from critique to revision to submission. My feedback tailors my expertise to your needs; I have an MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and a bachelor's in creative writing from Carnegie Mellon University. I'm a sought-after writing instructor, too, at online literary organizations like The Loft and The Center for Fiction. Currently, I'd love to work with intermediate-level writers, writers who are avid readers within their genre, and/or writers with exceptional expertise in their subject matter.


Testimonials:


"She had wonderful insights about my manuscript that helped me see it in a new light, as well as offering additional advice about the actual editing process, writing craft in general, and more. I was very impressed by the sheer volume of feedback, which seems to be way more than other editors are offering."

--Natalya Bakay, September 2021


"I've worked with Sarah twice (detailed editorial critique and copy edit) and it was a fantastic experience both times. Her work quality is superb and she's communicative throughout the entire process. Through her edits and constructive feedback, Sarah always made me feel like I was in safe hands, all while encouraging me to grow and expand my boundaries as a writer."

--Skylar Cheung, August 2021

Services
Fiction
Contemporary Fiction Cultural & Ethnic Historical Fiction LGBTQ Fiction Literary Fiction Women's Fiction
Awards
  • Rona Jaffe Creative Writing Fellow
  • Elizabeth George Foundation grant
Certifications
  • Arabic Language and Culture
  • MFA in Fiction, Warren Wilson College
  • B.A. in Creative Writing, Carnegie Mellon University

Work experience

Self-employed

Feb, 2003 — Present

- Independent editor and sole proprietor of my business for 21 years (company name redacted at Reedsy's request);
- Work one-on-one with authors to prepare manuscripts for submission and sharpen their craft;
- Refine and consult on submissions materials
- Adhere to the Editorial Freelancers Association's code of fair conducting in providing ethical services at a fair professional rate

Editorial Freelancers Association

Oct, 2014 — Present

- Twitter volunteer team leader, Editorial Freelancers Association (2015–2021)
- Diversity Initiative member, Editorial Freelancers Association (2018–2020)

Carnegie Mellon University Press

Aug, 1999 — May, 2002 (over 2 years)

- Submissions reader, manuscript selection
- Manage author communication during publishing process
- Attend conferences and perform publicity services for the press
- Editing of accepted manuscripts for flow and clarity

Portfolio

Made with Reedsy
Pledging Season

Erika Malinoski

On a world long-lost to Earth, brilliant scientist Ya’shul has everything a man could ask for: the honor of caring for his family, the opportunity to help conceive children, and a groundbreaking chance to prove he’s just as good at science as any woman. Despit... read more
“A beautifully rendered epic journey . . . . The novel works on many levels and excels at them all.” —New York Journal of BooksIn this captivating and surprising novel of spiritual discovery—a No. 1 bestseller in India—a young American travels to India and fin... read more
Island Time: A Novel

Clark, Georgia

Gray Matters: A novel

Gastil, John Webster

Twine

Monica Duncan

When Juniper Kowalski, a mediocre artist and graduate of one of the best art schools in the country, gets pregnant by her married lover, she ends up back in Gobles, Michigan, living in her dead grandma's trailer. She fears that her new life as a hotel maid, an... read more
Underneath It All

Patricia Vanasse

Seventeen-year-old London Mendes is the son of a Cuban mother and Seattle-native bookseller, and he knows exactly what he wants: to be the first in his middle class family to reach the Ivy Leagues. Specifically Princeton, alma mater of his favorite author Mia ... read more
From the author of the critically acclaimed “lively and engrossing parable for women of all generations” (Harper’s Bazaar) The Regulars­ comes a deeply funny and thoughtful tale of a young woman who, after discovering she has the breast cancer gene, embarks on... read more
In the spring of 1864 Laura Connor sets out alone from her home in Indiana driving a wagon and team of horses. She has determined to rescue her husband, Thomas, a captured Union soldier, from the Confederate prison at Cahawba in Alabama. With each step of her ... read more
It's after the Korean War and before the Vietnam disaster, years when the U.S. government still had enough credibility and authority to draft young men into military service. Joseph Birdsong, an optimistic young African-American from small-town Washington stat... read more
After her father’s death on a mountain rescue mission, Kaylie Ames watched her family shatter. She fled Tacoma for college in faraway Austin, figuring that even the worst campus drama would be a relief. But when her old friend Elliott turns up on his knees in ... read more
Desert Mojito

Nazli Ghassemi

Maya Bibinaz Rostampisheh-Williams leads a life almost as complicated as her name in flamboyant desert city Dubai, where East and West collide at top speed. We cross cultural boundaries on a humorous journey with Maya and her odd circle of international friend... read more
Resilient

Patricia Vanasse

Livia has never felt like she fits in. As normal as it sounds, Livia is anything but ordinary. She can feel every emotion of every single person around her, and it’s maddening. In pursuit of some psychic quiet, she moves with her family from New York City to W... read more
Meet Caroline Auden. The closer she gets to justice, the further she gets from the law.When Caroline Auden lands a job at a top Los Angeles law firm, she’s excited for the challenge—and grateful for the chance to put her dark past as a computer hacker behind h... read more
In this gripping sequel to C.E. Tobisman’s legal thriller Doubt, techie turned attorney Caroline Auden struggles to move on with her life after her last case nearly destroyed her career.Still haunted by the betrayal that forced her to leave a prestigious law f... read more
-Redbook Best of the Year Pick -PopSugar’s Best Books of the Year -Teen Vogue’s Best Books of the Year -Reading with Robin 2016 Favorite A fierce, feisty, and “compulsively delicious” (Redbook) debut with a magical twist about three ordinary, regular young wom... read more

Sarah has 20 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Adam C.

Adam C.

Jun, 2023

Wow, I feel beyond grateful for the support of Sarah and cannot recommend her enough. Her thoughtful and careful eye as an editor and her artistic skills as a writer added together to create the exact kind of support I needed to shape my my non-fiction manuscript into something I didn't know was possible. I want to work with her with every future writing project I do.
Sarah C.
The feeling is absolutely mutual, Adam, and thank you so much for leaving a review! I can't wait for all that's in store for your book. I so enjoy working with you!
Mayuri C.

Mayuri C.

Jan, 2023

Sarah C. was my first choice for a Developmental Edit and I am so glad I trusted that instinct because she has elevated my work (and thought around my work) tremendously. To work with her is to get sheer focus, new insight, a fresh guided vision that is perfectly in tune with your inner writer - all with kindness and affirmation (esp important for new writers!). She has the wisdom of a seer, b...
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Sarah C.
I'm overjoyed to hear this, Mayuri! I was drawn to your project immediately, and I'm so glad that we had a chance to work together on it. I can't wait to see how the novel develops and what good ne...
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Jill M.

Jill M.

Dec, 2022

If I had to describe Sarah’s notes in three words they’d be thorough, thoughtful, and motivating. I was hoping for another perspective to tell me what was working, what wasn’t, what was unclear, and suggest changes to make my manuscript stronger. Sarah delivered across the board! Her critiques were gentle and she suggested ways to change things, and her praise made me feel like a bestselling a...
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Sarah C.
I'm overjoyed to hear this, Jill! I loved this collaboration too, and I am hear to help with any questions and further drafts. Happy revising!
Valerie H.

Valerie H.

Nov, 2022

This was the best decision I've made and money spent in a long time. Sarah's feedback started with big picture items to help with character, pacing, and emotion, balancing dual timelines, and provided examples of how each might be accomplished. As someone who didn't study writing, having some examples of how to begin reshaping the story was invaluable. The edit continued with feedback on ch...
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Sarah C.
Thank you so much, Valerie! It was an absolute pleasure to read and think about your novel, and I'm honored to get this outstanding review. The feeling is mutual! xo, Sarah
Harry F.

Harry F.

Aug, 2022

I cannot emphasise enough the degree to which Sarah has positively impacted my writing. I have submitted my manuscript to her 3 times, and each time she had delivered insightful and inspirational feedback that helped me to edit and refine my work to a standard that would have been impossible without her guidance. She simultaneously respected my voice and vision, whilst challenging me on my work...
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