Sophia Dembling

Sophia Dembling - Editor

Dallas, Texas

I've edited professional authors with St. Martin's Press and first-time, self-published authors. Everyone gets the same TLC.

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A good editor doesn’t just make sure your commas are properly placed. That’s only where the job begins.

A good editor makes sure your vision for your book comes through as clearly and elegantly as possible. That your paragraphs flow like a stream tumbling over rocks. That your sentences are crystal clear and the words within them sparkle with just the right meaning. That the structure of your plot is solid and your characters move through space in ways that the laws of physics support. That your historical references are accurate, and celebrities’ names are spelled correctly. A good editor gets to know the characters in your book well enough to recognize and flag when they stray out of character or behave in ways counter to human nature. A good editor does all this and more without interfering with your voice as a writer​, and has a good ear for when to follow the rules and when to break them.

In my years of working with St. Martin's Press, I have edited everything from memoir to sci fi, and I love working with first-time and self-published authors. With many years experience as an editor and an author myself, I can help make your good work even better.


I can recommend Sophia Dembling as a copyeditor unreservedly and without hesitation. Her work is meticulous and thoughtful with a keen sense of narrative voice. Her queries to authors are always reasonable and
unfailingly polite.

In the many years I have been hiring Sophia as a copyeditor, she has never once missed a deadline. (No endless parade of dying grandparents and sick cats from Ms. Dembling!) She is one of my most dependable freelancers.

Sophia has worked on a variety of fiction for me, ranging from genre mystery novels to science fiction and epic fantasy. She has also copyedited several nonfiction memoirs, and is particularly well-suited to books on psychology and women’s studies.

She is a pleasure to work with and a great favorite with many of my authors.

--- Meryl Gross, Managing Editor, St. Martin's Press

I had the pleasure of working with Sophia Dembling, an experience I wholeheartedly endorse and would recommend to other people.

My publisher, St. Martin’s Press, assigned Sophia to be the copy editor of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, and Sophia could not have been better suited to the job. Her corrections, suggestions, questions and feedback were clearly articulated, extremely thorough, and thoughtfully delivered. Her careful attention to the book helped to make my writing as clean and felicitous as it could possibly be, and I am grateful to have gotten the opportunity to work with her.

---Kathleen Rooney, author, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

You did a great job editing my book, A Line in the Sand. You had some excellent insights about the characters and structure and I really appreciate the diligence and thoroughness of your approach.

---Fred Andersen, author, A Line in the Sand

I have known Sophia for years, as a fellow member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. So when I needed a copy editor for my latest novel, I knew exactly where to turn. Sophia was everything I had hoped for: fast, on-target, and offering great suggestions for what the book still needed. I highly recommend any author needing a fiction copy editor turn to Sophia. I know I will for my next book.

---Meryl Davids Landau, author, Downward Dog, Upward Fog and Warrior Won
English (UK)
English (US)
Biographies & Memoirs
Health & Wellbeing
Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Contemporary Fiction
Psychological Thriller
Women's Fiction

Work experience

Freelance editor

January, 2011 – Present (almost 11 years)

After a stint as a staff writer at a newspaper and many years freelancing as a writer for newspapers, magazines, and websites, I took a turn to freelance editing, which I find infinitely satisfying and pleasurable. I love working on novels, but I have edited everything from white papers to website copy to promotional materials. I love words.

Freelance writer

January, 1995 – January, 2018 (about 23 years)

I wrote for newspapers, magazines, and websites--from the LA Times to Sierra magazine to PreservationNation--on travel, health, psychology, and more. I continue to blog about introversion for the Psychology Today website, and have published two books about introversion with Perigee Press (a division of Penguin), along with several other books. Today I continue writing but focus on fiction. I am represented by Sharon Pelletier.

Portfolio (26 selected works)

I.M.: A Memoir

Mizrahi, Isaac

Change of Seasons: A Memoir

Oates, John, Epting, Chris

Downward Dog, Upward Fog

Landau, Meryl Davids

Warrior Won: A Novel

Landau, Meryl Davids

Line in the Sand

Andersen, Fred

The Dark Above: A Novel

Finley, Jeremy

Jar of Hearts

Hillier, Jennifer

Sophia has 8 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Diane Black
Sylvia did an outstanding job!!! She really knows what she’s doing and exceeded expectations!!! Many thanks!!!

Diane Black, October 2021

Jeffrey Curry
Sophia was great to work with. Diligent in her work. Tactful in pointing things out. Would pose questions on content and story. Finished before promised. And, has a terrific sense of humor. Recommend her highly.

Jeffrey Curry, July 2021

Sophia Dembling
Well, my favorite part of this review is the comment about my sense of humor! Thank you, Jeffrey. It was a pleasure to work on your book and I wish you lots of success with it.

Reply from Sophia Dembling

Karen Stensgaard
Sophia is an excellent proofreader and editor. I am so impressed by the level of detail and the insightful ideas she presented to me. Her review was above and beyond what I had expected. Her price was reasonable, particularly in light of the completed assessment. So if you want a thorough review with valued added suggestions, hire Sophia. I plan to request her help with my next novel too.

Karen Stensgaard, May 2021

Sophia Dembling
Thank you, Karen! I'm very glad you were pleased with the work.

Reply from Sophia Dembling

Ava Page
This was my first novel, and I've treated this manuscript as a class on creative writing. Her insight on what I've done right and where my writing can be improved is exactly what I needed. I'm looking forward to incorporating some of her updates as I progress with my writing career. Thank You!

Ava Page, May 2021

Sophia Dembling
Thank you, Ava! I'm so glad you're pleased and look forward to seeing what you do next. I love working with people who are just starting out.

Reply from Sophia Dembling

chris walach
Sophia, was significant value-add for improving the quality and readability of my manuscript. She was able to help bring to life the reader experience I was looking for.

chris walach, April 2021

Sophia Dembling
Thank you, Chris. I am so glad you are happy with the work and wish you the best as you move forward with it.

Reply from Sophia Dembling

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