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 That your historical references are accurate, and celebrities’ names are spelled correctly.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 (over 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 16 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Sarah -
It is safe to say that I now know how authors feel after having their work edited. Having your work critiqued and plot holes (several for me) pointed out may not be the most comforting thing, but it certainly is for the best. I appreciate Sophia's immense effort in editing my rather long book and having me go back and fix a number of things that, until she pointed them out, I had not seen as pr...
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Sarah -, June 2022

Jennifer Juvenelle
Sophia is a phenomenal editor! Friendly and professional, her notes were spot on and her commentary often made me laugh for not having seen the issue myself. Thanks to Sophia my sentence structure is clearer and the story flows like a melody. I definitely plan to hire her for Book II.

Jennifer Juvenelle, May 2022

Sophia Dembling
Thank you, Jennifer! It was a pleasure working with your manuscript. I wish you the very best with it and look forward to the next one.

Reply from Sophia Dembling

Jakob Sjölander Johansson
The final product had some mistakes, attributable to computer error. Also, there was some delay. Even so, communication was good.

Jakob Sjölander Johansson, March 2022

Sophia T
Sophia was easy to talk to while providing candid and transparent feedback and inputs throughout our collaboration. She was able to leverage her long experience in the industry to help navigate me in my thought process.

Sophia T, March 2022

Searching for an editor is one of the hardest tasks I've ever undertaken. And I was filled with angst even after initially partnering with Sophia. But then I saw the impact of her keen eye on my work and my writing has not been the same since. Her tough love and dedication to her craft opened my eyes to a world of writing possibilities I never imagined before. Not only that, but she was also, k...
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GREGORY FITE, January 2022

Sophia Dembling
Thank you, Gregory! I guess I am a little tough love, aren't I? Well, I love and respect every writer I work with because writing a book is a lot of work and I give huge props to everyone who finis...
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Reply from Sophia Dembling

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