Steve Woodward

Steve Woodward - Editor

Brooklyn Park, MN, USA

Award-winning editor of Esmé Wang, Jamel Brinkley, Anna Burns, formerly at Graywolf Press. Specialties: literary fiction, memoir, and essay.

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I am an editor, teacher, and writer who worked for the respected independent publisher Graywolf Press for twelve years. While there, I worked with emerging and established writers to develop their books and shape their careers. I specialize in literary novels and short stories on the fiction side, and memoir and essay on the nonfiction side. In each of these categories I have worked with writers from around the world, in translation and in English. Books I worked on have won the Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Dublin International Literary Award, and been shortlisted for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

In addition to my editorial work, I teach literary publishing classes at Macalester College and the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, where I prepare undergraduate students for work in the publishing industry. I also teach creative writing at Sierra Nevada University's low-residency MFA. My teaching experience means that I am used to translating editorial practices to everyday terms, which makes the process accessible for writers of any level. I am also an agented writer, which gives me additional insight into the writing process.

I approach editing as a creative and collaborative process that can unlock the writer's potential. I aim to equip writers with the tools and objectivity to be able to achieve their goals with their manuscripts. That means that when I communicate with writers, I'll offer a mixture of written and verbal feedback, to ensure it's clear what my recommendations are. Depending on the service selected—from copyediting and line editing to editorial assessment and developmental editing—this may include an editorial letter, a list of specific items to address, and marginal comments. No matter the form the feedback takes, my intent will be to make your work shine.

English (US)
Biographies & Memoirs
Contemporary Fiction
Literary Fiction
Short Story


  • Booker Prize
  • NBCC Award for Fiction
  • International DUBLIN Literary Award
  • National Book Award Finalist

Work experience

Freelance Editor

August, 2021 – Present (4 months)

As an editorial freelancer, I provide a range of services to individuals and publishers. I offer detailed, sensitive copyediting; creative, generative developmental editing; and book/career coaching.

Visiting Assistant Professor

Macalester College
August, 2019 – Present (over 2 years)

I teach literary publishing and creative writing at Macalester college, which prepares undergraduate students to work in publishing and to publish their own work.

Senior Editor

Graywolf Press
September, 2009 – September, 2021 (about 12 years)

As senior editor, I acquired and edited 6-10 literary fiction and nonfiction titles annually for Graywolf's list of thirty-three books. My list included winners of the Man Booker Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, International Dublin Literary Award, and finalists for National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize, and Booker International Prize.

Portfolio (13 selected works)


Burns, Anna

Names for Light: A Family History

Myint, Thirii Myo Kyaw

Suicide Woods: Stories

Percy, Benjamin

Some Hell: A Novel

Nathan, Patrick

The House of Rust: A Novel

Bajaber, Khadija Abdalla

A Lucky Man: Stories

Brinkley, Jamel

Abundance: A Novel

Guanzon, Jakob

Steve has 2 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Arjun Bedi
Overall I had a successful collaboration with Steve. He has a keen proofreading eye and was able to find all of the mistakes that had gone past my notice throughout my multiple revisions.

Arjun Bedi, November 2021

Rich Marcello
Steve is an excellent editor. He provided clear, insightful, and constructive feedback on the first draft of a novel I'm working on. I couldn't have been happier with his approach or with the suggestions he made. In addition, I found his work reasonably priced given the value delivered. Overall, I highly recommend Steve. I think you'll find him to be one of the best editors of Reedsy.

Rich Marcello, November 2021

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