Editor & Writing Coach
The Basics: Through Yellow Bird Editors, I provide monthly writing coaching, manuscript critiques, content editing, developmental editing, first chapter critiques, query critiques, plot overhauls, and book proposal reviews. Whether you’re beginning to write a novel (or stuck!) or looking for line edits so that you can submit to agents and editors, I will help you reach your writing and publishing goals.
I like to work on just about every genre, but my favorites are speculative fiction; science fiction; fantasy fiction (including high fantasy); poetry; novels in verse; LGBTQ fiction; contemporary fiction; humorous fiction; middle grade & young adult novels; screenplays; thrillers; unique memoirs; graphic novels; adaptations of fairy tales.
Fun Stuff: There are a few important things to know before hiring me to edit your manuscript or to become your writing coach.
1. I like Star Wars.
Now, this doesn’t mean I only read sci-fi and fantasy, nor does it mean that I will nerd out all over your manuscript. What it means is that I love the hero’s journey (i.e. character driven plots) and I am quite fond of three act structure.
2. I have several degrees in creative writing (poetry, screenwriting, and writing for children and young adults). I combine this education when I edit a book and believe that lyrical stories should also have strong, marketable plots, and that thrillers/high concept stories should have beautiful writing. If I agree to edit your project, I will be noting not only on sentence clarity, but also on cohesive tension, stakes, and plot. I don’t believe that all stories should have intensely marketable elements, but I do believe that every scene should be interesting.
3. I like working on all different kinds of drafts and my notes will reflect where you are in the process. If you’re submitting the hundredth draft of a story, I will help you polish, finesse and draw out the most important elements. If you’re submitting a first draft that just fell out of your head (these are my favorite!), I will give you notes to delve deeper, expand, and focus–no line edits for rough drafts, I promise!
4. I’m tough, but I am passionate. I will use my sharpest eye, but I will never beat your story up. It is my goal to give notes that inspire you to make the important revisions. No writer should ever feel like they need to throw away a project, although sometimes it is necessary to set it aside for some time–just ask the dozens of manuscripts currently hibernating in my desk!
So what’s next? Well, my availability is limited so you’ll need to contact Yellow Bird Editors and request my services before you’d like to begin working with me.
On the Yellow Bird Editors’ page, you’ll find information about the various types of critiques. For example, I can read the first chapter or the whole book. I can write you an edit letter or provide copious amounts of track change notes throughout the manuscript. If you’re unsure of what kind of services you’d like, Sara Kocek (who handles the contracts) will be happy to talk you through all the options.
If you’re considering working with me as a writing coach, I highly suggest contracting a “first chapter critique.” Even if you only have one chapter, this will be a wonderful opportunity for me to get a peek at your story and for you to get a taste of my editorial style. I do really enjoy guiding writers through the first draft process, but writing coaching can also be a wonderful way to succinctly work through a revision. Either way, I will be able to put your story on a timetable. Want to finish a first draft in six months? Easy. Done. Want to have your book ready to query agents by the end of the year? We can make that happen. Promise.
As a bonus, I enjoy having frank discussions with my writers about traditional publishing, self-publishing, finding agents, working with editors, and surviving as a career writer. It is my hope that after having employed me as your writing coach, you feel as though you’ve gone through a semester of masters level education and feel ready to take your writing to the next level, be it publishing or taking on a brand new story on your own.
Here are a few additional options to help you get to know my writing and editorial style, i.e. prepare for shameless plugs!
1. Check out my articles on writing/publishing.
2. Read my books. You can also read part of my novel in verse submission that won the middle grade category for the 2014 Katherine Paterson Award.
3. Read titles that I have had a hand in editing. I’m very proud of these books!