I’m an editorial veteran with more than sixteen years of experience as a journalist, professional writer, editor, and fiction writer.
If you’re in the market for a well-versed editor for your college essay, query letter, novel, memoir, or non-fiction book, I’d love to connect.
“Jay is an incredibly thoughtful and generous editor who brings a wealth of story and editing experience to any project that comes across his desk. His sense of character, plot, tone, and style is impeccable.” — Paul Morrissey, Eisner Award-winning Writer & Editor
Essays and Queries
I offer everything from feedback and proofreading to a thorough line edit. My feedback will give you insight on where your work is at its strongest and where you might be missing the mark. I back up my feedback with suggestions for improvement and re-wording your passages.
If you’d prefer more hands-on revision, I can make sure that your query or letter hits all the right notes, highlighting your or your work’s most appealing strengths. In the end, your essay or letter will be tailored to your needs, goals, and vision.
If you’ve got a draft of your college admissions essay, your cover letter or query completed, don’t hit “send” just yet. Get in touch with me first!
Novels, Plays, Screenplays, and Memoirs:
An ideal choice if you need a big-picture summary of your draft. I will read through a Word version of your manuscript and look at overall structure, character development and consistency, as well as issues of pacing, point of view, and dialogue. Using the Track Changes function, I will input my notes and thoughts in the margins with regard to scene flow, dramatic beats, dialogue, etc., together with a light copy edit (for surface-level grammar and punctuation fixes), and I will also sum up my feedback in a 4-6 page write-up that will include advice on revisions for taking your book to the next level.
Line Editing & Copy Editing
Line editing is a heavy-duty version of a copy edit, but both are aimed at the same thing: Making sure the style and quality of your writing is up to par. Which one you need will become clear once I take a look at a sample of your work.
In a line edit, we’ll go through the book line-by-line, paragraph-by-paragraph to see how your language is functioning for things like tone, style, vocabulary, and sentence structure. If you’ve never had anyone edit your manuscript, it’s likely you’ll need a line edit. All edits are made in a Word doc, using Track Changes.
In a copy edit, we roll up our sleeves and get to the nitty-gritty of grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, syntax, and style. We’ll comb your manuscript, fixing errors and making sure your style conforms to established publishing conventions. In my practice, this usually means making sure your manuscript is in line with the Chicago Style Guide.
All edits are made in a Word doc, using Track Changes.
This is a scan of your manuscript for lingering typos and errors that any earlier editing may have missed. If your manuscript has already been through a rigorous copy edit, but you want to be sure it’s clean before you publish, a proofread is the right choice.
What’s It Cost?
The cost depends on what you need help with. Queries and essays are priced differently from long-form works. It also depends on the level of help you need, whether it’s feedback, a proofread, or a complete line edit. Rest assured, though, that my rates are competitive and priced to meet the budgets of any and all serious writers.
If you’re submitting fiction or non-fiction:
For starters, we can start with a FREE no-obligation sample edit of three pages lifted preferably from the middle of your manuscript. That should be enough for both of us to decide if we’re a good match and for me to determine what level of editing your manuscript would best benefit from.
My quote will depend on which service you go with and the word count of your manuscript.
How Long Does It Take?
Schedule permitting, my turnaround on essays and letters is 48 hours. I might be able to do an overnight turnaround, again time permitting, for a slightly higher rate.
For long-form works:
A Manuscript Critique usually takes two weeks for manuscripts running between 60k to 100k words.
Line Editing is generally on a three- to four-week timeline for 60k to 100k word manuscripts.
Copy Editing usually takes two to three weeks, again depending on the length of the manuscript and how intensive the edit needs to be.
Proofreading usually takes a week to ten days for manuscripts between 50k and 70k words.
The above are general estimates, and mileage will vary depending on the manuscript. Contact me using the form below.