Giving and receiving written feedback is how I’ve grown over the past decade as a writer, so my stance on editing is to utilize written feedback by approaching your work on its own terms—to bring out what your work is trying to become rather than forcing my proclivities onto your work.
At the University of Cincinnati, where I am a PhD candidate in Creative Writing and Comparative literature, I teach a variety of creative writing and academic writing courses, and for the last seven years have worked as an editor, mostly with literary forms and mostly with literary magazines. I am, of course, a writer myself, and rely on editors for everything I publish—that’s because every writer, no matter their level of experience, encounters problems in their work they can’t fix on their own. Every writer needs an editor.
My editorial notes will teach you not only how to revise your project, but will also teach you self-editing techniques you can apply to subsequent projects: writerly nourishment.
I will, in other words, teach you to fish.
The self-editing techniques I teach include:
- Developing effective structure, point of view, voice, or, in the case of academic work: a thesis statement and angle of vision.
- How to develop, implement, and maintain an appropriate narrative strategy.
- How to focus your writing by revising backward from the ending.
- Employing persuasive and influence techniques to sell a product, convince an employer to hire you, or to keep readers hooked on your creative prose.
- Ways to gain comfort with grammar and mechanics.
Whether you’re writing fiction, creative nonfiction, or are completing an academic project, the versatility of my skills permit me to work with many forms.
Here are the most common forms I edit for students and clients:
Flash Fiction, Short Stories, Novels, Screenplays
Flash Nonfiction, Literary Essays, Memoir
Research Papers, Theses, Dissertations
“Bernard is an insightful and generous reader. They provide the kind of feedback that inspires better writing, and their edits have improved more than one of my stories.”
My favorite aspect of teaching is providing written feedback on student work, a form of instruction that utilizes the same techniques I use as an editor. During classroom instruction, I can discuss and illustrate revision techniques—such as how to use an ending to revise backwards, how to write and sustain a thesis statement, and how to balance craft techniques of character, plot, and setting—but face-to-face classroom instruction, though critical to education, is useless for writers without written feedback, and lecturing to a classroom doesn’t allow me to connect to writers as well as giving written feedback, which I provide in the form of margin comments, line edits, and editorial letters, and I show writers how to apply writing techniques to their work via Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature.
Individual conferencing is another form of teaching that is beneficial to student writers. This is why, for each service, I offer a one-hour video or phone conference to the discuss your work and to address any questions or concerns you may have.
“Bernard edits with you in mind. In their feedback, they balance careful attention to form with a sure grasp of your vision for the project. After working with them, you’ll have a clearer sense of what to do to achieve that vision.”
Manuscript Editing Rates
Base price for comprehensive consultations, which includes a close reading of your manuscript, editorial feedback, line edits, and a one-hour video or phone conference, is:
$2,000 for comprehensive consultations for manuscripts of 350 pages and fewer.
If your manuscript is longer than 400 pages, I’m always happy to discuss your specific project, to discover your writerly needs, before we settle on an appropriate fee.
Short prose editing
Base price for short prose editing , which also includes a close reading of your manuscript, an editorial letter, and a one-hour video or phone conference, is:
$125 for 10 – 15 pages, (double-spaced, one-inch margins, Times New Roman, 12-pt. font)
$200 for 20 – 30 pages, (double-spaced, one-inch margins, Times New Roman, 12-pt. font)
I will be happy to provide sample edits at $5 per page up to two pages.
I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the following forms of manuscript editing.
These definitions can help us pinpoint your writerly needs.
Proofreading is for authors who are ready to share their work with the public. This is the final check for minutiae, which involves the mechanics of writing—such as formatting issues, grammatical mistakes, awkward sentence structure, typos, and word choice—and is best suited for authors looking to submit to small presses, literary magazines, or self-publish.
Manuscript Line Editing
Line editing is similar to proofreading in that this service also involves the removal of excess baggage, though line editing includes light creative feedback such as comments on craft: character, setting, plot, and voice, and as well as notes on where to improve to ensure everything you’re including contributes to the overall story.
Manuscript Developmental Editing
Developmental editing differs from line editing in that this service refers to the big picture: the project as a whole rather than mechanics, the minutiae, of proofreading.
Developmental editing is a form of heavy creative feedback that teaches writers to identify the gaps in their stories, within their plots and within their characters, as well as how to fill these gaps, creating continuity and persuading readers to believe in the world they’ve created and to care about their characters.
Whether you are writing stories, essays, a novel, memoir, screenplay, or play, you’ll utilize universal storytelling elements. These include theme, setting, dialogue, character and plot development, point of view, voice, as well as some lesser-known, but no less important, aspects of craft such as atmosphere, intrigants, flashback, narrative strategy, and, of course, structure.
My heavy creative feedback will pinpoint problems within your work, areas that may confuse or put off readers, and offer suggestions for improvement with a focus on story structure, pacing, character arcs, and plot development.
Rest assured that I will not attempt to dictate the direction of your work and will only guide you in the direction(s) your work is going. I will help you discover what your work is trying to become.
If you decide to hire me as your editor, whether for short prose or for longer, book-length works, please format your manuscript accordingly: double-spaced, one-inch margins, Times New Roman, 12-pt. font, no cover page.
My critiques are balanced and specific and offer commendations as well as recommendations. Rest assured that I will not attempt to dictate the direction of your work and will only guide you in the direction(s) your work going. Feel free to contact me for a sample: email@example.com.
“For the past 5 years that I have known Bernard, I’ve been truly impressed with how they approached editing. Whether their editing my work or if we’re working together on editing a writer’s submission to The Nervous Breakdown, I’m always amazed by the way that Bernard edits not just for the glaring issues, but attends to the little things that make a huge impact.
They’re also really great at being honest with the writer, as well as cheering them on. A true professional and a very supportive editor, I feel blessed that I get to work with Bernard.”
How to work with me
Get in touch
To find out more about working with me please contact me here using the form provided and tell me more about what you are looking for.
I look forward to hearing from you, and I hope you’re safe and well.
I offer an optional one hour virtual consultation with each service I provide to discuss your work. We can add more time if you need.
$50 for 30 minutes
Accommodations for Financial Hardships
Times are hard for everyone, even if you’re wealthy, but most people aren’t wealthy, so I’m always happy to make payment arrangements.
Feel free to contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Bernard is a careful, supportive editor. They gently reminded me of basic things (like being specific) while also showing me more sophisticated uses of the structure I was working in, thereby improving the overall aesthetic experience of my piece, including opening the door to more humor.”
“Having worked with him in both capacities, I am impressed with Bernard as a writer and as an editor. Their prose has a unique sense of style, strong narrative, and insistent voice, and their editorial eye is keenly focused on helping others showcase craft and storytelling in their work. You’ll enjoy working with them!”