Editorial Services and Rates

I offer respectful and thorough review for poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and I’m happy to respond to smaller projects like a chapter, a group of poems, or a query letter. I find that my cross-pollination from working in multiple genres only strengthens and clarifies the approach to each.

I’ve worked with professionals as well as new writers. Currently, much of my work is prepping post grad MFA projects for agent submissions (fiction, non-fiction,) and national contests (poetry). Authors with whom I’ve collaborated, both poets and prose writers, have sold their manuscripts and won prizes. (No promises, though. It’s a hard world out there!) Longer journalistic pieces have been subsequently published in the L A Times and Boston Globe.

My initial evaluation is free, and after that I charge $70 per hour. (This is a rate increase, effective January 1, 2019.)

The following discussion is included to give you a general idea of how many hours your project might require, though you can always engage me for a handful of poems, or a chapter, to try on the shoes before you walk out of the shop for the whole trip.

An average length work of prose, say 80,000 words with few twists and turns, will minimally take 10-12 hours to read, and another several hours to formulate a detailed summary letter which would include comments on narrative architecture or plot, character, setting, point of view,  pacing, and a project’s strengths and problems. So, say 16 hours at least. The more questions and snags, the slower the process. A closer reading of the same text, almost always advisable, including margin comments and line editing as well as a detailed summary letter, could require 25-35 hours. A densely worded literary novel will take more time; a young adult novel could take less. The range is broad. Projects can run more than 60 hours, or require more than one round. First drafts frequently benefit from a detailed line edit of the first 5-20 pages, giving the author a chance to work into the rest before enlisting a longer evaluation. We often do some synopsis work as well, to make sure the narrative arc holds water. A manuscript in progress often profits from a phone consultation about how to continue, including questions and ideas to help the work to its next phase. What best suits the circumstance will be discussed in the initial query.

A typical length poetry manuscript, 48-64 pages of average accessibility, might need 10-12 hours to review closely. My response would be likely to include comments on word choice, line order, line breaks, the balance of transparency and mystery, syntactical and grammatical choices, order of information, poem titles and how they impact the poem. Again, the time will depend on the amount of commentary elicited.

I can help, whether you’re struggling with narrative arc or looking to notch up the sophistication of your poetry. Send me an email about yourself and your work.  Include a writing sample of any length.  I’d love to hear from you.  dmgordon@comcast.net

2 thoughts on “Editorial Services and Rates

  1. Diana is the editor I wish I had found years ago. I had a publisher return my book to me after almost buying it, saying that it needed developmental editing but they didn’t wish to pay for it. Diana was able to come up from underneath my writing, rather than bear down on top, to uncover the proper architecture of my story. I’m more confident than ever that once I can complete these revisions that my book will be infinitely more marketable, and more importantly, more compelling.
    Her rates are also highly reasonable and a great return on your investment! Don’t hire anyone else–start with Diana!

    –Jenn Dean

  2. I am grateful for Diana Gordon’s extensive and insightful review of my novel. Her keen editorial eye polished my manuscript, getting rid of clichés and repetition, leaving me with invaluable editing tools. Diana is a generous and gifted editor who will challenge and inspire you to bring your work to the next level, wherever you’re at.

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