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. If you have a finished first draft, you might do well to engage me for the opening pages–an opportunity to try on the shoes before you walk out of the shop in them.

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. 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 $60 per hour.

The following discussion is included to give you a general idea of how many hours your project might require.

An average length novel, say 80,000 words, with few twists and turns, will minimally take 10-12 hours to read and assess, and another several hours to formulate a detailed summary letter, which would include comments on plot, characters, setting, point of view, narrative architecture, pacing, and a project’s strengths and problems. 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 take more than 60 hours, or require more than one round.

An 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.

The state of a manuscript will direct which level of response is most appropriate. A fiction manuscript with grammatical problems might benefit from a detailed line edit of the first 5-20 pages, giving the author a chance to work on the rest before enlisting a longer evaluation. A half-finished manuscript, a common dilemma, often profits from a quick read, with responses defining its merits and weaknesses, and a conversation about how to continue, including questions and ideas to help the work to its next phase. Since this varies, what best suits the circumstance will be discussed in the initial conversation.

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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