IMG_6357.jpg Copy editing by Steph VanderMeulen

Clarity is crucial. Saying what you want and mean to say, as well as good grammar, facilitates your message and conveys the passion you bring to your writing. On the other hand, bad grammar confounds, repels, and even upsets readers. Unfocused or ineffective prose will bore readers—and it’s amazing how quickly they’re willing to move on from one thing to another.

When I copy edit, I maintain your voice but ensure your writing is polished and effective. I look at syntax and word choice, tautness of text, paragraph structure, grammar, spelling, punctuation, consistency, and cross-referencing for accuracy. This is done to the Word file of your manuscript, with comments, and using the Track Changes feature if preferred.

I also provide general feedback, including notes for improvement, concerns I may have, and questions regarding logic, order, inconsistencies, or, if fiction, story elements.

I am familiar with the Chicago Manual of Style and AP and can of course follow in-house styles.

Stylistic editing focuses on clarifying meaning, eliminating jargon (in non-fiction), and smoothing language and flow.

§ The cost for copy editing/stylistic editing is $60/hour. The average rate of speed is 4–6 pages an hour, though the time is dependent on the quality of writing. Please visit the FAQ page for more information on the process and on how fees and payment work.