Editing, Proofreading, and Critiques

The first step in finding an editor for your work is to determine what type of editing you need.

Proofreaders and Copyeditors review your work to ensure consistency and accuracy of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting.

A Mechanical Editor checks for adherence to an established set of style rules such as The Associated Press Stylebook or The Chicago Manual of Style. The editor reviews punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and abbreviations along with other elements. Mechanical editing is sometimes included in copyediting.

Substantive Editing goes beyond grammar and spelling. It’s a deep dive into your prose at the chapter, scene, paragraph, and sentence level. The editor may recommend ways to tighten your writing or identify areas that need to be expanded.

Development Editing is a full, in-depth analysis of your work. The editor considers big picture issues such as the work’s organization and its overall strengths and weaknesses. Depending on the nature of your work, the review may also include pacing, characterization, point-of-view issues, verb tense selection, plot, subplot, and dialogue. For nonfiction manuscripts, editors may review structure, order, flow, and clarity. Developmental editors consider any factor that enhances or detracts from a work’s readability. Due to the comprehensive nature of this type of editing, it is the most time consuming and costly.

Critiques are shorter and less detailed than developmental edits, although they may also identify issues with structure and style and address overall strengths and weaknesses.

Note: One of the best ways to get feedback on your work is to join a critique group of other writers. SWW facilitates critique group formation. If you’d like information about joining a group, contact info@swwriters.com

Listings are below in alphabetical order.


Susan Cooper

Cooper Creations, Inc.

Dr. Susan Cooper has been proofreading and editing documents for over 50 years. Her background in science and engineering has been very helpful. Let her undangle your participles and unsplit your infinitives while she fixes your punctuation, spelling, and grammar.


David J. Corwell


David J. Corwell’s award-winning fiction has appeared in small press anthologies and magazines. He has an M.A. in Writing Popular Fiction and worked as a contributing editor/proofreader for several publications, as well as a contest critiquer for SWW. He was SWW’s 2001 Storyteller Award winner and received a Parris Award in 2005.


Barbara J Genovese

Subject Line: Editing Query

How I approach editing:
– edit for inconsistencies
– edit spelling, agreement of tenses, verb consistencies
– use, and encourage, the Oxford comma
– help you understand the wavy blue lines under text in Word
– edit voice
– use Word Track Changes
– Traditional as well as indie-published books have errors.
– Book reviews, web sites, and blogs have errors.
That you don’t have so many errors that it distracts readers, and they put your book [et al] down and/or throw it across the room or write a negative review. Evidence that you detect, and process grammatical errors can be found in a 2013 University of Oregon study: “Grammar errors? The brain detects them even when you are unaware.”

20-minute FREE CONSULT


Julie Klein


Line editing, copy editing, and proofreading for fiction and creative nonfiction. Formatting for manuscripts, dissertations, print-on-demand. E-book conversion, transcript and typing services also available as well as general administrative assistance.


Jacqueline Murray Loring

Enchanted Adventures in Writing

Jacqueline Murray Loring is an award-winning poet and has edited more than ten published books of poetry including several of the SouthWest Writer’s anthologies. She is frequently called upon to judge poetry and screenwriting contests. She is available to teach or discuss writing poetry or to mentor poets beginning a new collection or to edit a completed work.


Carol March

Compass Rose

Author Carol March is a teacher, editor, and writing coach. She has published three novels, numerous short stories, essays, and an award-winning nonfiction book, When Spirit Whispers and its accompanying workbook. With experience in both traditional and indie publishing, Carol has many resources and ideas to help writers edit their work for traditional publishers and agents. Her experience publishing short stories has given her a good working knowledge of literary and genre markets for short fiction and creative nonfiction.

She works with fiction and nonfiction writers seeking professional, friendly and supportive help with projects of any length. Services include:

  • comprehensive manuscript evaluation;
  • developmental editing to improve and tighten the manuscript;
  • line/copy editing to make sure the language is clear and polished.

“I offer a free sample evaluation/line edit of the first ten pages of any book to ensure that we are a good fit for each other.”


Lisa McCoy

Lisa McCoy Editing

Lisa McCoy is a freelance editor of fiction and non-fiction. She’s been helping authors turn their writing dreams into reality for 13 years and counting. She performs a variety of editing services—developmental/line editing, copy editing, proofreading, beta reads—to help prepare manuscripts for publishing.

I provide a free editing review on 3 pages from your manuscript. This will give me a chance to experience your writing style and give you a chance to experience my editing style. Then, we’ll decide together what’s next for your book.

I seek to connect with each writer’s voice and purpose for their story. My goal is to help authors give their readers a story they’ll want to read to the last word.

Visit Lisa McCoy’s website at lisamccoyediting.com


Rob Spiegel


Rob Spiegel is a career journalist who has also been widely published in fiction, poetry, and blogging. He is a senior editor at Design News, an international trade magazine, and he is the former owner of a book and magazine publisher, which he ran for 10 years. He has provided critique services on scores of manuscripts.




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