After a long career of teaching Creative Writing and English and leading writing workshops and clinics, editing a magazine, and writing eleven books – a memoir, four novels, five non-fictions and Write Great Fiction: Description & Setting for Writer’s Digest Books – and hundreds of newspaper columns I now enjoy working directly with individual writers of both fiction and nonfiction, including memoir and history (no poetry). I also write texts for promotions, advertising and publications. The details for both services follow.

Consultation with Individual Authors:

There are a couple of ways to go about this: 1) a thorough reading of your manuscript and a detailed follow up report of its potential and some general recommendations or 2) a much more extensive and complete editorial process.

After seeing an outline or plot graph of your project and five to ten completed manuscript pages (the beginning of the book is most helpful) I will contact you and you can determine the best path forward.  This initial consultation is free; I charge fifty dollars an hour for all services after that. I keep precise records of the I time spend on a given project.

If it’s Option One, general suggestions based on a thorough reading that you’re after, an average length book (seventy to ninety thousand words) will take me something like ten to fourteen hours to read it and write a detailed report in which I’ll offer general recommendations regarding its strengths and weaknesses in the plot, organization, flow, dialogue, characterization, and the other inner workings that make writing and storytelling work.  I’ll also, of course, be available to answer any questions you have via email or over the phone.

Significantly more detailed editing of your manuscript (Option Two) involving specific sentence by sentence and page by page recommendations regarding plot, characterization, pacing and word choices and other suggestions plus the concluding report mentioned in Option One will take more than double the time (depending on how much needs fixing) required than a simple reading and review.  If you opt for this more detailed analysis, you should know that I am a line editor, not a copy editor.  Copy editors are generally assigned by publishers to get a manuscript in shape to go to press. The New York Book Editors website differentiates between line and copy edits in this way:

A line edit addresses the creative content, writing style, and language use at the sentence and paragraph level. But the purpose of a line edit is not to comb your manuscript for errors (which is the specific task of a copy edit) – rather, a line edit focuses on the way you use language to communicate your story to the reader. Is your language clear, fluid, and pleasurable to read? Does it convey a sense of atmosphere, emotion, and tone? Do the words you’ve chosen convey a precise meaning, or are you using broad generalizations and clichés?”    (

I’m also not a literary agent, and I don’t have any connections with agents other than my own (who doesn’t take new clients) so assisting you in placing your finished manuscript is not something I can help you with.  However, I can be of assistance when you compose your query letter to prospective publishers and/or agents, arguably some of the strongest writing you’ll have to do since it will either open or close the door for you.

If I agree to take on your project, I assure you I will work diligently to help bring it to fruition as the best book you intend it to be.  I’ll be straightforward regarding what I think needs to be fixed and will point out the strengths and the weaknesses of the story and the writing.  Whichever option you choose you will need to send me, via email, any and all texts I’ll be reading during the entire process in Word documents (not PDFs) double-spaced in a crisp 12-point font (Arial, Times New Roman, and Book Antigua are good choices), aligned to the left margin with all pages numbered. I will make all of my notations and suggestions in red directly in the texts and return the pages to you via email.  If you would rather send me hard copies (actual pages) they should be printed on one side only and with return postage paid envelopes for me to return them to you with my suggestions in pencil. I strongly suggest that you opt for the Word documents via email procedure.

I work with text only, not graphics photos or layout concerns. Should you decide to move forward after our initial phone consultation I require a $250.00 retainer fee which will cover the first five hours of my time.

I enjoy working with writers. Whether your book is so far just an outline and a few pages or is completely finished – or anywhere in-between – I look forward to hearing from you.

Writing Texts for Promotions, Advertisements and Publications: I’ve had considerable experience as a freelance writer of articles for newspapers, community and corporate magazines and numerous other projects and am available to do these provided that all pertinent information is given to me and I won’t be required to make site visits or conduct interviews either in person or on the phone. My hourly rate is $50.00.

Here’s how to reach me: phone 979-236-3695 (leave a short message) or email: