Short Story and Novella Editors
Mark Twain once wrote, “I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” That pithy statement describes well a major challenge facing the writer of short stories.
A novelist has the luxury of tens of thousands of words in which to fully flesh out a story. Short story writers don’t have that luxury—they must make every word count, and they must choose a single story to tell, with little room for side plots. The focus must be razor sharp, and every detail must relate to the one story the author has chosen to tell. The essence of each character must be distilled, so that the story contains just enough information for readers to understand and fully grasp the meaning of the story.
The best short story writers and editors are those who understand the art of brevity and of knowing just where a story begins and ends. A skilled short story editor will point out material that isn’t necessary to tell the story and help the author refine the work so that no words are wasted and everything that is required for readers to get the full impact of the story is in its proper place.
Structure Style and Truth: Elements of theShort Story, by John Daniel
Creating the Story: Guides for Writers,by Rebecca Rule and Susan Wheeler
KARIN GRAHAM is a trained editor. She has a bachelor's degree in comparative literature from the University of Virginia, a JD from William and Mary Law School, and a certificate in editing from the University of California Berkeley Extension. Karin honed her skills in turning facts and events into a coherent story in the crucible of the courtroom and her years as an attorney make her utterly attuned to the way that just the right (or wrong) word can change everything. She uses those skills to bring out the best in your work.
If your novel has fight scenes or involves any aspect of police procedures or the law, Karin is your specialist. Karin is a trained martial artist, with a third degree black belt in tae kwon do and years of training in hapkido and Krav Maga (which is a street-fighting self-defense system designed by a man fighting to survive in 1930s Eastern Europe). This means that Karin is uniquely able to evaluate the realism of your fight scenes. She has accompanied police on search warrants, observed autopsies, and been to countless crime scenes. She has training in arson prosecution and investigations and has given lectures to investigors on the subject of search and seizure law and to college students about the insanity defense.
Karin understands that just because editors can change a manuscript doesn't mean they should. An editor's job is to make the author's manuscript stand out, not to remake it as their own.
ANA HOWARD is the author of seven well-reviewed and award-winning children’s novels and has helped many others with their manuscripts, including picture books, chapter books, middle grade and young adult novels. After working in public schools for many years, she has now been a part of the publishing industry for fifteen years and provides a creative and supportive environment. She is passionate about children’s literature and offers the following services:
• Developmental, substantive and content editing
• Formatting and guidance on the submission process
• Query letters and synopses
• Advice for self-publishing authors
Publishing Credits Include:
- Water at the Blue Earth, young adult historical fiction (Roberts Rinehart)
- A Ceiling of Stars, middle grade contemporary fiction (American Girl)
- Nowhere, Now Here, middle grade contemporary fiction (American Girl)
- The Magic of Ordinary Days, adult historical fiction (Viking Penguin)
- Under a Stand Still Moon, young adult historical fiction (Brown Barn Books)
- Call Me the Canyon, young adult historical fiction (Brown Barn Books)
- Nicki, contemporary middle grade fiction (American Girl)
- Thanks to Nicki, contemporary middle grade fiction (American Girl)
She has seen one of her novels made into film (for Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions on CBS) and has won numerous literary awards. She believes that even in today’s tough publishing climate, it is still possible for new writers to enter the business and succeed. Second to writing her own novels, she loves to mentor others to help them achieve their goals. She knows firsthand how writers benefit from the help and support of other writers and/or editors.
"My novel had lingered in the offices of editors at the Big Six for years. Ana’s editing was timely and skillful and showed an understanding of my work. I used 95% of her suggestions and cut 200 pages from a 600 page manuscript. End result is a book with a clean, compelling narrative that has been called 'a gripping read'. Reader reviews of my book at Amazon and Goodreads have been very gratifying and allowed me to enter the top 100 for science-fiction/fantasy. Kirkus Reviews selected Prophets of the Ghost Ants as one of their Best of 2011. I would recommend Ana Howard's services to any author whose work needs an edit. Cost of the service was more than fair and the end result was priceless." —Clark T. Carlton
FLOYD LARGENT specializes in history, natural history, anthropology and the sciences on the non-fiction front, and speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, and allied fields) otherwise. He's published his own e-book on fiction marketing (100 Great Places to Sell Your Short Stories, Both On and Off the Web), and is intimately familiar with technical writing, having worked as a technical writer and editor for ten years. He's also been published in most of the popular American history magazines, including American History, America's Civil War, Old West, and True West.
Mr. Largent can provide publishing assistance (especially with short stories and journal articles), content development, manuscript evaluation, and mentoring services, supplemented with advice concerning manuscript mechanics, query letters, book synopses, and proposals.
- Developmental editing
- Book proposals
"I handed Floyd my 65,000 word manuscript on June 6th and got it back, polished to within an inch of its life, on July 25th. Floyd did a fantastic job."
"I've been going through the story and I'm about halfway through the review.... So far, the work is incredible. I really like what you've done with it to say the least. Satisfaction would be an understatement."
"Floyd Largent did an outstanding job with my manuscript. [H]is attention to detail, knowledge, and professionalism surpassed my expectations. I could not have been happier with the final product, or picked a more qualified editor to work with."
MARIE VALENTINE's editorial work ranges from conceptual and developmental brainstorming to copy editing and proofreading, as well as the nitty-gritty of print and Web production. She has worked in acquisitions and production for the renowned new age book publisher Llewellyn Worldwide. She has also served as a news editor and writer, business technology editor, poet and small press publisher of experimental works by contemporary writers. Marie will use her knowledge in literature and nonfiction to clarify your thoughts with minimal alteration, but she is also open to experiments and will adapt easily and quickly to your perceived vision and goals. A flexible editor and proofreader with a light touch, Marie will help your prose shine while keeping your personal style intact.
- 10+ years proofreading experience (print, web, digital, books, magazines, news weeklies, chapbooks and more)
- 6 years business and technology editing experience
- 5 years book manuscript editing experience, both fiction and nonfiction
- 4 years publisher acquisitions experience - Ruminator (small press), university press (U of MN), commercial press (Llewellyn). She knows what publishers look for in a book.
- 9 years academic editing and formatting
- Content organization
- Structural and substantive editing
- Formatting and style editing (MLA, Chicago, APA, AP, project-specific)
- Copy editing