Biography and Memoir Editors

Writing a Memoir

What story does one know more intimately than one’s own life? Still, writers who tackle memoirs often do so on the mistaken assumption that such a text might be straightforward and simple because it draws from the material of their own lived experiences. A memoir is much more than a linear enumeration of the events of one’s life or a collection of disparate memories and nostalgic musings. Memoir writing is an art as complex as any other form of creative writing.

Memoir Editors

An experienced memoir editor will help with the structural vision and stylistic flair that readers appreciate in works of fiction. The best memoirs are compelling because they combine the aesthetic refinement of fiction with the intensity and power of real life.

Ann Aubrey

Ann Aubrey

Ghostwriter, Book Indexer, Copy Editor, Proofreader

Ann Aubrey has 30+ years of experience as a writer and editor, including fiction, nonfiction, medical, academic, technical, and college-level textbooks.

She began a career as a technical writer: geophysics, geology, and information technology. Then transitioned into journalism, working as Associate Editor/Editor of the Catholic newspaper of San Diego and teaching fiction writing at the university level.

David Aretha

David Aretha

The author and editor of more than 300 books, David Aretha knows what it takes to get a book published.

David Aretha has edited and authored books for 30+ publishers, including St. Martin’s Press, HarperCollins, Lyons Press, Random House, Running Press, Warner Books, Total/Sports Illustrated, and Scholastic.

His books have generated more than $20 million in revenue and have appeared on the Today show, The Early Show, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. His rating on Goodreads.com is 4.2, based on more than 3,000 ratings.

Peggy Campbell

Peggy Campbell

Academic, General Nonfiction Editing

Peggy Campbell has been working as a copy editor, line editor, and developmental editor of nonfiction books for more than two decades, working for both top university presses and trade publishers as well as authors who hire her directly. She also works as a developmental/line editor and is an expert user of the Chicago Manual of Style. Her areas of expertise are history (especially American history), including biography, memoir, and autobiography; politics, government, public affairs, and public policy; and equine topics.

Her edited books have won a number of awards and honors, including New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the Tankard Award, Choice Outstanding Book of the Year, National Jewish Book Award, and Choice Outstanding Academic Title. She has been privileged to edit forewords for John Kenneth Galbraith and Morley Safer. Campbell’s own work as a reporter was nominated for a Pulitzer.

Carrie Cantor

Carrie Cantor

Developmental Editing, Manuscript Evaluations, Line Editing

200+ books edited for major publishers and independent authors

Carrie Cantor, a published author and industry veteran, worked as an acquisitions editor at a New York publisher where she acquired and edited titles on a variety of subjects. As a free-lance editor, she has extensive experience performing diagnostic editing (critique), development editing, and line editing. Her clients are writers in the areas of memoir, history, current events, health, Judaica, women’s issues, how-to, and pop-culture, as well as romance, women’s fiction, and literary fiction.

She also helps authors write query letters and proposals that appeal to the market. Because she is an adjunct to a successful New York literary agency, she has the commercial savvy to advise clients with an eye to current trends and industry standards.

Carrie will meet you wherever you are in your writing process. If you need an objective assessment of what’s working in your book and what needs improvement in terms of structure (narrative arc, characters, pacing, etc.), she can provide a thorough professional critique. Her “bedside” manner is sensitive and respectful but holds nothing back.

If you need a line-by-line edit to polish the writing, Carrie is an expert at smoothing over any awkward moments in the narrative, helping you to be the best writer you can be without imposing her own style or taste on your prose.

Karin Cather

Karin Cather

Apocalyptic Fiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Police Procedural, Narrative Nonfiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thrillers, True Crime

Developmental editor, copy editor, and writer with a background in criminal law and martial arts

If your novel has fight scenes or involves police procedures or the law, Karin Cather is your specialist. She has accompanied police on search warrants, observed autopsies, and been to countless crime scenes. She has training in arson prosecution, search and seizure law, and the insanity defense. She can help add realism to your writing.

In creative nonfiction, as someone who spent over a dozen years as a prosecutor, Karin know how many stories law enforcement officers, other first responders, and prosecutors have to tell. Karin edits autobiography and memoir of these professionals—current or retired—who write under their own names or use pseudonyms.

Karin brings her rich and varied background to bear on crime thrillers, police procedurals, and true crime, as well as dystopian and apocalyptic fiction, science fiction, speculative fiction, and fantasy.

Ann Howard Creel

Ann Howard Creel

Writer and Editor of Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade Fiction, Memoirs, and Historical Fiction

Congratulations on taking a step closer to achieving your writing goals. Even in today’s publishing climate, I believe it is still possible for new writers to enter the business and succeed. With little background, I was able to get twelve novels published including children’s middle grade fiction, young adult novels, and adult literature. I’ve worked with both small independent publishers, such as Roberts Rinehart and Brown Barn Books, and large publishing houses, such as Penguin Putnam and American Girl, and I’ve collaborated on a screenplay that took one of my novels to film for Hallmark Hall of Fame on CBS.

In addition, I’ve been editing professionally since 2007 and have helped numerous authors achieve their publishing goals. Writing is a creative endeavor done best when inspiration strikes, and I believe every writer has his or her unique story/stories and voice with which to tell it. That said, certain guidelines, skills, and techniques will make stories shine, and writers will always benefit from the help and support of experienced writers/editors.

I specialize in developmental editing of mainstream fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, narrative non-fiction, and memoir and would love to hear about your project and goals.

Stacey Donovan

Stacey Donovan

Award-Winning Book Editor, Author, and Ghostwriter

Former literary agent and advertising copywriter, published author, editor and ghostwriter of several bestsellers, Stacey Donovan helps guide her clients’ books to successful publication, whether traditional, niche, or independent.

Stacey Donovan has edited or ghostwritten dozens of published books for her clients, many of which have received critical acclaim and awards. Among them: New York Times Bestsellers (Mystery); International Thrillers Awards (Thriller); Florida Book Awards (Thriller); Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) Silver Medal Award (Memoir); Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year (Memoir); Stories of Mighty Women Top Biographies (Memoir); Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Ben Franklin Award, Bill Fisher Best First Book (Fiction); Chanticleer International Book Awards (Thriller)

As a professional editor and ghostwriter, Donovan is experienced in many genres: Contemporary Fiction and Nonfiction; Mystery; Crime; Suspense; Psychological Thriller; Literary Fiction; Women’s Fiction; Young Adult; Erotic Romance; Erotica; GLBTQ; Memoir.

Donovan is also a published author of both fiction and non-fiction. Dive, her first, critically acclaimed novel was published in 1995 (Penguin) and reissued in 2015 (Open Road Media). The Art of Loneliness, a sexy novella, is available on Kindle. Co-authored by Donovan, the four-book series based on Zalman King’s Red Shoe Diaries is also available.

Johanna Ehrmann

Johanna Ehrmann

Jewish Topics, Judaica, Memoir, How-To, Inspirational

Johanna Ehrmann has been a freelance editor, copy editor, proofreader, and writer for more than twenty-five years. Having grown up in the center of a Jewish community, she is particularly adept at working on books with Jewish content. She is a graduate of Brandeis University and a long-time member of a world-renowned Jewish chorus that has honored her for her decades of leadership.

Johanna is eager to work on anything that “educates, inspires, or entertains,” to quote her public television station. Your nonfiction manuscript will benefit from her focused thinking and her clear-sighted editing.

Johanna is the author of eight books for young people (fiction and nonfiction, leveled readers, and graphic novels), published by Houghton Mifflin, Macmillan McGraw-Hill, and PowerKids Press.

David Ferris

David Ferris

Novels, Self-Help, Memoir, Christian, Spiritual, Business

David Ferris has worked on 100+ manuscripts that have landed publishing deals.

His long track record as a ghostwriter, writer, editor, and filmmaker has given him exposure to a wide range of authors, writing styles, and genres, including novels, nonfiction works, self-help books, memoir, Christian and other spiritual writing, and business books.

With professional experience in both fiction and documentary film, as a producer, writer, and director, David is well versed in the art of cinematic storytelling and can edit or critique your screenplay.

Barbara Kimble

Barbara Kimble

Barbara Kimble has worked as a writer, ghostwriter, editor, teacher, coach, corporate communication consultant and journalist, and served as Writer in Residence at Tyndale House Publishers. She has written or co-written ten books, published more than 600 articles in the Chicago Tribune, and edited approximately 200 books for various publishers and authors.

Barbara has helped dozens of writers to prepare for the publication of their books, including both those who have published with traditional publishers and those who have chosen to self-publish, including teaching a six-video writing course for a publisher.

A true wordsmith with a love for the beauty of language and the power of ideas, Barbara aims for clear and memorable writing that includes the occasional touch of humor, if appropriate. She makes what’s complicated easily understandable whether when editing a book, writing a web article, or coaching authors.

Kendra Langeteig

Kendra Langeteig

Kendra Langeteig, PhD, is a book doctor/editor, writing coach, and publishing consultant
Memoir, literary fiction, personal growth/self-help, mind-body health, science and spirituality, how-to guides, developmental editing, manuscript evaluations

Books do change lives. It’s a privilege to work with the wonderful authors who contribute to positive change by sharing their wisdom and experience. More than ever, we need the fresh perspective, insights, and courage that books can inspire in us. As a “New Age” book editor, I am grateful to participate in the exciting work that is slowly but surely transforming our world.

Now in my second decade as an editor, I specialize in supporting first-time authors, including non-native English authors. Books with a powerful heartfelt message resonate with me as an editor, whether the genre is fiction, memoir, or self-help. Many of my clients are life coaches, healing practitioners, or spiritual teachers who have decided to write a book to share their stories and provide expert guidance. Publishing a book enables authors to reach a wide audience and opens the door to exciting professional opportunities. Besides providing written feedback on manuscript drafts, I offer online conferences during the revising process. I also serve as a consultant to help my clients evaluate the best publishing route for their books.

Reinventing myself as a “book doctor” in 2011 was a natural step in my career path. It marked a return to the publishing world. Before serving on the English Department faculty at Indiana University (1991-2000), I worked as an editor for a Boston publisher. From 2008-2011, I taught in the Writing Program at Fort Lewis College in Colorado. My eclectic publications include literary essays, articles in lifestyle magazines, a book on contemporary design (The New Asian Home, Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2008), and an edited collection of stories by various authors (Everyday Miracles: Moments of Healing and Transformation, Quiet Fire Press, 2016).

Ph.D. in English Literature, Indiana University
M.A. in English Literature, University of New Hampshire
B.S. in Fine Art, University of Wisconsin

Floyd Largent

Floyd Largent

Science Fiction, Fantasy, Short Stories, Anthropology

Manuscript evaluations, developmental editing

Floyd Largent edits nonfiction, novels, and short stories. His first love as a fiction editor is science fiction and fantasy for young adults and adults, especially for works in which science, characterization, mystery, and unusual cultures play an important part.

In nonfiction he specializes in anthropology, history, science, spirituality (including religious and New Age), and memoirs.

Steven Severn

Steven Severn

Award-Winning Ghostwriter, Editor and Writing Coach for Eleven #1 Best-Sellers

Award-winning New York Times best-selling ghostwriter, book doctor, editor, screenwriter, and writing coach. Mentored by an Academy Award-winning writer. Ghostwriter and consultant for eleven #1 best-selling books, including five New York Times #1 Children's books. I'm here to make your deepest dreams come true.

I mentored under Oscar-winning screenwriter Stewart Stern ("Rebel Without A Cause"​). I served as consultant for the #1 best-sellers TEARS FOR MY CITY by Dean Dimitrieski and THE REVVED LIFE by Pastor Jeff Knight, and for Robert Beatty's #1 best-selling Children's novels SERAFINA AND THE BLACK CLOAK, SERAFINA AND THE TWISTED STAFF, and WILLA OF THE WOOD. In addition, my ghostwritten screenplay based upon a #1 best-seller was winner of Best Adaptation at two international script competitions.

Dreams are powerful. Dreams can transform you. Dreams come from a Higher Power, and can take you to your highest place. If you have a dream, or a vision, your heart yearns to see it come true. My calling is to help you write the words that can make your deepest dreams come true. I love taking all that passion and fire burning inside you and transforming your life stories, your dreams, your visions, and the deepest yearnings of your heart from the first spark of imagination into fire-breathing reality.

I'd love to help deliver your creative visions to the world, using the fire and passion of imagination, and the life-transforming power of your dreams.

Thank you for sharing your dreams with me.

Joya Stevenson

Joya Stevenson

Religion, Theology, the Bible, Mysticism, Spirituality

Joya Stevenson (PhD., Harvard University, Spiritual and Personal Development) edits in the broad areas of religion, theology, spirituality, and the Bible.

She works with original thinkers, inspired visionaries and mystics, theologians and biblical interpreters, researchers and academics.

SJ Sutton

SJ Sutton

Book Editor, Script and Screenplay Story Consultant, Publishing Consultant, Television and Film Industry Veteran

S. J. Sutton has worked in the book publishing and the film industries for thirty years.

In the film industry she worked as a story analyst and development consultant on feature film and television projects for DreamWorks, Disney, Showtime, and Lifetime, including L.A. Confidential (Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published), Get On Up, Enigma, HBO’s Vinyl, and Defending Your Life.

Marie Valentine

Marie Valentine

Copyediting and Proofreading Services | New Author Assistance

Marie Valentine helps first-time writers prepare their manuscripts for submission to publishers or in preparation for self-publishing.

Marie has worked for small, midsized, and academic presses, and helps authors who are new to the publishing process navigate the path to selling a book. She offers query letter and submission package review, and permissions assistance, and can answer questions you have along the way. She often blogs with her self-published authors to help promote their work.

Marie passed Book Editing Associates' rigorous proofreading test, so you can trust that her edits will also clear up any typographical errors in your book. She is fluent in the Chicago Manual of Style and AP Style.

Don White

Don White

Editor of 3 New York Times Bestsellers and 3 Los Angeles Times Bestsellers

Don White is an award-winning editor with more than twenty years’  of publishing experience. Among the notable writers he’s edited are Gore Vidal, Edward Albee, E. Lynn Harris, Edmund White, and Samuel R. Delany.

He’s equally at home in fiction (literary novels, commercial fiction, mysteries) and nonfiction (memoir, biography, general nonfiction). As an editor and writer he’s freelanced for Doubleday, Penguin, Bantam, Basic Books, and Beacon, among others.

Don has been singled out for distinction by the American Library Association, Publishers Weekly, and Out Magazine. As an independent scholar he's authored three books on African American history as well as several books for gay and lesbian readers. He's also an emeritus board member of the Lambda Literary Foundation. Don lives in New York City.

Thomas Womack

Thomas Womack

Christian Book Editor and Bookcrafter

I'm a veteran editor and writer, with four decades of full-time work in book publishing, focusing especially on Christian books of all kinds. I’ve also edited numerous business and leadership books, memoirs, and fiction titles.

I’ve partnerered with dozens of respected communicators in bringing out many notable works. These authors have included Louie Giglio, Carolyn Castleberry, Henry Blackaby, J. I. Packer, C. J. Mahaney, Ruth Myers, Randy Alcorn, Thelma Wells, Richard Blackaby, Tony Evans, John MacArthur, Larry Crabb, Larry Osborne, Andy Stanley, and Dave Harvey, to name just a few.

Many of my editing projects have involved extensive collaborative writing—especially developing content from various author sources such as sermon transcripts, message outlines, letters, and journal entries. I’ve worked to maintain the author’s voice and style, and I’m grateful to have often been commended by authors for doing exactly that.

As an author, I’m currently writing the third novel in a trilogy of historical fiction (currently being agented for consideration by publishers). I’ve also written extensively for children (using a pen name), with more than twenty books published. Three of my books were winners of the Christian Book Award (the “Gold Medallion”) from the ECPA trade publishers association.

Note: Thomas' rate starts at 7 cents per word.

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