Memoir Book 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.
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.
Line editing, copy editing, content/developmental editing, proofreading, query letters
DAVID ALAN has edited more than 200 books and authored nearly 100 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 4.21 based on nearly 3,000 ratings.
Nonfiction Book Editor and Proofreader
PEGGY CAMPBELL has been editing nonfiction books for more than two decades, working for both top university presses and trade publishers, and several authors return to her for each book they write. She works as a developmental/line editor/substantive editor, copy editor, and proofreader, and is an expert user of the Chicago Manual of Style/Turabian.
She began freelancing after a long career at a newspaper reporter and editor at metro dailies, including editing stints at the San Jose Mercury News and Newsday. Her areas of expertise are history (especially American history), including biography, memoir, and autobiography; journalism; and politics and government, public affairs, and public policy; and equine subjects.
Books on whose manuscripts she worked have won a number of awards and named honors, including New York Times Notable Book of the Year; the Tankard Award; Choice Outstanding Book of the Year; National Jewish Book Award; Choice Outstanding Academic Title—and those are the ones she knows about. She has been privileged to edit forewords by such authors as John Kenneth Galbraith and Morely Safer. Campbell’s own work as a reporter was nominated for a Pulitzer, and various papers nominated that of her reporters when she was a newspaper editor.
Developmental Editing, Manuscript Evaluations and Critiques, Manuscript Assessment Services, Ghostwriting
200+ books edited for major publishers and independent authors
CARLY CANTOR is a published author and publishing industry veteran who worked for several years as an acquisitions editor at a New York publisher where she acquired and edited numerous hardcover and trade paperback titles every year on a variety of nonfiction subjects, mostly in the areas of current events, how-to, and pop culture. She is currently a meticulous, hands-on independent editor who “becomes one” with every project, paying close attention to both the big picture and the small details. Her extensive experience includes critiquing and development editing of fiction and nonfiction projects.
Substantive Editing, Copyediting, Proofreading Fiction and Nonfiction for Children, Young Adults, and Adults.
JOAN GIARDINO is an editor, proofreader, and translator with more than 25 years’ experience in the book publishing industry. Her clients include major book publishers, authors, illustrators, theater directors, and personal historians.
She has edited or proofread hundreds of award-winning published books—children, middle-grade, and young adult fiction, nonfiction, adult fiction and nonfiction, biographies, and personal memoirs.
As an editorial consultant, Joan can:
- Ensure that the author’s voice is engaging, clear and authentic
- Make difficult information accessible and easy to understand
- Copyedits manuscripts, paying particular attention not only to grammar and punctuation, but to plot, characters, details, and stylistic consistency
- Oversee the book production process from raw manuscript to finished books
- Work with authors and illustrators to make sure commissioned artwork reflects the text
- Conduct research to find artwork and historical documents to enhance the text.
- Checking the accuracy of works translated into English from French and Italian
Authors and editors alike have benefited from Joan’s experience and expertise. Stephanie Rogers, the author of The Horse I Belong To, wrote, “My thanks would not be complete without recognizing my wonderful editor, Joan, who made everything she touched better.”
Developmental editor, copy editor, and writer with a background in criminal law and academics.
Karin specializes in apocalyptic fiction, autobiography, memoir, literary fiction, police procedural, narrative nonfiction, science fiction, thrillers, and true crime.
Karin Graham has a BA in comparative literature, a JD from William and Mary Law School, and a certificate in editing from the University of California Berkeley. If your novel has fight scenes or involves 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. 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 investigators on the subject of search and seizure law and to college students about the insanity defense. She can help add realism to your writing.
David has worked on 100+ manuscripts that have landed publishing deals.
DAVID has built up a distinguished career as an editor, writer, ghostwriter, and filmmaker. His flair for the written word, creative acumen, and meticulous attention to detail has earned him a loyal following of clients in need of copy editing, content editing, developmental editing, or ghostwriting.
After earning his master’s degree in Journalism at Northwestern University, he spent five years working for an academic press and later for Hachette Book Group.
His long track record has given him exposure to a wide range of authors, writing styles, and genres, including novels, non-fiction works, self-help books, memoir, Christian and other spiritual writing, and business books.
Thesis and Dissertation Writing Consultant
He’s also a specialist in academic writing and often partners with graduate students to bring their thesis or dissertation to the next level.
Screenwriting / Filmmaker
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.
During my 35+ years in the literary world, I've built experience in many aspects of the field---from non-fiction to fiction, short stories to novels, game creation to publication tips. My first love as a fiction editor has always been science fiction/fantasy and related genres. In addition to many SF/F novels for adults, I've also had the pleasure of working on a number of fun and imaginative Young Adult works, mostly fantasy, and always welcome the opportunity to assist writers with such stories. In addition, I've also edited several imaginative mystery series, as well as the occasional romance and mainstream work. My greatest strengths lie in manuscript evaluation and developmental editing, especially for works in which science, characterization, mystery, and unusual cultures play an important part.
My education also informs my work as a non-fiction editor. In that realm I specialize in anthropology, history, science, spirituality (including religious and New Age), and memoirs, with an eye on how the topics in these works affect both individuals and societies.
Developmental Editing, Line Editing, Copy Editing, Rewriting, Ghostwriting, Evaluations
A professional editor for over thirty years, E. M. Levy has edited books for Doubleday, Random House, Princeton University Press, Macmillan, Paulist Press, Prentice-Hall, SUNY Press, Scholastic, Scholars Press, Praeger, Solution Tree Press, and many other publishers and private individuals. His projects have received publishing and professional awards. For over seventeen years, he worked in-house as a senior editor focusing on developmental and substantive editing.
With a strong academic background, an advanced degree from Columbia University, and experience teaching at both secondary and college levels, he is at home in the social sciences and humanities. He has edited important works of religious scholarship. In the area of general nonfiction, he has worked in a variety of genres, including biography, public affairs, spirituality, and memoir. Many authors who are nonnative English speakers have turned to him to perfect their English written expression.
- Association of Academic Publishers Distinguished Achievement Award
- Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year
- Independent Publishers Book Award
- Learning Magazine's Teacher's Choice Award
- V. O. Key Award of the Southern Political Science Association
Kendra Lund, PhD, is a book doctor, book editor, author, writing coach, and publishing consultant.
Kendra specializes in books on the spiritual end of the self-help spectrum, along with professional how-to guides, memoirs, and fiction. She is a passionate advocate for authors with a message that inspires positive change in our lives.
As a book doctor, Kendra serves mainly first-time authors who want to share their wisdom and experience by writing a book, especially professionals in the self-development field. Publishing a book helps authors to make a difference by reaching a wide audience. For the professional, a book is a virtual passport as it opens the door to new career opportunities. Kendra also enjoys working with novelists who want to take their writing to the next level. She offers highly intuitive support to bring out the greatest potential in every book and author. Whether working on a subtly nuanced fictional narrative or a practical guide to spiritual wisdom, she respects the integrity of the author's unique voice and vision.
Award-Winning Ghostwriter, Screenwriter, Editor, and Writing Coach for 6 #1 Bestselling Books
STEPHEN SEVERN is an award-winning ghostwriter, editor, screenwriter and writing coach. Mentored by Academy Award-winning writer Stewart Stern (Rebel Without A Cause), Stephen served as editor for the #1 best-sellers Tears For My City and The Revved Life. He also served as consultant for Robert Beatty’s New York Times #1 best-selling Serafina series of children’s books, published by Disney Hyperion, and as editor for the blog of #1 best-selling Christian author Emerson Eggerichs.
Stephen’s work as editor has resulted in 25 international awards. In addition, his ghostwritten screenplay was winner of Best Adaptation at the Hollywood Book Festival, and a runner-up at the prestigious Circus Road Script Competition. He’s written for rock magazines and heavy metal websites, film and TV reviews, and ghostwritten or edited more than 30 published books.
He specializes in rescuing, restoring and reawakening broken dreams. It would be his honor to help reawaken yours.
Minimum rates: 5 cents per word, $75 per hour.
Religion and Spirituality
In the broad area of religion, spirituality, and the Bible, Joya works with original thinkers, inspired visionaries and mystics, theologians and biblical interpreters, researchers and academics.
The Study of Religion: Scholar in Biblical and Religious Studies (Ph.D, Harvard University).
Spiritual and Personal Development: Professional Coach
Book Editor, Script and Screenplay Story Consultant
Publishing Consultant, Television and Film Industry Veteran
DreamWorks, Disney, Showtime, Lifetime, HBO
S.J. Sutton has worked in the book publishing and the film industries for thirty years-on the front lines and behind the scenes-finding projects to publish and/or produce, and developing and editing them, seeing them through to completion on the page or screen. In the book publishing industry, she was a developmental editor, copy editor, and proofreader for large publishers. In the film industry she worked as a story analyst and development consultant on feature film and television projects for DreamWorks, Disney, Showtime, Lifetime, among others, and worked on the development of films such as L.A. Confidential (Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published), Get On Up, Enigma, HBO’s Vinyl, and countless others. She assisted writer/director Albert Brooks on Defending Your Life.
Editor of 3 New York Times Bestsellers and 3 Los Angeles Times Bestsellers
Developmental Editing, Ghostwriting, Copyediting, Proofreading
Fiction – literary novels, commercial fiction, mysteries
Nonfiction – memoir, biography, general nonfiction
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.
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.