Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror
You’ve carefully constructed your alien planet, lovingly invented alien beings, and painstakingly developed the alien society in which they live.
Or perhaps you’ve extrapolated from current human technology and developed a vision of North America in A.D. 3050. Is the gravity appropriate for the size of your planet? Does your travel time match your speed and distance?
You’ve worked hard to create a cohesive future Earth, alternate history, or extraterrestrial civilization, but the last thing you want to do is turn your manuscript over to an editor who doesn’t know the difference between a light year and a light beer.
As a science fiction writer you need to ensure that the editor to whom you’re entrusting your work shares your mindset. You need an editor who understands that Sol III is Earth while Sal III Jr. may be the natural son of Sal’s third clone. You need an editor who recognizes the difference between typos and alien vocabulary.
Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror
Developmental Editing, Manuscript Critiques, Work-in-Progress Beta Reading, Query Letters and Book Proposals
Former Locus magazine editor, Amy Bennett is a critically acclaimed and agented novelist with knowledge of both the craft and the business of science fiction, fantasy, and horror publishing. She has seen a number of writing careers start while working at the Clarion East Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Workshop, and she is a graduate of the Clarion Workshop with many years of critique experience. As an editor for Shueisha English Edition), she edited and helped package novels and collections over multiple genres, including young adult, thrillers, literary fiction, and erotica, and she is sensitive to the needs of translated texts and authors whose first language is not English.
Amy’s fiction has been reviewed favorably in publications including The San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post, and her writing has been translated into several languages. Barnes and Noble called her debut novel one of their favorite genre novels of the past decade.
“Blood, guts, and sex intermingle in this stylish debut… an entertaining and original take on the zombie apocalypse.” – Publishers Weekly
“Amy Bennett is a gifted content editor. My story was in an early stage of develop and possessed many troublesome drawbacks. With a deft touch, she led me to find a strong vibrant arc. Her judicious criticism and consistent voice unified the drama in my tale. She encouraged me to stand by my characterizations and make them come to life. I found her guidance empowering.”
Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Romance LGBTQ+, Crime, Detective, Academic Nonfiction, Film Scripts, Media Books
LAUREN BRENZY has copy edited hundreds of novels, short stories, and nonfiction titles, including books by bestselling authors Jane Yolen, May McGoldrick, Paul Cornell, and Alyssa Palombo. She regularly works with large and small publishers, including St. Martin’s Press, Tor/Forge, Prometheus Books, Bella Books, Entangled Publishing, and Cobblestone Press.
She loves working with both first-time authors and established writers, from people looking for that final check to those who want involved editing and collaboration. She’s a writer herself, with a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh, where she learned the art of constructive criticism, pacing, plot structure, and dialogue.
Science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels, done well, provide a satisfying ending—whether a stand-alone book or a series. The good guys always win and the bad guys or creatures always lose. The odds against the forces of good will be tremendous. The chances of winning practically zero. The heroes and heroines have to overcome their internal fears and doubts about themselves, upbringing (or lack of), social or physical disadvantages, and, depending on the back story, gigantic obstacles of space, or landscape, or armies of evil forces or monsters, to win the day.
Authors of these genres are sometimes intensely brutal on their protagonists, but the authors recognize their characters must face and defeat huge obstacles before bringing the story to its climatic, triumphant finish. That is the point of these three genres: To win honorably and to vanquish the evil.
As editorial director of her own publishing house from 1992-2000, Theodora published almost 100 titles, garnering several awards in “Best Of” categories. Almost half of the titles were bought for paperback reprints, and two were optioned for TV/movies. She has been an editor with Book Editing Associates network since 2001. During that time her authors have garnered “Book of the Year” in science fiction, “Finalist” and “Winner” awards in romance works, and “Winner” in mystery. Her authors often receive outstanding reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly.
She’s reviewed, evaluated, and edited thousands of manuscripts through the years; her work has received the highest marks from her authors for the amount of extra effort she puts into helping them achieve the best results with crafting and perfecting their novels. Combining that with her many years studying the world Amazon created for authors, how to make sure her authors know how to get on the “Top 100 Paid on Kindle,” and her knowledge of how agents and editors work in the traditional market, makes her one of the best “edges” you can have for success
S. Maia Grossman
“Developmental editing, line editing, copy editing, manuscript critiques, beta reading, coaching, synopses, query letters, cover copy
Maia has been editing science fiction and fantasy since the mid 80s when she talked Jo Sherman at Baen Books into letting her read the slush pile, where she ferreted out many promising writers and a few award-winning ones. She went on to work on science fiction and fantasy imprint Ace Books.
She specializes in teaching new writers of science fiction and fantasy to develop publishable and marketable works.
She’s has proofread and copy edited hundreds of books for Baen, Ace-Charter, Bantam Spectra, Tor, Macmillan, and other publishers and packagers. She has helped bring nearly a hundred books to life as an independent editor, with her clients claiming distinctions including the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, New Mexico – Arizona Book Award, the Montaigne Medal and Eric Hoffer Award, and Lambda Literary Award. Many of her writers have gone on to solid careers and outstanding reviews.
She has also published short fiction, and her interview with science fiction giant Samuel R. Delany appears in his Hugo Award-winning collection of Interviews, Silent Fiction. Maia also worked on InterText Magazine, one of the first online science fiction magazines.
Features of your story that Maia will address include:
• World building: Is it internally consistent, rich, and logical?
• Characterizations: are you selling out your relationships and character growth for the science or fantasy aspects of the plot?
• Plotting: Like world building, is it internally consistent and logical?
• Science: Is it internally consistent? Is it believable as something that could happen?
• Jargon: Are you making up weird words that could be replaced by something familiar? (For example, substituting “speaking-hearing device” for “phone” – don’t do it. Unless you’re being ironic.)
“You did a wonderful job. I’m very glad I had you edit my manuscript. You found things that no one else had noticed–even the tiny mistakes that most people don’t even realize are wrong because their brain subconsciously fills in the missing gaps.”
Author, ParaWorld Zero
John David Kudrick
Christian Fiction and Nonfiction
With a BA in theology, an MA focused on fiction, and nearly two decades of editorial/writing experience, John David has been privileged to work with some of the finest publishers in the nation, including Bethany House, David C Cook, Barbour, NavPress, Realms Fiction, Marcher Lord Press, and Whitaker House – where, as senior editor, he worked on James Byron Huggins’ Nightbringer, a book that Library Journal named one of its annual top five Christian novels.
To date, John David has had the opportunity to serve as an editor on more than 175 published titles and to work with authors from across the US and around the world.
Editorial Work on Published Books (selected fiction titles)
- A Beautiful Fall by Chris Coppernoll (proofread)
- A Bigger Life by Annette Smith (proofread)
- A Portrait for Marguerite by Kate Lloyd (proofread)
- Aboard the Pirate by Veronica Cherry (critique, content edit)
- Aethersmith by J.S. Morin (critique, copyedit)
- All for One by Melody Carlson (proofread)
- Animalis by John Peter Jones (critique, copyedit)
- As Young as We Feel by Melody Carlson (proofread)
- Crime Scene Jerusalem by Alton Gansky (proofread)
- His Kingdom Come by Margaret Montreuil (critique)
- Howell Davidson amongst the Musketeers by Steven. R. Culver (critique)
- Kinsman Chronicles: Parts 1 – 6 Darkness Reigns (book 1) by Jill Williamson (proofread)
- Mirror Souls by A.J. Blakemont (copyedit)
- Silver Ships: Libre by S.H. Jucha (critique, copyedit)
- The Arrival by JW Brazier (critique, follow-up critique, content edit)
- Three Weddings and a Bar Mitzvah by Melody Carlson (proofread)
“I confess, I did a lot of investigation over the Internet . . . received many sample edits / quotes from different editors (~12!). My choice was perfect. On a scale of 1-to 10 I rate John a solid (plus) 10! First and foremost for the English, past tense-present tense . . . use of the em dash, POV, the whole nine yards. Perfect. And next, for him getting into the story, making very good comments and suggestions all throughout. This includes checking things on the Internet, noting that the coca cola slogan, ‘The Real Thing,’ did not come out in the time period that I mentioned it, and many other excellent comments!”
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.
- Edun, Terah. 2013. Sworn to Raise: Book One of Courtlight. Young Adult Fantasy. Amazon Digital Services (e-book).
- Edun, Terah, 2012. Red Madrassa: Book One of the Algardis. Young Adult Fantasy. Amazon Digital Services (e-book).
- Fydell, Ian. 2010. Breathing Space: Book One of the Exodus Trilogy. Science Fiction. Legwork Team Publishing, New York.
- McCrary, J, Author. 2009. Brotherhood and Bartered Souls. Dark Fantasy.
- Willen, Erik Martin. Nastragull: Pirates. Space Opera. Amazon Digital Services (e-book); CreateSpace.
“My book made it as a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards!!!!”
“Floyd helped me bring meaning, elegance to my words. Floyd is a remarkable editor.”
Paranormal Romance, Westerns, Young Adult, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Psychic, Supernatural Phenomena
Kelly Lynne is the proud "auntie" to over 150 published novels, novellas and short stories, which have sold to Kensington Publishing, Carina Press, Cerridwen Press, Awe-Struck Publishing, Samhain Publishing, Wings ePress, Bradley Publishing, Damnation Books, and The Wild Rose Press as well as author self-published titles. These books have gone on to earn high praise from reviewers and readers, as well as multiple awards and contest wins. As an editor for The Wild Rose Press, she edited contemporary western and light paranormal romances, with heat ratings from sweet to spicy. Outside of romance, her fiction fortes include sci-fi, fantasy, speculative fiction, young adult, and stories of psychic or supernatural phenomena.
Empathic about the "feel" of a story, Kelly provides suggestions so that authors may revise with their own style in mind, preserving the individual voice, while alerting authors to current trends in publishable styles. Developmental fiction editing requires an emotional investment in the work—an investment of time and effort that Kelly is happy to make.
Kelly has published over 100 non-fiction articles, four short stories, and two novels. She knows the hoops authors are expected to jump through and helps authors polish their submission packets. Query letters, synopses and professional quality formatting are as important as a well-polished manuscript.
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.
Minimum rates: 5 cents per word, $75 per hour.
“Stephen has worked with me on nearly 20 projects, including horror and fantasy. He knows how to breathe life into characters and how to tap into the reader’s emotions. His passion shines through in every project that he tackles. Stephen has been an invaluable asset to my creative life.”
“Stephen is one terrific, fully capable ghostwriter, editor and book coach. On our team, he’s the fastest, most prolific member. He is prompt, thrifty and always delivers—our clients praise him every time. Nothing but positive, five-star reviews.”
“Stephen helped me take a wandering, unfocused, dreary manuscript and transform it into a fun and interesting read. He spent a great deal of time and effort with me, beyond my expectations for what I’d paid, making this a great value.”
25 years of experience as a copyeditor for science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels
You’ve spent countless hours crafting your story and building your fictional world—don’t let grammatical errors or other flaws break the spell. Kelly Sweet has provided copyediting for independent authors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, from short stories to epic, multivolume sagas. She gives her authors the best of both worlds: a keen eye for editorial details and affordable rates.
An independent author herself, Kelly has experienced the author-editor relationship from both sides and knows how important your voice and style are to your manuscript. You can rely on her to make corrections and suggest improvements while keeping your voice intact.