Academic Editing

A brief list of places you probably get stuck pretty often: 

  1. Immediately after you have an idea
  2. While trying to organize all your ideas and research into a coherent order
  3. While editing your individual sentences and paragraphs
  4. While trying to cut and refocus an article for a specific journal’s audience and requirements
  5. While trying to figure out what the main topics of the book you just wrote are, anyway

No matter where you are, I can help!  I have 20+ years of experience as an editor, and work both with academic publishers and directly with individual scholars from the dissertation level up. I love helping people strengthen their writing at every stage. If you’re doing academic writing in the humanities and social sciences, whether it’s a book manuscript, a journal article, a book proposal, or a grant narrative, please get in touch and let’s talk about your needs.

Below I’ve summarized my most common project types and given a rough idea of the fees and time involved. You can contact me to talk more about your specific project — please include a sense of your ideal timeframe as well as what kinds of work you’re thinking about.

Developmental Editing, Book: If you’ve completed the research phase but are fairly early in the drafting phase, either working on a first draft or just having finished one, you may need advice on structure. I can help you sort through your ideas and improve what writers sometimes call “flow.” This work typically focuses on organization and argument, with relatively little attention to style, grammar, and the like. Fees & timing: Free Zoom/phone/email conversation to discuss your project. At this point  I can give a rough total estimate after learning more about where your project is and what kinds of feedback interest you. Reading, assessing, and commenting on the first draft of a full academic monograph, without doing line editing (see below), usually runs around $1200-1500. I usually block out a week for reading and commenting on a full monograph.

“You have been extraordinary throughout this process. Thank you for your exceptional edits and suggestions and also for your patience. You’ve made this a better book. I’m overjoyed…. Thank you hardly feels sufficient.” –CH, Associate Professor of American Studies

Line Editing, Copyediting, and  Proofreading, Book: If you are essentially happy with the organization of your text, but not so happy with the style of your individual sentences, or if you struggle with standard English grammar, you may want an expert eye. You may also need to make cuts to meet a publisher’s wordcount, and prefer to have sentences tightened up rather than lose big pieces of text. Or, you may simply want one more very close read from a fresh pair of eyes. Say farewell to awkward sentences, grammar mistakes, and typos. Fees: Free sample edit of up to 500 words; subsequently, quoted per project, around $.02/word for a mostly clean manuscript up to $.08/word for something that needs a very heavy edit. You can include editing the citations and bibliography, or not. I can give a solid estimate for individual projects after a sample 500-word edit. I offer a 20% discount for contingent faculty.

Catherine expertly handled these final edits; best copyeditor I ever worked with. Her attention to detail, her judgement, and her wordsmithing finesse all made this a much better book. — MJ, Professor of American Studies and History

Editing, Chapter or Article:  This service is suitable if you want editing work/structural advice on either an article or a single book chapter. One fee covers whatever you need, no matter where you are in the process: in no particular order, this might include developmental discussions, structural advice, honing in on the article’s purpose, advice on approaching editors, line editing, fixing citations, and cutting words to meet a journal’s count. Fee: Free sample edit of up to 500 words and/or phone/email conversation about your specific needs; flat $350 for a first round with an article/chapter-length piece; flat $150 for reading/assessing/editing a second full draft, if desired. If the work is last-minute and requires me to work a night or weekend day, the fee rises to $450, or $200 for a second reading. I offer a 20% discount for contingent faculty.

When I was feeling antsy about the first draft of my book introduction, I asked Catherine to give it a read. What I got back was absolutely brilliant. Incisive line edits, thoughtful comments, and such positive energy. –MH, Professor of History

What’s your project? Let’s talk about the work we can do together. Or, request a zero-obligation sample edit of up to 500 words .

Email Me