Editing Services


Dantiel W. Moniz with her debut story collection Milk Blood Heat

As an Iowa Writers Workshop alum, a novelist, and a retired University of Wisconsin-Madison creative writing professor who truly  loves working with writers, I’m now offering developmental editing services to novelists and other prose writers. I’ll work with you on your project, providing experience from my 20+ years working with all levels and ages of writers, from those who’d never written anything creative to the most talented graduate and post-graduate students in the country (some of whom are pictured here along with the titles of their most recent books). While I’ll tailor my work to fit your needs and aesthetic, my editing services typically include the following:

Book-length Projects

Free Consultation. Via email, we’ll discuss your booklength project and your goals for our work together. I’ll read up to 10 sample pages (and, if available, a short synopsis) and let you know whether I think I’m the right person for this project. And, of course, you’ll be making the same decision based on our interaction and my responses to your sample.

Double Read. If we decide to work together, I’ll ask you to send me your manuscript electronically. I’ll read your manuscript twice. During the first reading I’ll get a sense of the project and begin thinking about plot, structure, characterization, style, voice, pacing, narrative tension, and other macro issues, but I’ll also be responding to the book as any reader would, noting what kept me engaged and what, if anything, bumped me out of the world of the story. During the second reading I’ll get under the hood and read like a rigorous editor, analyzing what’s working and articulating what could benefit from rethinking and revision. It’s during this second read that I’ll be making line edits and copious marginal comments on the manuscript.

Judy with Chloe Benjamin (The Immortalists), Lucy Tan (What We Were Promised) and Piyali Bhattacharya (Good Girls Marry Doctors, ed.)

Written Feedback. After I’ve carefully read your manuscript twice and completed the line edits and comments, I’ll prepare a detailed response to your project in the form of a thorough editorial letter that will discuss what’s working well and what could be improved, including suggestions for revision.

Final Consult. If, after reading my feedback, you have questions about it, we can have a final discussion or two.

Not Included: fact-checking, research, sensitivity reading, ghost writing, book coaching, or additional developmental edits on revised versions of the manuscript. If you’d like me to edit a revision of work I’ve previously edited for you, I’d be thrilled, but there will be an additional fee (see below). 


For a developmental edit as described above: $10/page with a $2,000 minimum for book-length projects. For a developmental edit on revisions of work I’ve previously edited for you: $10/page with a 10% discount. Additional work not included in the description above begins at $110/hr.

But if this fee makes you dizzy, contact me anyway. I’m flexible when it comes to fees and especially amenable to working things out for folks in need, marginalized voices, and my former students.

Individual Short Stories or Creative Essays: 

I love short stories and creative nonfiction. My approach in editing this kind of work varies based on its nature and length. Please contact me if you’re interested in having me edit your shorter writing projects and we’ll discuss it and I’ll determine the fee. The minimum fee for this work is $300.


As for my approach to this work, I’m a rigorous reader and editor and tend to provide a staggeringly voluminous amount of comments, but I also try to be a supportive ally in what can be a lonely and difficult endeavor. If you’d like to chat with some of the clients and students I’ve worked with over the years to get a better sense of what it’s like to work with me, please let me know and I’ll put you in touch. 

If you want to talk more about any of this, have questions, or are ready to send me some pages, just drop a line to jmitchell@wisc.edu. I look forward to hearing from you!