I work with writers of all experience levels at any stage of the writing process, from outlining to developmental editing to copy editing to coaching.
“Deborah has an incredible skill. She can read a manuscript and come up with a pragmatic approach to move the process towards completion. After only a few months of working with her, I feel that I can finally finish my novel within the year. I am incredibly grateful to her for her invaluable contribution to this possibility, and look forward to sending her more material. I absolutely trust her work.” — Anne Kroeger
I specialize in working with people whose writing is part of a healing journey. Whether you are writing fiction, poetry, memoir, or some combination thereof; whether you are addressing themes of trauma, loss, illness, or recovery, I approach your writing with sensitivity, care and compassion. My own writing frequently deals with sensitive personal subjects, so I understand how important it is to have an editor and coach you can trust to honor the courage it takes to write your story—or any story, for that matter. I believe that writing is a healing act in and of itself, and that our stories have the power to heal others.
“Deborah is nurturing and supportive… Alone, we swim in a big sea of barriers. In a sense, as writers we are growing wings. I’m sure Deborah will like this analogy, because the act of writing and the act of healing are deeply entwined in her vision of what art can achieve and repair and strengthen. We are here to learn how to fly without encumbrance, with grace and confidence so that we can dazzle others and help them find in themselves what is great and original and will lift them up.” – Jelle C.
I also work with writers who aren’t necessarily telling a story of healing or recovery; I love fiction and memoir of all types, including genre fiction. Helping you tell your story is my passion!
My editing and coaching services are personalized and tailored to meet your needs. I can help you figure out how to structure your book, how to solve difficulties with plot, pacing, and form, and work with you on making your sentences the best they can be. I also provide coaching to help you set realistic goals and stay on track so that you can finish that book that you are burning to write! I am supportive and positive, but also a discerning critic—always with the goal of making your writing the best it can be.
“Deborah is tremendous. She has shepherded my first novel from the hesitant early baby-steps to the final editing stage. Every correction and suggestion resulted in a dramatic improvement to the entire manuscript. I can honestly say that without her involvement this novel would not even exist as a completed work, let alone be any good. She is a fantastic editor that I can trust to guide my pipe dreams into reality.” — Avery K. Ward
I have 14 years of experience as a writer, editor, and English teacher. I have worked as a freelance editor on memoirs, novels, and non-fiction books and articles at all stages, from developmental to copy editing. I have experience writing articles, interviews, blog posts and newsletters for businesses and non-profits. I serve as Fiction Editor at Rivet: the Journal of Writing that Risks, and I’m a founding editor at Red Bridge Press. My fiction and prose poetry have been published in print and online journals, and I received honors for both my undergraduate and graduate theses. I have worked with many writers for whom English is a second or third language.
“I thought that was a fine job of editing. That’s really something I rarely say.” — Contributing author, Writing That Risks: New Work from Beyond the Mainstream, Red Bridge Press, July, 2013.
Please contact me for work samples, rates, and references.