Rakow is a brilliant editor and an astute reader…. blessed with the gift of empathy so that when she turns her attention to a work in progress her recommendations reflect a deep and uncanny feel for one’s purposes and for the given work’s goals, even when those purposes and goals are apparently at odds with her own customary aesthetic.
–Peg Boyers, author of Hard Bread

Editing Creative Writing for Publication or Self-Publication

Creative writing always benefits from editing whether we are a new or established writer.  If workshops are top-level, much of this occurs there, or by working with a good instructor one-to-one. NO writer I know relies only on his or her own sight.  We are blind, regardless of our experience. Whether seeking traditional publication or self-publishing, whether for an international audience of for friends and family, our work can be made more beautiful, powerful and lasting by deep listening of a good editor. Editing means the work becomes more itself.  It means helping the work sing!

I edit full and partial manuscripts with a minimum of 100 pages.

I have 20 years experience in these forms: novel, memoir, short story, personal essay, mixed genre, romance, mystery, sci-fi, YA and scholarly work. My deepest experience is with the novel and memoir.

My fee is 5 cents per word. I offer a reduction to 4 cents per word to writers who come to me through any of the below, or writers for whom 5 cents is a burden:

-Harvard Club San Francisco

-Mechanics’ Institute, San Francisco

-San Francisco Writers’ Conference

-Writing for Change Conference, San Francisco

-New York State Summer Writers’ Institute

-Or those writers who have studied with my writer friends

For a full manuscript I take one month to be with the text, reading it twice and marking the pages with constructive suggestions from each read. Then I spend time away from the text to experience how it resides in my memory. Often it is in this absence from the pages themselves that my deepest insights for the work come. I return the work with a typed critique of 15-25 pages. I consider both the surface of the work (each word, each sentence) and the developmental issues of theme, character, plot, sequence and so forth. For those wishing only a developmental edit or only a copy-edit, the return time is considerably shorter and the fee, in either case, is 4 cents per word.

Testimonials from recent clients are available upon request.

Payment method is by check, staggered into 3 steps.

1) A $100 non-refundable deposit to secure that month.

2) A check for half of the balance sent with the manuscript as well as SASE.

3) A check for the remaining half sent to me upon receipt of the critique by the client.

Phone or in-person time can be arranged afterward if desired. The fee is $150 per hour.

Please note: I do not ghost write.

Email for availability, inquiries and submission guidelines.

And good luck on your writing project!!