Susanna J. Sturgis   Martha's Vineyard writer and editor
writer editor born-again horse girl

Looking for an editor?

Wait; back up a step. What is an editor anyway, and why would I want one?

An editor can be a midwife or a coach, a cheerleader or a cleaning lady. If you've completed a draft, I can provide the critique and counsel that help bring your story, article, essay, report, book, or booklet into the world. If your draft won't jell, if you're stalled or blocked and getting more frustrated by the minute, I can ask the questions and offer the suggestions that get you back on track. If you're almost there but want an editorial eye to review your work for organization and clarity, I can provide it. And if your work is ready for prime time, I can do the down-and-dirty copyedit that polishes the prose, corrects the typos, and catches the grammatical gaffes that you don't want to find in the published version.

Who could use an editor?

Publishers and self-publishers
Professional writers
Non-pro writers
Aspiring writers
"I have to write this report and I don't know where to start" writers
Agents whose clients' mss. could use some polishing

Am I the right editor for you?

My particular strengths are general nonfiction, especially history, biography, current events, personal essays, and memoirs; fiction, including fantasy and science fiction; and the humanities and social sciences. I'm equally happy editing on screen (MS Word preferred) or the old-fashioned way, on paper. My clients include trade publishers, university presses, academics, and several individual writers (fiction and nonfiction). Over the years I've worked with very experienced writers and very nervous writers. And I'm a writer myself. Sometimes "been there, done that" comes in handy.


I do have a résumé. If you'd like to see it, please use the "Contact" page to request a copy or e-mail sjs @ (delete the spaces before and after the "@").


Reasonable, and probably less than you think.


A few words from a few clients . . .

Fiction translator, trade publisher:

First of all, thank you for a perfect job of copyediting -- precise, sensitive, thorough, and witty. It was just what the manuscript needed. I've stetted a few quirks of punctuation you wanted to eliminate and a few words you queried, but I've followed most of your suggestions.

Fiction translator, university press:

Thanks so much for such a thorough job! You caught many potentially embarrassing mistakes. I'm thoroughly impressed!

Karma Kitaj, Women Riders Who Could . . . and Did, Huckle Hill Press:

Susanna patiently reconstructed all of the manuscript to make it more compelling and to make each chapter flow better. She asked tough questions when something I wrote didn't make sense to her or when some piece of information was missing. . . . Susanna wouldn't let me get away with anything less than an exemplary product.

Anthology editor, current affairs/social sciences, university press:

You did a great job with the essays. I'm glad it's in capable hands.

Professor, social sciences:

I am becoming an addict of your editing!

Professor and former White House official, political science, university press:

Thank you very much for the superb assistance with my book manuscript.

Journalist, international affairs, university press:

Thanks very much for all of your careful and insightful editing. My anxiety about the book is greatly diminished now that you have made such significant improvements!

University press editor, on the editing of an author's book:

I'm totally impressed . . . It's so incredibly cool to be able to publish this! I don't notice all the changes that have been made, but I'm left with an even stronger impression of its being well-thought-out and solid. And all this without losing its contagious energy and humor.


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