I work with in-house editors, agents and individual authors at varying stages of their careers, specializing in editing literary and commercial fiction, memoirs, narrative nonfiction and short stories.
No matter where you are in the writing process, I can help you tell your story. I offer:
- Comprehensive manuscript feedback
- Detailed line editing
- Copyediting and proofing
Comprehensive manuscript editing includes a detailed written critique and conversation (in person or virtual) about your work, which may cover topics such as tension, narrative arc, character development, structure, pacing, voice, plot and tone.
A detailed line edit includes your manuscript marked line by line, addressing issues such as readability, clarity, style, redundancy, word choice, grammar, spelling, what's working and what's not working.
Copyediting and proofing provides a line-by-line check for grammar, spelling, spacing errors, capitalization, formatting, and accuracy.
"Elizabeth Bernstein is one of my most trusted editors. I don't send anything out without getting her feedback first. She gives an incredibly careful read. Her line editing is superb, but where she really shines is in her intuitive, almost sorcerous ability to understand where a story wants and needs to go. She has never steered me wrong. If she says something is ready, then I know it is. I depend on Elizabeth and I can't recommend her highly enough."
– Melanie Gideon, author of The Slippery Year (Knopf, 2009) and Wife-22 (Ballentine, 2012)
"Elizabeth was the perfect editor for my situation. Every time I send a manuscript off, I literally lose sleep over all the errors I must have in my pages. This winter, I gave my book to Elizabeth, asking for a tough read. She caught everything I was worried about. Red ink everywhere – which was exactly what I wanted! I felt totally confident sending the book off after I'd revised according to her meticulous eye."
– Katie Crouch, author of Abroad, the New York Times Bestseller Girls in Trucks (Little, Brown, 2008) and Men and Dogs (Little, Brown, 2010)
"Elizabeth Bernstein is a top-notch editor, a consummate professional. In a world where good editors are often hard to come by, Bernstein is that rare find. She's old school. I'd recommend her to anybody in need of copyediting or any other editorial work."
– Peter Orner, author of Love and Shame and Love, Rome Prize winner Esther Stories (Mariner Books, 2001) and the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo (Little, Brown, 2006)
"I was really stuck on where to go with my newest manuscript; it lacked tension but I couldn't figure out how to fix it. My session with Elizabeth was honestly one of the most enlightening of my writing career – she not only assessed the problems accurately, she worked with me to fix them by asking the right questions so that I came up with the solutions, or she offered concrete advice that stayed true to the voice and narrative. I have two published books, so I've been edited often, but I'm going back to Elizabeth when the time comes for my next book, without a doubt."
– Caroline Paul, author of Lost Cat (St. Martin's Press, 2013), the Book of the Month Club selection Fighting Fire (St. Martin's, 1999) and the novel East Wind, Rain (Harper Perennial, 2007)
"I trust Elizabeth's handling of my material mostly because she not only does a superb job of copyediting, but she also has a supple intuition that can construe the ambition in my sentences. She is a bright and active reader who only makes my words and ideas sound smarter, more precise, and closer to what I mean to say than my first drafts reveal. I recommend Elizabeth to all my friends who aspire to be heard, and who want to be advised on how to make their writing more brilliantly succinct. And she proves me right every time."
– Joe Loya, author of The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell: Confessions of a Bank Robber (HarperCollins 2005)
"Quite simply, Elizabeth is wonderful to work with. She's thorough, thoughtful, enthusiastic – all essential qualities for an editor – but she adds the uncommon ability to see the whole arc of the narrative (even when I cannot), to find the nuances of each line, and to tease out the essence of the work. My writing is always far better for having passed under her scrutinizing gaze. I cannot recommend her more highly."
– Ericka Lutz, author of seven books including On the Go with Baby and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stepparenting