Will my style still come through in my edited piece?

Absolutely. An editor’s job is to enhance your voice, not obscure it — in fact, resolving technical issues such as grammar and punctuation and polishing your overall message and flow will allow your signature style to shine even more brightly.

Will I receive personalized feedback?

Yes. Whether you require assistance in structuring your ideas or you need a final draft copyedited, back-and-forth communication between the writer and the editor is paramount. Depending on the nature of your individual project and the level of editing required, for example, you may receive suggestions on the overall cohesiveness and stylistic impression of your piece as well as line-by-line corrections. If you’d like to know why your grammar is being corrected, you can opt to receive brief explanations on your edited piece so that you can carry that knowledge into your next written piece. (ESL speakers may find such input particularly helpful.)

Will you write my piece for me?

An editor will correct your words, not write them. Your unique voice delivers your unique message! Think of an editor as a trusted adviser who will work with you to make your project be the best it can be. If you have a detailed outline/set of ideas and are looking for someone to write your work for you, Poignant Pen can provide ghostwriting services.

Will having my writing professionally edited guarantee publication/awards?

While engaging the services of an editor will certainly increase the quality of your project and therefore its attractiveness, ultimate success can depend more on other factors — timing, persistence, ambition — than the actual writing itself.

Does Poignant Pen assist with book proposals?

Yes. Having written and sold several book proposals herself and having worked with a variety of publishers and agents, Lisa is happy to help others craft compelling book proposals. Bear in mind that proposals are necessary for non-fiction books, whereas novels generally require a different set of submitted materials (sample chapters, a detailed plot synopsis, etc.) and should be written, edited, and completed in full before approaching agents and/or publishers.

How can I assess the level of editing I need?

Poignant Pen offers three levels of editing: developmental/intensive editing, intermediate copyediting, and basic proofreading (descriptions of these can be found under Editorial Fees). Basic proofreading is called for when the writer is in the final stages of the project and has a nearly final draft that has been self-edited. In the case of a project needing intermediate copyediting, the writer has a well-thought-out structure/concept and has written a first or second draft but still needs line-by-line editing and feedback. Developmental/intensive editing is required when a writer is the conceptual stages of the project. In this case, the writer has a very rough first draft and needs assistance with the basic foundations of the project, from developing a concrete structure/message (in the case of non-fiction) to building strong characters and creating a rich, impactful plot that will grab readers’ attention (in the case of fiction). If you want to write a book and are just starting to collect your ideas and explore publishing possibilities, see Book Coaching Services.

If I want to work with an editor on a project from conception to finish, how do I transition between the three stages?

When you submit projects that are in their conceptual or intermediate stage, both the writer and the editor agree to reassess the project when it reaches the next level. This gives the writer the option to regain total control over the project before re-contracting the services of the editor.

How does Poignant Pen determine its rates?

Poignant Pen bases its rates on the editorial rates published by Writer’s Market, a leading annual publication for freelance writers and editors. Rates in Writer’s Market are derived from editorial organizations such as the Editorial Freelancers Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.

How do I get a quote?

Due to the varied nature of editing and the high level of interaction between the writer and the editor, an exact quote cannot be given before communication between the writer and the editor has taken place. Quotes depend on two main factors: the level of editing you require and the total word count of the project. To receive a quote, contact the editor using the Contact the Editor form with a brief description of your project. You’ll receive a reply within 2 business days, at which time you’ll also be asked to provide a few pages of your project (or a sketch of your idea, if your project is in its very early stages) to give the editor an idea of the level of editing you require.

How do I submit a project?

After you’ve contacted the editor and provided a sample/sketch of your project, both parties agree on a payment and set of deadlines and then sign an agreement to proceed. Drafts should be submitted in MS Word. (In MS Word, it’s very easy to track changes, which is a useful feature for both the writer and the editor.)

How do I make my payment?

You can pay by check or be invoiced through PayPal. (The invoice is initially emailed and provides a secure link to complete the payment on PayPal.) By using this third-party system, your credit card information will only be recorded by PayPal. See Payment Terms for more details.