Developmental Editing Services

You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you.
And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
                                                                                                                       Arthur Plotnik


First person writing can challenge writers with minds full of rich mental impressions and memories. We have so much  material! Where to start? When to stop? What to cut and what to add? Some writers find it hard to get started; others draft freely but then need help shaping the material—discovering a strong focus, establishing a narrative voice, and organizing content.

That’s where I can help as a developmental editor —with the challenges of expressing the narrator’s presence, shaping the writing for a reader, and employing effective language.

I’ve worked with countless writers for decades, focusing on the development of narrative nonfiction writing—memoir, travel, food and personal essay. I will help you to strengthen your work in progress, whether essay or book length. I’ll help you find and clarify your focus, create a useful, organic structure and determine a clear purpose to the writing. My written assessment will critique your overall effort: I’ll point to areas of strength, note specific and general problems, and make suggestions for development of content.  

General Approach
Upon receiving some preliminary information about your goals and samples of your writing (two or three chapters of a book or an entire essay draft), I will determine whether I can help with the manuscript. If so, and after we agree together on the terms, I will provide a written editorial assessment that outlines the strengths and challenges in the writing. This assessment will note points we can discuss in person or by telephone. I charge by the hour for editing services.  I work quickly and can tell you in advance a general timeline for the work.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more, contact me here.
I’m happy to communicate by email or telephone.

Kind Words

Tracy N. Poe, Chicago, IL,  June 2010 Italy, in Other Words
I had the opportunity to benefit from the wisdom and experience of writers from many different backgrounds and fields of expertise. The patience and thoughtful comments of the workshop’s leaders and my fellow participants encouraged me to be alert to my own inner voice, receptive to untapped possibilities, and courageous in my motivation to write.

Paul Dalmas, retired English teacher, Kensington, CA
Kathryn is an exceptional writing teacher. I have taken several of her classes in her local workshops in California. Through her advice and encouragement I have had my work published in Newsweek, the San Francisco Chronicle and CaliforniaMagazine.

Nancy Tengler, English instructor, Phoenix, AZ 
From my initial determination to become a writer, Kathryn inspired, nudged and guided my writing, encouraging me to pursue an MFA. Now that I have finished my degree and am struggling with a large, unwieldy manuscript, I find her suggestions and focused guidance even more valuable to my development as a writer. Plus, she is a great deal of fun!

 Making the simple complicated is commonplace;
making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.
                                                                                                               Charles Mingus