© 2019 by Eats, Shoots, Edits. Created with Wix.com

Eats, Shoots, Edits

Thoughtful, Thorough, and Supportive Editing and Coaching

for Scholarly Writers and Fiction Authors

 

 

"I’ve been working with Stephanie on a rather complex project; the manuscript is half-baked and yet I wanted to release my work piecemeal to a restricted circle of sophisticated readers across multiple countries.

 

"Stephanie made my project happen. She’s been patient, yet fast beyond expectations; respectful of my style, yet firm in her developmental recommendations. I’m grateful beyond words."

ALEXEI SOROKIN, MEMOIRIST, WRITES ABOUT SOCIAL and 

POLITICAL CHANGES IN RUSSIA, 1980s to the PRESENT

Stephanie Marshall Ward, Editor

 

Proofreading and Copyediting for Scholarly Nonfiction in the Social Sciences

Copyediting, Line Editing, Developmental Editing, and Coaching for Fiction Authors

I’m passionate about fiction, and helping writers craft more compelling stories, and about nonfiction that helps us understand our society—and the world—and effect positive change.  

If you’re looking for a seasoned and highly recommended fiction and creative nonfiction editor—experienced with various genres, who specializes in romance and speculative fiction—I might be just the person you’re looking for. I’m also an academic copyeditor, specializing in books and articles in the social sciences, including psychology, sociology, social psychology, civil rights, social and economic justice, gender and sexuality, disability issues, mental health and addiction, government and politics, and history.

 

I’ve been coaching and editing professionally for fourteen years, and I’ve been an independent editor for more than four years. I’ve also been a book publicist/virtual book tour coordinator, helping authors promote their work through blogs and other social media, an educator, and a therapist.

I help writers create and polish books readers will love, strengthen their writing skills, and navigate the road to publishing and marketing their work. If you're an academic writer, I can polish your work for a scholarly journal or book publisher, ensuring that your ideas—and your voice—will shine. If you’re an indie author, I can help you create a plan that's within your budget, rather than investing in a self-publishing or packaging company. I can also help you with that dreaded blurb for your book cover and advertisement. If you're seeking an agent or publisher, I can provide substantive feedback on your query and synopsis (and edit them for you) to help ensure that your pitch will shine.

Please contact me to chat about your project and determine whether we're a good fit.

 

"Stephanie is an amazing editor. She is gentle, but professional. She gets invested in the story and the characters. All her comments, edits, and suggestions were spot-on, and she kept my characters’ voices and personalities. Stephanie was able to capture my vision and take it to the next level. She made me love my story again.

"My book hit the top 100 paid ebooks in the Kindle store within eight hours of publishing, and I never could have done that without Stephanie. She is truly a hidden gem in the indie editor world."


CARIAN COLE, CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE AUTHOR

 

More About Me

I’ve been coaching and editing professionally for fourteen years, and I’ve been an independent editor and writing coach for more than four years (formerly with The Eclectic Scribe). I was also a book publicist and virtual book tour coordinator. 

Editing scholarly nonfiction and fiction is my passion, and I’m honored to have writers—including students, professors, journalists, and fiction authors—entrust their projects to me. I love building and nurturing ongoing relationships with writers.

Background & Training:


I have a BA from the University of North Carolina; my undergraduate majors were political science and English. I also have a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and rehabilitation counseling for substance abuse. As a graduate assistant, I was chosen to edit professors’ articles for publication in professional journals.

I’m continually expanding my education and editorial training, and I’m involved with various professional organizations. I’m a member of:

 

I also participate in activities sponsored by the Northwest Editors Guild.

In addition to attending professional conferences and workshops, I have taken—and continue to pursue—courses in editing and writing, including:

  • Proofreading

  • Keys to Effective Editing

  • Copyediting I

  • Copyediting II

  • Copyediting III

  • Introduction to Professional Academic Editing

  • Fiction Writing

  • Writing for Publication

  • Mystery Writing 

  • Developmental Editing: Fiction Theory

  • Developmental Editing of Fiction I

  • Developmental Editing of Fiction II

  • Developmental Editing of Fiction III

  • Professional Mentoring in Developmental & Line Editing

  • Book Mapping for Developmental Editing

  • The Business of Developmental Editing

  • Issues in Developmental Editing 

  • Seminar in Developmental Editing: Problems in Perspective

  • Evaluating Your Effectiveness as an Editor

  • Editing Queries, Synopses, and Blurbs

 

More About Me:


I’ve been passionate about books since I was four years old. Around the same time, I figured out how to hunt and peck on my parents’ electric typewriter—which, I assure you, was the height of technology at the time—and began attempting to create my own stories.

I’ve always been an avid reader, devouring everything from Jane Austen and Leo Tolstoy to paperback romances to nonfiction on a myriad of topics. Being a freelance editor and writing coach is my dream job. I’ve also followed several other paths, including counseling and teaching as well as journalism and book marketing. All these experiences have helped me develop my ability to provide thoughtful, supportive editing, coaching, and guidance to clients.

I’m also a blogger, doodler, film buff, amateur genealogist, and mom to three adolescents and several rescue dogs. I was born and raised in Greenville, North Carolina; now my heart is divided between the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where I’ve lived for over twenty-five years, and the Pacific Northwest, where I gravitate toward Seattle like a homing pigeon.

Random Facts (Just for Fun):

  • I’m an avid reader and film buff, and I tend to strew movie quotes liberally in conversation.

  • I give both my parents credit for my curiosity and love of words. I owe my abiding addiction to novels and my unwholesome obsession with the fine points of grammar to my mom.

  • The first book I fell madly, passionately in love with was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I devoured the entire series and spent hours poring over maps of the Land of Oz. This was my gateway drug to science fiction and fantasy.

  • I’m a compulsive planner and doodler so, inevitably, I’ve become addicted to bullet journaling.

  • My idea of “home decorating” is wall-to-wall bookshelves.

  • My favorite television shows include Firefly, Breaking Bad, Black Mirror, Doctor Who, and Jane the Virgin.

  • I developed an interest in history when I was about thirteen years old, after perusing my grandma’s historical romances. I started by scouting out the naughty parts. However, I soon fell in love with Tudor England and, after that, other historical periods. Never underestimate the potential usefulness of prurient interests. 🙂

 

"Stephanie was a master at editing my books, but more importantly at helping me make tough decisions when it came to cutting a four-book series to two books. The result is a sharper story that maintains a pace to keep readers invested in my characters’ journey without sacrificing the story. I will definitely be using her again."

KAREN LEPPERT, CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE AUTHOR

 

Some of the Books I've Edited

Contemporary Romance

Science Fiction Romance

Paranormal Romance

Fantasy

Other

 

What People Have Said

Carian Cole,

Contemporary 

Romance Author

"Stephanie is an amazing editor. I could not have found her at a better time. I was in the middle of writing a book which was very close to my heart, but I was struggling with a lot of doubt with my story. So much, in fact, that I almost didn’t publish it.

"Stephanie did a sample edit for me and immediately put my mind at ease. She is gentle, but professional. She gets invested in the story and the characters. She was always available for questions along the way and didn’t make me feel abandoned or like I was annoying her. She didn’t shred my work like Freddie Krueger.

 

"All her comments, edits, and suggestions were spot on, and she kept my characters’ voices and personalities.

"Stephanie was able to capture my vision and take it to the next level. She fixed all my grammar and punctuation mistakes. She made me love my story again. She was patient with all my crazy, every step of the way.

"My book hit the top 100 paid ebooks in the Kindle store within 8 hours of publishing, and I never could have done that without Stephanie. She is truly a hidden gem in the indie editor world.

 

"I would love to kidnap her and hide her all for myself, but unfortunately, there are laws against that sort of thing, so I will have to share her."

Alexei Sorokin,

 

Memoirist, Writes About

Social & Political Changes

in Russia, 1980s-Present

"I’ve been working with Stephanie on a rather complex project; the manuscript is half-baked and yet I wanted to release my work piecemeal to a restricted circle of sophisticated readers across multiple countries.
 
"Stephanie made my project happen, literally (pun intended). She’s been patient, yet fast beyond expectations; respectful of my style, yet firm in her developmental recommendations. I’m grateful beyond words."

LeAnn Ashers,

Author of Biker Romance Novels

"This editing process was heaven to me! It’s never been this easy and stress free!"

Syd Ryan,

Contemporary

Romance Author

"Stephanie was the first editor I’d had who said positive things about my manuscript in addition to offering corrections. She treated all edits as suggestions. And she enjoyed reading my manuscript, and that spoke volumes to me.

"I learned a lot about my writing throughout the editing process. She provided teaching so I could prevent the errors from happening again. When I had questions or issues, she responded in a timely manner, and she returned my manuscript on time. I would have no problem hiring her over and over. This was my greatest editing experience, hands down."

Karen Leppert,

Author of Contemporary

& Paranormal Romance

"Stephanie was a master at editing my books, but more importantly at helping me make tough decisions when it came to cutting a four-book series to two books.
 
"The result is a sharper story that maintains a pace to keep readers invested in my characters’ journey without sacrificing the story. I will definitely be using her again."
J.Y. Olmos,
Author of Science
Fiction & Paranormal
Romance

"Stephanie has been working with me for just over two months and I’m really starting to see my trilogy take shape. After completing the first two books in my trilogy, the editor I’d been working with became seriously ill and was unable to continue. I didn’t know where to turn.

"I began searching the internet and book blogs looking for someone to pick up where the prior editor left off. Another editor, after reviewing the first few chapters of book one, suggested I contact Stephanie. I am so thankful that I did. Stephanie has gone back through my entire story and is helping me to streamline and tighten my books to make the trilogy a better and, dare I say, a far more gripping read."

G.W. Wayne,
Fiction Author
"Stephanie provided me with excellent copyediting for my novel, KT Rising. I was most impressed with her ability to suggest and present modifications that tightened and improved the expressions of my three main characters while maintaining their distinct voices, reflective of perspectives emanating from the 1890s, 1980s, and the current day.
 
"Additionally, she adhered efficiently to a precise schedule. I will certainly use her skills again in my next novel."
Kendi Thompson,
Paranormal
Romance Author

"I had already written my second book and needed someone to really go through the story to make sure it all flowed and was grammatically correct. After thoughtful consideration of several potential editors, I chose Stephanie. Her sample edit showed much insight, and I caught a glimpse of her personality through her word choice, style and etiquette. It seemed we were a good fit—I wasn’t disappointed.

"With the particular content of my book, I stumbled over words in my head that didn’t always make it out smoothly on paper. Stephanie was able to streamline the wording and knew exactly what I was trying to say. Her suggestions helped me focus on being a better writer."

Kia Thomas,
Fiction Editor
"I subcontracted some work to Stephanie, and it was such a relief to know the work was in safe hands. She paid close attention to both my editorial style and the author’s writing style, and both the author and I were really pleased with the job she did. 
 
"Thanks so much for your helpit was a pleasure working with you."
J.Y. Olmos,
AUTHOR OF SCIENCE
FICTION & PARANORMAL
ROMANCE
"You are so talented in the art of constructive criticism… If my English teacher in school had given me a fraction of the encouragement you give, I would have written books long before this."

Karen Leppert,

AUTHOR OF CONTEMPORARY

& PARANORMAL ROMANCE

"I wanted to thank you for editing my books. When we began, I had no idea how my books would be transformed, and I couldn’t be more pleased.
 
"Thanks for holding my hand on this journey and for your expertise. I feel like I’m Seth and Sarah’s mother and you’re the cool aunt they can’t wait to visit."
G.W. Wayne
Fiction Author
Carol Brook,
SCREENWRITER,
MEMOIRIST,
PLAYWRIGHT &
FILMMAKER

"For years I have had friends, family, and other writers read my work to give me an honest review. Not until Stephanie reviewed my memoir did I get what I’ve been looking for. She gives a thorough analysis. First, an overview of how the story breaks down (which will help with query letters). Then, another review which challenges you to look at the entire work and where the strengths and weaknesses lie.

"She never tells you what to do, but questions your choices and asks where you might want to change. For me, she even reminded me of the basics that make stories interesting, such as an arc for the characters, which helps since I didn’t change much, but now I will try for my book to find success.

"Lastly, and most importantly, she goes line by line in your work. Again, challenging wording and chunks of the story, as well as suggestions on ways to re-phrase but always leaving you in the driver’s seat to improve your work. She also comments and reacts like your readers would: what made her laugh, what lagged a bit, etc.

"I am relieved that after almost 20 years of writing, I have found Stephanie. Now I have something meaty to work with and work on. I have a launching pad to take my work to the next level."

Nikki Leigh,

AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR

& SOCIAL MEDIA PUBLICIST

"Stephanie has worked with me since 2009. She came on board to coordinate virtual book/blog tours for my business. These require a lot of outreach and research online to find appropriate websites and website owners to include. Then she needed to coordinate at least 20 people, products and postings. A virtual tour requires a lot of coordination, thorough research, great communication, people skills, and an eye for detail.

"She also worked with me on a client project, including social media set-up and blog posting for a high-profile client. We worked on a series of e-books about learning to love, accept, and respect yourself. We discussed my initial ideas in detail and then planned how to best approach the project from concept to a finished product ready for publication.

"I’ve also had the opportunity to recommend her to clients. A most notable person is a high-profile yoga instructor who needed an editor and proofreader for one of her books. She hired Stephanie and I only heard raves about her work.

"I’d highly recommend Stephanie—and have on a number of occasions. If you want someone who will listen to what you want, can proceed on her own, and who doesn’t need you to look over her shoulder, you should definitely consider her."

Contact

 

Please email me at stephanie@eatsshootsedits.com or use the contact form below. 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
 

Logo by Janell Robisch & Patricia Elizabeth Ward

Photo Credits:

Head Shot of Steph by Annie Laura at 621 Studios

Panda ("Ocean Park, Hong Kong") by Debbie Molle on Unsplash

"Sunrise Over the Hills in Shenandoah National Park" from Good Free Photos

"Bokeh Photography of Open Book" by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash

"Open Book Lot" (background in testimonials) by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

 

The name “Eats, Shoots, Edits” was used with the permission of Lynne Truss, author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. This business and site are not affiliated with Ms. Truss or her book.