Welcome! Chelsea is now accepting clients for editorial services. For a limited time, enjoy 15% off.
Chelsea provides professional editing services for writers in all-stages of publication. Whether you’re preparing to query agents or seeking an editor before you self-publish, Chelsea provides thoughtful and detailed feedback to help you level up your manuscript. Though she specializes in Young Adult fiction, other categories will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Chelsea holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and has been evaluating writers’ work since 2013 when she started interning with The Missouri Review. Since then, she’s interned for a university press, a literary agent, and is currently an intern with Page Street Publishing. This year, she’s a YA mentor in Pitch Wars. As a writer herself, Chelsea considers revision to be her favorite part of the writing process, and is always excited to put that enthusiasm to work helping writers enhance their current projects and further develop their skills.
This includes in-depth notes, including line edits, for clarity and formatting. This includes two passes.
Additional passes are $10 each.
Includes in-depth edits, including line edits, to ensure clarity. I’ll work with you to tighten up your synopsis until we get to that ideal single page that accurately reflects your manuscript. This includes two passes.
$45 for 2-page synopses. There may be an additional fee for longer synopses.
Additional passes are $15.
Sample Page Critique
Includes a mini edit letter (1-3 pages) discussing strengths and areas of improvement, evaluating plot, pacing, character, world building, etc.
$70 for first three chapters (up to 30 pages). There may be an additional fee for samples longer than 30 pages.
Includes a Query Critique, Synopsis Critique, and Sample Page Critique. Great if you’re planning on querying agents and want to ensure all three components are ready.
This includes an edit letter (about 4-7 pages) outlining your manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses. I’ll address plot, pacing, character development, worldbuilding, etc. This is a good option if your manuscript is a first or second draft and you’re looking for somewhere to start in your revisions but aren’t yet ready to get into the nitty-gritty of small scale issues.
Includes in-depth edits, looking at your work line-by-line, focusing on clarity, overused words, clunky sentences, misused punctuation, repetition, etc, to ensure a smoother and more rhythmic manuscript. Using Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature, I’ll leave comments and point out and correct problem areas. This option is best for writers who have already put their manuscript through several rounds of developmental edits and are reasonably sure the big picture elements are working. Though I’ll make note of any developmental issues I notice, they won’t be my main focus so it’s possible some may be missed.
What’s your editing style?
Straight to the point. I’ll definitely tell you what’s working in your manuscript, but I’d rather focus my energy–and yours–on the places where your attention is most needed. That being said, the point of feedback is to improve your work, not tear it (or you) apart, and my feedback is focused not on everything wrong with your work but how to make it as good as it can be. When pointing out flaws, I’ll also suggest solutions and ask a lot of questions to get you brainstorming and thinking critically about your work. Some of my suggestions may be extensive (cutting characters, adding subplots, restructuring your plot, etc) and others may be minor, but they’re all meant to give you a springboard into making your story into the very best version of itself. In the end, you know what will suit your book best and of course have final say.
Can I see a sample of your work?
Since projects I’ve worked on are protected by confidentiality, I don’t have samples for public viewing. However, I offer a free sample critique which will evaluate the first three pages of your project, and this is a good way to see if my editing style will work for you.
I have a project, and I’m not sure yet if it’s YA. Can I still work with you?
Yes! When reading, I’ll keep an eye on what would need to be resolved to make your book into YA or if it would even perhaps be better not as YA (and is maybe more suited to middle grade or adult). Be sure to tell me any concerns when you book.
I have a request that doesn’t seem to meet any of your services. Can I still work with you?
In the Contact form, describe your project and what kind of editing you’re looking for, and I’ll be happy to give you a quote for pricing. If I don’t think I can help you, I’ll be happy to provide a recommendation for someone who can.
Can I book in advance?
Yes. If you’re booking a large service more than two weeks in advance, I require a 10% deposit to hold your spot on my calendar, to be sent when I’ve confirmed your place. Smaller services require full payment upfront but can be booked in advance. Your spot will not be held until payment has been received.
How do I pay?
Payment is made via Paypal. You’ll receive an invoice when I confirm your booking. For small services, payment is required upfront (though small services can be paid for in advance if you’d like). For large services, you’ll pay in two installments: when you book and before delivery of your edits. For large services being booked more than two weeks in advance, I require a 10% deposit to hold your spot.
Do you offer any discounts?
Right now, a 15% discount is being offered on all services. This is for a limited time only.
What’s the turnaround time for your edits?
Small critiques (query, synopsis, sample pages) will be returned within one week. Large critiques (developmental, full, sub packages) will be returned within one month.
I’m on a deadline. Can you critique my work faster than normal?
Sure! This will include the regular price of whatever service you request as well as a rush fee that will depend on the size of your project and how quickly you need it back. Let me know your deadline in the booking form.
What’s your cancellation policy?
If you need to cancel for any reason, let me know ASAP to avoid penalty. If you’re canceling less than two weeks before your booking date, you’ll be charged a 10% fee (if you’ve booked a large service, this is your deposit). This fee will be waived (or your deposit returned) if you can find someone to take your place or if you’re canceling more than two weeks before your submission date. Smaller services (query and synopsis critiques, sample page edits) are fully refundable up until the date I begin working on them, and all services are nonrefundable once I’ve begun working.
How should I format my materials?
Materials should be sent as .doc or .docx files with your name and project title in the file name (so it doesn’t get lost on my devices). Documents should use 12-point Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins and be double-spaced, except for a synopsis, which should be single-spaced.
Can you guarantee I’ll get an agent/publisher and become the Next Big Thing?
I can only guarantee honest and experienced feedback. Publishing is a subjective business that relies on many factors out of the control of both writers and editors. What I can do is help you polish your manuscript until it shines and help you realize its full potential. The insight I offer will not only help your current project but also improve your craft as a storyteller and writer so you can put it into practice on future projects, too.
Hi everyone, and welcome to my wishlist! It’s my first year mentoring, and I’m super excited to find my mentee/writerly soulmate and make their book shine! I’m mentoring YA (so if you’re MG or A, you’re in the wrong place). But I am accepting NA (though, be warned, NA isn’t much of a thing in the genres I’m looking for so I’ll likely ask you to make it YA).
Anyway, a little about me: By day, I’m Kids’ Lead at my local B&N so I spend a lot of time immersed in kidlit. By night (and evening, and afternoon, and early morning, and randomly in the middle of the day), I’m an editorial intern at Page Street Publishing where I (among other things) read submissions and write reader reports for their awesome YA editors. I did a similar job as an agency intern, reading, and evaluating submissions from querying writers like you. So I’ve spent almost two years looking at the work of agented and unagented writers, evaluating it, and brainstorming ways to strengthen it. I’ve read a lot of manuscripts, pitches, and queries, and I know a lot about what works and what doesn’t. It’s very rewarding to read writers’ work and come up with ways to make it better, and then to actually see it getting better, which is why I wanted to mentor in Pitch Wars this year.
Other fun facts about me include: I’m a YA writer, a makeup/skincare junkie, a card-carrying member of the Beyhive, and a Golden Girls superfan (Dorothy Zbornak is me). I’ve got a dog daughter named Chloe who hangs with me while I do stuff and is never far away while I’m working. Also, I’m very into astrology (and for those of you who care: I have a Capricorn sun, an Aries moon, and a Scorpio ascendant).
Now onto the good stuff!
What I’m Looking For
Science fiction: I’m down for all subgenres here, but I’m especially partial to alternate universes/realities colliding with our own. I’m also really into dystopias, apocalypses, alien arrivals, and space operas. (If you have something reminiscent of Janelle Monae’s DIRTY COMPUTER, please please send it my way). But the door is really wide open here, I’d love to find an amazing sci-fi manuscript to mentor.
Fantasy: This includes all subgenres (including contemporary: fantasy set in the real world). I’m especially partial to mermaids, pirates, and other seafaring types. And witches! I love witches. I’m also down for retellings of myths and fairy tales (only if they aren’t retold in the Western tradition). I’d also love to see historical fantasy like DREAD NATION or a good paranormal (vampires especially), but it would need to be something fresh and preferably feature non Western cultures and diverse characters.
Mystery/suspense/thriller: I’m a bit more drawn to SFF, but if you’ve got a really good one, I’m all for it. I’m especially drawn to spies, political thrillers like THE FIXER by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and things that are dark and twisty. I’m a big Tana French fan so if you have things that are psychologically intense and do deep-dives into your main character and society as a whole, I’d love to see it.
Also, I’m especially interested in work from marginalized authors, whether your manuscript is #ownvoices or not.
Across all genres, I’d love to see some of this in my inbox:
- GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS: girls who are best friends, girls who are adversaries, girls in love, girls who are a jumble of all three. I want all of it. (Please note, I’m a very hard sell on male main POV characters, unless they’re part of an ensemble or sharing the book with a female character in dual pov).
- genre-bendy, structurally inventive things like Kristin Cashore’s JANE, UNLIMITED and Mary Mccoy’s CAMP SO-AND-SO
- inventive, lesser-scene worlds and locations
- con artists and other criminals (assuming they are lovable). I especially love heists!
- found families, complicated platonic relationships, sister stories, complex mother-daughter relationships
- tension-filled romances (bonus points if it’s enemies-to-lovers)
- ensemble casts (but only if they are diverse and not all white, male, cis and straight). In this same vein, I’m very into multiple POV novels.
- brutal heroines who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, and actually prefer it that way (like Xifeng from FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS or Nemesis from THE DIABOLIC). Also heroines who may not be good at the violence, but accomplish their goals via manipulation and are smart and calculating.
- if you’ve got something even a little bit related to astrology, I want it.
- Other random things I’ll jump for: a YA Lara Croft-type main characters, JAWS with black girls in it, an Anastasia retelling, anything that can be comped to DRAGON AGE or KILLING EVE.
This is by no means a comprehensive list so if you still think I’d like your story (and it is sci-fi, fantasy or can be classified as a mystery or thriller), send it to me! Unfortunately I’m not able to list every thing I like (both because I definitely forgot some things and also because there are some things I don’t realize I love yet!) so if you think I’d be down for your story, send it my way. As long as it doesn’t fall onto my next list:
Not For Me
- Horror. I can do a little bit of this but not too much because I’m a wimp and am both afraid and also probably not the best person to mentor it.
- Historical. Historical fantasy and science fiction are good, but straight historical isn’t going to be my forte.
- Romance. I’m all for romantic subplots, not great for the romantic main plots.
- Straight contemporary. There has to be some sort of genre element for me.
- Epistolary, novels told via text message, verse, etc. I’m fine with manuscripts that use elements of this, but I’m not the best mentor for work that relies on them exclusively.
- Girls who “aren’t like other girls”
- Fae/fairies and elves
- Anything with prejudiced/privileged people realizing how wrong they’ve been.
- Rape and sexual assault as a plot device. (to clarify, if your MS discusses rape and sexual assault respectfully, this is fine. However, (and this requires some research and honest evaluation on your part), I’m not interested in work that doesn’t).
My Mentoring Style
I’m straight to the point and very honest. I’ll definitely tell you all the things I love about your book (and if I’m picking you as my mentee, it will be because I love it), but my focus will be on whatever needs work. Though I’m not much of a cheerleader, I’m definitely on your team (and make no mistake, I’m gonna be real hype when my mentee rocks their revision.) If I pick you as my mentee, I already know you’re good, and I already like your work so that’s not even a question. Now it’s just making it as great as it can be.
I’ll probably have a lot of suggestions for my mentee, but they are just suggestions. I’m here to guide someone through their revision, whether that means they implement all my ideas or not. I’m more interested in encouraging my mentee to think critically about their own work, and helping them brainstorm solutions they really love than forcing a vision on them they may not agree with. I’m a writer, too so I know that sometimes all you really need is some ideas to be thrown at you that you can springboard off of and make your own.
I’m very enthusiastic about the revision process (it’s my favorite part of writing) so even though you don’t have to love it like I do, I’m looking for a mentee who’s excited about leveling up their manuscript and ready to work hard. You should know your vision for your manuscript and be willing to do whatever’s needed to make it happen. Some of my suggestions may be extensive so I’m looking for someone who isn’t afraid to take the plunge and potentially rewrite huge chunks of their book whether it be half or the entire thing. If you think you’re ready for the agent showcase today, I’m not the mentor for you.
I’m good at pointing out big picture stuff (like tightening up plot, ramping up tension and conflict, and strengthening character arcs) and at the tinier details (if you say your MC is afraid of snakes in the first chapter and then they’re chilling with a rattlesnake two-hundred pages later, I’m going to notice). I’m also really, really good at cutting and trimming word counts whether it be through finding and eliminating filler words or whole filler scenes (it’s such a good, satisfying feeling to see a bloated word count come down to something more manageable).
Ideally my mentee and I will do three rounds of edits which will include two rounds of developmental edits and a line edit. I’m very communicative and responsive to emails, DMs, and text messages (my phone or my laptop are almost always nearby) so I’m only a ping away when you need something (to run a new idea by me, to ask for clarification on a note, etc). I’m also available for video chats.
Even after the agent showcase, my relationship with my mentee is still going to be kicking (as long as they want it to of course), and I’m going to be following their book and their career forever, through signing with an agent to going on submission, and through the road to publication and on and on and on and on the sands of the hourglass, etc so be ready for that.
A Few of My Favorite Thingss
Favorite Books: DREAD NATION by Justina Ireland – SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo – A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE by Brittany Cavallaro – THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS by N.K Jemisin – THE LUMATERE CHRONICLES by Melina Marchetta – THE BELLES by Dhonielle Clayton – SCYTHE by Neal Shusterman – FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS by Julie C. Dao – THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray – ALL OF THIS IS TRUE by Lygia Day Penaflor – TRUTHWITCH by Susan Dennard – ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – THE LIKENESS by Tana French – PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken
Favorite TV Shows: AGENTS OF SHIELD – NIKITA – GOLDEN GIRLS – AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER – STRANGER THINGS – BROOKLYN NINE-NINE – JANE THE VIRGIN – THIS IS US – SPARTACUS
Favorite Movies: JOHN WICK – WONDER WOMAN – BLACK PANTHER – OCEAN’S 8 – INCEPTION – ALIEN – STARDUST – PENELOPE
Annnnnd that’s it!
Don’t hesitate to ask me questions any questions you may have. You can most easily reach me on Twitter. I prefer you @ me, but if you have a sensitive question you don’t want to ask publicly, you can DM me. I’ll also be participating in the #askmentor chat on August 16 from 8 PM to 10 PM EST. Again, even if you don’t see your book exactly spelled out on this wishlist, don’t self-reject! Ask me some questions to see if I’m a good fit for you.
Good luck and I can’t wait to read your submissions!
Ready to book or just want some more information? Fill out the form below, and I’ll be in touch within two business days.