I offer private editing services for selected manuscripts. I work one-on-one with writers who are committed to their writing projects — novels, short stories, and creative non-fiction — helping them find their way from draft to finished manuscript. I have published three novels. I know what works and what doesn't.
ONE. I work directly on the manuscript. Sometimes, nothing is better than a checkmark to let you know which lines sing. I believe that praise is an important and necessary tool, allowing you to recognize the strength of your work. I also copy-edit, improving the writing at the sentence level. I fix typos, question word choice and delete unnecessary words. I put suggestions directly on the page -- asking questions as they arise and offering solutions.
TWO. I provide my clients with a detailed letter that addresses the bigger picture: voice, pacing, plotting, character, dialogue. I help writers expand manuscripts that are too lean or streamline manuscripts that lose focus. While I am a strong believer in focusing on the positive, always letting the writer know what works, I am also tough. Kind words from your editor will not get you closer to publication.
We talk -- either by email or telephone. Together, I want us to settle on a revision plan that you are pleased and comfortable with before you get back to work.
Many of my clients have gone on to publication. Here are a few:
Bestselling author Jillian Medoff's fourth novel This Could Hurt is forthcoming from Harper/HarperCollins, 2018
Memoirist and beloved writing teacher Susan Shapiro made a much anticipated return to fiction with the publication of the emotionally complex novel What's Never Said.
Michelle Corasanti’s extraordinary debut The Almond Tree has gone on to become an international bestseller, translated into over fifteen language and optioned for film.
Suzanna Eibuszyc's memoir Memory is My Home, transcribing her mother's harrowing experience during World War II, was published by Columbia University Press and is currently being taught in high schools and colleges across the country.
After a decade working on her first novel, Linda Sienkiewicz sold her first novel In The Context of Love to the independent press BuddhaPuss Ink LLC.
Andrew Clarke’s first novel Bad Money was a finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
It's important to select the right editor for your work. I am happy to read the opening scene of your manuscript, give you my first impressions, and answer any questions you have about what to expect when working with me. My rates are available on request. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"When I hired Marcy to read my fourth novel, all I knew about her was that l loved her sly, darkly comic, elegant novels. So imagine my surprise when she turned to be more than just a great writer; she's also a great editor. Patient, smart, insightful and thorough, Marcy dove deep into my book and excavated themes and thread that helped make my story sing. I feel so lucky to have found her, and will absolutely use her services again." -- Jillian Medoff, bestselling author of This Could Hurt, forthcoming from Harper/HarperCollins, 2018
“Marcy Dermansky is brilliant and has a keen sense of what works. She is really a master and I can’t recommend her enough. We really worked on every detail of my book. My novel, The Almond Tree, has received international acclaim and reached the top of the charts in Jewish and political fiction on amazon US, Canada and the UK. I couldn’t have done it without Marcy.” —Michelle Cohen Corasanti, The Almond Tree
"I hired Marcy Dermansky to copy edit my book just before I sent the manuscript to agents and editors. Within weeks of my work with her I had a top drawer agent and a contract with HarperCollins. Marcy is reliable and precise as a copy editor, and a pleasure to work with." --Frances Stroh, Beer Money, A Story of Privilege and Loss
“Marcy was very respectful of my work. At the same time she immediately was able to point out every weakness and flaw. She has a sharp eye and effortlessly made all the sentences, paragraph and pages flow. She is dedicated and professional; with her help my three hundred page manuscript became pristine. A month after I finished working with her, I found a publisher and the due date is Feb 2015.” —Suzanna Eibuszyc, Memory is My Home.
“Marcy came highly recommended from a trusted adviser, and she did not disappoint. From chapters I thought beyond reproach, to dull patches I didn’t know what to do with, Marcy’s sharp eye and gentle red pen didn’t miss a thing. She’s a straight-shooter, and hit the mark every time.” —Michael Siemsen, A Warm Body To Call Home
“It’s time for a happy dance! I sold my novel to the independent press Buddhapuss Ink. With the help of an editor/author, Marcy Dermansky, I changed the beginning, cut out the superfluous, sped up other sections, and added more of what she thought really mattered. Encouraged, I started pitching it to small presses.” —-Linda K. Sienkiewicz, In The Context of Love
“Marcy has a gentle touch as an editor, but her feedback is insightful and consistent—almost always rooted in characterization through concrete detail. She has a great sense of pacing, of where your typical reader might tune out. She is reliable, responsible, and even-keeled—just the person I needed to see me through the final stages of a manuscript I’d been working on for years.” — Brooke Shaffner
“If it weren’t for Marcy Dermansky my memoir would still lie in the bottom-most drawer of my desk. Working with her has given me fresh perspective and renewed vitality for the work which I was ready to abandon. She knows how to provide feedback and direction without giving false praise. Marcy helped me to identify passages that needed expansion or clarification. And, most importantly, she encouraged me to trust my own voice and to speak my truth.” —Jeanette Miller
“Marcy is a hip writer who also happens to know what she’s doing. When you take your work seriously, she’ll broaden your perspective. When you write a chapter-long narrative, she’ll convince you to put in a scene. When your humor is flat, she’ll breathe some air into it. And when you’re in the grips of a writer’s blockade, she’ll provide the moral support to unblock. She’s the light hand so many of us need.” — Emily Meehan
“I’m through with the revisions. I have to say, the book is 1,000 times better. Marcy helped me with practical problems that, after multiple drafts, I had lost the perspective to see. She also offered invaluable insight and encouragement about broader thematic issues.” — Andrew Clarke
”Before I hired Marcy, I was seriously stuck. I was torn between memoir and personal essay, ping ponging back and forth between the two and getting nowhere. Marcy wisely steered me to commit to memoir and guided me on how I might do that and still retain the unusual hybrid sensibility of the project. Marcy set me free so I could move forward and finally finish the book I had worked on for so long. Her help was priceless, and I will be forever grateful. “ — Kathleen Davies, Sacred Groves: Or, How a Cemetery Saved My Soul