Services for Children's Authors

I have three years experience doing freelance editing for a range of companies like MD Internet Solutions, Find Local Company, and WAV Group Consulting, and eight years experience as a children's editor working with publishing houses like Editorial Campanita and Caribbean Reads, as well as privately with self-published authors. View my book editing portfolio here. As Managing Editor of Anansesem, I have edited scores of children's stories and poems. Depending on how much a manuscript needs to be shaped and developed, I offer proofreading, line editing, or substantive editing to enhance a writer's vision and improve the work to a publishable quality. My particular area of expertise is picture books, however I will sometimes edit middle grade and YA novels on a selective basis. Please contact me for more information
if you require novel editing. I also create and edit Wikipedia pages. Click on the [+] to explore the sections below.


Also known as structural editing, developmental editing and comprehensive editing. This type of editing focuses on the concept, content, organization, and presentation of the text, including the title. The goal is to help you define your goals for the piece, identify your readers, and shape the manuscript in the best possible way. I will help you clarify the message (or argument), fix the pacing and will also suggest improvements and draw missing pieces from you. I will provide recommendations for improving and strengthening plot, character development, consistency, accuracy and narrative structure.

Note: Substantive editing is the first step in the editing process and as such, I highly recommend this as the first step for inexperienced or novice writers.

Questions addressed during substantive editing:

❍ Does it all fit together into a coherent whole?
 Is the order of presentation and development of ideas clear and logical (from the target audience’s point of view)?
 Is all the necessary information included, and unnecessary information deleted?
 Are the retrieval aids (table of contents, internal headings, index) useful? Do they contain terms that are useful to the target audience?
 Are jargon or technical terms appropriate for the intended audience?

What you will receive: A detailed written report (a "big picture" analysis, 5-10 pages) and light manuscript markup as required with re-writing suggestions.


Also known as stylistic editing. This type of editing focuses on the artistic side of writing: sentence structure, word choices, tone, style, and the smoothness of the language. The goal is to clarify meaning, improve flow (on a sentence, paragraph, and chapter level), make the writing more concise and streamlined, and generally make for a more compelling and enjoyable read. I will comment on sentence complexity, use of active or passive verbs, and issues with conciseness. I will also help you maintain a strong and consistent voice, and may do some light substantive editing to address any glaring structural issues.

Note: Line editing is done only after the structure of the text is firmly in place. As such, I will not provide a line edit for a manuscript that needs significant substantive work. A line edit will not help you and will be a mere waste of money if there are developmental/structural problems with the text. Line editing is a good option for writers who already feel confident with the story itself but need some help making their writing stand out and really shine.

Questions addressed during line editing:

 Are there overused words?
 Are there too many adverbs or adjectives?
 Are there sentence fragments or confusing sentences?
 Are there instances of over or under describing?
 Are there instances of purple prose or cliched phrases?
 Are there instances of awkward or unnatural dialogue, and anything else that prevents your writing from shining?

What you will receive: A brief written report (a "big picture" analysis, 1-2 pages) and heavy manuscript markup with re-writing suggestions.


This level of editing adds proofreading to the level 2 line editing service. Proofreading simply means that I will review for spelling errors, grammatical errors, punctuation errors, typos, incorrect use of regional English and other mechanics.

Note: Proofreading is the process of examining the final draft of a manuscript to ensure there are absolutely no errors, as such Level 3 editing is recommended for writers who have gone through several rounds of revisions and who are at the point of finalizing their manuscript.

What you will receive: A brief written report (a "big picture" analysis, 1-2 pages) and heavy manuscript markup with re-writing suggestions.

FEES []  

Fees are calculated based on word count as follows:

                      SUBSTANTIVE EDITING                                          LINE EDITING                                 LINE EDITING & PROOFREADING
 up to 1,500 words  $300 
 1,500-5,000 words  $400 
 5,000-10,000 words  $600
 10,000-25,000 words  $800
 25,000-40,000 words  $1000 
 40,000-80,000 words  $1200 
 over 80,000 words
 (per 1,000 words)                                
 up to 1,500 words  $500 
 1,500-5,000 words  $700 
 5,000-10,000 words  $1000
 10,000-25,000 words  $1200
 25,000-40,000 words  $1500 
 40,000-80,000 words  $2000 
 over 80,000 words
 (per 1,000 words)                                
 up to 1,500 words  $600 
 1,500-5,000 words  $800 
 5,000-10,000 words  $1200
 10,000-25,000 words  $1500
 25,000-40,000 words  $2000 
 40,000-80,000 words  $2500 
 over 80,000 words
 (per 1,000 words)                                

Picture book/picture storybook/early reader: up to 1,500 words
Early chapter book: 1,500-5,000 words
Chapter book: 5,000-10,000 words
Middle grade novel: 10,000-25,000 words
Young adult novel: more than 25,000 words

Starting during my graduate degree program at the University of Pennsylvania, I have read over 450 children's books. I am an alum of various writing programs including the Highlights Foundation workshops for children's writers, the School of the Free Mind's children's writing course with Pura Belpre award-winning author-illustrator Maya Gonzalez, the Tengo Sed Costa Rica Writers Retreat, Naomi Jackson's Literary Bootcamp for Women Writers of Color at the Kelly Writers House, and the Cropper Foundation Creative Writers Workshop Residency. Based on this experience, I am able to offer advice on how to improve your manuscript. Stories that have benefited from a professional critique often stand out from the huge slush pile of unsolicited manuscripts that publishers receive. Whether you are sending your story to publishers, or trying to find an agent, it is always a good idea to get advice and feedback from those with experience in the field.


The goal of the critique is to help you assess the marketability, strengths and weaknesses of your story before you begin the revision/editing process. You will receive general and specific suggestions for manuscript improvement related to plot, character development, narrative voice, pacing and anything else I note.

Note:Critiques are different from having your manuscript edited, i.e., critiques do not include line editing, proofreading or re-writing suggestions. The critique is somewhat like a substantive edit but less comprehensive. It is done in the very early stages of manuscript preparation prior to having any professional editing done. 

What you will receive: A written report (a "big picture" analysis, 3-7 pages) and light manuscript markup as required.

FEES []  

Fee are based on word count as follows:

 up to 1,500 words  $200 
 1,500-5,000 words  $300 
 5,000-10,000 words  $400
 10,000-25,000 words  $500
 25,000-40,000 words  $600 
 40,000-80,000 words  $700 
 over 80,000 words (per 1,000 words)                                  $10


Writing a professional, effective query letter or query email is an essential part of pitching your work to a literary agent or publisher. If you have composed a query letter/email, I can critique it and provide you with a list of concrete steps to improve it and give it that extra edge. I charge $100 per query for this service.


Self-publishing, when done rightly, is a viable option for children's authors today. I offer a consultation service for people who want to self-publish a picturebook or children's novel. The self-publishing consultation includes my honest opinion on whether self-publishing is right for you. I will also advise you on the basics of self-publishing (self-publishing platforms, book formats, ISBNs, copyright, cover blurbs, synopsis, author biography, selling on Amazon etc.) The fee for a consultation is $200 for a picturebook and $300 for a middle grade or young adult novel. The consultation does not include critiquing or editing. These consultations are 1 hour long.

I can work with people locally and meet in person, but am also happy to work remotely via Skype or Whatsapp.


I sometimes visit classrooms and youth programs to share Caribbean culture with students or young people. These visits may include things like sharing my Caribbean children's book collection, teaching Caribbean folk songs, using Caribbean children's stories and poetry to help students reflect on definitions and experiences of identity, Caribbean cultural show and tell, and critical literacy writing activities. Visits are interactive and involve exercises designed to open up creativity, promote cross-cultural understanding, and foster authentic learning.

Fees for school visits are negotiable.


Me with my butai (wooden stage)
before a kamishibai (paper theatre) performance
I offer the following workshops:

Intensive, one-day Writing for Children and Young People Workshop for people interested in writing for children and getting their stories published in niche or mainstream markets. Topics covered include defining children's literature, different types of children's books, the elements of good children's stories, preparing your manuscript, writing query letters, and finding a literary agent. Whether you have been trying to get published for years, or are just beginning to consider writing for children, this workshop is designed to provide the guidance you need to progress your children's writing career.

Picturebook Design Workshop for illustrators or graphic artists who want to explore what it would be like to work on children’s picturebooks and for anyone interested in writing or publishing illustrated books for children. See details here.

I also perform a form a traditional Japanese storytelling called kamishibai and run an Introduction to Kamishibai and Tachi-e Puppetmaking Workshop for kids. See details here.

Workshops are interactive, with a combination of group discussions, writing exercises, and creative exercises.


I accept manuscripts by email only and will give feedback within six weeks. All manuscripts must be double-spaced, with 12 pt Times New Roman font and 1 inch margins. I will only work with writers who are 18 years and older. When querying me for a project, please send the required information as described on the Contact page (description of project, what service you're looking for, writing experience, goals for the manuscript, as well as the manuscript itself). I need this information in order to advise you on what service would be best for you given the strengths and weaknesses of your manuscript, and for writing up our work contract. Queries that don't follow these guidelines will be given last priority.

Note: Your work is automatically protected by international copyright laws and I abide by a very strict consultant's Confidentiality Code during the submission process. For more information see Terms and Conditions.


Payment options include Google Wallet, bank transfer or cheque in US dollars. I can also issue an invoice using Paypal (with a small additional charge to cover their fees) which allows for payment in any currency. I ask for the first half of my fee when you send the manuscript, and the second half within 24 hours of your receiving the work back from me.


Please visit the Terms and Conditions page for information on confidentiality code, service quality, copyrights and other terms and warranties governing my services.    |    © Copyright 2020 Summer Edward. All Rights Reserved.


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