Thoughtful, Supportive Editing, Coaching & Other Services for Authors

44239820Stephanie Marshall Ward, Editor, Writer, & Writing Coach

Are you finished with your manuscript and considering self-publishing or submitting to a publishing company? Are you stuck and unsure how to finish your novel? Figuring out how to get started?

I’m an experienced professional editor and writing coach, specializing in working with new and emerging writers, including self-publishing authors. I also work with publishers. I’ve been coaching and editing for over 11 years. I’m a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Bay Area Editors Forum, and the Association for Independent Publishing Professionals. I’m also a stark raving bibliophile: my primary drugs of choice are science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and mysteries.


I Work with Authors Of:

  • science fiction and fantasy
  • romance and erotica
  • creative nonfiction (such as memoirs)
  • literary fiction
  • mysteries

In the past two years, I’ve edited around 50 books for publication by indie authors, many of whom were publishing for the first time. My goal is to help you celebrate your strengths while improving your writing and polishing your work so your unique voice can shine.


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. — Alexei Sorokin, Memoirist


What I Offer:
Supportive Coaching and Editing: Although we all need professional feedback to make our writing the best it can be and to grow as writers, we feel vulnerable when someone is deconstructing our work. I’ve been a writing coach for over 11 years, so I’m experienced in supporting and encouraging novice writers.

Looking at Your Writing Through the Eyes of a Reader: In addition to being an experienced editor and avid reader, I’ve been a book reviewer for over 6 years. I can help you understand the conventions of your genre, what readers love, and what doesn’t work for readers.

Quick Turnaround on Most Projects: Are you receiving negative reviews because your newly self-published book is riddled with errors? Are you a managing editor drowning in manuscripts? I’m rigorous about meeting deadlines, I offer quick turnaround on most copyediting projects, and I stay within our agreed-upon budget.

Helping You Develop a Plan to Market Your Book: I have experience as a publicist, conducting virtual book tours and using social media to help authors promote their books. I can help you generate a plan to make your book visible to readers after publication.


“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.” J.Y. Olmos, author of The Hive Trilogy


What Services Do You Need?  How far along is your manuscript?

Unfinished…Or Just Getting Started Coaching
Finished and May Need Structural Revisions for Plot, Characterization, Dialogue, Voice & Other Literary Elements Manuscript Evaluation

Developmental Editing

Finished and No Longer Needs Structural Revisions Starter Edit