Monthly Archives: June 2015

June 2, 2015

Help! I Need an Editor!

j0316779Hello everyone! I’m Sarah Dawson, an editor fortunate enough to have her own freelance company, WordPlay Editing. It’s not often that I get asked the question “Where can I find an editor?” because, of course, authors in contact with me have already found one! But being an editor means I know where other editors lurk, and I’d like to share some (hopefully) helpful ideas for how you can find an editor who fits your particular needs, especially if you don’t have anybody who can personally recommend an editor with whom they’ve worked.

By far the best editor-finding resource out there is the Editorial Freelance Association’s website. The EFA is a national organization of editors headquartered in New York, with regional chapters across the United States and members in countries across the world. Its website offers authors two (absolutely free!) ways to search for editors, both with links located on the upper right of each page of the site. The “find a freelancer” link allows you to look at editors’ profiles and the “submit a job listing” link allows you to request that interested editors contact you. Let me share a little bit more about each of these options.

Each editor who is a member of the EFA is given the opportunity to create a profile for him- or herself on the EFA website, talking about his or her qualifications, contact information, and particular area(s) of expertise. For an example, you can view my profile. The “find a freelancer” option gives you the chance to search these profiles by the criteria that matter to you, including limiting the search by state, skill, specialty, hardware, and/or software, as well as entering keywords and/or names as search terms. This is a great option if you have a specific type of editor in mind or would prefer to approach editors instead of having editors approach you.

j0309629If, on the other hand, you’d prefer to have any interested editors contact you, the “submit a job listing” option is your tool! This option lets you submit a job listing that will be quickly sent out to all EFA members subscribed to the feed (and that is a lot of editors!). The job listing form asks you to enter your contact information, the type of work/editing involved, a description of the project, the rate you’re looking to pay, and whether you’re looking for a remote editor or somebody in a particular location. This option saves you a lot of time and energy because it means that only those editors with interest in and time for your project will contact you…not to mention the fact that you don’t have to spend hours searching through editor profiles! This is also a great option if you need to find an editor in a hurry (say, if you’ve written an article and have a next-day deadline) because in most cases you’ll hear back from at least a few available editors within an hour or two of the listing being sent. Then, your only job will be to choose which editor you’d like to hire…but that’s a topic for another day!

Another great resource if you’d specifically like an editor in your city is your local editing association. Most cities in the country will have one; for example, in San Diego where I live, we have SD/PEN (the San Diego Professional Editors Network). A quick Google search should lead you to the active organization in your city. Just like on the EFA site, the local organization will likely have editor profiles for you to browse as well as a way to post job listings. If it’s important to you to be able to meet with your editor in person, your local organization is probably your best bet.

Finally, if all else fails, you could just do a Google search for an editor. While I don’t really recommend this method since it doesn’t give you any guarantees about a person’s skill level or professionalism, you might just be lucky enough to stumble upon a great editor’s website.

I hope you’ve found this little tutorial a helpful one and that you now know how to go about finding an editor if you don’t already have one. Please feel free to contact me via my website if you have any questions or are interested in having me as an editor…I always welcome inquiries from potential new clients! Otherwise, good luck with your writing, and good editor-hunting!


Sarah DawsonSarah Dawson is a librarian-turned-editor with nearly a decade of experience proofreading and editing. After earning her bachelor’s degree in English from UC Irvine and her Master of Library and Information Science degree from SJSU, Sarah worked as a high school librarian until she decided it was time for a change. Always an avid reader, she knew she still wanted to work with books, and her experience as a part-time proofreader and editor swayed her to the editing field. After earning her copyediting certificate from UCSD, she opened her own editing business, WordPlay Editing, now in its third successful year. Sarah resides in sunny San Diego, California, and in her off hours enjoys spending time with her husband and family, traveling, cooking, ballroom dance, and, of course, reading.