alison j cantrell
Editing + Proofreading


Take a look at the services I can offer for your project.


Book editing and technical proofreading services

I'm available to perform developmental editing and copyediting for full-length book manuscript projects as well as proofreading on smaller projects, such as blog posts or social media copy, academic papers, marketing materials, and more. 

Whether developmentally editing a fiction manuscript or proofreading a press release, I aim to help the writer achieve their goals for the piece and tell their story in the most effective way. Please read on for more detailed explanations of what I provide with each type of edit.



A developmental edit addresses high-order, global concerns about a book, which can include

  • plot, structure, and organization;

  • narrative and character development;

  • language (including dialogue);

  • continuity and accuracy; and

  • any other big-picture issues.

Depending on the needs of the project and the writer, a manuscript can undergo one to three rounds of developmental editing. 

In a developmental edit, I provide the writer with a detailed, multipage developmental note, in which I identify the strengths of the manuscript and discuss how the writer might expand on them, note places where the manuscript could use extra attention and explore potential solutions, and discuss the next steps the writer might take for revision.

A copyedit typically occurs after a developmental edit and digs into the manuscript at the sentence level. Depending on the needs of the writer and the manuscript, I can perform different levels of copyediting. At minimum, a light to medium copyedit can cover

  • grammar, punctuation, and spelling;

  • minor rewording or suggestions to improve readability;

  • adherence to a recognized style guide and/or in-house style guide (if working with a publisher); and

  • in some cases, light fact-checking.

A heavy copyedit can also work with rewriting sentences for clarity, revising to avoid repetition, transitioning from passive to active voice, and tightening language. 

As well, I can perform several rounds of copyediting, beginning with a heavy copyedit, if one is necessary, and moving to a medium or light copyedit in later rounds to polish the piece.

When performing a copyedit, I make edits using the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word, though I can perform markup in a PDF by request. (If you prefer a different method of receiving edits, please contact me so we can discuss your needs.) In a copyedit, I also provide a short note explaining my edits, accompanied by a style guide for the manuscript detailing resources my edits were based on (such as The Chicago Manual of Style or Merriam-Webster) and any spelling, punctuation, or other rules that were applied to the manuscript.



Photo by Ian Keefe on Unsplash



For smaller projects, I offer technical proofreading services, in which I address any grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors as well as ensuring the copy adheres to a company's or an individual's preferred style guide and industry-standard terminology for the subject. I work with the following formats:

  • Website copy

  • Blog and social media copy (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

  • White papers, case studies, or other academic formats

  • Ad or B2C ecommerce/catalog copy

  • Marketing materials (including press releases, targeted emails, newsletters, etc.)

In addition, I can also work with the writer to align the message with company branding and make sure that consistency is achieved in projects that involve multiple documents.


Genres and style guides

For book manuscript projects, I enjoy working with the following genres and categories:

  • Literary fiction

  • Creative nonfiction

  • Young adult fiction

  • Women's fiction

  • Fantasy

  • Short stories

I'm also well versed and comfortable with the creating project-specific style guides as well as using and aligning copy with the following style guides:

  • The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS)

  • Associated Press (AP) Stylebook

  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA)

  • Modern Language Association (MLA) Handbook