Maybe you’ve read Story Grid or listened to the podcast and you have realized you’d like some help with your writing.
This is what the Story Grid Editing Services are for. You will be paired up with one of our nineteen Story Grid Certified Editors to help you level up your writing.
We have three options:
Do you have a manuscript?
Have you finished a story (or half of one) and want help evaluating your manuscript with the Story Grid Methodology and tool set?
Our Certified Editors have been specifically trained to do this with you.
Need help finishing a first draft?
Are you stuck on your novel and not sure what to do next? Do you need help finishing a working first draft of a memoir or another nonfiction story?
A Story Grid Certified Editor will help you get “unstuck” and finish your novel or nonfiction manuscript in the next six months.
Not sure where to start?
Do you know you need some help but are just not sure where to start? We’ve all been there.
We can schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our editors to get you started.
Meet the Editors
Each of the Story Grid Certified Editors have been long standing members of the Story Grid community and were personally trained by Shawn Coyne in the Story Grid Methodology.
Working with a Certified Story Grid Editor is the only way to work 1-on-1 with an editor that deeply understands the Story Grid Methodology and can help apply it to your book.
A field archaeologist and preservation archivist for over twenty years, Julie Blair has edited academic journals and professional society newsletters. She taught composition to first-year university students, emphasizing that structure enhances creativity. She cut her editorial teeth as a copy editor for a small-town newspaper. She reads and writes fantasy and science fiction novels with deep culture and rich world-building. As a writer and editor, she embraces the framework of the Story Grid method and counts it as one of the most useful tools a writer can leverage. Contact Julie at winteralley.com.
Jarie Bolander is an engineer by training and an entrepreneur by nature. He has over 20 years of experience bring innovative products to market, which gives him a unique perspective on the power of storytelling in business. His editing approach is to be data driven and to understand how we can help the author bring their vision to life. He has published four books — The Entrepreneur Ethos, Frustration Free Technical Management, #ENDURANCE tweet — A Little Nudge to Keep You Going, and Business Basics for Entrepreneurs.
Helena’s mission is to help more good people bring more good books into the world—books that open doors and minds and change lives for the better. She works primarily with people who have a book in them but no time to sit down and write, and specializes in helping business leaders translate their “big ideas” into books that work.
An experienced developmental editor and writing coach, Helena can work effectively at every point of the book-writing continuum, whether it be helping you become a better writer using the Story Grid or capturing your ideas verbally and translating them into writing that still sounds like—you. For more information visit ExecutiveWords.com.
Valerie Francis is a Certified Story Grid Editor and best-selling author of both women’s and children’s fiction. As a writer, she understands what it feels like to struggle with a manuscript that doesn’t work and has spent many late nights rewriting drafts in frustration. That all changed in January 2015, when she discovered The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know (then in blog form). Since then, she has been studying and applying Shawn Coyne’s methodology and knows from experience how well his technique works. In fact, that’s why she became a Certified Story Grid Editor — to help her fellow authors, in all genres, learn to apply these editing principles and ultimately become better storytellers.
To learn more about Valerie, please visit her website: valeriefrancis.ca
Savannah Gilbo is a writer and developmental editor based in Southern California. Her mission is to help writers sharpen their skills, strengthen their craft and write better stories. Being a writer herself, Savannah understands the struggles and fears writers face when trying to turn their book dreams into realities. Through coaching and developmental editing, she works with writers of all skill levels to combat these fears, and take their stories from an idea or messy first draft to a finished manuscript that works. Savannah believes that anyone can write a book with the right guidance, tools, and support. When she’s not busy creating her own stories, you can find Savannah mentoring other writers on her blog, or curled up with a good book and her furry partner in crime, Coco.
Courtney is a novelist, screenwriter, and certified Story Grid editor. When she’s not working at her San Francisco studio, she’s traveling the world in search of the coziest writing spots with reliable wifi. A 20-year-veteran of the film industry, Courtney has worked on hundreds of projects, including major motion pictures, commercials, documentaries, and music videos.
As a longtime manuscript group leader, editing was a natural step for Courtney. She thrives on helping authors discover what story they truly want to tell, and make that story jump off the page. She’s known for digging into plot and her hawk eye attention to detail and drama — or lack thereof. Her editing approach is relaxed and creative, but grounded in the principles of great storytelling. She likes to cut through the jargon, demystify plot structure and empower authors to tell their best story.
She is currently writing the Story Grid editor’s analysis for Ready Player One, the bestselling science fiction novel about the future and virtual reality, and completing the first book in her Middle Grade fantasy series. It includes reincarnation, gender fluidity and a magic crystal.
Anne Hawley is a third-generation native Oregonian, a graduate of Portland State University, and a big fan of Regency England. When she’s not editing stories, she’s writing them, reading them, researching them, or podcasting about them. She specializes in helping writers discover the heart of the story they’re trying to tell so that they can tell it more beautifully. She can often be seen riding her Dutch bike Eleanor around Portland. She’s the author of Restraint, a love story set in 19th Century London.
Kimberly Kessler didn’t finish college. When she was twenty-years-old, she landed an entry-level job at a local credit union which served as her on-the-job education. But after climbing the corporate ladder for ten years, she realized time is truly our most precious commodity and needed to spend hers differently. In October 2014, she quit her corporate job to pursue passion projects—and it has been the best decision of her life. Since that day, she gained a son through open adoption, wrote her first novel, and got to add TEDx speaker to her resume. Now Kim is a developmental editor, getting to combine her two favorite things in the world—stories and people. Nothing is more rewarding than helping someone else get a breakthrough on their plot and process. But most of all, she hopes to help others realize it’s never too late to live your best story.
Rebecca Monterusso describes herself as an analytical-creative and a renaissance soul. She has been to seven different countries, earned degrees in biochemistry and Spanish, and has held jobs in multiple industries, all of which has helped her become an effective communicator and passionate learner. She enjoys reading books from all sections of the bookstore and her overall goal is to help writers learn to tell their stories better because she believes stories are the only way to really change the world. You can find Rebecca online at RebeccaMonterusso.com.
M. Talmage Moorehead, MD
Talmage is a pathologist who left work one Friday evening and never went back.
As a Story Grid editor with an unusual background in science, he is looking for open-minded, warm-hearted writers interested in producing works related to Intelligent Design, a field of science that is currently struggling against censorship from the mainstream. If your work involves Intelligent Design, Talmage may be available for personal developmental editing in commercial Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Young Adult Fiction or Nonfiction. If you’re curious to learn about Intelligent Design, a good place to start is with Stephen Meyer’s book, “Signature in the Cell.”
It makes no difference to Talmage if your novel or nonfiction work leaves the identity of life’s designer(s) open, or speculates that they are aliens, time travelers, the sentient Universe, an unfathomable mind-force such as the zero-point field, a religious or spiritual figure such as God, or any other traditional or nontraditional DNA code-writing god(s), being(s) or intelligent force(s).
Talmage believes that scientific materialism and reductionism which assume that the human mind is a false illusion in a meaningless universe, contain an untestable dogma that is toxic to human society and deserves rational skepticism through science-based fiction and nonfiction.
Like most INFJ’s (Myers-Briggs), Talmage chooses to work in a setting of kind, supportive human relationships, not in a business-like or adversarial environment. If this appeals to you and you’re interested in working with a developmental editor, swing by Talmage’s blog www.storiform.com or developmental editing site www.storyscopemd.com and leave a message.
Jay’s goal is to help you write the story you’ve always wanted to write. He’s happy to read anything you want to share with him. He’s also happy to coach you on your writing and writing habits — he loves working with people to develop their creativity, ideas, and work ethic. Learn more about how he can help you at jaympeters.com.
Jay worked five years in technology public relations before switching to his current career helping writers. In his spare time he likes to run around the city of Seattle and play games with friends and family.
Lori Puma is a Story Grid Certified editor who helps novelists and memoirists write books that keep readers turning pages. She started her writing career publishing a scientific paper that also doubles as a sleeping aid. Since then, she’s worked as a marketer and data storyteller. Her work has been published in places such as the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Tiny Buddha. Lori loves working with authors telling stories that matter.
Rachelle Stewart Ramirez
Rachelle Ramirez thrives on helping writers develop their stories and believes stories are our most important catalyst for change. She was honored in editing the award winning fiction of some amazing authors but her most rewarding work has been with new writers, helping them realize the stories that matter deeply to them. Rachelle received an MA in psychology from Goddard College, attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Masters in Creative Writing Program on merit scholarship, and completed post-graduate certificates in community development and grant writing. She served as the executive director for a national writing community, managed an addictions treatment center for teens, was a social worker for chronically mentally ill adults, and worked as an art therapist for HIV impacted women and children. She is currently on contract, writing a Story Grid guide to a masterwork, and drafting blog posts for the Story Grid website. Her forthcoming memoir-novel hybrid is White Grrrl, Black Sheep. She is easily bribed with promises of iced coffee drinks, piles of puppies, and long walks in thunderstorms. You can learn more about her at rachelleramirez.com
Shelley Sperry is an editor, writer, and researcher based in Alexandria, Virginia. She used to work at National Geographic, so she thinks every book is better if it has a cool map—or a compelling landscape—or a lot of penguins. As an editor, Shelley likes digging into just about any genre, but historical fiction and narrative nonfiction with juicy historical details are the books most likely to be open on her nightstand. She’s currently writing a Story Grid guide to Margaret Atwood’s gripping dystopian story, The Handmaid’s Tale, and co-writing a book about alternative education. Shelley sometimes finds a little time to write short fiction about women in the 19th century, all of whom really could use some decent maps. You can find out more at her website, Sperry Editorial.
Alice Sudlow is a developmental editor and story nerd living in Atlanta, Georgia. She got her editorial start as a Writing Center Consultant at Elon University, helping students of all disciplines craft excellent writing pieces. She believes that humans communicate through story, and the ones we choose to tell have the power to change the world. As a Story Grid editor, she loves to collaborate with writers and help them employ Story Grid methodology to tell amazing stories readers can’t put down. She’s also the managing editor of The Write Practice, a community of writers, well, practicing, and of Short Fiction Break literary magazine. When she’s not curled up with the next great YA novel, you’ll find her swing dancing, assembling puzzles, or traveling. Alice is overjoyed to be living her elementary school dream: making a living by reading books all the time.
Sophie Thomas strives to be a Story Authority for authors, editors, and readers. A lover of language, Sophie has studied Latin, Hebrew, and Greek, and has a BA in French from Virginia Tech. As a kid, she woke up early on Saturday mornings to play “Mad Gabs” on the radio and forced her siblings and friends to act out the plays she wrote. She thrives in one-on-one mentorship roles and loves being a part of the inspiration and improvement process. A few years ago Sophie found editing to be a junction of these two passions, story and mentorship. As a certified Story Grid developmental editor, Sophie is passionate about helping authors draft their ideas into stories and beat Resistance to fine-tune their manuscripts.
In addition to coaching authors and editing manuscripts, Sophie is currently writing her first book, an editor’s guide to telling a great murder mystery with Story Grid principles, and producing and raising babies in South Carolina.
Find Sophie online at sophiebthomas.com.
J. Thorn is a Top 100 Most Popular Author in Horror, Science Fiction, Action & Adventure and Fantasy (Amazon Author Rank). He has published over one million words and has sold more than 170,000 books worldwide. In March of 2014 Thorn held the #5 position in Horror alongside his childhood idols Dean Koontz and Stephen King (at #4 and #2 respectively). He is an official, active member of the Horror Writers Association and a member of the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers.
Thorn earned a B.A. in American History from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.A. from Duquesne University. He is a full-time writer, adjunct university professor, co-owner of Molten Universe Media, podcaster, musician, and a certified Story Grid nerd.
Maya Rushing Walker
Maya Rushing Walker is a novelist who writes from her 1700s farmhouse in northern New England. Originally from Honolulu, she speaks good Japanese and mediocre Arabic, and has lived and worked in places as far-flung as Cairo and Ramallah. She studied international economics at Georgetown and worked briefly on Wall Street before realizing the error of her ways, and fixed that mistake by earning her masters in early Japanese history at Harvard before entering the diplomatic service. Multiracial issues, foreign cultures, and diverse voices are her passions, as well as anime, Japanese culture, and the music scene—her kids make sure she isn’t turning into what they call an “old person,” which is apparently not related to physical age, but is a state of mind. Visit her at www.mayarushingwalker.com, where she is putting her own work through the Story Grid process and having a blast.
Leslie Watts is a certified Story Grid editor, writer, and podcaster. She’s been writing for as long as she can remember: from her sixth-grade magazine about cats to writing practice while drafting opinions for an appellate court judge. When the dust settled after her children were born, she launched Writership.com to help writers unearth the treasure in their manuscripts. She believes writers become better storytellers through practice, and that editors owe a duty of care to help writers with specific and supportive guidance to meet reader expectations and express their unique gifts in the world.