Heartwood Policies and faqs

General policies

  • Editor retains right of refusal on delivery of manuscript sample/partial.
  • Nonrefundable deposit of 50% must be paid on signing of contract, the remainder must be paid within one week of delivery of edits.
  • Scheduling may change +/- 2 weeks without penalty, but a rescheduling fee outside the above is $50 per reschedule.
  • The editor’s name should not be used without signed agreement.
  • Sensitivity concerns will be flagged for referral to authenticity readers, and content warnings must be provided prior to editing agreement.
  • Payment plans are available but require paying in full prior to delivery of notes.
  • Full manuscript projects must provide a 5p sample, vision statement, and synopsis along with application for edits.
  • Line and copyedits will be returned with tracked changes, but author must apply changes themself.
  • Email communication outside of scheduling and contract count toward coaching time of package.
  • No money will ever be paid to client by editor.

genres considered

I am a fiction editor, so please do not send me nonfiction articles, manuscripts, or memoirs. Of the following genres, I work in middle grade, young adult, new adult, and adult. I am willing to consider select picture book or chapter book projects.

  • Science fiction
  • Fantasy (soft or low, no epic quests please)
  • Horror
  • Paranormal
  • Contemporary
  • Speculative
  • Thriller
  • Mystery
  • Historical
  • General fiction


  • 10% for underrepresented authors
  • 5% for verified referral
  • 5% for repeat client with new project
  • 5% for booking developmental and line edits together


Q: BUT JESS! Can’t I just run betas or swap with my CP?

A: Certainly! Do that! But let’s not pretend that’s “free,” for you or your trusted readers.

Hiring an editor whose sole agenda is helping improve your work on your timeframe can not only save you a lot of time, but it can save you a lot of heartache and confusion too.

It takes a lot of time and energy to prepare a beta, from finding people willing and available, whittling those volunteers down to the right audience for the project, determining what questions to ask, to understanding how to process their answers. I will always encourage betas and CPs, just like I’ll always try to share my best tips for finding and utilizing them. Learning how to run a beta is an acquired skill, and it comes naturally to very few. That time and attention may be better spent learning craft and finishing projects.

Furthermore, in the case of swapping full manuscripts, that’s a lot of trust and commitment to put in a virtual stranger. Schedules often conflict, authors get ghosted, and that’s barely brushing the surface of difficulties that can arise from swaps. CPs (critique partners), while wonderful and you should get some, are people too. They may not be able to focus on your work with the attention you need in a given time. Even if they can, misinformation about “best practices” abounds in writing communities, and the feedback received can run the gamut between weak sauce comments and empty praise to misguided advice never intended for your target audience or relevant to your vision or project.

Q: Do you accept payment plans?

A: Yes! Please refer to policies for more information on payment plans.

Q: Do you do second pass edits?

A: Yes, but second pass edits are only included in the price of specific packages. For an individualized quote, please schedule a consultation through email.



Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s