Editorial Services

Editorial Services

I’m offering my editorial services and currently will only have 3 slots open at a time as I finish each project. What I’ll initially do is offer a free edit for the first 5 pages so that way you can see what my editing style is like. My prices are also affordable because I don’t need to live off this money just yet. Here is some experience I have in the editorial/writing department:

  • Author of When Stars Die, published by AEC Stellar Publishing, being re-released by Gnome on Pig Productions
  • Have edited books for various clients, including Lauren Hammond, a former literary agent
  • Beta read for Georgia McBride’s editorial clients
  • Edited YALITCHAT’s website
  • Edited newsletter for YALITCHAT
  • Slush pile reader for The Oddville Press
  • Executive editor for Sorean: A Gothic Magazine
  • Founder of The Corner Club Press
  • Tutor for writing center at my previous university
  • Have had short stories and poems published

I offer three services: proofreading, copy editing, and substantive editing. Proofreading is where I simply look for little grammatical errors and typos. Copy editing is where I look at each sentence and determine the best way it can be written. Substantive editing is where I tear the book apart and look at plot, structure, character development, and so on and so forth. The substantive editing is my priciest service because it does take more time to complete than the other two services. My prices are listed below.

bird-writing-style-backgroundYou can e-mail me at thedancingwriter@gmail.com if you are interested! It’s first come, first serve, and I’ll give you an estimate on how long you may have to wait before I can get to your project. I try to complete a single project in two weeks.

Cover Reveal for S. A. Starcevic’s Untouchable

Cover Reveal for S. A. Starcevic’s Untouchable

I am excited to showcase this brilliant cover to you from a member of my literary  magazine The Corner Club Press. Enjoy!
Ethan Elliot is no stranger to secret identities. As an LGBT teen, he’s dealt with secrets all his life. Nevertheless, when his powers kick in and he’s whisked away to join a team of superheroes, he dons a mask of a different kind – one that sees him battling supervillains and testing his limits.

However, there’s more going on behind the scenes than capes and costumes. At the headquarters of the Protectorate, he makes unlikely friends with Gravity Girl and Element Boy. Except Element Boy might turn out to be more than just a friend, and Gravity Girl is battling demons of her own.

Ethan will discover what it means to be a hero, and must learn that even superheroes aren’t untouchable.

Bio: S. A. Starcevic wanted to be a superhero when he was little, but nowadays he settles for the next best thing—writing about them. Untouchable, his superhero YA novella with an LGBT love story, is signed with Forever More Publishing. When he’s not slaving over books two and three in the trilogy, he blogs about writing, publishing and world domination at Bookshelf of Doom.

The book is available for pre-order hereherehereherehere and here as well as on iBooks.

Starting a Literary Magazine

Starting a Literary Magazine

Screenshot (51)Today is publishing Friday. As I said I would do, every Friday I’m going to post an article that deals with something in the publishing world, so I decided to write a post about creating a literary magazine for those readers OR writers who are thinking about starting one, or for those just curious about how a literary magazine gets started. But here are some things I think you need to have.

  • Experience. I didn’t start my lit magazine without prior magazine experience or editorial experience. I started out as a slush pile reader, so I was able to receive a behind-the-scenes view of how a literary magazine worked. I then went on to be an executive editor for a start-up magazine. Last, I apprenticed beneath Georgia McBride to receive experience in editing. All of this experience will make the magazine look reputable and something people want to submit to. Everything eventually culminated in my decision to create a magazine–and to be an editor for clients needing my services.
  • An idea. You want to make your magazine separate from others. What makes yours different? Why should people submit to yours? The Corner Club Press is about putting a strong emphasis on both poetry AND short fiction/creative nonfiction, as there are many magazines that don’t do this. You will also need to know what to call your literary magazine. Make it creative. Make it even have a backstory. And a tagline for the magazine never hurts, either. CCP’s is ‘Where Poetry and Fiction Converge.’ It’s effective enough to let people know what our magazine is about.
  • A strong staff. Once you have experience you are comfortable with and ideas put in place, you now need to find a strong staff dedicated to the magazine as much as you are. The Corner Club Press started out with two people, but we were able to manage it alone, until my poetry editor/formatter had to leave. So then it moved to just my personal assistant and I; however, that became too much. Now we have a strong team of people with professional experience to help create a strong magazine.
  • How often you are going to publish. You need to decide this before gathering submissions. How often are you going to publish? CCP started out as quarterly, until Daphne had to leave. Then the schedule became too erratic, so we needed to bring on other people to get the magazine in order. Now we’re publishing quarterly again.
  • Gathering submissions. You need to find out how you’re going to gather submissions in the most effective way possible. Sure, you can start out asking people to submit through Google+ and the like, but Duotrope and Submissions Grinder and Poets and Writers will earn you submissions more effectively, especially once you’ve established that you are professional and your magazine will be professional. To be honest, I am turned off by magazines that have to go around and ask for submissions. This means they didn’t plan well in advance. I get we all have to start somewhere, but when I started, I received over 100 submissions in the first week without having to do this, just from being listed on Duotrope. You can even start a simple thread somewhere, simply letting people know that your magazine just opened, and then link to your magazine’s website. I warn against actually having to go around and ask. It shows you don’t know what you’re doing to manage a magazine. You also sound desperate.
  • A professional website. See the picture above (there is more to the home page than what you’re viewing). That is what my magazine’s home page looks like. I use Weebly, and unfortunately we don’t have the funds to buy a domain, but people are still submitting and don’t think our magazine any less professional for it. Weebly already has set templates, but you can mess around with those templates to set yours apart from others that use the same template.
  • Tabs you need. You need a tab detailing how your magazine got started. People love to know the background of a magazine they are submitting to. This also gives more credence to your magazine. You need a submissions guideline, obviously, and I’m going to link to mine below on what needs to be included. You want the staff listed, along with their credentials, just so people know their experience. This will bolster their confidence in your magazine. Obviously you’ll need an issues page, starting with the most recent issue you’ve published. You’ll want to use your magazine’s cover and link the cover to a pdf or a website that can create a magazine for you. I use Calameo. And of course you’ll want an archive to put your backlist issues in once you start a new volume. We are on volume 3.
  • You do not need to pay. Your magazine can still be reputable without paying your writers. Non-paying magazines exist for a reason. I have published people who were published by magazines that paid. It still looks good on a cover letter to be published by a reputable magazine, even if it doesn’t pay.
  • Now begin accepting submissions. Close down for a submissions period when it’s time for you to read them. Let Duotrope know you’ve closed so that way they can let writers know not to submit during this period. When you let Duotrope know you’ve opened back up, they’ll slide you in a tab of magazines that have both opened and closed. Writers flock to this tab first. You’re on there for about a week.
  • Once you’ve accepted work, send out acceptance letters immediately, along with a short contract. You can look up a short contract for a literary magazine. They’re easy to do. When rejecting, you do not have to give feedback. I used to give feedback, until that became too much. A rejection letter is all writers are owed. Nothing more. Nothing less.
  • Formatting. You need to decide how you’re going to format the issue, what sort of art you want to use (keep this art consistent), and so on and so forth, so make sure you have someone on your staff with good formatting experience.
  • Editing. Your accepted pieces should only need light editing. Any more, and you probably shouldn’t have accepted those pieces in the first place.
  • Publish.

Now I’m going to link to my magazine’s submission guidelines so you have a general idea of what you need to include. Also look around the website and note how professional it looks.

Next Friday’s post will be for those thinking about becoming freelance editors. I’m going to write what you need to do in order to make this happen.

Magazine Submission Etiquette

Magazine Submission Etiquette


As you all may or may not know, I found a literary magazine called The Corner Club Press about 3 years ago. I am now simply the president and web designer for the magazine, having decided to take a backseat to focus on all the other things going on in my life. In any case, throughout these three years, I have come across a multitude of things that are just downright annoying. You expect them, but countless posts have been written like mine, and, yet, writers still do these things we tell them not to do. I feel like there are no excuses anymore, not when you have an entire world’s worth of information at your fingertips. Not to mention that every reputable magazine should have solid submission guidelines. In any case, let’s begin with what you should be doing when submitting a short story or poetry piece, or when you are considering doing so.

  1. Follow submission guidelines down to the very last letter, lest you be rejected. It doesn’t even matter that the submission guidelines are detailed. People will still sub to us with wonky or small fonts, incorrect formatting, genres we don’t want, or more pieces beyond the limits we’ve established. We’re not desperate for submissions. We receive more than enough. And, to be frank, when I was going through the slush pile, I was looking for any reason to reject a piece because I’d get so many. The ones we accept are the rare few that make us not want to get up from our chairs to fetch a snack.
  2. When submitting, address us accordingly. I once had a writer address me as Mr. Forbes. Read the bios. They’re not just there for gloating.
  3. Rejection. Throughout the three years of the CCP’s existence, only one has ever gotten into a fight with us about rejecting his piece. I wasn’t able to find the e-mail he sent us. Otherwise, I would have posted it right here, sans name. I am not above doing that. We editors eventually develop a snarky side. I can’t even remember exactly what he said, either, but it was enough to cause me to send a polite, nasty letter to him, simply for the sake of his own writing career. So, technically, I was doing him a favor by responding at all. Mariah was the one who read his response first, by the way. I don’t look at submissions anymore. I trust my experienced staff with them.
  4. Don’t respond to rejection letters. Even if you’re just thanking us for taking the time out of our day to read your piece, don’t do it. At all. It’s not going to make us accept your next piece, just as not responding is going to make us reject your next piece. Just send to us again. That alone tells us you really want to be in our magazine, and that alone makes us hope we eventually accept you.
  5. Respond to acceptances immediately. Please. Don’t send us a revised version, either. We liked what you originally sent us. Plus, we do light editing anyway.
  6. Don’t tell us to make corrections AFTER PUBLICATION, when there is no error on our part. I actually had one writer tell me I published the wrong story. It was THE ONLY story said writer had submitted. Poets are especially notorious for doing this. Don’t tell us to italicize something when it wasn’t italicized to begin with. This means having to go through and change something so you don’t slander our magazine, having to change links, and then having to re-upload the issue. Think about how you’re inconveniencing us before you send a correction to an error we never made. We’re not perfect, and we have made errors in the past that we’ve fixed, but if no errors were present to begin with, don’t accuse us of doing something we didn’t do in the first place.

There you go! My post will be just one of thousands already written, but it’s worth repeating, over and over and over and over and over…

Seeking Prose Editor for Literary Magazine

Seeking Prose Editor for Literary Magazine

167358_167628999950658_6511086_nHey, Stars! My literary magazine, The Corner Club Press, is looking for a new Prose Fiction editor. Basically, your responsibilities will include vetting submissions, rejecting ones you don’t approve of, doing final proofreads of pieces I’ve already looked over, and doing final proofreads of the actual magazine after Mariah and I have gone over it. This is not a time-consuming job. We publish every 3-5 months, depending on how many submissions are in the box. At most, you’ll dedicate an hour a week to the job.

If you are interested in an application, e-mail me at thedancingwriter@gmail.com.

The Ping-Ponging of my Career Goals

The Ping-Ponging of my Career Goals


I have been so ridiculously indecisive about my ultimate career lately that it’s maddening. Since getting a contract though, I know I want writer to be part of my career plans, but in order to do that, I’m going to need a compatible career (assuming I can’t be a full-time writer by the time I graduate) that will allow room for writing without stressing me out. I don’t have a high threshold for stress, and I’m okay with that and accept it. I don’t want to depend on Xanax or Klonopin to help me manage my stress, not when lifestyle changes can help me manage better.

I don’t know if you guys know this, but currently I’m going for a degree in English Middle Education simply because I love English and adore that age group. But, at first, the only reason I switched to teaching is because it seems like a more assured job than finding some sort of editing job. I eventually grew excited about the idea, but my excitement began to wane as I realized that I don’t have a high stress threshold, and I refuse to depend on anti-anxiety meds to deal with it. The one teacher I job shadowed for was on Xanax, even though her stress was totally natural and not something that needed to be dealt with using a medicine for people who have real problems managing anxiety, even just for leaving the house!

So I don’t want to be a teacher anymore, but I’m going to put up with the program because I can’t keep constantly switching my degree, or else I’m never going to graduate. It seems like being a teacher won’t allow me any room to write. As I’ve said, I have a low threshold for stress, and English teachers, especially, have work to take home every night. How am I going to be able to squeeze in any writing with the workload they have? I don’t think it’s possible. You can tell me all you want that if I really love writing, I’ll make time for it, but if my brain is making me feel depressed from the stress, my writing isn’t going to be so fantastic.

Once again, I’m going back to the goal of doing some editorial type work. I don’t need an English degree with some editorial track. After all, I’ve already got editorial experience and am still gathering more. Freelance editorial work and tutoring will certainly help, and–awesome surprise of awesomeness–my writing group will be starting an e-zine that we want to go to print so we can ultimately pay the writers! It’s ambitious, but our group consists of ten people. It’s not like The Corner Club Press, which is only ran by two. I’m still going to keep up with CCP, of course, but it’s forever going to remain online because I don’t have a big enough group to make it otherwise and am already satisfied with the success CCP has had.

Either I am going to be a full-time freelance editor/part-time writer or part-time writer or actually work for a local magazine in the CSRA. I will let the future surprise me, but I know teaching is not for me. Even my therapist thinks teaching would just crush me, especially because I am a very creative person and the teaching environment as it is is very constricting.

As I’ve said, I’ll stick to the teaching degree, but it’s no longer what I want to do. Who knows? I might have fun with it regardless.

Poetry With Mariah Wilson

Poetry With Mariah Wilson

Since I’m a novelist, I am not terrific with poetry, which is why I got Executive Editor, Mariah Wilson, to do a guest post on it. She helps me out with The Corner Club Press and is my overall supporter and cheerleader. Here is her post, and I hope you enjoy!



I’ve written poetry since I was 10 years old. I was introduced to it by my fourth grade teacher. Though I have composed a handful of sonnets, I mainly write free verse. The constraints of form seem to hinder my ability to make sense. Wait? Poetry makes sense? Isn’t it all just abstract thoughts and random flowery passages that we are supposed to decipher and try to figure out what they really mean. Yes and no.

Good poetry makes sense, it speaks to the reader and ignites something inside of them. It could be a feeling, or a memory, or something else entirely. The experience is different for us all. The poet that has been able to move me the most has been Shane Koyczan. I fell in love with his work with ‘We Are More,’ and his poem ‘To This Day’ makes me cry nearly every time I hear it. He speaks to me. He affects me and that is the purpose of poetry. Whether you are reading it or writing it, the purpose is to affect and be affected.

So go forth, pour your soul onto a scrap of paper, or a napkin, whatever is handy, and affect someone. Show the world what you’re made of, what you’re afraid of, and what you can’t let go of.

To close, I leave you with a couple poems that I wrote, in hopes that they affect you.



Blonde hair a tangled rats nest.
Dirty hands, feet and knees.
Messy business this
building an empire of sand.
Sun pouring down in buckets.
You stand staring at me,
wearing your blue swimsuit
that emphasizes your pot belly.
I’m afraid, try as you might,
digging as deep as you dare-
The Lost City of Atlantis,
is not up your nose.


Kitty Ditty

I reach over,
scratch my sleeping kitty.
His fur is soft
on my skin.

I like to catch him
while he sleeps
rough up his fur chanting
“dirty, dirty, dirty!”

I have disturbed him
he sits up and cleans
where I touched.
I have soiled him.


You can find Mariah Wilson here.

This Is My Surprise: I Have A Publisher!

This Is My Surprise: I Have A Publisher!

I seriously feel like The Dancing Writer now.
I seriously feel like The Dancing Writer now.

Stars, do you remember when I said I wanted to self-publish? Well, I found AEC Stellar through Shannon Thompson, and all they required was a blurb. I already had a solid blurb down thanks to the help of Nazarea Andrews. So I subbed my blurb, and within the hour AEC Stellar’s Raymond Vogel got back to me and requested a synopsis and part of the book. I worked an entire day on the synopsis, as I’d never done one. The editor for The Corner Club Press, Mariah Wilson, helped me whip it into shape, and off I sent it with part of the book.

The next day, I heard back and had been accepted! What’s interesting about this company is they do an assessment of the book, basically grading it as a teacher would. My partial received a 92.2%, which is really good, considering I’ve never had professional eyes look at it.

In fact, I just talked to Raymond Vogel today who said it’s in really good shape for having only been edited by me–and I had Mariah Wilson beta read it just for content, but she didn’t have much to say.

We’re hoping for a late summer release, but this is contingent on the editing involved in the process. I’ll explain in another post what prompted this sudden decision.

My Editorial Dream

My Editorial Dream

I’ve wanted to be an editor since I was in the eighth grade butchering my classmates’ stories and realizing how much I enjoyed doing content editing and copy editing. So I began my serious study of the English language because, frankly, public education doesn’t teach English that well, and it was up to me to fill in the holes of my education (like how to REALLY use commas, not just commas in a list). But it wasn’t until college did I start to take this career path seriously, especially considering I knew I would need credentials before even interning or at least working at a local magazine.

This was the first magazine where I received some editorial experience as a slush pile reader.

After being published in The Oddville Press, I came across a thread on their associated website that was asking for slush pile readers. Having no experience, I expressed my desire to be one due to my love of the English language and wanting some editorial experience. So they took me on as a slush pile reader where I finally got experience on the other side of things. One thing I learned from them: that first page is critical because there are lots of other subs to read and if I don’t like that first page, I might as well pass on it because it’s just time consuming to read a manuscript that doesn’t interest me. I slush piled with them for about a year before they ended the magazine because we just couldn’t keep everyone together, but it was an experience I was happy to be a part of. It’s a small step toward achieving a dream, after all.

This was my next place of editorial experience.

After The Oddville Press caved, I somehow stumbled across this gothic magazine–even though I can’t remember how. I saw it was a brand new magazine looking for some staff members, and I decided to apply as an Executive Editor. Not only did I have The Oddville Press as experience, but I was an editor for my high school’s newspaper (I really don’t count it because I didn’t have too much of a say in how things were done), and I wrote for the teen section of my local newspaper. The owner of the magazine decided to bestow me with the title, and I got to work right away writing articles, editing the articles of others, editing fiction, writing fiction, doing some photography, looking for poetry and photography, and seeking out ads to put in the magazine. I even edited a few pieces for a program we were trying to do for teen journalists. I even wrote an entire style guide for the magazine based off the Chicago Manual of Style because I noticed my style of editing differed from the other editor’s style of editing, and we needed one style in order to give the magazine some consistency. So I learned loads working for Sorean. But I eventually had to leave because Sorean was on a break, and I needed to move on, as, during my stint at Sorean, I got called on as an editorial and communications intern for YALITCHAT. I was also working at my university’s writing center at the time, where I learned a lot too and began receiving clients for my freelance editing.

This was my third place of editorial experience, and I received the most experience here that pretty much allowed me to go on and do freelance editing.

As an editorial and communications intern, I was in charge of keeping the website edited, maintaining a list of paid members, maintaining Georgia McBride’s marketing plan, assisting Georgia McBride with with her beta readers, and even her own manuscript on occasion; editing and formatting the newsletter; writing for the newsletter (of which I did like two or three times); vetting query submissions for the agent inbox (at YALITCHAT, if your query gets approved, it gets sent to an agent who puts it as top priority versus those that haven’t been vetted); line editing query letters ready to go to an agent; and assisting with member concerns and greeting new members. I learned enormous amounts about editing from Georgia McBride who edited half of my manuscript. I also learned loads just from beta reading for some of her clients when she wanted to prove a point to her client because he/she wasn’t willing to make the changes needed to better the manuscript. Unfortunately, this is when fibro began to attack me and I had to resign. I just couldn’t do it. Plus, I was in the process of forming my own literary magazine.

This is my magazine, my baby, my creation that would not have been possible without my dear friend Daphne Maysonet.

In truth, I wanted my own literary magazine for the longest time, but I had no experience and had no idea how to go about starting one. But because of all the experience I received from my previous editorial stints, I finally received the knowledge on both the editorial and business ends of how to start one. That, and meeting Daphne, who was interested in helping me make this happen, birthed The Corner Club Press (so named because we sat in the corner of the classroom with our friends and called ourselves The Corner Club). I enjoy every moment of getting to make this magazine come alive. I used to do the photography, but lately all my photography ideas have mainly been for my novel and I can’t come up with any that can comply with a magazine. I still edit, and it is a joy being able to make someone’s day just by sending them an acceptance–even though we do not pay. I love interacting with the writers on the Facebook page because I aim to be personal with everyone who likes us. Even though there have been times where I’ve had to take long vacations from this literary magazine, I have always came back to it because people want to be in it no matter what. And I want to be fair to the writers who submit to us because, well, without writers this magazine wouldn’t exist. Seriously.

I currently am existing in my editorial dream. I’m not being paid for The Corner Club Press, but I certainly do get paid for my freelance editing, of which wouldn’t be possible without all the editorial experience I’ve earned the past few years. I love having my own magazine, my own project, and I love being a freelance editor because I get to function as a teacher and watch my clients grow as writers. That is invaluable experience I would not give up for anything.