Testimonials

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Editing separates amateurs from authors.  Good editing separates authors from published and successful authors.  And the Woman With a Red Pen is here to help you do exactly that.

I chose to work with Bev Gelfand for many reasons.  She is an avid reader in many genres, so she can give me authentic feedback on what my readers are likely to think about a given character, scene, or plot.  That alone is invaluable.  As an editor, her spelling, grammar, and attention to detail are all top notch.  I would expect as much of any quality editor, but she can also help improve your work by identifying awkward sentences, clumsy constructions, or words and phrases that do not match the tone.  Her judgment is all but infallible when it comes to pointing out plot holes, inconsistencies, and other gotcha! errors that creep into longer works, too.  Bev is fast, consistent, and remarkably fair and balanced in her feedback: neither false praise nor unearned criticism will she give you.  And when her red pen finally rests, you will find that your work, like mine, has reached a level of polish far beyond what you would have been able to achieve on your own.

Do yourself a favor.  Separate your work - and yourself! - from the amateurs.  Get your book the level of polish and professionalism it deserves.  And get it from The Woman With a Red Pen.  You won't be sorry.

 --Peter A. Smalley

 


...She gave it a quick initial pass and picked out things I didn’t even know I did, patterns I didn’t know I had. Then she put on protective gear, grabbed a fresh box of red pens, and set to work in a more serious fashion.

I cannot stress how pleased I am with the results. What struck me about Bev during our initial conversation was that she felt strongly that she wasn’t there to change my message, my story. She was there to make it better. Bev used the analogy that if I was about to give a speech, she’d be the one checking my notes, straightening my tie, and giving everything that last, vital look before I stepped onto the stage. Perfect.

Writers, we need editors. Editors need other editors. We’re too close to our work to reliably see its flaws and an outside perspective can show what isn’t necessarily clear to the readers–although, frankly, it’s their own damned fault for not being omniscient.

If you’re looking for an editor, I cannot encourage you enough to engage Bev’s services. She gets it!

(Excerpt from R.K.'s blog post)

--R.K. MacPherson


When you’re ready to admit your book isn’t as good as you think it is, you should get a hold of Bev Gelfand. She’s got the special combination of attention, insight and bluntness that will take your book to the next level. As a reader, she’s fast, focused and detail oriented: she knows where you meant your story to go, and can tell you ways to get it there. And as an editor, she’s thorough and just unkind enough to make it work. All your mistaken paths, all your erroneous characterizations, will be noticed and called out. And if you work hard and pay attention, you’ll end up with a much better work. A warning, though: Bev is pretty blunt. If you want to keep thinking your book is as perfect as you imagine it, don’t hire her. And also, give up on writing, because if you can’t take criticism, you’re not ready.

--Jason Vanhee