Monthly Archives: March 2021

Win $1,000 of Free Editing!


To celebrate my reaching 10,000 Tweets, I’m giving away $1,000 of professional editing to a lucky writer. Free. No catches, no mailing lists, nothing. This is a genuine free prize.

All fiction genres will be considered, as well as some nonfiction (no academic work, technical publications, anything political, etc.). The contest opens to entries today and remains open two weeks.

How to Enter

To enter, all you need do is send me your first 2,500 words pasted into an email as text without any cover note, images, explanations, formatting, etc.: ONLY the first 2,500 words of your ms., with a line break between paras and a hashtag, asterisk, four-leaf clover, or whatever to indicate scene breaks. Your title and name go in the email subject line. Receipt will be acknowledged. Send your contest entry to .

Note that all the information you need is contained on this page. Emails asking questions will go unanswered.

Selection Criteria

My initial sort will be based on quality of writing1 and whether I feel we have a good fit2. If you pass the initial sort, I’ll want your manuscript – yes, the whole manuscript3 – in doc or docx format. Don’t worry about spacing, fonts, margins, or any of that stuff at this stage.

In the event of my ending up with a number of equally good candidates, the winner will be selected from among these in a blind draw.

What You Get

At my base rate of 1.5c ($.015)/word, this means manuscripts up to 66,500 words will be edited at absolutely no cost to you. Anything over that wordcount will be charged at a heavily discounted (33%) rate of 1c/word up to 90k words, and over that at my regular 1.5c/word base rate. So if your ms. is, say, 90k words, it would cost you $235 for the extra 23.5k words. Not a bad deal for a novel-length work!

As to what’s covered by my process, you get a full copy-and line-edit, and I’ll catch a lot of the things a proofreader will along the way. I will also supply limited developmental guidance if any seems necessary4.


The winner will be announced on Sunday, May 2nd. The winning edit start date will to be determined according to my calendar, and will take me approximately 4 to 6 weeks.

Cutoff Date

No entries will be accepted after Midnight PST on Sunday April 11th, 2021.

Good luck!

1 This doesn’t mean only professional-level writers will get a look. I’m very friendly to diamonds in the rough and debut novels.

2 The ms. needs to hold some interest for me, and this is also true of any paid editing work I take on. A bored editor who keeps falling asleep typically doesn’t do a good job.

3 The reason for me requesting the whole ms. is that it’s not unusual to see mss. that begin well then fall to pieces as the work progresses. I’m not talking about grammatical errors, syntax, awkward paragraphs, characters’ eye colour changing, etc. — that’s what editors exist to fix! But there needs to be some consistency in the writing throughout the draft showing that the author has done start-to-finish revision passes. So I’ll be dipping into each ms. at various points as I do my sort.

4 Applies to winner only. Please do not ask or expect any feedback unless your ms. is selected, it’s simply not possible; and even then, this is an edit, not a critique. Thank you!


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