I’m Meg Storey, a book editor with over ten years of experience.

I love working with authors to help make their work the strongest it can be and their writing as polished as possible while staying true to their voice and vision. I’m a second set of eyes, a fresh perspective, and, when needed, a grammar and syntax enforcer.

Recent Work

Kiss Me Someone

“Dark and sexually violent, Shepard’s work can disturb—but her sharp prose and insights into the human psyche make it worth the read.”

— Kirkus

The Senator’s Children

“Often using only a glimpse of a character and a dusky memory to shape the narrative, Montemarano masterfully exposes the heavy truths that unravel a family, and magnifies the moments that define it.”

— Booklist

The Wilds

“Remarkable … [Elliott’s] dark, modern spin on Southern Gothic creates tales that surprise, shock, and sharply depict vice and virtue.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

The Revolution of Every Day

Winner of the 2015 Oregon Book Award for Fiction

“Excellent debut novel … Her characters are deeply sympathetic and richly drawn, portrayed as struggling New Yorkers first, political outliers second.”

Los Angeles Times

Little Sister

“[A] supernatural domestic thriller and a crackling tour de force in which thunderstorms propel one woman’s mind into another’s body, forcing the traveler to reconsider her own stalled life and reviving long-buried memories of her sister’s death … Thanks to Gowdy’s electric style and vision, the result is unforgettable.”

— New York Times Book Review

The Sleep Garden

“From one of our great deadpan absurdists—a new member of the club to which George Saunders, Robert Coover, and Stanley Elkin belong—comes a book of unearthly delights that will have you, too, wondering nervously what that incessant grinding sound is.”

— Kirkus, Starred Review

The Scamp

“An intense, riveting saga of the multiplying casualties of one family’s secrets and a girl’s determination to take control.”

— Kirkus, Starred Review

The Boatmaker

Winner of the 2015 Goldberg Prize for Debut Fiction

“[P]owerful first novel … no matter how unexpected the course of events, each plot twist seems somehow preordained. His sentences accumulate with a calm and unmistakable authority, as if all this has happened before and is just now coming to light.”

— New York Times Book Review

After James

“Entertaining, apocalyptic and complex.”

— Globe and Mail

Trompe l’Oeil

“Genuinely satisfying, heart-shaking novels combine an absolute narrative authority with an apparently effortless style. You question nothing, savor every phrase and nuance, live willingly within their pages from the first word to the last … Trompe l’Oeil is one such book … This novel doesn’t just ‘trompe’ the ‘oeil,’ it reinvents it.”

— New York Times Book Review

The Search for Heinrich Schlögel

“Baillie delivers a work of magical realism that captures the experience of postcolonial guilt … and gives voice to a silenced past. The temporal shift works perfectly, producing an effect of ghostly haunting alongside childlike wonder.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

You Only Get Letters from Jail

“In this accomplished, moving collection of stories about boys, [Angel] proves the uselessness of the old dictum that you should write what you know.”

New York Times

Ghosts of Bergen County

Ghosts of Bergen County is a tough, compassionate book by a writer with a keen sense of what makes us human, and what makes us, at times, wish we weren’t. As a novel, it’s excellent; as a meditation on grief, it’s stunningly perceptive.”

— NPR

The New and Improved Romie Futch

Romie Futch is imbued equally with the loopy lyricism of Barry Hannah and the wacked-out paranoia of Philip K. Dick, the joyous farce of John Kennedy Toole and the digital dystopia of William Gibson … Elliott’s rambunctious tale snarls and growls on every page, aiming to plunge its lovely, gnarled tusks right into the reader’s heart.”

— New York Times Book Review

Us Conductors

Winner of the 2014 Giller Prize

“Both the voice and the stories it tells transcend the dusty contrivances of much historical fiction, resulting in a novel that feels both fresh and timeless.”

Kirkus, Starred Review

My Approach

As an editor at Tin House Books, I often described the editing process as a series of sieves with a finer mesh for each pass. Typically, the first stage of editing a manuscript focuses on big-picture issues: plot, character, points of view, time line, etc. As an author and I work together to resolve these issues, smaller problems, such as inconsistency and awkward syntax, rise to the surface, and we address those next. Once all the pieces are in place, line editing, copy editing, and proofreading provide the final siftings of the material to its purest form.

As an acquisitions editor, I worked closely with my authors through every stage of the editing process. In my freelance work, I offer developmental editing for those who want feedback regarding the big-picture issues in their work. I offer line and copy editing for those who feel the overall work is ready but needs another set of eyes to refine the details. And I offer proofreading for manuscripts that need a final polish before going to the printer.

Developmental Editing

I began my editing career as a copy editor, so attention to detail is still a large part of my approach even when working as a developmental editor. In a developmental edit letter, I not only address issues such as voice, character motivation, and plot but I also note inconsistencies and awkward language if they are prevalent enough to affect the overall manuscript. I consider myself a guide through the editing process, and I think the greatest satisfaction as an editor is to point out a problem in a manuscript and to suggest a few ways to solve it, but to let the writer navigate his or her own way to the solution. Many times, my feedback has provided the path to the solution, which the author was able to determine on his or her own, with my guidance.

Copy Editing

As a copy editor, I respect the author’s voice and suggest changes that are in keeping with that voice. I adhere to The Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster, but also note when that style may not be appropriate or in keeping with the overall tone of the work. While I focus mostly on grammar, syntax, consistency, and fact-checking, I may also comment on plot holes or issues of believability if they are minor enough to be addressed on the line level.

Proofreading

Every manuscript needs at least three sets of eyes during the production process, and the proofreader’s is the last set before the manuscript goes to the printer. At this stage, I am looking for any typos or inconsistencies that the copy editor missed (no one catches everything, not even me!). If I notice a plot discrepancy, I point it out and suggest ways to address it that will not alter the overall flow of the layout. If I notice a fact-checking error, I fact-check other items to make sure the fact-checking is complete.

My Overall Philosophy

My overall philosophy as an editor is that my job is to help an author make his or her work the best it can be and that the end result should feel true to the author’s vision and voice. If you are interested in editorial feedback at any stage of the process, I am happy to discuss how we can work together on your manuscript.

Testimonials

“Meg is incredible. As a copy editor and editor, she sweats every last tiny detail—nothing escapes her—and at the same time manages to fully grasp plot, character, tone, and consistency. Countless authors have come back to me humbled, thanking Meg for making their work as good as it can be.”

— Rob Spillman, editor of Tin House magazine

“Meg Storey is a brilliant editor. She is graced with tact, finesse, and unwavering commitment. I’ve worked with her on an individual project of my own and also when she served as editorial associate of Literature and Medicine (Johns Hopkins University Press). Pouring over a text with her was actually fun, as smooth as silk. She is a stress remover! There was no detail too small and no concept too large that she could not clarify or make more vivid. Meg was our secret weapon.”

Maura Spiegel, Associate Director, The Program in Narrative Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

“Meg Storey edited my most recent novel, Little Sister. It was the first time we had worked together, and before the process began I was apprehensive. But everything turned out wonderfully. Meg was great. She has a brilliant mind and fine-tuned instincts. She offers creative solutions with all the tact and precision you could hope for. On top of that, she’s funny, friendly, open, patient, and always available. Lucky the writers whose manuscripts end up in her hands.”

Barbara Gowdy, author of Little Sister

“Meg is an incisive, subtle, and meticulous editor—someone who makes manuscripts into books.”

— Sean Michaels, author of Us Conductors

“I’m more than happy to tell pretty much anyone that my experience being edited by Meg Storey at Tin House Books was the best of my publishing experiences. I’ve been edited by five different editors at four different houses, and I imagine I’m a pretty annoying author to edit given that by the time a manuscript gets to my editor, it’s been gone over and gone over by not only me but also by my first and last reader, my husband, Jim Shepard, who’s the best close reader in the universe. So, to be my editor, you really have to make your case, and I’ve never felt more challenged and taken care of than by Meg. She’s whip-smart and generous, and manages to reveal to an author the author’s best version of herself as a writer. She has helped me travel the road I was on faster and better than I could manage on my own. She’s like my own turbo-charged sports car, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the places she’s taken me.”

— Karen Shepard, author of The Celestials and Kiss Me Someone

“To me, Meg Storey is the dream editor. Her invaluable insights into the work and her vision for the project’s best potential are matched by her generosity, her implicit collaborative sense, and her exquisite macro- and micro-level editorial gifts. Her precision and care are, to my mind, singular. The chance to work with Meg is amazing good luck.”

— Nancy Reisman, author of Trompe l’Oeil

“When I presented my unruly novel The New and Improved Romie Futch to Meg Storey, she had an idea so ingenious that it made me slap my head. Her insight rekindled and transformed my stagnant narrative. After working on two books with Meg, I wondered how I’d get through my writing life without her brilliance and kindness. Not only does Meg have an uncanny knack for zeroing in on structural weaknesses and coaxing a writer into grappling with them, but she’s also an eagle-eyed line editor with a deep understanding of literary characters. She crawled into my books, inhabited their strange worlds, and made me a better writer.”

Julia Elliott, author of The Wilds and The New and Improved Romie Futch

“Sometimes I like to imagine I’m dead (bear with me here) and have left behind an almost-but-not-quite finished manuscript. So then of course I ask myself: Who would I want to edit it? The answer every time is Meg Storey. Meg is a genius on issues global and also textual. Every book of mine she has edited she has made immeasurably better (almost to the point, when I look back at the original text, of embarrassment). One of the great gifts I’ve been given as a writer is the chance to work with Meg.”

Jim Krusoe, author of Girl Factory, Erased, Toward You, Parsifal, and The Sleep Garden

“Meg is incredible. As a copy editor and editor, she sweats every last tiny detail—nothing escapes her—and at the same time manages to fully grasp plot, character, tone, and consistency. Countless authors have come back to me humbled, thanking Meg for making their work as good as it can be.”

Rob Spillman
editor of Tin House magazine

“Meg Storey edited my most recent novel, Little Sister. It was the first time we had worked together, and before the process began I was apprehensive. But everything turned out wonderfully. Meg was great. She has a brilliant mind and fine-tuned instincts. She offers creative solutions with all the tact and precision you could hope for. On top of that, she’s funny, friendly, open, patient, and always available. Lucky the writers whose manuscripts end up in her hands.”

Barbara Gowdy
author of Little Sister

“To me, Meg Storey is the dream editor. Her invaluable insights into the work and her vision for the project’s best potential are matched by her generosity, her implicit collaborative sense, and her exquisite macro- and micro-level editorial gifts. Her precision and care are, to my mind, singular. The chance to work with Meg is amazing good luck.”

Nancy Reisman
author of Trompe l’Oeil

My Background

I began working as a freelance copy editor and proofreader in 2004. My first clients included the academic journal Literature and Medicine and the literary magazine Tin House. In 2005, I became an assistant editor at Tin House Books and quickly moved on to acquisitions and developmental editing.

Over my career I have edited novels and short story collections and copy edited novels, short stories, articles, essays, and poetry. I taught developmental editing in Portland State University’s masters in publishing program. I was a faculty member of Summer Literary Seminars (SLS) Saint Petersburg in 2007 and 2008 and SLS Montreal in 2011. And I mentored participants of the Tin House Summer Workshop, providing detailed feedback on novels and short story collections. During my time at Tin House, books I edited won the Giller Prize, the Goldberg Prize for Debut Fiction, and the Oregon Book Award for Fiction.

As a copy editor, I have worked with authors as varied as Alice Munro, Etgar Keret, Ursula K. Le Guin, Anthony Doerr, Tayari Jones, Karen Russell, and Jim Shepard. In my free time, I volunteer with literacy and education programs serving the immigrant and refugee population in Portland, Oregon.

 

Get in Touch

Please use this form to contact me directly.

Please include information such as a description of the work, the length of your manuscript, the type of editing you would like, and your goals and time line for the project. Feel free to include any information about yourself that might be pertinent to our work together. I am happy to review a sample chapter or excerpt of the work at no cost to ensure that I am a good fit for your writing and to get a sense of the scope of the project. For copy editing and proofreading, I charge an hourly rate in line with industry rates. For developmental editing, we can discuss a flat fee that feels appropriate. I look forward to speaking with you.

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