editorial services

I offer a range of fiction and nonfiction editorial services, with a focus on work revolving around social justice topics. Exact pricing varies by project specifics, including type, scope, and subject expertise. Please email (sesmith at realsesmith dot com) with an overview of your project and editorial needs for further discussion. I will do my best to respond within 24 hours.

Prior to embarking on any editorial project, we will agree on a fixed estimate — any overruns (including for scope creep) will be cleared with you first. A 50 percent deposit is required before beginning work and all billing is adjusted for parity; e.g. a Black woman would be billed at $0.63 to the dollar to reflect her earnings disparity.


My nonfiction editing includes essays, academic works, articles, reporting, project proposals, and similar works — if you have a scope of work that falls outside these categories, please contact me to discuss it.

My fiction editing includes children’s and adult fiction, with the exceptions of poetry and erotica — sorry! These are not my areas of expertise and you would be better served with a different editor. I have particular preference for works that offer diverse representation of characters from marginalised backgrounds, including nonwhite characters, people of colour, transgender characters, LGBQ characters, disabled characters, characters from marginalised class backgrounds, religious minorities, immigrants, women, cultural minorities, and ethnic minorities.

Academic editing: I take on MA and PhD theses and other large academic projects at discretion, depending on subject matter (including both sciences and humanities) and schedule availability. My academic editing focuses on helping you develop consistent style and tone that also adheres to your academic institution’s guidelines on final thesis submissions. I will work with you on up to three revisions, with phone or Skype consultations (personal consultations available in the greater Bay Area for additional fees).

Our work together may include one or more of the following:

Copy editing: Line by line checks for grammar, spelling, and stylistic consistency.

Line editing: Similar to copyediting, but with the addition of attention to sentence structure, word choice, and other broader-scope stylistic issues.

Developmental editing: Big-picture editing. Overall structure, organisation, development and articulation of your argument, with first and second pass edits in addition to up to two phone/Skype calls.