Denise O’Hagan

Words are the source of misunderstandings.’
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

black quill press

Nearly every sort of writing, from dissertations and technical manuals to flash fiction and full-length novels, benefits from a degree of editorial involvement.

There are two types of editing: copy editing (or line editing) and structural (also known as substantive or developmental) editing. If you’re not sure what you need, a manuscript assessment may help you decide the best way forwards.

Structural editing

This involves ensuring the broad structure of your material is logical and sequential, and broken down appropriately into paragraphs and sections. It typically includes rewriting, the use of Plain English, the sequencing of material, the insertion of headings and other suggestions for substantive improvement. Suggested changes are best discussed before being implemented (using Track Changes).

Copy editing

When your material is finalised, copy editing will make it shine. Grammar, spelling, punctuation, clarity and consistency are all addressed, together with the rhythm and flow of text. All changes are made using Track Changes so the author can approve each one.

Manuscript assessment

Review includes consideration of (a) structural integrity, (b) the level and nature of editorial work recommended, (c) suitability of text to intended audience, and (d) a consideration of publishing prospects.


  • Copy editing: $90 per hour.
  • Structural editing: $100 per hour.
  • Manuscript assessment:
    $100 flat fee (up to 4000 words)
    $300 flat fee (up to 10,000 words).