How Do You Find An Editor?

I recently had another writer ask me how to find a freelance editor. I decided that would be a good topic for this blog.

Although most of my blog readers are published or already belong to writers’ groups, some of my readers are still new to the idea of getting published, so I’m going to list several groups that I think might be helpful. If you (my blog readers) know of a group that I haven’t listed, please mention it in a comment.

How do you find an editor?

ASK OTHER WRITERS. If you belong to a national writers’ group where you can post questions, ask for suggestions. Most writers are willing to tell you the name or names of freelance editors they’ve worked with.

If you have read a book that you really liked (one that you felt had been well edited), and find a contact listed for the author, get in touch with that author. Let her or him know that you enjoyed the book, felt it was well edited, and that you’d like to know who did the editing, that you might like to hire that person. If the writer did use a freelance editor, chances are he/she will give you the name and contact information. (If not, what have you lost?)

If you are a relatively new writer and haven’t joined a writers group, why not? Writers groups can offer a lot: writing tips, publishing information, marketing information, and support. Some are closed to non-published writers (Primarily the scifi/fantasy national group), but most have a membership option for non-published. (That’s usually a membership without voting rights.) I’ll list the ones I know about, but go on-line and look for any that focus on the type of writing you do.

  • Romance Writers of America (RWA) RWA has many local chapters that offer personal contact. Some specialize in sub-genres.
  • Mystery Writers of America (MWA) Once you join the national organization you’re automatically enrolled in a regional chapter.
  • International Thriller Writers (ITW) So far this organization is free to join.
  • Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) If you’re writing for children, this is a good one to join. It also has local chapters.
  • Sisters in Crime (SinC) Both men and women belong to this group. Started to help female mystery writers get better recognition. Has many local chapters.
  • Christian Writers This group focuses on Christian Writing and Publishing

There are on-line writers’ groups:

Sites that list groups:

You can also find advertisements for freelance editors in writers’ magazine such as Writer’s Digest, The Writer, and Poets and Writers. (See if your local library has copies of these magazines.) If you do contact one of those editors, ask for references and contact those writers to see if they were satisfied with the work.

Good luck.

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13 Responses to How Do You Find An Editor?

  1. Melissa Keir says:

    I also ask other editors if they know of someone. Editors can quickly become busy with existing clients, it’s always good to have another person’s opinion.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Thanks, Melissa. You are right. If you contact an editor who says he/she isn’t taking on new projects, ask that editor for other recommendations.

  2. Good info, Maris. I’d include the National Writers Union and its locals. Local chambers of commerce sometimes include editors among their members. In Boston, Grub Street is a good resource for published and unpublished writers.

  3. There are also some fine books on self-editing that are valuable. It’s a good idea to put a work aside for a few months after the initial rewrite. A few months later you see the work with fresh eyes and pick up on mistakes.

    • Maris Soule says:

      That’s a good idea, Jacqueline, but many of the writers I’ve met don’t want to wait months. They want to get the story out, as soon as possible.

  4. There are two good sites to find editors:

    The Editorial Freelancers Association, the largest group of editors in the United States. You can search through their directory at

    Also, allows you to search for editors and get quotes as well as sample edits from several.

  5. Cara Bristol says:

    Most authors will name their editors in their books. Check the legal page and acknowledgements. Through the miracle of Google, you can usually locate the editor. Many are on Facebook too.

    Also, there are many indie writer groups on Facebook, and you can get leads on editors there.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Cara, that’s a good idea about checking on Facebook. If they are willing to do freelance editing, they would probably say so on their home page.

  6. Diane Burton says:

    There’s a yahoo group for self-publishing:

    A great place to ask questions.