Looking for a Freelance Editor?

Freelance Editors for Hire

Professional Freelance Editors, Proofreaders, Indexers and Researchers

Need a skilled editor or proofreader? Reach out to the experienced professionals below, and be sure to indicate you were referred by Black Writers.

Tia Ross Editorial

Tia Ross Editorial

Tia Ross
Skills: Copy editing, content/line editing, proofreading
Specialties: Nonfiction, Technical, Multimedia, Website Content, Blog, Business, Magazine,
Textbook, Scripts, Fiction (under 60K words)

Once named among the top freelance book doctors in the U.S. by Writer’s Digest, Tia Ross is a copy and technical editor with 20+ years of experience. With a technical background in software and database programming, web design, web application development, computer forensics, technical writing and content management, she is an editor who’s a real techie. Her capabilities include editing within HTML, XML, PHP, content management systems, Adobe Flash/Animate, InDesign and InCopy, Proof HQ, Final Draft and other programs.

Tia has an associate of applied science in software programming from Brookhaven College, an associate of arts with a minor in writing from Western International University, and is completing a bachelor of science in information science and technology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She serves on the Board of Directors of Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) and is a member of Society for Technical Communication (STC), Meeting Planners International (MPI) and Project Management Institute (PMI).

EBM Professional Services

Michelle Chester
Email: michelle@ebm-services.com
Phone: 469-222-3418
Skills: Copy editing, developmental editing, line editing, proofreading
Specialties: African-American lit, Fiction-Adult, Fiction-Children, Fiction-Short/Anthologies, Fiction-Young adult, Genre fiction, Manuscript evaluation, Academic, Nonfiction, Business, Textbook, Technical, Website content, Other

Michelle Chester is the owner of EBM Professional Services, a full-service firm specializing in content editing, copyediting, proofreading, and manuscript critiques. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a Technical Writer/Editor in the corporate world. Michelle has done freelance editing for a number of publishers and numerous published authors. Alongside working on freelance projects, Michelle served as Editorial Assistant for Written magazine (www.writtenmag.com); Contributing Editor for Sophisticated Groom magazine; and proofreader for the Society Life magazine (www.societylifemagazine.com).

Embolden Media Group LLC

Jevon Bolden
E-mail: jevonbolden77@gmail.com
Phone: 407-529-7234
Skills: Copy editing, developmental editing, line editing, proofreading, research/fact checking, ghostwriting
Specialties: Fiction-Children, Manuscript Evaluation, Nonfiction, Business

As a senior acquisitions and developmental editor, Jevon Oakman Bolden has been an essential editorial partner and writing coach to a number of best-selling authors for thirteen years. Beginning her career as a copyeditor, she has moved up the editorial ranks to senior editor. She has experience in a broad range of topics including natural health and wellness, personal growth, Christian living and spiritual growth, and children’s nonfiction.

Jevon has a bachelor of arts degree in English with a minor in Sociology from the University of Alabama and is currently pursuing a master of arts in English Literature from Mercy College in New York, with further plans to obtain a PhD.

TriLexica Editorial

Audrey Esquivel
E-mail: aesquivel@trilexica.com
Phone: 919-413-4568
Skills: Proofreading, research/fact checking, transcription
Specialties: Medical, Nonfiction, Business, Textbook, Technical, Website Content, Other

HKelleyB’s Editorial Services

Helen Burroughs
E-mail: HKelleyB@aol.com
Skills: Copy editing, developmental editing, line editing, proofreading
Specialties: African-American lit, Fiction-Adult, Fiction-Young Adult, Genre Fiction, Manuscript Evaluation

While Helen works with all fiction genres, she specializes in:
– Young Adult (YA) Fantasy and Dystopian Fiction
– New Adult (NA) Fantasy and Dystopian Fiction
– Science Fiction and Fantasy (Sci-Fi/F) Fiction
– Contemporary Romance Fiction
– Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller Fiction

Patrice Johnson
Skills: Fact-checking, research and transcription

Thurman “Tee” Watts
Skills: Ghostwriting, children’s fiction

Curious about common editorial rates? See the Editorial Freelancers Association’s Price Range Chart.

Get Listed

Are you an experienced, professional freelance editor interested in applying for a listing? Learn more.


D.L. Russell Turns Love for Dark Horror Into Platform for Speculative Fiction Writers

D.L. Russell

by Deb Osorio

Millennials do not know life without the Internet, or cell phones, or any of the technologies that were once solely found in comic books and the speculative fiction (SF) section of the bookstore. Over the past several years, SF has grown from the dusty corner at the back of the bookstore to the front shelves and The New York Times bestseller lists. This growth is opening doors for writers to broaden their horizons and share their visions of horror, science fiction and fantasy with a growing audience—new worlds and new opportunities for writers who are drawn to that certain ‘something different.’

I had the pleasure of interviewing David ‘D.L.’ Russell about his plans both as a writer and a publisher for 2017. As the co-founder of Black Books Publishing, Inc., D.L. has taken his love for dark horror and provided a platform for like minded writers.

What is in the works for Black Books Publishing in 2017?
We are currently working on three titles for 2017 but remain open to novel submissions.

As an editor/publisher, what are you looking for in the manuscripts that cross your desk?
Most important is a good story. The editing process can improve a story, but first impressions are important. If the story does not capture my attention and entertain me from page one, it will not make the cut. That said, Black Books Publishing can and will take the time to work with an open-minded writer to take their story to the next level. Their success is our success.

What are the common traps for aspiring writers?
Commonly, aspiring writers need to be open to constructive criticism. As far as style and technique, word flow is very important. Redundancies and repetition can kill an otherwise good story.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Reading submissions and seeing the issues other writers encountered has helped me look at my own work a little closer.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I would tell my younger self not to read so many ‘how-to’ books. I became so wrapped up in the ‘rules’ of writing, I lost the ability to just let the words flow and worry about the editing after I was done. We’re talking over twenty years ago now, and I still feel I lost some great ideas just by over-thinking the ‘rules.’

What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
I don’t feel magazines or websites are as important as reading material by other writers. This allows a writer to see what’s being sold and what’s being done to death. More importantly, use your own creativity. We all have our own unique experiences and they affect how we see the worlds we create in our writing.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching/planning before writing?
I try to draw on life experience as much as possible. I am naturally a curious person, and even the smallest snippet of information can end up in a story. This is what it means to write what you know. Back in the early 90s I came across a tidbit of information on chickens and the poultry processing industry. I mentally filed this away and, years later, while writing my horror collection “Hell Is An Awfully Big City,” this tidbit of information played a crucial role in the plot for my novelette, “That Ain’t No Chicken.”

Sometimes it is just that simple. Research has its place, but writers should try to write what they know as much as possible.

How many unpublished and half-finished stories/books do you have?
Dozens. No one gets everything they write published. Some are stories I started and realized I’d seen the idea before. Others are stuck at a certain point, and some I simply realized were below the standard I wanted to set for myself.

What does literary success look like to you?
Everyone would like that million seller, made into a blockbuster movie. Still, even selling 10,000 copies of your work, and having readers returning to your website consistently because they enjoy your work, would be just as much a success in my opinion.

D.L. Russell is creating a home for the writers who dance in the dark to the beat of a different drummer. Stop by his home on the web at http://www.blackbookspublishing.com.

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Deb Osorio is a native New Yorker who decided to chase warmer temps and move to Florida. Freelance writer, urban fantasy novelist and lover of all things speculative fiction, she enjoys exploring new worlds and adventures.  She can be reached at deb@writeallthewords.com and on Twitter.


Are you an emerging science fiction or fantasy writer?

Check out ArmadilloCON‘s workshop being held in Austin, Texas, on August 4, 2017.

ArmadilloCon Writers’ Workshop is actively seeking participation from a diverse audience. Interested writers of color who wish to apply for a free registration must do so by June 11. Details 


How To Include Your Personality in Your Writing

personalityWhat does it really mean, including your personality in your writing?

How can writers reflect aspects of their personality through their words?

Unlike actors, speakers and performers, writers only have their words to create the magic, the drama and reflect all those emotions that are a part of their personality. It is important to reflect your own traits and passions through your writing because that is the only way you can be true to your vocation and discover your great potential.

Take a look at this passage:

I was panicking so badly that my hands begin trembling, and as I made my way towards the court room, my mind was racing with all the things I was going to say to plead my innocence. I opened the bottle of water I was carrying, but my agitation and nervousness did not let more than two gulps pass through my throat.

Now read this one:

I was worried and upset as I made my way to the courtroom. I took a few gulps of water, but I was too nervous to feel thirsty.

Do you notice any differences?

Even though it is obvious that both the passages talk about the same person headed to a courtroom, but we have enough evidence to jump to the conclusion that while the first writer is expressively descriptive, the second one seems to be a man of few words.

    Here are some tricks that can help you:

  • Devour more literature and books so that you can discover the personalities and traits of other writers. This will naturally help you discover your own personality, and absorb words and phrases that can be ideal to incorporate your traits in your writing.
  • Write as much and as often as you can, because the more you will write, the greater your talent will become, and hence, you will become smarter at mirroring your personality in your words.
  • Keeping a daily journal can help you learn more about your personality. Since your journal will be private, it will bring out your personality in your writing without any inhibitions or fear, and help you learn about your own writing traits and characteristics.
  • Reading out loud is another trick that has helped some of the greatest actors, writers and speakers. Listening to your own words or perhaps a book out loud in your own voice allows you to include your own personality in what you are reading. And this will ultimately help you in discovering your own personality as a writer.

5 Must-Know Rules for Writing Your First Book

5 Must Know Rules for Writing Your First Book

5 Must Know Rules for Writing Your First BookBy CJ Childress

While on your way to total #BOSSBABE dominance a little itch strikes you…

You’ve caught on to the idea that being an author can boost your profile to uber it girl status. Not just because every book that one sells = moolah in their pocket, but for the very fact that those that write books are admitted entry into an elite sorority. A girls’ club that entitles you to more professional opportunities. More speaking engagements. More leading of workshops. More clients. More authority.

And let’s keep it real, we live in a world where MORE is apart of the game. MORE is what we want as we build our Boss Babe careers.

And even when we’ve made it, we will then want more down time, more balance, more security.


I am sure you’re now saying, “Yeah yeah yeah, the hell with all of that philosophy. How do I write my first book?”

That’s fair, because that is what you came here for. If you’re up for the gorgeous challenge, then here goes: Continue reading “5 Must-Know Rules for Writing Your First Book”


4 Tips for Crowdfunding Your Book

Crowdfunding Your Book Project

Technology has enabled writers to discover unique ways to self-publish their works, and many writers are using crowdfunding as one of those means. Crowdfunding is simply the practice of funding a project by raising money via the internet or through fundraising. Whether your book is in the works or has been completed, supporters — both known to you and unknown — can financially support your production efforts on your road to being published. Crowdfunding can also help you to promote yourself as an author and attract new fans. Here are some tips that can help you get started.

Crowdfunding Your Book ProjectTip 1: Rally an initial team of supporters who will back you with this project. They do not have any investments at stake, although they may donate as well. They are simply helping you to get the word out about your crowdfunding project.

Tip 2: Choose a platform. This is the place where the financial exchanges will take place. There are very useful websites such as Kickstarter, Go Fund Me, and a number of others, that will allow you to set up a page for your project. Potential funders will go to this website in order to make their donation.

Tip 3: Devise a marketing strategy for the crowdfunding of your project. Getting the word out is the key to crowdfunding success. It not only helps you promote your project, but it creates a great level of anticipation as well. When people donate to the crowdfunding project, they become aware of your work and can begin to anticipate its completion. Fans of your previous work(s) are then able to not only fund the project.

Social media has been proven to be the best way to promote your project. This will also help to build your fan base which is a great advantage to taking this route. Social media also makes it easier for supporters to tell others about your project and share the crowdfunding website with others.

Tip 4: Set a low minimum donation requirement. One of the many benefits to using crowdfunding to fund your project is that the minimum donation requirement can be very low. People do not have to feel obligated to put in their live savings but can still help you, even if it is just a dollar donation. So start your donations off low. This will benefit both you and the fans of your work.

This is an opportune way for talented writers who do not have the funds to publish their finished work to get their book into print. crowdfunding is a great way to help you get your book published. No longer should writers to get discouraged about finances. There are now new creative ways for the writer to not have to focus on funds, but simply their writing.

– Jaden B.

For over a decade, Jaden B. has been covering writing, publishing, and technology topics. She currently resides in Atlanta and is working on her next novel.


Call for Proposals

hyatt-palm-springs-meetingBlack Writers Events invites you to contribute your ideas, experience, and expertise at our 2016 retreat. While proposals on all topics will be considered, we are specifically seeking sessions on Profitable Freelancing and Tech Topics for Writers to be presented to attendees. Profitable Freelancing should focus on proven techniques for generating sustainable income through freelance writing business(es). Tech Topics should address online marketing, creating a website and blog, social networking, electronic publishing, and related topics. For more information, download the RFP in Microsoft Word or PDF format.


An Interview with Tia Ross, Founder of Black Writers Events

Tia Ross

Tia RossTia Ross, founder and director of Black Writers Events, was recently featured among Women Making History in honor of Women’s History month. In this insightful interview with Jeanette Hill, the discussion focuses on her work with and future plans for Black Writers Reunion & Conference, Black Writers Alliance, and Black Writers Events.

You created the Black Writer’s Reunion Conference (BWRC), the most successful writer’s conference for African American writers and authors. Tell us how you came up with the concept and how you implemented it so successfully?

Memphis Vaughan Jr. of TimBookTu.com and I first toyed around with the idea of a writer’s conference for our online communities in the late 90s. I’d just formed the first 501c3 literary arts association to organize online for Black writers and he was featuring up-and-coming authors on his site (and still is, 17 years later). I thought it was too soon to launch the event. A year later, members of my organization wanted a meet-up, and Charene Thornton, one of the members, began coordinating the event in Atlanta. I felt that if we were going to dedicate valuable time and resources to it, then we needed to also incorporate education, book promotions, contests, and other key conference components.
BWRC TIA 2001We were already this big, very close-knit family of writers by that time, so I gave it the name “Reunion & Conference” to acknowledge the family gathering as an equally important component of the event. Its success was borne from the fact that it was, and continued to be, a collective family effort in support of the vision I shared with them and our mission to continue to build upon the nurturing community we all cherished.

You are a master at networking and negotiating, both valued skills. When working on a project with so many variable components, how do you determine which people will be a fit?

Read more at Tia Ross, A True Renaissance Woman.


Writing a Novel In Under a Year

Black Writers - Write a Novel in Under a Year

Black Writers - Write a Novel in Under a YearMake no mistake, writing and publishing a novel is no small feat. The elite class of people who have accomplished this — either by traditional or independent publishing — are few. Finishing your first novel will be a challenge, but one you can overcome with careful planning and diligent effort. If you want to finish your novel within a year or less, there are several things that you can do to make this a reality.

Plan Your Writing

One of the most common questions writers ask when planning to write a novel is how many words or pages they should write. While some experts advise that an adult commercial or literary fiction novel should ideally be no fewer than 80,000 words with the most acceptable range between 80,000 and 110,000 words, the reality is that 70,000 or even 60,000 words can still be considered a novel. Your target word count will depend on your genre.

But for your goal-setting purposes, an 80,000 word novel is approximately 188-258 pages. To complete an 80,000-word novel in a month, you will have to write 2,667 words a day. While this may seem daunting, it can often be easy to bang out this amount or more when ideas and your storyline start flowing. Many writers designate a set time each day to write. Some get up before dawn to write while others toil away at their novels until well past midnight. The goal is to write consistently each day.

Set a Deadline

The key to getting your novel finished is to set a deadline. For writers who want to publish on Amazon, the site allows you to pre-release your novel before it is finished. Amazon will give you a date that the work must be submitted in order to be released on that date. This is a great way to impose a deadline on yourself that will propel you to complete your novel.

Leave yourself additional time for the post-work after you have completed your book. This means re-reading and rewriting, having the book professionally edited, formatted, and your cover designed. You will need to order an ISBN, arrange to have an author’s copy printed, and set up book signing events. Plan this time into your deadline to be sure your book is ready to go on your release date.

With the right amount of effort and planning, you can finish writing your novel in a month and be published within a year. By applying these few tips, you will become a published author and join the ranks of writers across the world who share this distinction long before this year ends.

Part 3 of a series for the aspiring novelist


Best Software Programs for Writers

Great Dialogue writing software

In this article we discuss several of the best software programs designed for fiction writers. These programs aim to help save writers hours of time in addition to offering a plethora of benefits that writers may find immensely useful.

Great Dialogue

Great Dialogue writing softwareNothing sinks a novel faster than poor dialogue. This software from WordPower Technologies contains a repository of thousands of samples of the best dialogue from videos, television, and books. Many of these offer a detailed analysis. This software offers 101 dialogue practices and techniques so that you can learn by seeing great dialogue in action, which can help you to improve your dialogue skills. The cost of the software is a winner since, at $20, it isn’t expensive. (Windows)


Ideal for beginners, NewNovelist enables you to break down the process of novel writing into manageable chunks. The program helps newbies to get organized while offering writing advice and creative inspiration. (Windows, $29)


WriteItNow is a creative writing tool that aims to help the writer to easily organize writing and background materials. It basically acts as a cloud, which means you can get rid of all of those sticky notes and scraps of paper and manage your story and historical material (figures, areas, functions, and descriptions) in one single place. (Windows/Mac, $70)


With this free storywriting software, you manage your novel as a ‘project’ into chapters and scenes, adding sections to the undertaking, locations, heroes, objects and then moments. Organize a visual format of your work, a storyboard watch, and more. (Windows, $0)


Designed to support the writer through the entire process, Scrivener enables you to outline and structure ideas, manage and view research, keep notes, and storyboard your work on a virtual corkboard and more. (Mac, $45; Windows, $40)

Dramatica Pro and Dramatica Story Expert

Dramatica software for writersOne of the more popular programs for writers, Dramatica (Pro for Windows/Dramatica Story Expert for Mac) can be a complete fiction writing tool. It’s a bit like having a coach working with you as you write. You will be ready to cast and build your characters, plot, subjects, and your history, and fit all of it together into scenes. While’s a bit more expensive, unfortunately it doesn’t write your story for you. It does, however, make you think by offering suggestions you might not have considered. (Pro, $129; Story Expert, $159)

While few of these software programs are free, sometimes it’s worth investing in software that will make your job as a writer easier. Buying a program that can achieve this can undoubtedly be one of those investments that enhance your production along with your bottom line for years to come.