Developmental Editing

Do I need to hire a developmental editor? Are you writing a book or a this-will-change-my-life-if-written-well essay? Do you need expert but loving feedback that will bring out your voice?

I’ve been editing, coaching and consulting for over 15 years. I’ve co-authored or contributed to 34 books with Lonely Planet and one with the co-founding editor of The Onion and am now writing my own book (Suitcase to Mars; due 2019) about finding your voice.


  • Travel, culture, adventure
  • Humor, memoir, first-person voice
  • Non-fiction: history, science, psychology, journalism, health
  • Philosophy, spirituality
  • Personal essays, statements of purpose, arts fellowship applications, medical residency essays (specializing in non-native English speakers)

I can edit almost any type of non-fiction, including fairly technical science and technology. I’ve edited far less fiction, but go ahead and try me.

Why Hire Alex I’ve got a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley, where I studied copyediting. I’ve taught Finding Your Voice workshops and classes since 2006 in the United States, Australia, Germany, the UK, Morocco, and China (and on an adventure cruise ship to Alaska), and have worked with hundreds of students, private clients, interns and employees, helping them find their voice. I’m a member of the Northwest Editors Guild and I spent year studying comedy, improv and memoir at The Second City, where I found my voice performing standup.

Method I’ve developed a unique and unconventional method to help writers and non-writers not only find their unique voice, but develop the passion needed to express themselves or share their topic of interest through writing.

Cost The entry-level package for a book is two rounds of developmental feedback on three chapters (up to 60 pages) for $950. This feedback is offered within the chapters themselves (in the ‘Track Changes’ feature) and as an overall memo. An entire book starts at $3000 for one round of developmental edits and voice feedback. An essay starts at $600 for two rounds and includes a final round of line edits.


After my agent sent my memoir manuscript out on submission, and we received lots of compliments but no offers, I had this nagging feeling that there was still something to be done with the book. Enter Alex and her magical brain (work with her for more than 10 minutes and you’ll know what I mean). Alex was able to articulate my nagging feeling with insightful feedback that instantly resonated, and gave me hilarious and constructive point-by-point direction on how to tackle a revision. I know that no stone has been left unturned, and it’s a measurably better book than when it first went out on submission.

Laura Zera

Author and contributor to DAME MagazineThe Washington PostCatapult and others

Read more testimonials from writers, clients and students.