EDITING

WHAT I OFFER

Editing, critique, and one-on-one coaching services for writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

WHO I AM

For my history, sensibility, and cri de coeur approach, this INTERVIEW is a start.

WHAT QUALIFIES ME

EXPERIENCE: I’ve published twelve books, including top NY-agented, unagented, and self-published. For the last six years, I’ve written a weekly arts and culture column, and a monthly column on an unsung saint.

TOP EDITING/STORY SKILLS: I’ve been writing my life for 25 years. I’ve written and recorded over 30 slice-of-life commentaries for NPR’s “All Things Considered.” I’ve published  memoir, essay collections, creative non-fiction, blog posts, spiritual reflections, columns, and features.  

I’ve taught at the LA Writer’s Lab, host my own writing workshops, and have edited and helped shepherd into being dozens of works of nonfiction, memoir and poetry.

SUCCESS: I’ve been featured in the Best American Spiritual Writing series, and received numerous “Notable Essay” citations in the Best American Essays series. My memoir Parched was named by The Fix as one of their top ten addiction memoirs. My book Holy Desperation (Loyola Press) won “Book of the Year” (2018) from the Association of Catholic Publishers. I’ve received countless awards over the years from the Catholic Press Association for columns, reflections, and essays.

WHAT I BELIEVE

That books, art, and music have the power literally to save people’s lives–because they saved mine. 



SERVICES AND RATES:

I can shape personal essays, short stories, novels, and screenplays. I’m open to ghostwriting. And I’m way into memoir. We can go about your project in one, or a combination of, the below ways.

I prefer completed book-length projects but will consider shorter works on an ongoing basis; e.g. consulting on a regular column. I’m also fine with editing works-in-progress and consulting as the work moves toward completion.

1. SIMPLE TWO-PAGE WRITTEN EVALUATION OF PROPOSAL:

For tips on writing a great sample proposal (i.e. pitch letter, 1-2 page synopsis, list of chapters, and sample chapter, click here. Fee: $1500.

2. SIMPLE MANUSCRIPT EVALUATION:

The evaluation comprises 3-5 pages of notes on content structure, flow, chapter breaks, point-of-view, tone, voice, and dialogue. Up to 200 pages double-spaced, 12-pt. Fee: $2000.

3. FULL MANUSCRIPT EVALUATION: 

The evaluation comprises: 7-9 pages of notes, including: Overall feedback, questions, and notes on story, theme, character, structure, dialogue, point-of-view, tone, and marketability.

Line editing: grammar, syntax, spelling, usage. 

Rewrite: After taking my notes into consideration and re-writing, you may re-submit for a quick read and 1-2 pages of notes.

Phone conference to discuss notes if desired.

Fee: $5000 for a maximum 200 pages double-spaced, 12-pt. (rate for longer work negotiable).

4. GENERAL OVERVIEW/FEEDBACK:

Say you want to submit 30 or 40 pages of a manuscript for general observations about tone and authenticity, or to get my expert take as you start your own blog, or to discuss how to find an agent, or any other smallish project: $375 per hour with a four-hour minimum.

FIRST HALF OF FEE PAYABLE UPON ORDER; SECOND HALF PAYABLE UPON DELIVERY. 
And of course we’ll talk first, to get a feel for each other, so you can tell me what you need, want, and expect. 

CRITIQUE:

For feedback on work you’ve already written, the cost for critique services is $150 for the first 20 pages and $5 per additional page. In return, I offer line editing for the complete manuscript plus your choice of a critique (500-2000 words, depending on the length of the manuscript, outlining what’s successful and what can be improved) or a one-hour in-person meeting with the editor. I use the industry standard of 250 words per page to calculate the final cost.

COACHING:

I offer a minimum 3-month package for $1000 a month. I would expect to dedicate a full eight-to-ten-hour day, or its equivalent, to your work per month. We can tailor that time to your specifications: for example, up to five hour-long phone conversations to discuss strategy, revision, outlining et cetera (or we can meet in person if you live in LA and prefer to come to me in Pasadena), email check-ins to report your progress, and ongoing critique/notes on pages you submit. I can give feedback five times per month on up to 2000 words (or another mutually agreed upon arrangement). 

A single one-hour consultation is $125, with a 2-hour minimum.

A combination coaching/full manuscript edit for a 200-page max book is $10,000, details to be worked out according to your needs.


BETTE DAVIS IN THE LETTER.
THAT’S RIGHT, THE STAKES ARE LIFE AND DEATH!

TESTIMONIALS: 

Heather is one of the country’s premier writing coaches. Just when I was ready to give up on my project and myself, she rescued me. It’s amazing to sit back and listen to her brilliant mind spill forth as she shapes my rambling thoughts and pulls out all the good stuff. Heather can look at a piece of my writing and give me more insight into what it’s really about than I even knew was there. My fear, anguish, and head-banging (so to speak) have turned to confidence. I’m eternally grateful.

–Karin Esterhammer, author of the 2017 memoir So Happiness to Meet You, based on an L.A. Times Travel section article about her two years in Vietnam that received the most hits of any piece that year.  


Heather King is queen of encouragement for new writers. She has helped me to be consistent and confident in my work.She is a writer’s companion.

–Rita A. Simmonds, Winner of the Catholic Press Association Award, Best Original Poetry, 2010, 2011, and 2012 


Thanks to the editing and the mentoring skills of Heather King, my book, The Oxygen Mask Rule – How My Struggle With Anorexia Taught me How to Survive, is a finalist in the International Book Awards and was given Honorable Mention in the New York Book Festival awards in 2012.

–Martha L. Thompson 


“Heather King is an incredibly honest and insightful critic. She helped me see the issues in my new poetry manuscript and suggested ways to correct the problems in tone, image, and even at the level of the word. Heather is an astute and generous reader. She is also very responsive and clear. I’m so glad I asked for her help!”

–Leslie William, author of Success of the Seed Plants (Bellday Books, 2010), winner of the Bellday Prize, and Even the Dark (2019), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition.


“THE TRUTH DOES NOT CHANGE ACCORDING TO OUR ABILITY TO STOMACH IT.”
FLANNERY O’CONNOR’S DESK AND CRUTCHES: ANDALUSIA, MILLEDGEVILLE, GEORGIA