Submitit's Editor: Erik Harper Klass
As a writer, I have published stories and essays in a variety of literary journals, including New England Review, Slippery Elm, Summerset Review, Cola Literary Review (previously Yemassee), Blood Orange Review, and many more, and I have been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes. I have a novella forthcoming from Buttonhook Press (2023).
As an editor, I have worked with dozens of professional writers, including Erin Rose Belair (Glimmer Train, Narrative, Greensboro Review), Becky Tuch (McSweeney's, Virginia Quarterly Review, Salt Hill, Best of the Net), and Dominica Phetteplace (Zyzzyva, Copper Nickel, Ecotone, multiple Pushcart Prizes). Stories and essays I've edited have been published in scores of literary journals, including Southern Indian Review, Chicago Literary Review, The Summerset Review, Rappahannock Review, and tons more (see our Testimonials & Publishings page).
How do I edit?
Yes, of course, I’m concerned with plot. And yes, of course, characters. Yes, of course structure and scene and action and point of view and tension and resolution. These things are important. Your writing must “work.” (And needless to say, it must be grammatically impeccable, following the standard usage rules of the English language.) All good editors must consider these things.
But, when I edit, I like to go beyond these fundamental elements of your writing and focus on what we writers call “craft.” I want to scrutinize your language. I want to listen to the sound of your prose. I want to push you in the direction of beauty. Different writers will employ craft in different ways, for example with vivid descriptions, figurative language, narrative thickness, variety of sentence structure, interesting use of vocabulary, formal experimentation, subtlety (minimalism), and more.
The extension of craft is “style.” Every writer, I believe, is on a lifelong journey to find a style. Style encompasses the textures of your writing voice, the play of your words, the melodies of your language. It is the poetry in your prose—sometimes (often) quiet and barely noticeable, sometimes conspicuous. It is your linguistic fingerprint.
From the minutiae of copy editing, to broader topics such as character, language, and voice, to the use of craft and the development of style, I will help you take your writing to the next level. I look forward to working with you.
Try our editing for free!
Try our line editing or copyediting services for free. Send us the first page or two of your story or essay (max. 350 words), and we’ll give you a taste of how important competent and thoughtful editing can be for your work. Just mention "free editing trial" when you sign up.
Copy editing focuses on errors of grammar, spelling, syntax, and common usage. Writers have a notoriously difficult time copyediting their own work. And a story with multiple errors will obviously distract a reader from noticing its potential greatness. There’s simply too much competition out there to submit grammatically imperfect stories. We’ll help you get your work in shape for submitting.
Line editing focuses primarily on “big picture” issues, such as writing style, consistency of voice or concept, and creative content at the paragraph and story level. Good line editing also includes looking for errors in sentence structure, word flow and usage, pacing, and so on. Our line editing services always include copyediting (but not the other way around).
Typically, before we consult with a writer one-on-one, we’ll copyedit or line edit a story. Consulting is a meeting of voices. It allows us to get into a story in much greater detail. If you have questions about a story, or simply want to discuss the writing or submission process in general, consulting is the way to go. (Copyediting and line editing fees are not included in our consulting fees.)
"Erik brings kindness, wisdom and deep knowledge to the editing and submission process.” —Dominica Phetteplace (Pushcart Prize, Zyzzyva, Copper Nickel, Ecotone, and others)
"Erik was prompt, responsive, cordial, and a pleasure to work with. His comments and suggestions improved my essays and stories immensely. And he placed all three of my pieces [in literary journals] within three months. He totally knows his stuff!" —Dvora Wolff Rabino (The Ignatian Literary Magazine, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, The Lascaux Review, and others)
"Getting published in a literary journal was a lifelong dream of mine. After years of rejections, Erik helped me get there! His sensitive and thoughtful editing and comments made my stories better. I’m deeply thankful and urge writers to give him a try.” —Jane Van Cantfort (Fiction on the Web and others)