Since 2015, I’ve been the editor of New Ohio Review, the award-winning, national literary journal of Ohio University, and I was previously the editor of Quarter After Eight Magazine as well. Having assisted writers with their short stories, essays, poems, and articles for more than a decade, I can provide detailed feedback on your creative or scholarly work—with attention to the big ideas (love, death) and the small punctuation (em dashes, mostly).
When we begin, I will ask you about your goals for a particular piece. Is publication the aim, or are you at an earlier stage, hoping for fresh eyes? With your answers in mind, I will work with you to identify the strongest sections, enhance them, and to identify the pages that might need work and discuss them. (Often those moments deserve their very own piece.)
Sometimes a 16-page memoir can become a 4-page scene. Sometimes a formal poem can become free verse, and the last line the first. Sometimes a small idea we brainstorm together can make a very strong story a surprising one. Whatever direction the writing turns, I’ll work with you, and I’ll keep your endpoint in mind.
A note about my process: After my first read-through of your work, I'll offer global comments in the form of a short letter and local comments on the draft. Usually my suggestions come with a question mark at the end because the decision is always yours. When I get excited about an opportunity to improve an individual sentence or the structure of a paragraph, though, I occasionally offer rewritings, but I think of that as a fun negotiation. I may give you four thoughts—a new wording, an image, a quotation, an impression from something I’ve read that you might like to read, too—and if one of the ideas works for you and for the writing, that’s a success.
I will follow-up my first impressions with a phone call, if you like, and with a reading of your revision, if that’s helpful. After that point, I wait for your good news—whether that means placement in the right literary journal or simply your satisfaction with the story, essay, poem, or article as it stands. I look forward to that stage!
In Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Lily compliments Mr. Ramsay’s boots and Woolf writes: "She was ashamed of herself. To praise his boots when he asked her to solace his soul.” When I edit, I keep in mind that writers have trusted me with something they're invested in. I will comment on the boots, but I try to remember the soul, too.
Contact me through this website so we can begin working together. #maybe
I have had the good fortune to have Dave edit my writing on multiple occasions, and each time he has markedly improved the piece to such a degree that I'm embarrassed with the draft I gave him and cherish the draft I leave with. He gives rich, detailed feedback and offers constructive criticism that does more than help me tidy up an essay stylistically and functionally; he helps me develop the argument in ways that transform my observations from curiosities to necessities. After our initial collaboration, I told him I would never send anything away for publication until he edits it first, and he agreed--thinking I was joking. I wasn't. And I wasn't asking, either. --Christopher A. Sims, author of Tech Anxiety