With both children’s literature and poetry, I find what is already resonating with me in the author’s writing, and I offer suggestions for further improvement. While no one can guarantee publication, I help clients make their writing as powerful as possible. I also help them think about where they may want to place it in order to find fellow others.

Current projects in kidlit include a concept book for preschoolers, a picture book on a topic related to spirituality for the early elementary school readers, and a middle-grade novel, as well as a picture book for grownups. In poetry, I am engaged in several projects, with varied voices and drawing on different traditions.

My analytical toolkit, developed in years of critiquing literature with my students, helps me to dive deeply into an author’s work and identify themes, patterns of language, and modes of storytelling. For my clients, I am a problem solver, skilled in analyzing broad structural matters such as the underlying theme and character development.

I see myself as a mentor, because to improve, learning often needs to happen. Clients often work with me in stages, seeing many drafts of a work as they prepare it for publications. Throughout this process, I refer my clients to materials on relevant topics, and I offer comparable titles, both contemporary and from the past, to read and think about in relation to one’s writing.

I offer efficient and informed background research on works-in-progress. For both poetry and kidlit, I seek out comparable books for authors to read in order to better situate themselves in a theme or character type. I follow the trends in these genres, whether by tracing broad patterns in children’s literature and poetry or by engaging in the conversations fostered by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

 

Typical services I offer include:

  • Developmental editing. I offer feedback on the underlying themes, characters (or poetic speakers), and organization of your text. Feedback on these matters can help form a foundation to think deeply about the work.
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  • Line editing. At a further stage, I look at the minutiae of the piece to help it become its fullest expression, with nothing distracting from its purpose. Language, imagery, sound effects, and (for poetry) visual arrangement are focal points of line editing. For children’s picture books and graphic novels, I often help the author think about how to prepare the text of the work to work in tandem with illustrations.

 
I work with several dedicated copyeditors and proofreaders who can help polish the work further and prepare it for submission.

It’s a special joy for me to work with women, gender-nonconforming authors, and people from marginalized communities. These folks have often struggled to find the time, confidence, or energy necessary for writing and submitting for publication, and it is my pleasure to help them move forward.

I do not favor one genre or style. Rather, I want to do as good a job as possible within the genre and in accordance with the author’s expectations.  You can reach me at olga@livshinediting.com.

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