Concise, Solutions-Focused Feedback Oriented Towards Your Goals.

What I Do

As a published writer who provides editing and coaching services, I understand the hard work that goes into writing projects and the need for clear, solutions-focused feedback. Editing is a collaborative process that requires active listening to understand a writer’s goals, diligent attention to detail, and meeting all deadlines on time every time. I value helping writers find or hone their authentic voices while assessing the big picture in order to strengthen their story arcs.


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Work with Lisa

Send me an email:

Manuscript Evaluation

Need some feedback before you move forward? I will provide a close reading of your work that addresses plot, structure, pacing, character, point of view, setting, dialogue, scene and when applicable use of the retrospective voice. For nonfiction projects, feedback will address the writer’s concept, thesis, balance of narrative and arguments, and audience.

Testimonial: “Lisa has read two manuscripts for me now, one a short piece of narrative nonfiction and one a full-length novel. Her feedback on both was excellent. She provided an overview document with detailed suggestions on the narrative arc, character development, and more. She also provided page-by-page suggestions and line edits on the entire manuscript. I would highly recommend Lisa even to the most experienced writer.”
Katie Rose Guest Pryal, author of Entanglement

Testimonial: I felt stuck in writing my memoir, and having never worked with an editor before, I searched for editors through the Editorial Freelancers Association website. When I contacted Lisa Ellison, she answered my questions in a sensitive, yet diplomatic way. I felt she was a perfect match for me and waited eagerly for her ten-page developmental edit. I wasn’t disappointed. Beautifully formatted and easy to understand, it contained a wealth of detailed feedback tailored to my writing goals. Lisa’s objective and critical thinking lifted me from my quicksand of confusion and set me on a path to streamline my narrative arc. My only regret is that I didn’t contact Lisa sooner!”
– Judy Ochs

Developmental Editing

Need someone to help you tackle serious problems in your project? I will work collaboratively with you to problem-solve solutions to inconsistencies and issues related to your book’s concept, thesis, narrative structure and literary elements based on genre. Please note, that while I will provide some sentence-level feedback, developmental editing is not the same as copy editing.

Testimonial: “Since I’ve known Lisa Ellison (we met at the VQR conference in August 2015), her incisive commentary on my work has been extraordinarily helpful. It’s easy to see from the outset that she’s genuine and generous, and puts those traits to work in everything she does. Apart from the nuts-and-bolts mechanics of writing, which she is also good at, she got me to see my work in a different way and to imagine new possibilities. What more could you ask for?”
– Phil Quam, Indonesia, author of “Inmates” published in Word Riot

Testimonial: “I’ve benefited from Lisa’s writing and editing knowledge, expertise, and passion over the course of the past year-and-a-half as I’ve embarked on writing a memoir manuscript. Lisa’s insights and knowledge of the craft have proven invaluable in helping me gain clarity on how to tell my story. She’s a thorough and thoughtful reader with a keen eye for identifying specific ways to make any piece of writing great. She offers excellent feedback on things like structure, plot, narrative arc, pacing, characterization, point of view, scene dynamics, and dialogue. Her feedback has not only proven practical, but also inspiring.”
– Thomas Haynes, Charlottesville, Virginia

Copy Editing

Do you have a finished draft that needs a little polishing? Clicking the spellcheck function on Microsoft Word won’t find all of your errors. I can make sure your work adheres to your publisher’s style guide as I check your spelling, grammar, syntax, and hyphenation. I can remove redundancies, fix inconsistencies, address issues of clarity, and recast sentences to make your work shine. Copy editing services fall into three categories—light, medium, and heavy—that can suit both your needs and your budget.


Staring at the first page of your book project and feeling overwhelmed? Experiencing the mid-project blues? Lost your writing mojo? Let me help you launch your project successfully, meet your writing goals, or get back on track after a period of setbacks using one of my coaching packages. I have twenty years of writing experience, five years of editorial experience, and a background in mental health that gives me a unique perspective on motivation, creativity, and workflow. All one-hour sessions can be completed via Skype or in-person (Charlottesville, VA only) and can be customized to suit your individual needs.


Testimonial: “I first met Lisa in a writing class in Charlottesville a few years ago. We shared our stories over the eight weeks of the course. During this time I was impressed with Lisa’s ability to provide helpful feedback on structure, characterization, plot and narrative arc. Her comments enabled me to develop my writing further in a positive direction. I have also been in touch with Lisa for the past year and I have found her insight invaluable. She has a knack for seeing the bigger picture, while at the same time focusing on detail. She also listens well, an important attribute to anyone providing editorial feedback. I would recommend Lisa as an editor of outstanding ability.”
– Jane Cotter, Melbourne, Australia

Mindful Writing

Having problems with that dastardly internal editor? I will lead you through a six-week course in mindfulness-based writing, a program that teaches you the basics of meditation and how to use experiential writing exercises to still the mind and access your inner truth. I’ve been practicing mindfulness for over ten years and have led mindfulness-based writing groups since 2014. Mindfulness-based writing has increased my own productivity tenfold. I’ve also had the pleasure of watching other writer’s blossom as they grow in confidence and authenticity through this practice.

Testimonial: “Lisa is both an accomplished teacher and very talented practitioner of mindful writing. She is a very capable, empathic and insightful writing teacher, who creates and sustains a safe, warm space for students to learn and become successful mindful writers themselves. Lisa is nurturing, attentive and generous — everything one wants in a teacher of such a practice. Students will benefit from her kind, insightful and truly mindful attention, and will grow under her tutelage and guidance.”
– Rita Hart, book publisher in Melbourne, Australia

Getting Started

I offer a free thirty-minute initial consultation via Skype for all potential clients to discuss the scope of their projects, goals, deadlines, and budgets. After this meeting, writers interested in editing services will be asked to submit their manuscript for review. I use the information from our initial consultation and my assessment of your project to develop a Letter of Agreement (LOA), which will be sent to you via email for review. I’m happy to provide a 5-page sample edit of your work along with the LOA so you can decide if I’m a good fit. For most projects, I charge a flat fee for services; however, lengthier, more complex projects may be priced using an hourly rate. *Coaching and Mindful Writing sessions can be purchased as single sessions or as a package for a discounted rate.


Interested in a free consultation? Send me an email:


I’m here when you are ready.

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