"I hired Sarah to do a developmental edit on my 270-page memoir/manuscript, then substantive editing on two 5,000-word chapters. Looking at her website and reading her blog, I was quite impressed with her knowledge but more importantly felt a deep resonance with her. Her own life experiences also sold me. I wanted that wisdom to help me say what I needed to say in some difficult areas of my manuscript.
I chose Sarah out of 14 editors. However, it took me a while to commit to her because of her costs. Her prices were similar to editors with resumes of famous accomplishments, and I wondered why not take those track records instead. In the end, I had to listen to my gut (which was screaming so loud I could barely hear anything else anyway). It was her kind, patient and generous guidance that convinced me of her commitment and belief in my project that sealed the deal.
Sarah’s first edit hit me hard in a few ways that I never expected. It actually scared me. She challenged me to grow not only as a writer but as a person. That in turn made my writing all the more sincere and authentic, finding a deeper voice for the story. Her combination of humility and professionalism instantly sealed a trusting relationship which, to me, handing over my life to someone on paper, was extremely important. Her honesty and easygoing nature made her approachable for sometimes difficult territory to tread and she was very accessible by phone, email and Skype.
I gained access to not only a wealth of years of knowledge, love of the craft of writing and a high calibre mentor; I got access to a human being who has walked a very long road and does not walk ahead of you. She makes room for people to walk alongside her in awe of the mystery called life."
"I hired Sarah to give me objective feedback on a manuscript that was trying to be too many things—a self-help book, a family memoir and a personal memoir. I had gotten emotionally stuck with it and couldn’t find my way forward. I was also trying to cover a huge time period by jumping around chronologically, like the TV show, This Is Us.
During my free consultation with Sarah, I knew she was the person for me. She’s intuitive, knowledgeable, funny, whip-smart, thoughtful and genuine. Her evaluation was the same way. She sinks deep into your material until she finds what she’s looking for, and has a natural ability, then, to see what the material is trying to be.
My husband was skeptical about the cost. But after reading Sarah’s evaluation, he said, “Wow. I now see why she charges what she does.” What you get for your money is comprehensive, beautifully wrought and presented, and professionally invoiced. Her knowledge of authors and the business of the writing world is extensive, and the quotes, references, articles and links she has at her fingertips are a rich resource for any writer. I learned a lot, am still gleaning from her notes, and I’m so grateful for the pure joy it was to work with her. Sarah is a genuine manuscript whisperer. It’s a gift she has. Do not hesitate to work with her!"
"I hired Sarah Chauncey to do a full manuscript evaluation on a large project I have spent the last six years on. I was too close to see it objectively, and I was really struggling to understand what sections were working, what weren’t, if the structure was sound, and whether the book might be of interest to the audience I was seeking.
I had spent six months trying to find someone who could help me with this, asking friends and colleagues, looking at workshops, and searching the internet. I knew I needed a professional but wasn’t sure even then if I’d get the feedback I was looking for. Then I found an essay in my in-box that Sarah had written. It was in a newsletter I get from another editor. Sarah’s words really spoke to me, so I went to her site, reached out and had an initial conversation to see if we would be a good match for each other.
The feedback I received from Sarah — the editorial letter, the markup, and our follow-up phone call — has been invaluable. It’s exactly what I needed. She delivered just what I asked for — what works, what doesn’t, and great points about the potential audience. But beyond that, she was able to see my idea through a fresh lens and she provided ideas for how I could move forward, what my book could be, and how I could get there. Sarah also provided some insight into my writing that I’d never seen before. She saw qualities of my writing that I’d never noticed and am now eager to focus on.
I would highly recommend Sarah for your writing project. She put her heart into my book and went above and beyond to give me the feedback I needed."
"The eighth draft of my 60,000 word memoir was complete when I hired Sarah to do a substantive edit. I had already put the seventh draft through another editor’s eyes and had made revisions based on her suggestions. But something was missing. I wasn't compelled to move forward.
Sarah had a gift for getting into my story. I thought I’d incorporated the “show and tell” principle, but Sarah brought me to a whole new level of developing scenes with telling segments as bridges between them. She helped me come out of my very cerebral mind (which is so good at telling) into my feeling landscape (which is better shared through imagery). She helped me see what parts of my story were relevant to the memoir and what parts were good writing but not meant for this showcase.
Once, she told me she was the second toughest editor she knew, and I said, “Great, that’s what I need!” She was serious about the work but light and humorous in her tone. Sarah was more than an editor for me; she became a companion on my journey. If you're looking for a companion who will give you tough but kind editing, Sarah’s your girl!"