Joy Neal

Professional & affordable

editing for authors,

creatives, and academics.


I’m Joy—an editor on a mission to help you finish work you’re proud of.

Editing is my favorite part of the writing process. Not because I enjoy correcting writing but because I love developing and perfecting it. I don’t diagram sentences for fun, and I don’t get a thrill out of finding “affect” and “effect” used incorrectly. (Okay, maybe a tiny thrill.) I simply love good writing and am passionate about helping people put their best work into the world.

I’d love to hear what you’re working on.



Hemingway advised: “Write drunk, edit sober.”

Consider me your designated reader.

Developmental Editing

This is my specialty and what I love doing most: helping develop your writing into something that delights your readers, says what you mean to say, and surpasses your expectations for what you could accomplish. We’ll communicate thoroughly about your project so I can edit to your goals and preferences.


If your manuscript is essentially finished, I can copyedit for correctness, clarity, and effectiveness. I’ll ask whether you want a “light touch” or a “deep dive” (or somewhere in-between). Copyediting is not proofreading, which is an additional step after the book is in its final form.

Creative Editing:

If I’m writing while referencing your material (audio lecture, blogs, etc.), I call that a “creative edit.” (It’s like ghost writing but less creepy sounding.) Creative editing projects are very individual, and it’s important that you find someone who can “get inside your head” and speak in your voice. I only take creative editing projects if I think I’m that person for your project.


I charge $25/hour for most projects, and I quote a flat rate based on estimated hours of work. For reference, you can view the Editorial Freelance Association’s listed rates, here.