Whether you’re a production editor, business owner, executive, or team leader looking for a qualified freelance editor to support your organization on an as-needed basis or an author seeking an editor to get your story polished for publication, our list below highlights six top Black freelance editors you should get to know.
Copy Editors + Proofreaders
Stylistic and Mechanical Editors
Specializing in copyediting and proofreading, Sherian Brown is a freelance editor who especially enjoys contemporary and literary fiction as well as nonfiction in the areas of inspiration, memoir, and health and wellness. In addition to editing for a wealth of independent authors, Sherian has recurrently worked with several imprints of HarperCollins Publishers, including Amistad, HarperOne, and Mariner Books, along with Zando and Row House Publishing. A Broken People’s Playlist by Chimeka Garricks and The Overnights by Ian K. Smith are just two of the projects you’ll find in Sherian’s portfolio.
For the past 21 years, Brandy Patton has served as a professional copyeditor, medical editor, senior editor, and proofreader. In her spare time, she reviews books. Nonfiction—including self-help, health and wellness, business, marketing, and religion—are what she loves to review most, though she will not turn down an interesting fiction book! She’s proud to have completed work for numerous reputable clients: the Journal of American Medical Association (the world’s most-read general medical journal), American Heart Association, the University of Texas at Austin, WordWiser Ink, and IPG (award-winning global provider in marketing solutions). Book projects she thoroughly enjoyed working on include Learn Lead Lift: How To Think, Act and Inspire Your Way to Greatness by Wendy Ryan, Behind the Dark Veil: A Brothers of the Dark Veil Novel by Carolyn Holland, Black Earth Wisdom by Leah Penniman (HarperCollins Ltd), and Unlocking Legacies and Releasing Burdens by Dr. Gayl Crump Swaby.
Line + Copy Editors
Sentence-level & Stylistic Editors
Known as “The Editor’s Editor,” Tia Ross is a copyeditor and line editor with over three decades of editing experience in both Corporate America and the freelance space. Tia has an affinity for speculative and science fiction, historical fiction, and contemporary fiction as well as nonfiction in the Black history, Black empowerment, self-help, business, travel guides, educational, and health and wellness genres. Tia works with corporate and nonprofit clients as well as indie authors and several imprints of Hachette Book Group, including Avalon, Moon Guides, and Workman Publishers; Simon & Schuster Adams Media; and HarperCollins Amistad, Harper Muse, Harper Christian, HarperOne, and Harper Mariner. How We Do It: Black Writers on Craft, Practice & Skill by Jericho Brown and 30 acclaimed Black authors and poets, Homeward by Angela Jackson-Brown, The Emancipation of Slaves Through Music by Mathew Knowles, PhD, and Moon U.S. Civil Rights Trail: A Traveler’s Guide to the People, Places, and Events that Made the Movement by Deborah Douglas are a few of Tia’s projects. Tia is also the author of So You Want to Be an Editor … But Can You Edit?, a where-to-start guide for aspiring editors.
Michelle Chester is a freelance editor specializing in copyediting and proofreading. Some of her favorite genres include faith-based fiction and nonfiction, contemporary fiction, chick-lit, and mystery and crime. Michelle has worked with numerous traditional and indie published authors. She recently collaborated with Tule Publishing on What the Heart Wants by Tiana Laveen and bestselling author Michelle Stimpson on Mama B: A Time to Embrace.
In-depth, Structural, "Deep dive" editors
Shaundale Rénā is a multi-award-winning developmental freelance editor. Specializing in romantic comedy, historical and women’s fiction, and nonfiction self-help and memoir, Shaundale enjoys the big picture (aka “big chop”) aspect of connecting the story. While working to strengthen the work of indie and traditionally published authors alike, she has collaborated with imprints like Adams Media (Simon & Schuster) on Self-Care for Black Women by Oludara Adeeyo and Lake Union Publishing (Amazon Publishing) on multi-#1 Amazon bestseller Scarlet Carnation by Laila Ibrahim. To date, her most successful self-published client is Kimberlee Yolanda Williams, author of the IPPY- and BIBA-award-winning book, Dear White Woman.
Gwyn Jordan is a developmental and line editor, acquisitions editor, literary agent, writing coach, and book reviewer for Publishers Weekly. Specializing in genre fiction, Gwyn especially enjoys romance, women’s fiction, mystery, thriller, and suspense, but also edits fantasy, science fiction, memoirs, and biographies. Gwyn’s clientele includes indie authors, Nacelle media company, and major publishers, including Hallmark, HarperCollins, Harlequin, and Entangled. Gwyn has collaborated with award-winning authors such as Caridad Pineiro (Hallmark’s South Beach Love, adapted into made-for-TV movie), Tee O’Fallon, (Burning Justice), and Jennie Marts (Cowboy Ever After). Nonfiction titles include Chevrons Unlocked: The Unofficial Oral History of Stargate SG-1, The First 25 Years and Icons Unearthed: George Lucas’s Star Wars.