Susan Barnes Editing

Susan Barnes





susan specializes in editing fantasy, romance, science fiction, and young adult, but is open to editing any commercial fiction genre.

She is excited to help authors, those published and yet to be discovered, hone their craft and take their story to the next level. Whether your needs are developmental, structural, or just an extra eye on the details, Susan offers a variety of options so you can pick the best package for you.

For a quote on a project, please fill out the form below. for all other questions, feel free to reach out to susan directly at


Susan moved to New York City to get paid to read books all day.  After editing science fiction, fantasy, and commercial fiction for Orbit and Redhook (Hachette Book Group), she decided to move back to her home roots of Chicago and continue her passion for fiction with freelance editing. 





book brainstorm

Stuck on a tricky plot point or character development? Have a new idea you’d like to explore before diving in? Schedule a call to brainstorm your book — get new ideas to help you keep writing or start your plotting process.

Query Letter Critique

Turn your query letter into a powerful sales tool with this critique. This option includes: a query structure review, editing (content), and suggestions to strengthen your query to help catch an agent's eye.

Synopsis Critique

After spending so much time writing a full, fleshed-out story, sometimes the synopsis can be the hardest part! Submit your synopsis for a full review to prioritize which details are important, decide which can be left out, and how to keep it to a reasonable length. 

Query Package

Get ready to send your project out to editors with the full query package, including: Query Letter Critique, Three Chapter Critique, and Synopsis Critique.

Line Edit

Feel confident even in the most minor details of your manuscript by working with a line edit. Combing through the details of your story, the line edit makes sure everything reads as smoothly as possible, giving in-line feedback on sentence flow, word repetitions, scene continuity, paragraphs/scene transitions, language choice, and more. 


Developmental Edit

A developmental edit is an in-depth look at your story and scenes as a whole to make sure everything comes together and presents as the gripping tale you know it to be. This edit includes a full edit letter, in-line comments on the plot cohesion, character development, scene/story continuity and more.

The last glance

 After so many rounds of writing, rewriting, and editing, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. Having an outside perspective on your story, one last look before you hit "send" or "publish," can be extremely beneficial. A lighter look than a line or developmental edit, this is a read through the story for any last-minute adjustments that might need to be made.


The full treatment

Sign up for the full treatment, which includes the synopsis critique, query letter critique, both a line and developmental edit, and the last glance before you hit send. *Best Value*

Susan is the best editor I’ve ever worked with. She can literally transform a novel with her feedback, tireless diligence, and insightful suggestions. I can’t recommend her highly enough.
— New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Alessandra Torre




"Working with Susan was a wonderful experience from start to finish. She provided thoughtful and insightful feedback that took my story to the next level. Editorial letters, phone calls, brainstorming sessions--she was there with whatever I needed. I couldn't be more pleased with the results!"

Melissa Landers, author of the Alienated and Starflight series

Cover Design by Gene Mollica

Cover Design by Gene Mollica

Cover Design by Hart & Bailey

Cover Design by Hart & Bailey

"Susan is the best editor I've ever worked with. She can literally transform a novel with her feedback, tireless diligence, and insightful suggestions. I can't recommend her highly enough." 

NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Alessandra Torre


"I love working with Susan! It's a wonderful feeling to know that your words are safe in her hands. I rest easy knowing that she will help me figure out how to make each book the best it can possibly be. Susan asks hard questions that challenge and transform but is always there to help you brainstorm how to execute the changes you want to make. She is both coach and cheerleader and I'm so grateful to have her in my corner! Susan has hands down made the greatest impact on my growth as a writer."

Catherine Cowles, author of Further to Fall and Beautifully Broken Pieces

Cover Design by Hang Le

Cover Design by Hang Le

Cover Design by Wendy Chan

Cover Design by Wendy Chan

"Susan was my editor at Redhook Books, and also my champion. She saw the potential in my novels, and, with skill and dedication, creativity and thoughtfulness, helped bring them from their raw beginnings to polished finished product. She’s amazing at seeing both the big picture – what themes and tone a manuscript needs to really shine – and the little linguistic tweaks that can push it over the edge from decent to truly well done. Working with her was a pleasure start to finish, and I’m forever grateful to her for her efforts."

Hilary Fields, author of Bliss and Last Chance Llama Ranch


"Susan is exceptional. She is a collaborative and honest expert in her field. Susan is not only a gifted editor; she is a gifted teacher and coach. By asking you the tough questions, by taking the time to sit down with you and talk through the issues, Susan helps you think differently and more deeply about your project. I could not be more pleased with my decision to work with Susan, a true professional with a high level of intelligence, integrity, and work ethic. I would hire her again and again."

Livia K.

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request a free consultation
for your project today

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Return Date Requested
Return Date Requested
For those requesting an estimate, please include a preferred return date for your project. Please note, quick turnaround times for developmental or line editing (within two weeks) will include a rush fee.