Fiction & Creative Nonfiction

Stephanie Marshall Ward, Editor & Writing Coach
Thorough, Supportive Editing & Coaching for Writers

If you’re seeking a seasoned professional editor–experienced with various genres, who specializes in romance and speculative fiction–I might be just the person you’re looking for.

I’ve been coaching and editing for over thirteen years, and I’ve been an independent editor for three and a half years. I work primarily with indie authors; many of them are self-publishing for the first time. I edit both American and British English, and I offer a flexible array of services to help you publish a book you’ll love and that will delight readers.


Stephanie is an amazing editor. She is gentle, but professional. She gets invested in the story and the characters. All her comments, edits, and suggestions were spot-on, and she kept my characters’ voices and personalities. Stephanie was able to capture my vision and take it to the next level. She made me love my story again.

My book hit the top 100 paid ebooks in the Kindle store within eight hours of publishing, and I never could have done that without Stephanie. She is truly a hidden gem in the indie editor world.

Carian cole, contemporary romance

What I Offer:

Specialized Expertise: Although I have experience with myriad genres, I specialize in romance and speculative fiction, including:

  • contemporary romance & erotica
  • epic fantasy (swords, sorcery, dragons & other awesomeness)
  • science fiction/science fiction romance
  • paranormal romance, urban fantasy & horror

I also edit creative nonfiction, such as memoirs.

While I’m trained and experienced in a wide range of editorial services, including developmental (structural) editing and copyediting, most of my work involves intensive line editing, which is tailored to meet each client’s needs.

Supportive Coaching and Editing: Although we all need professional feedback to make our writing the best it can be and to grow as writers, we feel vulnerable when someone is deconstructing our work. I’ve been a writing coach for over thirteen years, so I’m experienced in supporting and encouraging both seasoned and novice writers. I’ll help you celebrate your strengths while honing in on areas that need improvement.

Looking at Your Writing Through the Eyes of a Reader: In addition to being an experienced editor and avid reader, I was a book/film reviewer for over six years. I can help you understand the conventions of your genre, what readers love, and what doesn’t work for readers.

Quick Turnaround on Most Projects: Are you facing a looming deadline? Is your newly self-published book receiving negative reviews because it’s riddled with errors? Are you a managing editor drowning in manuscripts? I’m rigorous about meeting deadlines, I offer quick turnaround on most line editing and copyediting projects, and I’ll stay within our agreed-upon budget.

Help Navigating the Self-Publishing Process: I can help you develop a plan to self-publish your book relatively inexpensively, avoiding the unnecessary expense of working with a self-publishing company, hybrid publisher, or vanity press. I can offer guidance and answer questions at each step of the journey.

Help Developing a Marketing Plan for Your Book: Selling books is often the most challenging part of an author’s job. I can help you develop a step-by-step plan for marketing your book, starting several months before release.


Stephanie was the first editor I’d had who said positive things about my manuscript in addition to offering corrections. She treated all edits as suggestions. And she enjoyed reading my manuscript, and that spoke volumes to me.

I learned a lot about my writing throughout the editing process. She provided teaching so I could prevent the errors from happening again. When I had questions or issues, she responded in a timely manner, and she returned my manuscript on time. I would have no problem hiring her over and over. This was my greatest editing experience, hands down.

syd ryan, contemporary romance author