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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Dec 15, 2023

Mark interviews editor Erika Steeves about her experiences in working with publishers and authors as an editor.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares a brief personal update and a word about this episode's sponsor.

This episode is sponsored by HOW TO WRITE A HOWLING GOOD STORY by Wulf Moon

You can get this book in eBook, Trade Paperback, and Hardcover editions here.

Between Dec 15, 2023 and Jan 1, 2024, you can get the eBook for 50% off at Smashwords.


In their interview, Mark and Erika talk about:

  • Meeting at the Waterloo Book Festival
  • How Erika got involved in the world of writing and editing by starting off as an editorial internship at a regional Canadian publisher on Canada's East Coast
  • Deciding to become a freelance editor in 2012 taking on academic projects and some book projects
  • Pivoting over to do more editing on fiction in 2019/2020
  • Erika's experience reading the slushpile from a publisher and how that exposed her to great manuscripts that she loved but which weren't suited for that publisher's mandates
  • The difficult task of having to send rejection letters to authors
  • Being a member of two associations that have directories of editors
  • How Erika finds new writers to work with
  • The various types of editing work that Erika takes on
  • Contuinity editing and the style sheet that Erika likes so much
  • How the editor's "fresh eyes" can help detect some things that writers might no longer be able to detect in a manuscript that has been re-worked numerous times
  • Things Erika wished more authors knew about related to editors
  • How all edits are suggestions and that the writer can decided which suggestions to take, and which ones to ignore
  • Getting a sense of how many hours an editing project is going to take based on the sample edit that was done
  • Things that writers should "look out for" in an editor they're looking to work with
  • Why contracts are important for both parties
  • Types of writers that Erika is cautious about working with
  • Ideas for how a writer can find the right editor for them
  • The "House of Zolo" publishing company that Erika and a number of other writers and editors put together
  • Advice Erika would offer to writers
  • And more . . .

After the interview Mark reflects on Erika's perspective related to things that empower and encourage writers.

Links of Interest:


Erika Steeves is a copyeditor and proofreader with a decade of experience editing fiction and nonfiction books. She started out as a publishing assistant for a traditional publisher, learning the ropes from the inside. After that, Erika started her freelance career and founded E.S. Editing! She also works as Editor-in-Chief of the HOZ Journal of Speculative Literature. 



The introductory, end, and bumper music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0