Have a first draft that needs an extra set of eyes? Have a completed manuscript that needs line-by-line polishing? Have an idea you need help wrangling into book form?

No matter where you are in the writing process, there are few things quite so brave as welcoming someone else into your creative work -- and, when it goes well, few things quite so rewarding either.

I am a novelist and a trained psychotherapist and specialize in writing coaching and developmental edits of literary fiction, memoir, and popular science and psychology, but am open to any genres or subject matter as long as the material catches my interest. As the Editorial Director of the literary studio Plympton, I've edited Pulitzer Prize winners, National Book Award winners, New York Times bestsellers, and world-renowned scholars and scientists, but my favorite kind of work is with first-time and emerging authors developing their unique voice.

In my nearly twenty years working as an editor, I've come to view my role as helping you discover the book you most want to write and guiding you toward it. But every editorial relationship is different -- because, after all, it's a relationship. We will collaborate to find the partnership that works best for your needs. I know first-hand how daunting, exhilarating, and maddening every stage of the writing process can be, and I will do my best to make sure you not only end up with the best version of the book you set out to write but also that you enjoy every step along the way.

SERVICES – How to Decide What’s Right For You

Developmental Edit — Full Manuscript

Questions you might be asking yourself:

“I’ve finished a book/story. Is it as good as it can be?”

“I’ve finished a draft, but it’s not yet working. Why not?”

In a developmental edit, I read your completed manuscript and give you feedback on character, plot, pacing, momentum, tension, point of view, structure, language, theme, and anything else that is and is not working on the page. This service typically includes an initial phone consultation, a thorough written critique, and several rounds of back and forth either by email, phone, or in person. Some clients stop there and do the revision on their own. Others decide to utilize my services throughout a rewrite, sending me chapters as they revise or checking in as needed. Still others do the revision on their own and then send me the completed rewrite and we do the whole process again – and, sometimes, again and again with ever-smaller changes until the manuscript feels exactly right.

Developmental Edit — Partial Manuscript

Questions you might be asking yourself:

“Am I heading in the right direction with this book/story?”

“Why can’t I figure out what happens next?”

In a developmental edit of a partial manuscript, I read what you’ve already got and help you figure out where to go from here. As with the developmental edit of a full manuscript, you might run off with my critique and do the rest on your own or we may continue to collaborate as editor and writer as you bring the manuscript to completion.

Line Edit

Questions you might be asking yourself:

“Are there awkward/slow/confusing moments in my manuscript?”

“How do I make this book culled from my field of expertise more accessible to the lay reader?”

In a line edit I focus on the language, smoothing awkward phrases, perhaps suggesting some reorganization within paragraphs or chapters, but do not make major suggestions on the level of character, plot, structure, or overall approach to the subject matter. This service tends to be most suitable for experienced writers/scholars or writers whose books have already been through several drafts with other readers.


Questions you might be asking yourself:

“Why can’t I seem to make any progress on this book?”

“How do I keep self-doubt from taking up a chunk of every writing session?”

“How do I best manage my time?”

Coaching is for when you need help with the writing process rather than with the manuscript itself. I help you identify problems, strategize and implement solutions, and keep on track. Though it can feel a bit like psychotherapy for your writing (or like having an executive assistant or a cheerleader), writing coaching is not and cannot take the place of actual psychotherapy. If I think your obstacles fall outside the scope of my practice, I will be happy to refer you to a licensed psychologist or therapist.

Design Your Own

Questions you might be asking yourself:

“Is this idea even worth exploring?”

“How should I approach this material?”

“Is this a novel or a story? Is this a memoir or a non-fiction book?”

“I think this book really works. Am I right?”

If you’re asking any of these questions, we can figure out together how best to approach your material.

RATES I only work on projects I’m passionate about to ensure that I give you my fullest attention. Write to me through the contact page with a short description of your project, including what stage of it you’re at. If we seem like a match, I will send a proposal with a timeline, scale of work, and quote. I always respond to emails within 48 hours.


"Yael Goldstein Love is a superb editor, by far the best I have worked with (eight editors, five books). She effortlessly trims the text, making it clearer and stronger and at the same time trains you to do the same. I now re-edit my own writing in her style to great benefit—though I feel sure, not quite up to her standards.

She alone among the editors was able to conceive of the book as an artistic whole and to suggest moving sections and adding or deleting them so as to create a rounder, more coherent book: one whose ending returns to the beginning. You can't do better than Yael." — Robert Trivers, winner of the Crafoord Prize in Biosciences and author of Wild Life: Adventuries of an Evolutionary Biologist

"Yael’s editorial enthusiasm and energy are exceeded only by her laserlike talent for spotting the weaknesses in a narrative and offering a wide variety of solutions. As the author of six books and countless magazine articles—yet also as a freelance editor for two decades—I’ve been on both sides of that red pencil, and I know its value to the quality of any manuscript. I am also a teacher of creative writing and know how essential it is for fledgling writers to seek editorial guidance as early as possible. Whether you’re at the beginning of your career, striving to make a first novel irresistible to prospective agents, or a more experienced writer who's struggling with an unwieldy new project, I cannot recommend any “book doctor” more highly than I recommend Yael." —Julia Glass, National Book Award–winning author of Three Junes and A House Among the Trees

"Yael is, quite simply, brilliant. She's among the most gifted editors I’ve ever worked with…and I've worked with a lot of editors. The exchanges I had with her showed me what an editor / writer relationship can be. She saw where my story was going, saw where I hadn’t yet dared enough, and challenged me to push the characters and the story to the next level. She doesn’t just see what’s on the page—she sees what’s not yet there and needs to be there. She has a remarkable way of understanding what a writer is trying to say, and making sure that the work reaches its fullest potential." — Rachel Kadish, bestselling author of The Weight of Ink

"When Yael edited my novella for publication, she not only gave me fantastic line edits, gently pointing out awkward phrases and suggesting improvements, she also challenged me on a certain characteristic of the narrator. She was able to foresee the ways that my readers might fail to connect fully with my character, and she had the guts to ask me to make some deep improvements. My piece is so much better as a result!" — Vestal McIntyre, winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Lake Overturn

"Yael was acting in her capacity as Editorial Director of Plympton when I first met her. She did a superb job of editing the short story of mine that Plympton was publishing, about a Cambodian farming family — helping me flesh out characters and color scenes. She is able not only to spot weaknesses in a piece of fiction writing but also to make excellent suggestions for fixing the weaknesses and turning them into strengths. I have worked with many editors, and she is one of the very best.I appreciated her work so much that I hired her to work on a few more of my stories in the same series. She also has a gentle and supportive manner with authors, so important when one is struggling with a piece andin the depths of doubt and anxiety." — Alan Lightman, international bestselling author of Einstein's Dreams and The Diagnosis

"It was a pleasure to work with Yael on my short story. Her generous, incisive edits help you bring out the best in your writing." — Vanessa Hua,columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and author of the award-winning short story collection Deceit and Other Possibilities

"I’ve had my work beaten into shape by some of the best editors in publishing. (And that’s not just me being fond of my editors – they’re objectively the best. Nan Talese, for instance, who edited my first novel, has won the Maxwell E. Perkins Award – the lifetime achievement Oscar for editors.)

And I’m very happy to say, in public, that Yael Goldstein Love is right up there at the top, with the best of them.

I worked with her on a piece of fiction called Crash; a tricky piece, novella length, which I was adapting from a BBC radio play of mine. Yael was an absolute joy to work with. Her suggestions were so good that I wished I could go back in time, to add them to the original radio play. My work is a little unusual, and the best part of her editorial approach was her imaginative sympathy. She can see what you are trying to do, and helps you create the best version of that; she doesn’t impose her ideas on you, or try to make the work fit a template.

I was incredibly happy with the finished result, and so were my readers. Indeed, it went to number one in the UK Kindle Singles chart.

Yael (being a fine writer herself), is very sensitive to the writer’s psyche. She understands how delicate even the toughest-acting writers are, and makes her editorial suggestions so thoughtfully you hardly notice you are being edited; you are just having a great conversation about your work with someone who can see the best version of it, lurking inside your current imperfect draft.

Yael is a terrific editor, a terrific human being, and an absolute pleasure to work with, and I can totally recommend her to any writer who wants their work improved." — Julian Gough, author of CRASH! How I Lost A Hundred Billion and Found True Love