How to Hire
a Freelance Copyeditor

Compiled by Sara Saylor, University Writing Center, UT Austin.
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Where to Start

  • If you’re a student, ask your professor or faculty supervisors for their permission to hire a copy-editor. UT has no official policies against hiring editors, but individual faculty members may object to this practice. Sec. 11-402. Academic Dishonesty of UT’s Institutional Rules does not mention copy-editing as a prohibited conduct. However, if your supervisor tells you not to use an editor and you hire one anyway, then this would be a violation of “failing to comply with instructions” (11-402(c)(2)). So, the best practice is to make sure your supervisor is OK with you hiring a copy-editor.
  • Read Wendy Laura Belcher’s overview, How to Hire and Work with an Academic Copyeditor.
  • Send query emails early in your writing process, even before your project is ready to review. Ask editors about rates, time frames, and options for reviewing your chapters one at a time.

Standard Editorial Rates

“Rates vary considerably depending on the nature of the work, the time frame of the assignment, the degree of special expertise required, and other factors. The industry standard for a manuscript page… is 250 words.” (source)

  • Basic copyediting: 5-10 ms pgs/hr, $30-40/hr
  • Heavy copyediting: 2–5 ms pgs/hr, $40–50/hr
  • Developmental editing: 1–5 pgs/hr, $45–55/hr
  • Substantive or line editing: 1–6 ms pgs/hr, $40–60/hr
  • Proofreading: 9-13 ms pgs/hr, $30-35/hr
  • Translating: 300-500 wds/hr, $40-50/hr
  • “The average rate at which copyeditors edit is 4 pages (or 1,000 words) per hour.”
  • “First, review the manuscript… If your footnotes have never been spell-checked, spell-check them. If your references are not standardized, fix them…. Once you have fixed what you can, identify exactly how many pages are in your manuscript (don’t guess, divide the total electronic word count by 250 words). Divide this figure by 4 (pages an hour) to arrive at the likely total cost of copyediting.”
  • 200-page dissertation = 50 hours x $30 = $1500.

Freelance Editors

Note: These editors are not affiliated with the UWC, and we are not endorsing them by including their contact information. If you are a freelance copy-editor and would like to submit or update your information on this page, please contact

  • Sara Saylor (website + email)

    Education: PhD in English, UT Austin; MA in English, UT Austin; BA in English (Minors in Spanish and Russian), University of South Carolina

    Experience: “If you’re struggling to start writing or stay focused, I offer individual coaching to strengthen your practice at any stage of the process. In addition to copy editing for grammar, style, and formatting, I can provide substantive feedback to help you clarify ideas and meet your audience’s expectations. I have ten years of experience teaching literature and writing courses at UT Austin and 14 years of experience editing scholarly manuscripts in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields. Past academic projects include books, journal articles, grant and fellowship proposals, application materials, tenure review letters, Master’s projects, and over 30 dissertations (in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles). As an experienced consultant and former coordinator of graduate services at UT’s University Writing Center, I have supported hundreds of doctoral students across disciplines, experience levels, and language backgrounds. Please reach out to discuss how I can support your writing process!”

  • Caroline Barta (email)

    Education: PhD in English Literature, University of Texas (expected 2019); MA in English Literature, Boston College; BA in Great Texts and Classics, Baylor University.

    Experience: “Five years of tutoring / teaching English and Writing, including four years teaching writing courses at the college and graduate level. 2+ years experience working in an academic office in marketing, publishing, and copy-editing. Fluent with Chicago, MLA, and other major style manuals. Available for copywriting, copyediting, and proofreading. Past tutoring and writing experience includes helping non-native English speakers find fluency and greater ease with their writing.”

  • Lynn Cowles (email)

    Education: MA and PhD in English, UT Austin; BA in English, Virginia Commonwealth University

    Experience: “I hold a doctorate in English and have six years’ experience teaching grammar and composition. For two years, I worked as an associate editor at Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, and I also copy-edited Backscheider and Ingrassia’s British Women Poets of the Long Eighteenth Century (JHUP, 2009). I developed proficiency working outside my field when I spent two years copy-editing grants for UT’s School for Social Work. Also, five years of developing web content for nonprofits and two years of writing social media content for businesses have made my editing work efficient over time. Email with project details for pricing.”

  • Jaime Deblanc-Knowles, Fresh Ink Consulting (email)


    Education: MA in Creative Writing, UT Austin; BA in English and History, Tulane University

    Experience: “Professional freelance editor who works with academics, novelists, nonprofits, and researchers to prepare dissertations, book-length manuscripts, scientific studies, and white papers for publication. I’m a former copy editor/fact-checker for The Austin Chronicle, fiction editor for Bat City Review, and copy editor for E Magazine. I offer thorough, precise, and timely editing services for students completing their dissertations. I am familiar with AP, Chicago, and MLA styles. I specialize in the humanities and creative projects. Rates depend on project complexity and turnaround time (email me for a personalized quote).”

  • Stephen Dadugblor (email)

    Education: PhD candidate in English, UT Austin; MA, Michigan Technology University

    Experience: “I am a PhD student in English and an Assistant Instructor in UT’s Department of Rhetoric and Writing, with considerable experience in the editing and proofreading of theses and dissertations. Last fall, I provided theses and dissertation editing services in the areas of finance, management, and engineering for Red Pen Bristol, a British text solutions company. I bring precision, attention to detail, and a five-year editorial experience to these texts.”

  • Liz Demott (email)

    Education: PhD in English, UT Austin

  • Lisa Gulesserian (email)

    Education: PhD in English, UT Austin

    Experience: Lisa will help you edit your dissertation, thesis, essay, grant application, website copy, scholarly article, personal statement, resume, or technical manual. She welcomes editing projects in all fields (though art, music, language, design, food, history, and literature are her beloved specialties). In the past nine years, Lisa has edited dissertation chapters; issues of academic journals; successful humanities grant applications; scientific personal statements; blog posts; translated documents and videos; and how-to manuals.

  • Melanie Haupt (email) (phone: 512-293-2853)


    Education: PhD in English, UT Austin; MA in English, University of Colorado Boulder; BA in English, UT Austin.

    Experience: I earned my PhD in English at the University of Texas at Austin, where I taught literature and rhetoric and writing classes from 2005–2012. I have also taught rhetoric and composition, American Studies, and Capstone at St. Edward’s University. I have extensive experience with proofreading, copyediting, and project editing, as well as deep passion for the craft of writing. I can help you get your college application letter, thesis, dissertation, monograph, and manuscript ready for submission.

  • Laura Issen (email)

    Education: PhD in English, UT Austin (2000)

    Experience: “I am currently an adjunct instructor at St. Edward’s, teaching writing. I also have a private tutoring business–I tutor all levels in writing, critical thinking, reading comprehension etc. I earned my PhD in English at UT Austin in 2000. My focus was Caribbean Literature. I have been teaching writing for over 20 years.”

  • Helen Novielli (email) (phone: 512-655-3348)

    Education: MA, Texas Woman’s University

    Experience: “I have over five years’ experience as a proofreader/editor, and over ten years’ experience with editing, proofreading, and content creation in a business setting. My areas of expertise include Social Sciences, Humanities, Business, and Education. Focus is placed on spelling, grammar, punctuation, and accuracy of vocabulary. Suggestions are made on style, sentence construction and flow, and overall readability. I will edit/proofread term papers, theses, dissertations, articles for publication, personal statements, and novels. I’ve worked with many ESL students and am always happy to work with more!”

  • Kerri Rinaldi (email)


    Education: MA in Language, Literacy, and Media, University of Pennsylvania; BA in English, University of Vermont

    Experience: “I am a professional freelance editor with 12 years of experience. I specialize in journal articles, theses, dissertations, and personal statements for graduate school, medical school, and prestigious fellowship applications. I have extensive training in writing center theory and pedagogy, and my graduate coursework emphasized adult literacy.”

  • Alexis Stratton (email)


    Education: MFA in Creative Writing, University of South Carolina

    Experience: “With 10 years of experience working as a writer and editor, I’ve assisted numerous clients in re-shaping their work, from conception to completion. In particular, I specialize in the following areas:
    • Academic Editing: Dissertations, theses, journal articles
    • Non-Profit Communications and Development: Grant applications/proposals (including government and foundation grants), e-blasts, newsletters, curriculum development
    • General Editing: Essays, novels, memoirs, blog posts, articles, PowerPoint presentations”

  • Joanna Thaler (email)

    Education: PhD in English, UT Austin

  • Amy Vidor (email)


    Education: PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature, UT Austin; MA in History and Literature, Columbia University; BAs in English and French with Minor in Art History, University of Southern California

    Experience: 5+ years of editing experience. Prior work in: English literature and language, French literature and language, history and social sciences, specializing in adherence to style guides, grammar, and maintaining a consistent voice.

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