I love helping authors polish their work. With my journalism degree and years of experience, I can help you take your manuscript from so-so to spectacular. Aside from the three industry-standard levels of edit, I’m pleased to announce two new options for writers–a high-level critique and one-on-one mentoring.


​Not sure if your story is working? Wondering if your hero is multi-layered and complex enough? Need another look at your plot? At this level of edit, I will read your manuscript for overall issues–Goal, Motivation, Conflict; Point-of-View; Show-don’t-Tell; and more. I will highlight and and explain each issue the first time I see it, then give you feedback on the story as a whole.


Designed for newer writers and writers who’ve struggled to break into traditional publishing, the mentoring service is a great way to learn and practice the skills necessary for crafting compelling novels. We work together on short chunks of the novel at a time. I edit, make lots of suggestions, and return the document. The writer takes the suggestions, asks questions for clarity, and then applies those suggestions to the entire novel, thus cementing that skill. We might work on point-of-view at one time, show-don’t-tell another. By the time the mentoring process is finished, not only have we edited an entire manuscript, but the writer has improved his or her writing skills.

Substantive Edit

I dissect story lines for plot holes and investigate overall development and inconsistencies. I ensure that characters are multi-layered and interesting.  I address pace and readability as well, all the while protecting (and perhaps helping you develop) your individual voice. At this level, I assist you as you edit your story, helping you transform it into your best work possible. I also highlight grammatical, punctuation, and word issues the first time I see them. I will do some light re-writing and make suggestions on wording issues.


At the copyedit level, I check grammar, punctuation, and word usage. I look for consistency and ensure the story flows properly. I propose changes that make the manuscript more readable. You may find no-nonsense comments like, show, don’t tellchapter opening needs work, or replace this cliché with something fresh.


At the proofreading level, I correct grammar and punctuation. I don’t accept a manuscript at this level unless it has already been thoroughly edited.


I charge by the page. The amount varies from $2 per page for a light critique up to $7 per page depending on the level of edit desired and the state of the manuscript. (For more information about industry-standard rates, see the Editorial Freelance Association.) For a quote, email the first few pages to me at robin@robinpatchen.com. Include in the email the answer to the following questions, so I can get a feel for where you are as an author and the state of the overall manuscript.

1-what is the genre?
2-how long is the book?
3-what kind of editing are you looking for, or do you want me to make a recommendation?
4-what is your plan for the MS—self-publishing, traditional publishing? Do you have an agent and/or a contract on this novel?
5-has the MS been critiqued and/or edited previously?
6-what’s your publishing history?

Getting Started

Wondering if a freelance editor is for you? Check out this excellent article at BlueInk for more information about having your manuscript edited. I’ll be happy to look at the first two pages of your manuscript and give you a quote for the services above.

“Simply put, my Southern Heart Series wouldn’t be the same without Robin’s editing. She challenged me to take each novel to its best form. Her professionalism and knowledge grew my writing and continues to do so. If you have a fictional story, you need an experienced fiction editor like Robin.” - Janet Ferguson, multi-published independent author

“Teaming with Robin as my editor is one of the best things I did to develop my writing skill. Her ability to spot bigger issues in my story, as well as her solid command of grammar and craft, have made her editing services invaluable to me. I appreciate how she takes the time to teach the reasons for each edit she recommends. I highly recommend Robin’s editing services!" - Misty M. Beller, multi-published hybrid author

“As I read over Robin’s edits, I must have muttered “wow” about 276 times (which happens to be the same amount of pages in my book). Her edits were spot on. She is not afraid to call you out on issues, but in an encouraging and at times comical voice. And I don’t even want to think about what I would do if she decided to give up editing!” - Dana Romanin, novelist

“The first time I worked with Robin, I sent her a synopsis and fifteen pages from the book I was writing. I received back seventeen pages covered in edits and comments. Just as important, she had written a note encouraging me to not quit. That’s Robin.

“Her feedback was so valuable that I hired her to edit the rest of the story. We worked through my manuscript in easy-to-manage chunks. She not only marked-up pages but also answered questions and helped further develop my writing skills. To me, Robin is more than an editor. She’s a writing coach who professionally invests in and personally cares about my writing and me.” - Audrey Appenzeller, novelist

“Robin is professional, competent and fast. Her eye for both detail and the big picture makes her one of the best in the business.” - Redbud Press, an inspirational romance publisher

“After my son passed away in 2012, I was compelled to write the story of his life. I wanted my family to have that remembrance of him and also hoped it might help those facing some of the same struggles we did. I wrote the words in the months immediately following his passing, but I could not read them, much less edit them. The pain it evoked was intense and I could not see past my emotions enough to edit the words.

“Robin’s Red Pen was the answer to my dilemma. Robin was kind enough to not only accept my project, but to offer her recommendations in a compassionate yet helpful manner. Her criticisms came with suggestions for making my writing more appealing to a reader. Her comments contained encouraging notes, pointing out things I had done well just as much as where I might improve.

“Robin is much more than a proofreader or grammarian. She truly cared about the words I wrote and helped me make them better. I could not have accomplished the feat of editing my son’s story without Robin. I owe her my heartfelt gratitude and sincere appreciation. I recommend Robin’s Red Pen to any writer, amateur or professional, who wants to make the words of their heart the best that they can be.” - Cindy Regnier, author

“I met Robin when she shepherded me in my editor’s role at the Oklahoma Writers Federation Conference.  Not only did she provide me with Starbucks in the mornings, but she revealed an eye for detail, an intelligence, and a delightful sense of humor as we talked writing, grammar, and red pens, all of which prompted me to offer her a job as Assistant Editor at Wayside Press, the general market imprint I then led. We’ve both retired from Wayside, but I haven’t let go of Robin’s editing expertise. She helped me hone both Becalmed and Sailing out of Darkness and is fine-tooth combing my latest manuscript.” - Normandie Fischer, award-winning, multi-published author and
former editor, Wayside Press

“Robin’s Red Pen is a godsend to my writing. I’ve worked with her on my manuscripts for two years now and believe my dreams of becoming published wouldn’t have been achieved so quickly without her expertise. When my editor sent me my first round of edits, she said she was impressed with how clean the manuscript already was. The credit goes to Robin.” - Candice Sue Patterson, award-winning novelist

 “Robin has pushed and pulled me –sometimes kicking and screaming–to be a better writer.  I was a finalist in ACFW’s First Impressions Contest for 2013 thanks to her nasty . . . um . . . I mean . . . helpful red pen.  Don’t be afraid of it!  Embrace the red ink.” - Pegg Thomas, novelist, blogger, and founder of Quid Pro Quills

“Robin’s edit was both thoughtful and thorough. She challenged me when I was missing character motivation, she caught all my grammatical errors (comma issues!), and her comments throughout the manuscript were helpful and pointed, showing me exactly what needed to be fixed. Robin is a gem, and I’ll for sure be using her services again!”  - Lacy Williams, multi-published author and former managing editor, Serenade Books

“Robin’s red pen is the best thing that ever happened to my writing. Her grammar and punctuation edits are right on target, and her content suggestions always make my stories flow just a bit smoother. If you’re looking for an editor who’s unafraid to tell you what’s wrong, while freely praising what’s right, you’ve come to the right place.” - Sharon Srock, multi-published hybrid author

 “Thanks to Robin’s killer critiques, my writing dreams are now reality. I’ve only been writing three years, but an agent is reviewing my full manuscript. Who can I thank for that? Robin Patchen.” - Jericha Kingston, novelist

 “Robin’s red pen will not disappoint. I have been working with Robin since 2012. From grammar, to plot holes and storyline shortfalls, Robin catches them all.” - Kara Hunt, novelist

 “Robin Patchen’s edits are responsible for moving my writing to a new level. She is a whiz at spotting plot holes, character weaknesses, and of course, grammar and punctuation problems. Thanks to her, my dream of being a published author is a reality. Robin’s red pen is magical!” - Terri Weldon, hybrid author