poetry editing

Why hire a poetry editor?

Poetry is an incredibly personal art form. That being said, sometimes we need a person on the outside who we can trust to provide feedback. The order makes sense in your head, but will it make sense to your readers? Is the theme strong? Did you get your message across?

My goal is to make you feel confident about sharing your poetry book—whether you are looking for traditional publishers or want to self-publish—and to be a trusted guide who partners with you through the process.

"Shelby is an outstanding copyeditor! It’s not easy to find an editor who has experience with poetry, but Shelby is extremely knowledgeable about both the genre itself and grammar rules (even some of the more obscure ones). She was incredibly thorough while editing my book, and in the process picked up on some mistakes that several other readers had missed. I was nervous to self-publish for the first time, but now, thanks to Shelby, I’m confident that I’m putting out my best work." -Kristen Costello

Manuscript appraisal & proofreading ($3.35 per page)

You’ll receive:

  • A manuscript appraisal. I will read your poetry collection and provide feedback on the theme, order of the poems and sections, overall flow, and more. You’ll receive an encouraging review with comments on my favorite poems and guidance for those that could be strengthened.

  • A thoroughly proofread collection with tracked edits. I edit for grammar, spelling and simple stylistic edits. I will point out phrases that don’t make sense or could be improved. I may suggest areas of improvement and rewrite phrases while maintaining your voice.

  • Poetry collections are priced per page ($3.35 per page). Please let me know the total page count of the poems in your collection. They should be 11-12pt font (or larger) and your document should be sized to a standard poetry book size, such as 6x9 inches or 5x8 inches. The pricing above comes with one round of editing. Additional rounds of editing are discounted.

  • Please note that pricing varies for each project based on total word count and page count.

testimony from katelyn taylor,

Looking for just proofreading? Edits for spelling, grammar and punctuation are priced at around $2 per page. Please submit an inquiry and your sample for an accurate quote from me!

Meet your editor, Shelby Leigh

shelby leigh smiling with her hand on her hip, wearing a words heal tee

As an author of multiple poetry books, including the bestselling changing with the tides, and an editor for more than 30 poetry books, I know the time, dedication and passion you’ve put into your work.

I promise to foster your writing style and vision while providing encouraging feedback to strengthen your collection.

Boring stuff: I have a Bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communication and Professional Writing.

Exciting stuff: I have been writing creatively throughout my life, including poetry for 7 years. I've studied poetry professionally and worked with dozens of poets on their collections, totaling up to more than 4500 poems and over 50 books edited!

Now, I partner with writers throughout the process of writing, editing, publishing and marketing their books. My mission is to help other writers become more confident and clear about their marketing strategy.

How I edit:

  • All edits are tracked so you can choose which edits to accept. I also leave encouraging comments throughout on my favorite poems or lines. You know, the ones that make me cry, laugh, feel something!

  • I will always work to understand your voice and style and not change your voice or style while editing. If I think a sentence or stanza can be structured in a clearer way, I'll let you know by leaving comments on the document.

  • If we’re doing multiple rounds of editing, I’ll send back your edited manuscript. You’ll review and implement feedback, and send it back to me for the next round.

Submit an inquiry by clicking the button below and entering your name and email, and Shelby will be in touch with additional details to get you booked in for poetry editing! Signing up does not lock you into anything; it just allows me to know you're interested so I can reach out, answer your questions, and provide you with more information.

"I value your insight as well as edits and you really helped my work elevate! I just wanted to say once more, thank you so much! after completing it entirely today I can see how much work you put in to my book and it means so much to me!" -Abby Hamlin

"Your recommendations for my book have been extremely helpful, and both my book and my writing are so much better for having worked with you. You have helped turn the collection of poems I piled into a word document with a faint dream of being published into something I am so proud of and cannot wait to share with the world." -Jay Song

previously edited works...

book cover of book cover of book cover of book cover of

book covers in order: PMDD & me, Not broken becoming, Pheonix, the sun warm on me

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