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Initial Appraisal of a Sample of Your Writing

Submissions to SFeditor.ca

Before you invest in professional editing, you need to know that the advice you are paying for is the advice you need or want. There are many reasons SFeditor.ca may not be the right editor for you. The only way to find out is to try it. Consequently, SFeditor.ca offers a (heavily discounted) initial appraisal: twenty pages and a one- to three-page synopsis for $150. That's roughly equivalent to the number of pages one would submit to a publisher, and quite sufficient for SFeditor.ca to provide an objective appraisal of your work and to provide a realistic estimate of the services SFeditor.ca could offer. For example, some manuscripts may require considerable developmental work; others may need only some minor copy editing; yet others may only need help with the submission process (if submitting to a publisher). Others may benefit from both developmental and copy editing.

This is also the opportunity for the client to decide whether the type and style of feedback on the initial 20 pages is what they want for the whole manuscript. Some clients may feel SFeditor is too blunt or too soft; too general or too focused; too traditional or too post-modern; too fixated on grammar or too focused on plot, character and setting; too academic or not literary enough; or whatever. If the initial feedback is more annoying than helpful, then there is no point in pursuing additional services.

Think of it this way: you wouldn't marry someone without getting to know them first; the initial appraisal is the equivalent of a first date. If all goes well, then we can take it to the next level. If it is not a promising experience for one or the other, well, all you've invested is the price of that first date.

Developmental Editing

You must first submit 20 pages and a one- to three-page synopsis for an appraisal and pay the appraisal fee before SFeditor.ca will undertake developmental editing for you. SFeditor.ca will only take on clients if there is a reasonable likelihood of success. The appraisal fee includes initial assessment of developmental needs and sample feedback appropriate to the clientÕs needs.

Copy Editing

You must first submit 20 pages and a synopsis for an appraisal and pay the appraisal fee before SFeditor.ca will undertake copy editing, as the appraisal is the only way to provide an accurate estimate of costs. Copy editing of the initial 20 pages is included in the appraisal fee.

Genres Accepted

SFeditor.ca specializes in speculative fiction: science fiction, fantasy, magic realism, etc. The exception is that SFeditor.ca does not accept horror.

SFeditor.ca will consider Canadian literature and general fiction. SFeditor.ca is eminently qualified to edit SF-related non-fiction, and depending on the topic, other non-fiction.

SFeditor.ca does not edit mystery or romance unless they are cross-overs into SF. This is based on the belief that when mainstream editors or romance editors or etc. attempt to edit SF, they often miss clichés, lower their standards, or otherwise make serious mistakes due to their lack of familiarity with the conventions of the genre. The corollary is necessarily that SF editors should not try to edit other genres with which they are not intimately familiar. For non-SF, see EssentialEdits.ca

Other Limitations

SFeditor.ca can only accommodate English language manuscripts.

SFeditor.ca cannot provide assistance with book design or coverart.

How to Submit

Having experimented with various online submissions forms, SFeditor.ca has gone back to email as the simplest method and the least prone to bugs. Submit Word .doc, .docx, or RTF files. Do NOT submit PDF files.

Paying with Interact
Paying through Interac online bank transfer is fast, easy and inexpensive ($1) for anyone in Canada. Simply go to your account online, and choose the Interac transfer option. If online payment is going to present difficulties for you, contact SFeditor.ca about making alternate arrangements.


The chart below shows the current backlog (if any) of manuscripts in the pipeline. Feel free to submit, but know that it may be a number of weeks before SFeditor.ca can get to your manuscript. On the other hand, editing is somewhat unpredictable as manuscripts move back and forth between author and editor, such that there may be a day or two when a current manuscript is completed and sent out earlier than expected, and the next scheduled manuscript late from that author, leaving an opening of a day or two suitable for a sample appraisal/edit. But in general, the sooner you schedule an edit, the sooner it gets done, so don't wait until the 'wait time' is down to zero.

1 week

2 weeks

3 weeks

4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

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12 weeks

Last updated January, 2018