My goal as a freelance editor is to help writers get closer to the book that they want to be writing. Not to impose my choices and thoughts on your story, but to help you clarify, strengthen, and polish that story. I work with writers at all career stages and in various genres. My notes cover things like plot, pacing, character and relationship development, setting and worldbuilding, and I’ll also give notes on specific questions or concerns you have as a writer. I base my rates and response times on word count and on the depth of editing that you’re looking for, and I’m always happy to answer any questions. You can get in touch through the contact form.



What kind of writing do I work with?

Most kinds. I write on the SFF / magical realist / horror spectrum, and most of my clients tend to be in one of those areas, but I've also worked with people who write romance, or thrillers, or contemporary fiction, or lit fic, and I've worked on MG, YA, and adult fiction. I also work with clients on both short fiction and novels. I'm equally happy to work with people who are pursuing traditional publication and with people who are looking to self-publish. I'm definitely not the right person for picture books or children's books.

What kind of editing is this?

This is not a line edit or a copy edit. So I won't fix your typos, though I will let you know if something is unclear. Basically, I read for things like character, voice, plot, pacing, worldbuilding, and let you know what is or isn't working. Also, if you want me to read for something specific, I'll be happy to do that. I see my job as helping you make your overall project stronger, more polished, and more like the story that you are trying to tell.

Does it need to be finished?

Yes. Mostly. When I say finished—I've worked with clients who have done multiple rewrites, who have had input from beta readers, and who have extremely polished drafts. I've also worked with clients who have just finished what they know is a first or zero draft, and who want outside eyes on it right away, and who still have scene in brackets like [breakup happens here] or who have multiple versions of the same scene, and want to know which one works better. So if you have the bulk of things, the basic shape, but there are a couple of pieces missing, or if you know you're going to revise? Absolutely. If you only have a few chapters, it will probably be more useful to you to wait until you're closer to finished.

Do you need to have writing credits?

Nope. Not even a little bit. Nor do I need to see a sample or an excerpt or a link to your website. I've worked with clients who have sent me the first draft of the first book they've ever finished, and I've worked with people who have been writing for years.

What are my credentials?

My short fiction has been performed on NPR, included in year’s best and best of anthologies, and has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award and the WSFA Small Press Award, and will be out this year in a collection from Saga Press, A Cathedral of Myth and Bone. My novella with Maria Dahvana Headley, The End of the Sentence, was chosen as one of NPR’s Best Books of 2014. I am a graduate of Clarion at UCSD, and am represented by Brianne Johnson at Writers House. Publishers Weekly said my debut novel, Roses and Rot, was one of the best SFF books of summer 2016. My second novel, An Unkindness of Magicians, won an Alex Award, and was named one of NPR's Best Books of 2017. Additionally, I have a Ph.D. in English Literature, and have taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Minnesota, and Stonybrook University. I have also taught an Intro to Writing SFF course with LitReactor, and I've been working with writers on a one on one basis for about three years now. In other words, I have experience, both as a writer, and in helping other people make their writing better.

Does this cost money?

Yes. The amount will depend on how long your project is and how much editing involvement you want from me. I will give you an exact quote before you are committed to anything. It costs nothing to ask questions, so if you're not sure that this is what you're looking for, please ask, and I'll be happy to answer.

Does this guarantee that you'll get published?

No. And honestly, I'd look askance at anyone who promised such a thing.



Kat helped me with two extremely difficult structural revisions, and the result led to both books being acquired by HarperCollins. She provides brilliant insight, detailed analysis, and generous amounts of feedback, all while being extremely affordable. I trust her judgment implicitly.
— Mike Chen, author of Here And Now And Then and A Beginning At The End
Kat’s edits are a godsend. She cuts through to the root of your project’s issues without being prescriptive, and has a deft touch with open-ended suggestions that make you think about your own work in a different light.
— Lauren Hougen
I began working with Kat Howard at a time when I felt I had plateaued; no matter the stories I was working on, I felt as though I understood a fraction of what I was trying to say, and only knew enough of my process and interests to glean partial truths from my work. Kat gave me the tools to pry open my own work, understand my processes and style, navigate between what I wanted to say and how to say it well, as well as the honing of my narrative voice, and the confidence to keep pushing myself to new levels of fiction. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without Kat Howard’s help. I urge you to consider working with her, to let her help you off of your plateau, and soar to new heights.
— Martin Cahill
Kat has a remarkable talent for discerning the heart of your story, and the skill and sensitivity to help you best express it. Her feedback not only feels right, it feels right for your voice, your story
— L.S. Johnson


If you wish to contact Kat about her editing services, including any questions you may have about rates and the process, please use the form below.

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