What Clients Are Saying
Jen brought great energy, intuition, and skill to the editing process. She understood my work and voice from the outset, and genuinely invested in the project as a partner. Whether digging into the weedy details or assessing structure from high above, Jen is equally talented, offering not just “edits,” but ideas and solutions. Above all, she is an extraordinary communicator— clear, detailed, and utterly reliable. I hope to enlist her again as a partner in whatever comes next.
—Zach Vertin, author, A Rope from the Sky: The Making and Unmaking of the World’s Newest State (Pegasus, January 2019)
It was my great fortune to connect with Jen McDonald in the final months before submission of my manuscript, as I was pushing for the book’s publication to coincide with the centennial anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York. Jen’s prompt turnaround and deft, thoughtful edits were invaluable. Plus, she’s a delight.
—Brooke Kroeger, author, The Suffragents: How Women Used Men to Get the Vote (Excelsior Editions/SUNY Press, September 2017)
Jen, with her steady hand and literary mind, has helped elevate my work, highlighting strengths and weaknesses while offering forthright but gentle feedback and possible solutions that match voice, flow, and narrative form. Jen digs into a story’s granular details while framing them within the broad context of a book’s wider arc. Her editing is like a finely threaded safety net, and her contributions have informed my creative process.
—Finbarr O’Reilly, co-author, Shooting Ghosts: A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War (Viking/Penguin/Random House, August 2017)
Jen is an absolute pro. She has the ability to work from the aerial view, ensuring all the points you’re making are as punchy and profound as they can be for your particular audience, and to zoom in on the tiniest grammatical and punctuation details. She’s also a tremendously reliable communicator: knowing when deadlines are, checking in to see how things are going, and maintaining a steadfast commitment to perfection before hitting “publish.” She’s not just another set of eyes, she’s another brain—and one that’s superior to many, mine included.
—Jennifer Brandel, CEO of Hearken, founder of WBEZ’s Curious City
Jen far exceeded my expectations, going above and beyond to make significant improvements to my novel—not just the expected modifications related to grammar and sentence structure, but also to the strength of the voice and the quality of detail. I was lucky to have Jen to help improve this story. She played a critical role in making it publication-ready, and I would strongly recommend her services to both new and experienced writers. —Steve Wiley, author, The Fairytale Chicago of Francesca Finnegan (Lavender Line Press, 2017)
Jen is a gem of an editor: a partner to a writer, rather than a critic. I hired her for a full read-through of a fiction manuscript, and her comments were so valuable, I asked her to do line and style edits for specific parts of the novel as well. What’s supremely helpful is that she shares ideas along with her edits—she’s a “generative” editor, which is hard to find. Working with her, the process of editing becomes energizing and exciting, rather than a hurdle.
—Mollie West, author, consultant, organization designer at IDEO
Jen’s insight helped me understand where my novel needed work. Where I knew something was off, she identified the problem and helped find solutions. She also defined what worked well and how to expand on it. Her feedback was extremely valuable: it improved not only my story, but my skills as a writer. —Rudy Fernandez, fiction writer