ABOUT MAGIC WORDS
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
You’ve reached “The End.” Those long nights, the bottomless cups of coffee, so many rewrites and revisions and read-throughs finally behind you. You’ve done it, magic writer. You’ve spun words into a finished book, and you’re ready to put your tale into the eager hands (and e-readers) of your awaiting fans.
ONE THAT WILL IMMERSE THEM IN YOUR WORLD
INTO THE WEE HOURS OF MANY NIGHTS
But readers can be tough. (I know you’ve seen those reviews. Yikes!) They have high standards for writing craft and will catch every goblin and troll lurking in your pages. Your self-published book should be just as good as anything Tor or PRH releases to satisfy those expectations.
Never fear! That’s where I come in, waving my trusty red pen—er, keyboard—to help.
I’m Shawna, and I walk with indie authors like you on the journey to publish your book. I ease your manuscript over the editing potholes in the path so you can put your final product out there with confidence.
I read my first words when I was two. By five, I was leading reading circle in Mrs. Cook’s kindergarten class. At nine, I wrote my first action-adventure story about a girl who shipwrecks on an island in Alaska (complete with a custom-designed Strawberry Shortcake–themed cover, courtesy of my mother).
The one scribbling poems and stories in her math notebook. The English teacher’s favorite student.
Degrees in literature and communications set me on a winding career path: high school English teacher, communications specialist, web designer.
Through it all, I read: scary stories that kept me up into the wee hours and thrilling fantasies that made me long for a world where magic was real. (Pssst, it is.)
Through it all, I wrote: stories, novels, poems. I won NaNo. I ate, drank, and breathed words.
Armed with a shiny certificate in editing from the University of Chicago, I hung out my shingle, sharpened my pencil (well, warmed up my keyboard, really), and invited word-lovers like you to join me on this journey.
Certificate in Editing, University of Chicago
BS English, Missouri State University
MA Communications, Lindenwood University
Copyediting Fiction, Editorial Freelancers’ Association
Intermediate Copyediting, EFA
Copyediting Practicum, Editorial Arts Academy
Intermediate Line Editing for Fiction, EFA
Developmental Editing, Editorial Arts Academy
Editing Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Jennifer Lawler
Freelance editor for trad publishers (Tor/Nightfire)
5+ years editing for indie authors and publishers
40+ years writing novels, short stories, poetry
30+ years studying literature and writing craft
Expert in LOTR and Star Trek trivia
Highly skilled at being owned by cats
Listen intently to your writing dreams
Focus on kindness and support
Leave a light footprint on your words
Offer transparent pricing & processes
Create editing magic!
Ready to go on this journey?
Shawna's copyedit was extremely helpful because she corrected things that I couldn't see on my own. Her suggestions and edits fit within the flow of the story and my personal style. I never once felt a suggestion changed the integrity of the story, only enhanced, cleaned up, and made it better—exactly what a writer needs from an editor.
Magic Words has been invaluable to my editing process and writing journey. As a first-time author, I had a lot of anxiety and imposter syndrome, but I felt supported through this whole process and left feeling empowered despite having a lot of work left to do. All I can say is thank you, and I’ll be back.
I was at a point in my process where I needed to know if the story I had in my head was the one that I was putting into words. Shawna’s Story Diagnostic was thorough and encouraging. It gave me the energy to carry on to the next phase of my novel. She is warm and encouraging, yet practiced and professional. I trust her feedback, her advice, and her commitment to the content she is reviewing and the relationship she in turn builds with her clients! 10/10 Would recommend!
As a first-time author, I finally took the big plunge and sent my book out for editing. I can't say enough good things about Shawna and her Story Diagnostic. Not only did she help me identify the problem areas in my manuscript, but she also offered up innovative ideas for fixing them. Throughout the whole process, she was enthusiastic and responsive. I truly got the feeling that editing is a passion of hers and not just a job. I would recommend Shawna without a doubt and look forward to working with her in the future.
I was more than pleased (delighted! invigorated!) with Shawna's query assessment and happily made the changes she suggested. I appreciate the depth and understanding of her recommendations and really believed she had my best interests at heart.
Working with Shawna was a wonderful experience. From the beginning, she homed in on what I liked about the book, which was the rhythm of the language, and she kept that intact throughout her detailed and thoughtful editing. I felt that she was an ally as I read through the remarks, and everything she noted was valid, clear, and helpful. At every stage, Shawna is professional and present. I would recommend her to any writer.
Shawna's editing is adept, respectful, and intelligent. She is also a creative thinker just brimming with outside-the-box ideas and inspiration. I have no doubt Shawna will be an enormous asset for any writer or publisher who teams up with Magic Words Editorial Services. I think she’s a little bit magic herself.