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Ken Kesey walked off the set, shaking his fist at the producer and declared “You’ve ruined my book!”

For those of you who were spared the Michael Douglas movie One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest but read Ken Kesey’s masterpiece, you are aware that Chief Broom has all his faculties on page one as he begins the narration. He confides in his reader: “If I told you all the things that happened in here, you’d think I was crazy, but it’s the truth, even if it didn’t happen.”

And this is how I define fiction: the truth even if it didn’t happen.

Your story, your truth, is important to me, and I never lose sight of the fact that you are the world’s leading authority on your own work. So how do I help you?

My editing fees are as follows:

First thirty pages, with general observations: no charge
Manuscript review: $2 per page
One 20 hour Block of time: $1200*
Quick edit or consultation: $85 per hour

*If you opt for the overview first, I deduct half of what you have paid up to $300 on your first block of time. So, for example if you have paid me $420 to read a 210 page manuscript, Times New Roman, double-spaced, your first block of time will be $980).

Your second block of time (20 hours) is also 1200.  Subsequent blocks of time at discounted to $1000.

Reading and commenting on your first 30 pages without assessing a fee is not so altruistic:  it gives me an opportunity to demonstrate how I can help you, and why you need me. There have been only one or two instances when a working relationship did not follow the pro bono assessment. Send me your first 30 pages as a word doc attachment to thorn@awordwithyoupress.com, and in the subject line indicate “Pro Bono Assessment.”

My passion is for memoir and literary fiction.  I am often asked in my workshops, “What  is literary fiction?”  Easy answer: The Old Man and the Sea is not about fishing.

I also have assisted authors of non-fiction, self-help, and young adult books, mainstream fiction, romance, sci-fi and so on, so please, send me an email and tell me about your project.


While I catch many errors in grammar, syntax, noun-verb and tense agreement and spelling, typos, etc.,  my focus is on the broader issues or story arc, plot, character development and style. So I do not warrant that I will catch all the proof reading errors, and I defer that to others on my staff at a rate of $2 per page.  Whether you use AWwYP or another source, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you don’t just turn it over to your sister who is an English teacher.  We can talk about that. Generally we adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style.

“The funny thing about working with Thorn is that I can’t exactly say what he does that helps me. I usually start out not agreeing with his suggestions, only to end up following them. Maybe it’s the very act of resisting his ideas that serves as an exercise in clarification. After all, more times than not, this exercise leads me to see the wisdom of his direction. Perhaps it’s Thorn’s practical wisdom on the art and craft of writing. I’m still not sure. All I know is I’ve become a better writer since working with Thorn.”

– Mark Cohen


  1. Kristine Grant referred me. I met her briefly at a speaking workshop.

    I may be in the wrong place. I have finished a draft of a small, 18,000 word interaction type book for middle management so it may not be worth mentioning or editing. It is called, for now, It’s All About You! 10 Parables for Middle Management. I know, not much kick to it, but it is the truth. My selected learnings and true stories (24 year leadership career and 34 year Adjunct Faculty leadership experience) about how simple leadership really can be (perhaps not easy).

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