Editing and Coaching

You’ve finished writing and editing your first novel after years of painstaking work. You’re sure it could be a best seller and everyone you know is very enthusiastic. Yet your manuscript is returned by publishers, with a form letter providing no clues as to why they didn’t like it. Having your work independently evaluated gives you an unbiased opinion, helping you to tighten your manuscript and fix problems you may have overlooked.

I’ve provided substantive and copy editing services for many other writers over the years. This has been for novels, short stories, fiction, nonfiction, biographies, inspirational books and many other genres. I’ve served as the Writer-in-Residence with the Canadian Authors Association and am a writing instructor at the University of Calgary. You can view details of some of the projects that I’ve worked on here.

References and Recommendations

“I met Simon at the annual When Words Collide writers convention and asked if he would work with me on my series as soon as I realized who he was. I’d heard great things from several other writers and wasn’t disappointed. Not only is he great at catching all the little mistakes that elude me, he was also able to refine and expand on several of my themes to make my novels the best they could possibly be. I’m looking forward to working with him in the near future on other projects!”

H.M. Gooden

“I first met Simon at one of his classes at the University of Calgary entitled Writing for Children and Young Adults. I had come to the class with a novel project I’d started, but didn’t know how to finish. Simon was very open and helpful and encouraged me to see it through.

Over the next several months, I engaged Simon’s services to help me get my novel off the ground. His coaching, encouragement and editing support provided invaluable. The Fountain was published by Alter Ego Press in December 2015, and its sequel, The West Woods, launched in September 2017. The Fountain was an Aurora Award Finalist in 2016. I highly recommend his coaching and editing services to writers in all genres.”

Suzy Vadori

“Can you imagine my frustration at incubating a really good idea for a historical novel for twelve years?! Research is my comfort zone so that’s where I had stayed. My inner editor criticized any glow and banished it from all my creative writing attempts. I simply could not write this novel. Then I met Simon at a literary event. He introduced himself as an author, editor, teacher, and writing coach. We agreed to weekly sessions to coach me in writing this historical novel. The effects were immediate and continue to yield results, giving me practical tools to organize my thoughts and research, as well as fueling my creativity to write. We set achievable weekly goals and then meet to discuss the progress that I have made. Knowing that he will also check in with me via email throughout the week keeps this project on the tip of my brain and prevents procrastination. I left the first session actually believing that I can write this novel…and I am!”

Annette Meeuwse – Editor, writer, philosopher

“I highly recommend Simon Rose as an editor and as a coach. Not only did Simon fix the grammatical errors and awkward sentences in my manuscript, but he also pointed out when more details were required, when my timeline needed correcting, and when something didn’t seem plausible. Simon also provided regular encouragement throughout this creative process – checking in regularly, and providing guidance and support even after the manuscript was completed and I began submitting to publishers.”

Lara Malmqvist

“Simon worked with me on two projects as both an editor and mentor. I was impressed with the timely, constructive and insightful feedback he provided. He answered all of my questions fully and provided lots of encouragement. I would highly recommend Simon to anyone in need of a professional editor, and to anyone wanting to work with a positive, knowledgeable writing coach.”

Amy Dennis

“I used Simon’s monthly editing service to help prepare my MFA application package for UBC. His insight, revisions, and guidance helped me polish my submissions and secure admission to the program. A big thank you to Simon for helping me realize my writing goals.”

Cara Violini

“Simon Rose continues to provide for me excellent editing, as well as superb mentoring/coaching services. He provides professionalism and a team atmosphere that easily lends to the creation of quality books, aimed aptly at target audiences.”

Stella Constance, Writer

“Struggle no longer! Everyone needs a coach and mentor – and writers are no exception. Simon’s style, equal parts professional and personable, will help you reach your writing goals. When I wanted to write a series of children’s books, Simon worked with me to refine my voice, create compelling characters and be continuously responsive to my audience. His support was invaluable to me. I highly, highly recommend his services.”

Jennifer Sanford

Substantive Editing

A professional substantive edit involves a comprehensive content assessment. This may include comments and suggestions regarding characterization, setting, dialogue, believability, structure, plot, language, research and references. It also includes a summary of the strengths and weaknesses (if any) of your writing, along with comments on writing technique, format, technical ability and market potential.

I will also answer any specific questions regarding what publishers may or may not like in the story. The time required for a substantive edit will vary depending on the length of your manuscript and the amount of work required. Please contact me directly for an estimate.

Substantive Editing versus Copy Editing

A substantive edit is different to copy editing. This type of editing covers grammar, spelling, punctuation and many other details that writers are sometimes unaware of but publishers care deeply about. Substantive editing also differs from proof reading, which checks the final details before a book or article is printed or published. Following an in-depth substantive edit, both copy editing and proof reading are still needed before publication.


I conduct substantive edits for manuscripts in most genres of fiction and non-fiction, adult and children’s literature, including science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, time travel, historical fiction, paranormal, supernatural, suspense, adventure, action, mainstream novels, mysteries, thrillers, romance novels, picture books and more. If you’re not sure whether your work is appropriate or require further information, please contact me directly.

*Please note that a substantive edit of a manuscript and the resulting changes or suggestions, even if acted on by the author, will not necessarily guarantee publication. While the feedback may improve your manuscript, doors will not automatically open. You will also still need to thoroughly research the marketplace to ensure that you are submitting your work to an appropriate publishing house.