Flourish as a freelance story editor

Running a freelance editing business doesn’t have to be so hard

Club Ed can help you earn a sustainable income without giving up the flexibility and freedom to live your life as you’d like, whether cozily at home, relaxing in the sunshine, or off on yet another adventure.

Club Ed offers classes (instructor-led or self-paced), community, and other resources to support you on your journey, whether you’re a new, aspiring, or experienced editor.

Flourish as a freelance story editor

Running a freelance editing business doesn’t have to be so hard

Club Ed can help you earn a sustainable income without giving up the flexibility and freedom to live your life as you’d like, whether cozily at home, relaxing in the sunshine, or off on yet another adventure.

Club Ed offers classes (instructor-led or self-paced), community, and other resources to support you on your journey, whether you’re a new, aspiring, or experienced editor.

Do you keep hitting refresh on your inbox, hoping a prospective client reaches out?

Or spend too much time staring out the window, wondering if you actually have what it takes? Or constantly second-guess your work, struggling with self-doubt? If so, you may need a little vacation. Spend it at Club Ed.

Running a successful freelance editing business may seem like climbing a mountain, but at Club Ed we like to think of it as surfing a wave, and we can teach you how!

You don’t need a lucky break, you need a guide

And that’s what the Resort Director is. I’m Jennifer Lawler, and I like to say that I’ve made all the mistakes so you don’t have to. If you want to shave years off your learning curve, you need to train with someone who knows what they’re doing.

Through Club Ed, I offer editing classes, a freelance editor membership program/support group, and a slightly bony shoulder to cry on. For the past ten years, I’ve been teaching editors how to edit and how to run their editing businesses.

I’ve worked as an editor for more than twenty years. I learned how to edit in the trenches of traditional publishing with its insane deadlines, pitiless competition, and crushing bureaucracy. I’ve run a publishing imprint and worked as a literary agent. I earned Ph.D in English literature with a specialization in medieval literature because of a long story.

Editorial clients have included Simon & Schuster, Girl Friday Productions, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, Barnes and Noble Custom Publishing, and others, along with many independent authors. 

Want to grow your editing business?

Choose the Editorial Toolkit

The Editorial Toolkit is a series of instructor-led classes designed to help you expand your business. Check the schedule for the next session of each class.


Get started today.

New to editing? Pick the starter pack
  • Get started in editing fiction with a convenient package of six self-paced classes.
  • Save money over purchasing each class individually.
  • Learn on your schedule, at your pace.
  • Use answer keys to check your progress.
  • Also called DE 1 – 6: Classes include Foundations of Storytelling, Principles of Developmental Editing, Writing Effective Editorial Queries, Writing the Revision Letter, Manuscript Evaluation, and Evaluating Your Effectiveness as an Editor.

How it works

All classes are entirely online and asynchronous (you don’t have to be at a specific place at a specific time).

Self-paced classes can be accessed for eighteen months after purchase and allow you to go at your own pace. Classes have answer keys or other ways of assessing your own work.

Instructor-led classes begin and end on specific days and have weekly assignments with instructor feedback. The assignments have deadlines and the classes include forum participation but you don’t have to be at a particular place at a particular time to participate in the class.

Students from all over the world have taken Club Ed classes but Club Ed is US-based and the materials and suggested resources reflect that. All classes are text-based and accessible, but if you need any accommodations, please let us know!

What people are saying

Ready for your resort experience?

Take a Club Ed class and watch your editing skills soar.

Recent Posts

Editorial Terms and Their Meanings

Here’s a rundown of basic editorial terms and their meanings to help you understand editing terminology. When I talk about the author’s work of addressing areas of concern, I call it revision to distinguish it from what an editor does, which is editing. Most people writing and speaking on the subject don’t distinguish between the two but since…
Read More Editorial Terms and Their Meanings

Different Types of Editing

There are several different types of editing, and it’s very common for authors to be confused about what type of editing their manuscript needs. They’ll ask you to “edit” their ms. You think they mean development but they mean copyediting and they’re disappointed in your work. Or they’ll say they need someone to fix the…
Read More Different Types of Editing

The Connection Between Character and Plot

As editors, we need to understand the connection between character and plot and how to support authors in developing this relationship effectively. How to Build the Connection Between Character and Plot A common problem you’ll come across when editing fiction is a situation where characters are shoved around like chess pieces. Margie the protagonist winds…
Read More The Connection Between Character and Plot

Learning How to Read

Learning how to read is a crucial skill for developmental story editors. Years ago, I was teaching a university lit class that all new freshmen were required to take. For one reason or another, Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” was on the syllabus. All of the students had encountered this poem before, and all…
Read More Learning How to Read

Club Ed FAQ

Club Ed offers two types of classes, self-paced and instructor-led. All are offered entirely online with no in-person component. Classes do not require Zoom or phone participation. For all classes, the lessons and manuscripts used for the assignments are written as Word documents. Some supplemental materials are PDFs.

Because developmental editors need to be able to work from written sources, all materials are provided that way. If this does not match your learning style, Club Ed classes will not be right for you.

Instructor-led courses have a feedback component. You turn in an assignment each week and the instructor reads and responds to your efforts, highlighting what you’re doing well and offering suggestions for improvement. Assignments are sent to the instructor and returned with comments via email.

Forums are associated with each instructor-led class, where students can discuss assignments and ask questions and or share thoughts about the lessons.

Club Ed understands that adults have busy lives! Students occasionally miss a deadline. As long as the class has not ended, assignments can be turned in after the official deadline, but the instructor may not be able to give feedback right away if you do miss a deadline.

Late work cannot be accepted after the official end of class. However, because the certificate program requires that you turn in all of the work in instructor-led classes to be considered as having completed that class, and the option of repeating the class is expensive (and unnecessary, in many cases), we’ve developed a way for you to make up late work.

This is done by using the Missed Homework product. You can use this to complete a class for the certificate or just because you want feedback on an assignment you missed. 

Because giving feedback takes time, Club Ed charges a small fee ($15) to help defray the cost of doing this.

To submit a late homework assignment for feedback, purchase the Missed Homework Makeup product and send along your assignment to ResortDirector@ClubEdFreelancers.com. Your feedback will be returned within two weeks. 

You will need one Missed Homework Makeup product per assignment missed. 

This will allow you to count an instructor-led class as complete for certificate purposes.

All sales are final and refunds are not offered unless a class is canceled by the instructor/Club Ed. Please be sure that your schedule allows full participation in any instructor-led class before you register for it.

If you have registered for a class by mistake, please reach out to the Resort Director as soon as possible. Registrations can sometimes be changed to another class, but not if a class has already started or you have already done work in a class.

If you are not happy with the content of a class, please get in touch with the Resort Director to see what can be done: ResortDirector@ClubEdFreelancers.com

Occasionally the Club Ed site goes for a walk along the beach instead of doing what it is supposed to do. This is annoying to everyone, and I apologize.

As an alternative, you can use Paypal – use the email address jennifer@jenniferlawler.com. I can also accept Venmo (@Jennifer-Lawler-6) or Zelle (jennifer@jenniferlawler.com). In the note to seller, include the name of the class the fee is for and I’ll get you set up.

I appreciate hearing about glitches like this when they happen so that I can have the website developer diagnose and fix the problem. You can reach me at ResortDirector@ClubEdFreelancers.com

No. Class registrations are not transferable. When you register for a class, it is understood that you will be attending the class. When you register for a class, you create a user profile (or add to an already created user profile) that cannot be assigned to someone else.

If you would like to give someone the gift of a class, we have a solution for that! Use a Club Ed gift card. You can purchase these in a variety of amounts and anyone who has the gift card code can use the code to register for a class.

Club Ed offers a mix of self-paced (start anytime and take as long as you need) and instructor-led classes (start and end at specific times and get instructor feedback on your work.

Whether you’re just exploring editing as a career option or are already on your journey and seeking guidance, you can find the right class for you in Chart Your Path.

You are always welcome to reach out to the Resort Director at ResortDirector@ClubEdFreelancers.com if you have questions about what class to take.

It means your malware program automatically generates a warning when it encounters a Word document. It is possible for a bad, bad person to install a malicious macro on a Word document, which is why these programs flag Word documents. But there is no danger to your computer (or phone, tablet, etc.) if you download materials from this website.

If you’ve taken developmental editing of fiction classes anywhere else, you can take the intermediate journey on Club Ed.

If you would like to learn how a beginner class taught by a different instructor can be applied towards the Club Ed Certificate in the Developmental Editing of Fiction program, send an email to ResortDirector@ClubEdFreelancers.com and we’ll figure out your next steps.

Club Ed will provide course completion letters on request (ResortDirector@ClubEdFreelancers.com).

For instructor-led classes, you will need to have completed all of the assignments to receive the letter. For self-paced classes, you will need to provide your written assignments so that we can confirm you did them.

For all classes, state the name of the class, the date of the class (when you enrolled for self-paced classes), and any specific information that letter needs to contain, such as the cost of the class.

Please allow three or four business days for this process.

No. The materials used in Club Ed classes are almost all from previously published work and using your homework as a sample could mislead a potential client into thinking you had worked on the published book.  

For samples, ask current clients for permission to share their edited materials with potential clients (never post a client’s material on your website, even if they’ve agreed to allow you to use it). Most clients will prefer not to share so you may need to offer an incentive, such as a reduced price for the edit.

Another option is to make up a sample using your own writing (being sure to disclose this), or to use a manuscript that is in the public domain (see Project Gutenberg at www.Gutenberg.org) and editing it as you would a contemporary manuscript. 

And don’t forget: Testimonials will go a long way towards convincing a potential client that you have the skills they’re looking for.

Club Ed accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express credit cards and debit cards using Stripe as our payment processor. You can also use Paypal, Google Pay, Link, and other online payment sources.

We also offer Klarna payment plans for more expensive purchases. Be aware that Klarna will sometimes restrict purchases outside of the US (but sometimes allows them) and does not offer everyone a payment plan option for mysterious reasons (even if you have good credit). Some bank-issued cards, even if they are Visa- or Mastercard-branded, are not accepted by Klarna and sometimes the bank issuing the card won’t let the payment go through for security issues that have nothing to do with Club Ed. So it’s an exciting gamble if you click that Klarna button!

Club Ed also offers a gift card option.

All classes are held entirely online. Internet access is required to download the materials and access the forums. All materials in the Club Ed classes are written documents, typically using Word although a few may be PDFs. Such materials are typically more accessible to individuals with disabilities than video and audio recordings.

For instructor-led classes, all forums are text-based for the same reason.

If you have an accessibility need not addressed by the use of written documents, please get in touch with the Resort Director at ResortDirector@ClubEdFreelancers.com, providing specific details of the accommodations you need in order to participate fully in the classes. We will do all that we can to ensure access.

If you experience problems downloading files or progressing to the next section, it is usually a browser problem, not a Club Ed website problem. Try these steps before reporting an issue:

  • Clear your browser cache by pressing Shift+Ctl/Cmd+R for most browsers.
  • Log completely out of Club Ed and log back in.
  • If neither of the first 2 steps work, you may need to clear your browser history. This is unique for each browser but it usually involves going into the browser settings area. This can cause you to be logged out of any saved accounts but it is something you should do regularly because glitches can accumulate with a large saved history.
  • Try resetting your password.
  • If none of these steps work, please send an email to ResortDirector@ClubEdFreelancers.com and provide a detailed explanation of the exact nature of the problem, the date/time you experienced the issue, the page URL where the problem occurred and any error messages you encountered. Thank you!

Marking lessons complete is the only way you can advance in a course, so please do it! For self-paced classes, the only way to get your rewards points is if you mark the whole course complete. (You get a $10 Club Ed gift card for each self-paced class you complete.) Marking a class complete does not remove it from your dashboard. You will still be able to review the course content at any time.

This is almost always because the post contains links. The forum software is supposed to allow you to add links to a post, but sometimes it holds a post with links for moderation, especially if you have added more than one link. The forum software is supposed to tell me when this happens, but usually it doesn’t. So the best thing to do is let me know that your post isn’t showing up and I can approve it in the moderation panel. ResortDirector@ClubEdFreelancers.com

What you’ll need to do is go to your profile page (which you can easily get to by clicking on your name in any post you’ve made), then click on “edit” in the menu on the left-hand side. Scroll down a little and you’ll see a box called Your Forum Signature. Put your info in there and click “update profile.”

If you want to make a clickable link, you’ll have to use some HTML to accomplish it. 

Here’s the HTML: 

Just put that in the box where you want the link to your website to show up. Between the quotation marks, put your own website URL. In the space where it says Jennifer Lawler, replace that with your name or the name of your website.

If you have any trouble with this, I’m happy to help. Email me at ResortDirector@ClubEdFreelancers.com

Club Ed no longer sells new monthly memberships, but if you have been grandfathered in but would like to update to a yearly membership, all you have to do is go to the yearly membership link, which you can find here, and purchase it. Your yearly membership will begin as soon as your current months ends. So, if your current month ends June 15, and today is June 3, if you purchase the yearly, it will begin June 16. However, you will be immediately eligible for your free self-paced class and other yearly member benefits. Your monthly subscription will automatically be canceled, so you don’t have to worry about doing that.

Because Club Ed no longer offers monthly memberships, if you upgrade to yearly you can’t downgrade back to monthly later.

To cancel the recurring subscription associated with your membership, go to the Dashboard, scroll to Manage Your Membership, click “subscriptions” and turn off the recurring subscription.

Clicking this will cancel any future billings for the subscription. Important note: cancelling does not mean your membership is immediately inactive. You will remain a member until your original membership term expires. For example, if you purchased the monthly membership on June 10th and canceled the recurring monthly payment on June 20th, you’ll still be a member through July 9th, the end of your original month.

The original membership fee cannot be refunded. Only future subscription payments can be cancelled.

Go to the Student Dashboard > Go to Account > (scroll a little) under Edit Profile Information, click on My Profile > Edit (last item on the navigation bar on the left) > (scroll a little) find Pronouns, then add yours to the box > Click Update Profile.

If you have any difficulty with this, just email the Resort Director (ResortDirector@ClubEdFreelancers.com) and she’ll add the information for you.

Club Ed®LLC is a California company, based in Los Angeles – but we have students from all over the world. All classes are offered online, and while for instructor-led classes, homework assignments are typically due on a particular day, joining in forum discussions, reading the lessons, and asking questions can be done at any time.

Club Ed® is a registered trademark.