Become a freelance story editor

…and help authors tell better stories

If you’ve ever dreamed of editing novels for a living, Club Ed can help you make that dream come true. Our classes and other resources will support you on your journey.

*Sign up for the free Club Ed newsletter for a 10% discount on your first class with Club Ed.

You’re In control

You Decide How You Want to Learn

You can go at your own pace with classes intended for self-study. If you prefer instructor feedback, try an instructor-led class. Or, choose a combination of self-paced and instructor-led classes. And don’t forget to check out the certificate program, designed to prepare you to offer paid developmental editing services for novelists.

Naked Editing: Self-Paced Version

This self-paced class is meant for writers and editors, new and experienced, who are interested in following along as a developmental edit unfolds on a complete fiction manuscript.

Note: Recent current events force me to point out that there is no actual nudity by anyone in this class.

In this course, you’ll:

  • learn how to perform a brief manuscript assessment and first read-through.
  • complete a developmental edit and draft the revision letter.
  • compare your work with the expert editor’s work from taking notes to finalizing the edit.

This is a great way to get some practice with developmental editing while having an expert edit to consult as you work.

This class uses THE MAGE OF MOTOR AVENUE as the manuscript.

Get started today.

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. If you have a question about the materials, you can ask in the monthly chat.

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 the Resort Director and Club Ed are 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!

Everything You Need

  • 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.
  • Live monthly chat on Club Ed Conversations for questions.
  • 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.

Ready for your resort experience?

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

Recent Posts

Why Freelancing Equals Freedom

A few years ago, my daughter Jessica had several consultations with her neurosurgeon. One day, as the nurse made an appointment for a follow-up visit in six months, she asked, “Do you need a written excuse for work?” And for one mad moment I couldn’t make any sense of what she was saying. I heard…
Read More Why Freelancing Equals Freedom

All fiction can be improved

Recently I read a LinkedIn post from a proofreader who is interested in becoming a developmental editor (DE). They said something along the lines of, “I’ve been studying classic works of literature and although I can’t practice development on them because they can’t be improved, they do teach a lot about effective writing.” And while…
Read More All fiction can be improved

Story development is not critique

It’s common for newer developmental editors to focus on critiquing rather than editing an author’s work. Developmental editing (also called story editing or content editing) does contain elements of critique but it is more than that. To do a good developmental edit, I have to immerse myself in the story world, to try to understand…
Read More Story development is not critique

How to Handle Scope Creep

Setting expectations from the start helps keep the project you’re doing from becoming never-ending. If you agree to do one round of editing, that does not also include three hundred hours of personal coaching while the author is trying to finish the revision. It’s very common for the scope of an editing project to change,…
Read More How to Handle Scope Creep

Juggling multiple goals

This is the season where goals are on people’s minds, mine included. That said, it’s perfectly fair if your primary goal is “I would like not to be so exhausted by external circumstances in 2022” but sometimes it can be energizing to make a little pile of things that are under your control and do…
Read More Juggling multiple goals

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.

Students in self-paced classes are welcome to ask questions about the materials in the monthly online chat found at Club Ed Conversations.

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.

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 sometime 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.

[email protected]

For instructor-led courses, start with Beginning and Intermediate Developmental Editing of Fiction. Then, take any other class you’re interested in. A popular series is Editing for Character Development, Editing for World-Building and Setting, and Editing for Plot and Story Structure, all instructor-led.

Advanced Developmental Editing of Fiction can be taken any time after Intermediate Developmental Editing. It can be taken more than once, using different manuscripts, if you want to get practice editing full manuscripts.

For self-paced courses, start with DE 1 through 6 (Foundations of Storytelling through Evaluating Your Effectiveness as an Editor). This is the equivalent of the instructor-led Beginning and Intermediate Developmental Editing for Fiction classes. 

From there, take any other class that appeals to you. Advanced Developmental Editing of Fiction or Developmental Editing Practicum (the self-paced version of Advanced DE) can be taken anytime after you complete DE 6: Evaluating Your Effectiveness as an Editor. 

For students interested in offering developmental editing of fiction as a service for pay, the certificate program allows you to build confidence that you know what you’re doing. More information about the program can be found here.

Club Ed will provide course completion letters on request ([email protected]).

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 and Mastercard credit cards and debit cards using Stripe as our payment processor. If you would prefer to use Paypal, please inform the Resort Director ([email protected]) and she will generate a Paypal invoice for you.

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 [email protected], 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.