I meet a range of editing asks for two types of clients:

1) Agents and publishers representing authors with nearly-there manuscripts

2) Authors of memoir, novels, essays, narrative nonfiction, or academic works looking to fine-tune their work into publication- or pitch-ready condition

Types of Editing

Developmental (substantive—structure, story arc, character development) manuscript editing
Broad strokes (2-page) feedback summary (all of the above, but shorter)
Copyediting (grammar, punctuation)
Proofreading (a final hunt for mechanical errors)

"My prose isn't complete until it's been given the once over by Beth Bates.
Her excellent copy editing skills are a given, but it's her keen
creative eye I depend on most."

-Susan Lerner, creative nonfiction writer and The Interviewer for that one Franzen interview


Beth Bates, LitGrit founder

Professional Bio: MFA Creative Writing, Butler University; MA Counseling, Denver Seminary

Creative nonfiction writer, fiction dabbler, story addict, I love to write but also come to life helping other writers incubate, shape, and polish their own work. Previous posts as prose editor (Booth, Curly Red Stories) and a past life as a counselor equip me to navigate the writer-editor relationship with empathy and grace.

But Srsly

I feel that guacamole belongs on the food pyramid. I am a frustrated home decorator with a thing for birds, fish, and Benjamin Moore. Gary, my cat, is a person. And a dog. I belong back in Colorado, but Indiana's not so bad for now. David Mitchell is my literary boyfriend. He's also my husband's literary boyfriend, so it's all good. I married my favorite high school teacher. [Twenty years later. Relax.] My clever and arty son and daughter are too good and kind and fun to be true. My kids and Mr. Bates are my heart.

Margin Coach

Authors tell me they value the role I play in their writing process and manuscript progress—offering motivation, craft instruction, and encouragement, all with a healthy dose of fierce honesty. I am more about elevating than simply correcting the work.

Lucky me!

I love it all and am grateful that I get to flex both writing and editing muscle groups and to work with such smart, creative people—like you!


What Clients Say

“Beth is known for her mastery of the written word, the insightful questions she asks when starting a new project, and the kind warmth and engaging demeanor. Beth had had a large part in helping shape our team and executing the excellent content that marketers have come to expect from our crew. With the number of campaigns and projects that Beth has worked on over the past year, I’ve loved watching marketers wait patiently (or not so patiently) for Beth to have availability to craft their white paper, case study, infographic, or other content asset. I’ve stopped counting the number of emails that I’ve received from marketers and clients praising Beth’s work and how wonderfully and capably she works alongside teams to execute a content asset.”
“What a joy to work with Beth! She’s creative, logical, and proficient at grammar and composition. Not only does she analyze what’s there, she sees what’s NOT there. And such an encourager, teaching me to watch for inconsistencies and pushing me to show rather than tell in order to give my readers more than they expect. [And besides all that, she is witty, brilliant, charming, sweet, and makes me laugh ‘til I pee just reading her comments. Oh yeah, and she prays for me too.]”
“I believe you must wait for the right editor. Wait for an editor with a sharper focus on your story line. Wait for an editor who gets you. And then wait some more, because waiting could evolve into a happy, creative trust and relationship. If that’s what you’ve been waiting for, then there’s no need to wait anymore. You’ve found Beth Bates.”

Shoot me a message! I’m not into spam, so you’re safe.

[gravityform id=1 title=false description=false ajax=false]