I handed Elizabeth a mess of a manuscript–close to two hundred disjointed pages hobbled together from three different drafts. There were gaping holes filled in with sketchy explanatory notes as well as competing and contradictory plot lines. I needed an honest, professional appraisal: into the drawer or onto one more draft? I was truly uncertain. Part of me wanted to put the thing out of sight for a long, long time and part of me still believed in the original inspiration for the project. Elizabeth made her way through the mess, pronounced it worth saving and offered clear, incredibly helpful guidance and gentle encouragement. I’m happy to say the book will be published in 2010.
—Rosemary Graham, author of Thou Shalt Not Dump the Skater Dude and My Not-So-Terrible Time at the Hippie Hotel, and the forthcoming Stalker Girl, all published by Viking.
Elizabeth Stark helped me focus and polish my memoir, which is a somewhat unusual mix of personal experience and scientific exploration. She is smart, thoughtful, and curious — qualities essential for tackling such a mixture. Her comments were incisive, specific, and constructive, gently but firmly expressed, and aimed at sharpening my prose or clarifying the ideas and events I was trying to convey. Elizabeth
is always positive and encouraging, without ever pulling her punches when the sentences don’t ring clear or true. I would strongly recommend her to any writer who feels her or his product would benefit from professional advice.
— Henry Bourne, author of Ambition and Delight
Elizabeth Stark is one of the most astute readers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. She can read a manuscript, understand what’s working, what’s not working, and has the ability to guide the writer to the next draft. She’s smart, clear, gentle, and encouraging in her approach. She also knows a lot about the publishing industry and is able to address the complicated issues of the market. From now on, any new work of mine will go first to Elizabeth for her guidance and suggestions.
— Ellen Sussman, bestselling author of On a Night Like This
Elizabeth is a downright talented editor. She helped me develop my own book in ways that I never could have done alone. As a writer herself, she knows how important it is to be supportive in her editorial role. She also knows when to offer prescriptive recommendations, and how and when to ask the hard questions that help writers of both fiction and non-fiction transform their own work into writing of the highest quality.
What you offer is so unique. I’ve been looking over your edit comments and they are wonderfully sound and accurate as well as encouraging. It’s a comfortable feeling to have you in my corner.
— Bree LeMaire