Manuscript Consultations

How do you make it out of the slush pile? How do you break through from finalist/semi-finalist to winning a book contest? Maggie offers manuscript editing & consultation for full-length manuscripts, chapbook-length manuscripts, and individual poems. 

Maggie Smith’s books have won the Dorset Prize, the Benjamin Saltman Award, the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal in Poetry, the Dream Horse Press Chapbook Competition, the Wick Poetry Series Competition, and the Pudding House Chapbook Competition, and they have been named finalists or runners-up for the National Poetry Series, the Brittingham and Pollak Prizes, the New Issues Press Green Rose Prize, the Cleveland State Poetry Center Prize, and the Barnard Women Poets Prize, among others.

If you are gearing up for another round of book contest submissions or journal submissions and could use a fresh set of eyes on your work, Maggie would be happy to help. 

Book & Chapbook Manuscripts
In response to your full-length or chapbook-length manuscript, you will receive extensive, individualized, unbiased notes, including:

  • Detailed comments and line edits on individual poems
  • Feedback about structure and order of poems
  • Feedback and suggestions for titles (of the manuscript, any sections, and individual poems)
  • Evaluation of poems and their inclusion in the manuscript
  • Submission guidance about when and where to submit your manuscript
  • Manuscript discussion to be conducted via email or phone, at the author’s preference

Individual Poems
To help you make significant breakthroughs in your work, Maggie also provides feedback on individual poems. She edits electronically in Microsoft Word and provides detailed suggestions via email.


“This may sound like hyperbole, but it is not: Maggie Smith is the best editor who has ever worked on one of my manuscripts. She understood exactly what I was trying to accomplish in my project and she knew—it seemed instinctively—how to sharpen and rearrange my poems so that they could achieve their best purpose. Her line edits were extraordinary: she knew exactly where my language became strained from excessiveness, and she knew how to trim the poems back so that they could ‘breathe’ more.” Read more.

Copyediting & Proofreading

Does your work need a professional edit before you send it into the world? As a full-time freelance writer and editor, Maggie has copyedited and proofread numerous scholarly books for university presses, adult and middle-grade novels, dissertations, and more. One of her favorite projects was A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life (Harvard University Press, 2014), written by Stanford history professor Allyson Hobbs.


Maggie will gladly price her work on a hourly basis or on a flat-rate, per-project basis, depending on the client’s preference. As a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, she charges reasonable, industry-standard rates. Please contact Maggie to discuss fees, scheduling, and your specific needs.