Testimonials

“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. Her reordering of the poems gave the manuscript much better flow. I imagine that without Maggie’s help, I’d still be struggling with this manuscript now, not knowing quite what to do. I trust her good guidance, her keen ear and eye. And it meant a lot to me that in her comments, she was always gentle, even when offering criticism. I cannot praise Maggie Smith enough!”     —Gillian Cummings

“I was at a crossroads with my manuscript, having sent it out for two years under various versions, and was trying to figure out if the version I just completed was “the one.” I discovered that Maggie Smith offered editorial services and immediately knew I wanted to work with her. Maggie was always in touch and thoroughly communicative about her editorial process. During our time together, I found out that my chapbook was a finalist for an award, and Maggie contacted me immediately to follow-up about whether there was any crossover between my chapbook and the full-length manuscript. That’s how caring she is: She checks in and is aware of the potential of your work. When I got my manuscript back, Maggie’s notes and insight led to the version of the manuscript I always dreamed of in my head but didn’t even realize was possible until she organized it. I sent that version out, and it won a manuscript contest within 8 months of our time together. I’ve told everyone I’ve crossed paths with how instrumental working with Maggie has been–she truly knows how to make your work sing its brightest song.”     —Carly Joy Miller

“Maggie Smith is a brilliant and generous editor, and I am so lucky to have worked with her on my manuscript Boom Box. Maggie clearly saw what I was hoping to accomplish (even though I wasn’t entirely sure myself) and helped me find an arrangement that pushed the collection toward its potential. She helped me excise the weak spots—sometimes by suggesting I remove entire poems that weren’t right for the book, sometimes by offering keen-eyed line edits to sharpen particular pieces—and highlight the manuscript’s themes and stronger moments. 15/10 and would totally ask her to work on my next manuscript. (In fact, I already have.)”   —Amorak Huey  

“Maggie is such an incredible editor; she really brought out the best in my writing project. She provided timely edits on individual pieces and helped me focus the manuscript into a working order that I’d been unable to see. Maggie is kind, professional, and effective—my chapbook was selected for publication only a few months after working with her!”     —Eloisa Amezcua

“There’s one writer who’s been my collaborator on poetry reviews and reader of my work for years, and he knows my work better than anyone else. After I sent him my first chapbook, which Maggie Smith had helped me to order and edit, his reaction was this: ‘My initial thoughts when reading your chapbook is like only knowing Raphael’s sketchbooks and then seeing the School of Athens on the wall of the Vatican.’ I am going to take that as high praise. I had never worked with someone to help me edit and order my work, and to be honest, I thought that might be ‘cheating.’ But Maggie is as insightful as she is respectful; she saw patterns in the work that I had nearly seen—what was under my skin, too close to the bone, on the tip of my tongue—she found it. She midwifed my voice into the world.”         —Donna Spruijt-Metz

“I contacted Maggie at a point when I needed some clarity on a manuscript I was putting together, but ended up receiving more: insight that applied to my work in general. Maggie’s efforts helped me identify both problems and solutions, and also helped me see greater potential in the poems as a unified whole. She was honest, kind, and edited with precise yet artful economy. What poet doesn’t need a boost in confidence once in a while? Working with Maggie gave me that. I would hire her again without hesitation.”   —Cameron Alexander Lawrence

“When I was younger, I never enjoyed the workshopping process, and as I’ve gotten older the circle of those I trust to edit my poetry has shrunk to almost zero.  However, I sent Maggie Smith a manuscript of my poems that was so close to me I was having trouble producing a final draft.  Maggie was warm yet surgical in her selection and editing of that book.  She took what was a selected works collection, a best of ten years of work, and gave it a strength and a shape I never could have.  She took a book I was already proud of, and she made it something undeniably better.”
—Darren C. Demaree