Editorial Services

Looking for an editor to help power your writing at any stage of the process, from notes to late stage draft? You have found him (me) right here.

Some feedback from authors I have recently worked with as an editor: 

Jason is one of those rare editors who immerse themselves completely in the project at hand, a level of involvement that is hard to find in the world of professional editing services today. Apart from meticulous attention to detail, Jason brought his remarkable intuitive faculties to my poetry manuscript. Being a poet himself and having extensive experience in the publishing industry are also strong assets that Jason brings to the table, He has an unerring sense of what can move your project from the slush pile to the acceptance letter”.    — Sophia Naz, www.SophiaNaz.com.

“”Jason has been everything I had ever hoped for in an editor. He reads my work with an eye for what my vision is and helps me realize it. His suggestions are sometimes general and sometimes specific, but always clear and concise, and always true to the work.  Working with him, I have felt satisfied that my work is ‘complete’ in a way I was unable to do on my own.” — Harry Leeds, creative nonfiction published in FENCE

“Jason is a pleasure to work with as an editor and extremely helpful. He is warm, smart, and thoughtful, and he’s an excellent writer himself. He took quite a bit of time to communicate with me through email and on the phone. He discussed my writing with me, sharing with me in detail what its strengths, explaining his editing choices, and making suggestions for making my piece stronger. Given our conversations, I trust him as an editor.”  — Adrienne Walser, www.fenceportal.org/entertainer-of-the-year/.

“Working with Jason has illuminated purpose and catalyzed motivation in my work. His comprehension of structure comes at no expense to creative freedom. I’m thoroughly impressed by his capacity to review work as both reader and editor, without losing the effectiveness of either perspective. Every time we talk my writing, thinking and process improve. Jason has repeatedly been my cure for writer’s block!” — Jared Rosenberg, novelist

“Editor Jason Zuzga took my book as seriously as I did. He delineated the story after I had become mired in 400 pages of a sprawling memoir. To use a cliché: after ten years of generating pages, I was spinning my wheels. One gets attached to certain ideas or early ordering principles in a manuscript, and you can keep making the same mistakes without someone saying, “Stop, this is what you want, not this.” Zuzga stopped me from ”shuffling cards” and helped me build the story. No matter how much I wanted to avoid that work, it had to be done. As a professor who teaches writing, I had blindly made the same mistakes I advise my students not to make, tell the story, I say, quoting Vivian Gornick, don’t get strung out on the situation. Zuzga did the quiet work of listening for the rhythm of the story. Once Zuzga established an emotional story-driven structure, we saw what needed to be done. I had had the book in front of me for years, but Zuzga made me stop avoiding the hardest parts of the story to write. Now the book lives thanks to Jason’s attention and almost eerie ability to map out sequence and structure. He brings skills from all his lives to bear, you will benefit from Zuzga as both a poet and literary scholar, as well as an experienced editor. Zuzga doesn’t help people write books, he helps people write literature. Hire him.” — Regan Good,  www.regangoodpoetry.com.


Please do get in touch for various services and rates. Anyone quoted above would be happy to discuss the experience of working with me further.  If you have any questions or concerns, if you have a deadline or an idea, email me at jasonzuzga@gmail.com

I’ve worked in various editorial capacities, at Ballantine Books, A.A.Knopf, and at Fence as Nonfiction/Other Editor and also a freelancer.  Working on publications has been a life-long pursuit. Working closely with writers as a freelance editor is a joy.  I have worked with numerous authors in a variety of genres — my work experience at the more commercially oriented Ballantine Books along with my experience at the more literary oriented Knopf Books gives me a wide span of knowledge across all genres and audiences. In addition, I have years of experience as a poet and prose writer (my M.F.A. included writing a manuscript of poetry, now published as HEAT WAKE, and a manuscript of creative nonfiction essays), my life lived as a voracious reader, my immersion in the history of writing as an award-winning literature scholar, and my numerous semesters spent as a college writing instructor. This combination of experience — both in the business of publishing and as a reader, writer, teacher, and scholar, as a close reader of texts, have all prepared me to be an agile, empathic, and diligent editor with the ability to intuit the distinct desires and needs of a piece of writing. Please contact me at jasonzuzga@gmail.com for more information and to discuss the possibility of working collaboratively together.

At Knopf, pre-YouTube, I oversaw the day-to-day running of the Knopf website, the then new The Borzoi Reader Online (circa 2001), and the creation of multimedia features for the site about upcoming books, working closely and directly with the authors and their editors. The imprint-specific design since replaced by automatic PenguinRandomHouse catalog pages.  Some of these ancient “author desktop” pages, however, still exist in their own haunted realm:

Every writing project is as unique as a fingerprint or a life, and I do my best to work with the writer in all sorts of various ways depending on the specific needs of each writer and each project. There is no fixed method to usher writing into being; I try to get to know what each project calls for and be fully flexible to tailor my approach to your writing.

I have also worked with writer  Joe McGrath every step of the way in editing, publishing, marketing, and publicizing his book INNOCENTS ABROAD…How Two Baby Boomers Experienced a Cultural Immersion, the History of Western Art and Excellent Food on Their Way to an Extraordinary Year in Europe by Joseph W. McGrath. Over the course of editing the book, I made creative and structural editorial suggestions. The book was published by iUniverse, and I guided the book through a difficult production phase, on the phone for many hours with their offices. I oversaw the process of the photography  that was inserted into the book and also designed the cover. I compiled a complete Publicity and Marketing plan for INNOCENTS ABROAD (at this link), including the creation of a resource page for the media(at this link). The book’s publication included a celebratory book launch on 2/13/2020. Listings: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5). Joe would be glad to be a reference on my behalf: jwjmcgrath@gmail.com.

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Again, please email jasonzuzga@gmail.com with any questions, at any stage of the writing process, and will we figure out a plan tailored to your needs and budget.