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A Special Offer for Black Writers

These have been turbulent weeks. Both Jennifer and I unequivocally believe Black Lives Matter, and we have been working in our private lives to support protesters and the BLM movement how we can. In terms of Touchstone Editing, we've chosen thus far to amplify Black voices and Black authors, rather than shifting the focus to our outrage, our heartbreak, or our business. 

However, it comes as no surprise to anyone that traditional publishing has a bias against Black authors. Black stories matter, but they often do not get offers (or equivalent advances) from traditional publishers.

Because I do not currently work for a publisher, I have been considering what action I could take as an independent editor who does not influence acquisitions. Ultimately, I've decided the way to help is to do what I do best. So when I can, I will be offering free editorial letters to Black authors.
    Please keep in mind I am only one person, and I will be fitting this work in around my clients. My ability to do this may be sporadic, and turnaround times may be longer than usual.


  1. This is for Black writers. All you have to do is fill out the form below.
    • It does not matter whether you plan to publish traditionally or independently.
  2. Your story does not have to be Own Voices, but it's certainly welcome to be.
  3. Your story can be up to 100,000 words.
  4. I will take you at your word and will not be policing or confirming your identity in any way.
    • Please don't be the jerk who signs up because of the word "free" even though you do not identify as Black.
  5. Folks will be selected randomly from the responses. A maximum of one free editorial letter will be offered to any one writer.
  6. Because this will be an ongoing effort, the form will remain open. I am aiming to contact the first writer on June 22nd.
    • Your project does not have to be ready for editing before filling out this form. If you are selected, we will discuss scheduling that works for both of us.
  7. If you are offered a free editorial letter, there is no obligation of any kind except warning me about any objectionable content, such as rape, incest, etc. While these do not disqualify your project from this opportunity, I will need to know details and context before agreeing to read your story.
    • If your project contains content with which I'm uncomfortable or is otherwise not a good fit, I reserve the right to withdraw the offer.
  8. Please note: I am generally not a good fit for anything gory, Thrillers, Horror, Hard Sci-Fi, or Epic Fantasy. 
  9. Over time, I will provide these free editorial letters as I am able to, but I make no promises about getting to everyone who fills out this form.


  • Why is only Anya participating at this time?
    • Jennifer is currently going through something personal. If in the future she is able to offer her time, she will also be (randomly) selecting and reaching out to those who fill out this form.
  • Why is my genre not listed?
    • I have included the genres for which I feel I can be the most help. If your project doesn't fit, please choose "other." We can discuss details if your project is selected. Because folks will be selected at random, the genre you note is mostly informational at this point.
    • If other editors get involved, they may have their own preferences for genre, so please do note what yours is in the "other" field, if applicable.
  • What heat levels are you accepting for romance stories?
    • Any heat level, as long as the story remains a romance and not erotica.
    • If you write erotica, please put that in the "other" category.
  • What if I need a developmental, line, or copy edit, not an editorial letter?
    • This offer is specifically for editorial letters, also known as manuscript critiques, but of course Jennifer and I would both be happy to work with you in general! Check out all our services here.
  • What's all this about "other editors"?
    • The idea is to help Black writers, as many as possible. But I'm only one person, so if editors who hear about this would like to participate, I'm happy to let them. By asking whether you would be open to your responses being shared, I'm hoping to minimize the number of times folks are asked to fill out forms like this. 

      If you would prefer to work only with the Touchstone Editors, simply select the option not to share your responses.
  • If you have a question and you feel others may benefit from the answer, please post it in the comments!
    • If you would prefer to keep your question private, please contact me.
  • I am an editor who would like to participate. How do I get involved?
    • Please email me! It would be helpful if you include some information about your editing background, such as a link to your website.

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