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“Jaimee has impressed me with the depth and precision of her insights. She knows what publishers want, and knows how to communicate those expectations to writers. If you’re looking for an excellent editor, look no further.” See All

Jaimee Garbacik $125/hr

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Query Letter
  • Read Complete Book Proposal
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read first 50 pages of manuscript
  • Read individual stories/essays

Available For

  • Book Proposals
  • Developmental Editing
  • Essay
  • Guidance in Submissions to agents
  • Literary Journalism
  • Memoir
  • Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Young Adult

“Jaimee has impressed me with the depth and precision of her insights. She knows what publishers want, and knows how to communicate those expectations to writers. If you’re looking for an excellent editor, look no further.”
--Damon DiMarco, New York Times bestselling author

“Working with Jaimee Garbacik has been inspirational. More than just an editor, she has become a treasured confidant who made me rethink both my storytelling skills and writing style. Her criticisms are always insightful, constructive, and right on the money. She’s helped me sharpen my characters and plotline and rework the core meaning of my first novel to better reflect my true inner voice. Her style is strong, straightforward, and clearly conveyed in both her written notes and telephone conversations. I value her suggestions and know her editing skills will make any book oh so much better!”
--Jeffrey L. Diamond, six-time Emmy Award-winning television writer and producer, journalist and creator of Dateline NBC

"I sure am grateful for Jaimee. She took my words out for a spin, and when she came back, my book had received the wax, oil change, and tune-up I didn’t even realize it needed. There are very few editors out there that really take the time to empathize with the emotional connection authors have to their writing, but when she edits, Jaimee seems to live with the words, almost inside of them. She heard my voice pulsing in there, snagged it, and yanked out the best version possible. She rocks. Period.”
--Buddy Wakefield, two-time Individual World Poetry Slam Champion

Jaimee Garbacik is a NYC-based developmental book editor with an agency background and fifteen years of experience helping authors turn early manuscript drafts into award-winning books.

Jaimee has been privileged to edit for New York Times bestselling authors, Caldecott Honor and Emmy Award recipients, and some of the world’s foremost scientists. Before freelancing, she handled editorial development for a major New York literary agency, serving more than 200 clients worldwide.

She is also the author of Gender and Sexuality For Beginners (For Beginners), a widely taught critical examination of the sex-gender system and the evolution of gender roles, as well as the curator/editor of the celebrated Ghosts of Seattle Past anthology (Chin Music Press) and its traveling art exhibit. Jaimee graduated cumme laude from Boston University, where she studied with renowned editor and literary critic, Sir Christopher Ricks. She holds a certificate in editing from the University of Washington, and is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, the Northwest Independent Editors Guild, and former programming chair of The Vera Project.

Jaimee’s editorial mission is to enhance authors’ innate voices while never pummeling sentences for sport.

For a partial list of authors Jaimee has worked with, visit her editorial site here.

Working Style

My editorial letters are notoriously detailed, often falling in the 15-35pg range, depending on the length and complexity of a given manuscript. For a full manuscript read, I offer broad feedback and strategies for overcoming issues with character development, pacing, plot development, tone and voice, dialogue, narrative arc, continuity, and world-building. This service can be expanded to include extensive margin notes on the line, paragraph, or page level, along the lines of a developmental edit. For nonfiction manuscripts, I also address the cogency of arguments and/or structure, while placing additional emphasis on audience.

Having edited and pitched dozens of book proposals that sold to major publishers, my book proposal margin notes tend to be fiercely prescriptive. That said, I also strive to be kind, and I always have the author’s best interest in mind, regarding both craft and salability.

One-on-one coaching sessions are typically conducted over the phone or Skype. I am also happy to answer lengthy questions or offer advice over email, charging the same hourly rate for my time. This sort of coaching can be motivational in nature; we can address specific ongoing issues you are having with your writing or writing habits. Alternatively, I can offer oral feedback and suggestions on shorter works read on the spot or in advance (e.g. 15 pgs. of a novel, individual essays or stories).

After years of reading query letters in an agency, I am in a very strong position to offer constructive feedback on how to craft an effective pitch. Query letter reviews involve notes on the line level, and can be catered toward an academic or trade audience as needed.

Overall: As a published author with agency experience and broad editorial expertise, I can deliver both the empathy writers want and the critical eye they need.


Prefer email or phone/Skype meetings. Flexible schedule. When querying, please include the genre and word count of your manuscript, as well as any known concerns you want to address in your writing.


My specialties are literary fiction, short story collections, YA, long-form and/or literary journalism, and essay collections. I also have considerable experience with LGBTQ writing, gender studies, women’s issues, and ethnographic cultural studies. I read broadly and voraciously, from Italo Calvino to Joan Didion, Adam Johnson to Kazuo Ishiguro; I devour interviews and youth advocacy zines, folk histories and magical realism, Russian classics and graphic novels. I am a huge fangirl of books that amplify underrepresented voices, such as the Voice of Witness series.

I especially enjoy working with new authors who are still developing their voice, helping to elevate their work and rein in bad habits. I seek out fiction that emphasizes place, memory, multicultural identity and intersectional issues, family drama, or immigrant narratives. I love dark realistic YA, and I prefer essays that keep generating new questions rather than looking for concrete answers. I’m interested in literature as both covert and blatant advocacy. Above all else, I want to discover authors who are unapologetic about their experiences and whose stories jar readers out of complacency.