Editing Services

Do you remember that one kid in high school? She was the one you’d ask to look over your papers before you turned them in, because she was fluent in grammar and knew how to spell triskaidekaphobia without looking it up. She always had her nose stuck in a book, when she wasn’t getting straight As in English class. And then you graduated, went your separate ways. Do you ever wonder what happened to her?

Meet Mae South. Mae was that one kid, helping out her friends, while they split a delicious pizza. (It also helped that her father was a magazine editor, who taught her all the tricks and liked extra cheese.) When she got to college, the papers got longer (but more interesting), and Mae was able to hone her craft. She did notice, however, that the pizza wasn’t as good. After graduation, she held a number of different jobs that all required proofreading of some sort, including being an assistant to C-level executives; she was even a Subtitle and Closed-Captions Editor for a time, and once she had a steady paycheck, the pizza got much better.

It is now her greatest joy to help independently- and self-published fiction authors bring a polish and a shine to their manuscripts.

Services offered:

The Plain 

You’ve been through your manuscript a hundred million times. So has your favorite aunt, who has a degree in English. All you need now is that one last set of eyes to make sure you caught everything before you put your baby in front of a publisher, an agent, or Gasp! the general public.

With Extra Toppings 

Let’s do a quick tidy: everything from a simple crossing of t’s and dotting of i’s to help for the incurable spell-check stumpers. I make sure you’re using the correct forms of those pesky, basic homonyms, like you’re/your/yore and it’s/its. I’ll calm the crazy commas, eradicate erroneous ellipses, and deliver you from redundant dashes. Also, by the time I’m done, every one of your sentences will have ending punctuation. (This is more exciting than you realize!)

The Works

Let’s roll up our sleeves and hunker down. In addition to proofreading and basic copy editing, we’ll take a look at things like strengthening your sentences. Are you using passive voice too often? Is your language redundant? Is your phrasing awkward? We will work together to get your best story across while preserving your individual voice. As an extra bonus, I’ll help you identify and clean up those sentences that make sense in your head, but don’t make nearly as much sense on the page.


  1. All technical style decisions are based on the Chicago Manual of Style, but also with deepest respect to the author’s voice.
  2. Mae believes in the Oxford comma.
  3. As a fellow writer, Mae likes to know when/where a reader reacts to what she wrote. Unless you specify otherwise, Mae will drop in notes to let you know some of her stronger reactions to your story.


“I can’t live without Mae South! I write contemporary and paranormal romance novels. I had never used a professional editor before and was hesitant about the whole process; however, Mae came highly recommended, and I knew I needed to take my books to the next level. Originally, I was only going to use The Plain service, but she gave me a little taste of The Works and I have been hooked ever since. She is the queen of constructive criticism, she always returns my manuscripts in a timely manner, and she has a simple system in which to make the necessary changes. I truly appreciate her hard work and I would recommend her to anyone that wants a polished and professional manuscript.”

Contact Mae South:

Interested in finding out more? Fill out the form, and let’s talk!