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Forest Path

Stylistic Editing

Clarifies meaning, improves flow, and keeps readers turning the page.

Stylistic editing, also called line editing, suggests ways to craft sentences and paragraphs to keep readers immersed in your story. Stylistic editing sharpens word choices, adds transitions, reduces wordiness, smooths the syntax (the order of words), and alerts you to how readers experience the tone and mood.

As a line editor, I'm attentive to your unique voice and style. The edited manuscript will sound like the best and truest version of you.

For memoir

You've completed the second or sixth draft of your memoir. You've tinkered with your own words for so long that you can no longer tell what reads well and what doesn't. You need an outside reader — someone attuned to story elements, the language, your voice, and the readers’ experience. That’s where I come in. ​

I listen to both the music and the message, smoothing the language artfully but invisibly.

For your nonfiction book

Stylistic editing ensures that your argument is persuasive, your paragraphs cohesive, your sentences well constructed, and your words well chosen. A stylistic edit helps to elevate the writing so that your book is not only educational but enjoyable for readers.

Is stylistic editing the right choice for me?

Yes, if you’re satisfied with the overall structure of your manuscript, but you sense that the prose is not as lively as it could be.

You're willing to revise your manuscript in response to the edits suggested in track changes and comments. This might mean going deeper into parts of the story and rewriting some passages.

You have the time to commit to this level of editing, and you’ve factored the time into your schedule for publication. 

What does it cost?

Usually, 1,500 to $3,500 (Canadian dollars).

The cost depends on the length of your manuscript and the shape it's in. Please contact me for a custom estimate.


You improved the clarity of my narrative, removing unnecessary words like a seasoned gardener plucking out weeds or a chiseler carving beautiful statues. Most importantly, you showed a personal commitment with my project. Exchanging emails with you about various chapters of my book, and responding to your very intelligent and incisive queries, was a rewarding experience that will stay with me for a long time. 

Ehsan M. Ahrari

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I am very grateful to Ellie Barton, my editor, who provided a detailed focus on the arc of my story as well as words and nuances. Her insightful edits, laced with sensitive direction, added immeasurably to the memoir.

Henry Blumberg

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I found Ellie’s editing instincts and rigour to be exceptional. She corrected the text and brought to our attention a number of passages that were either far too abstract or simply did not make logical sense. She not only alerted us to these problems but proposed solutions – often rewriting paragraphs to make the author’s point more lucid and compelling (and one should bear in mind that the authors we selected are international leaders in their fields). She went above and beyond the call of a copy editor, and in so doing, significantly enriched the final product.

Paul Bramadat

Ellie significantly improved my book, which traced my family's history and journey from Prussia to America. It was a very facts-heavy narrative, which made keeping readers' interest a challenge. Ellie pruned unnecessary detail, reduced duplication, and tied the facts into a more compelling story. She also reminded me of the importance of acknowledging the role of Indigenous people and women when studying our history.

Robert Buttke

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Interested in working with me?

Please complete this author questionnaire to receive a complimentary assessment of the level of editing your manuscript needs.

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