Val M. Mathews

Twitter: @EditorVMathews LinkedIn: EditorValMathews


I’m a big-hearted, fun-loving editor with The Wild Rose Press, a small traditional publisher in New York, and an editorial consultant with CRAFT Literary, a well-established, online literary magazine. I teach courses in editing for Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada, and the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) in New York City. On the side, I freelance as a developmental editor for private clients. My primary focus is on fiction manuscripts by authors of thrillers, suspense, sci-fi/fantasy, mystery, and romance. However, I’m an experienced developmental editor and copy editor for nonfiction as well, from the developmental stage to the galley proof.

With a knack for seeing the big picture, I can figure out the steps writers need to take even when the draft looks impossible to navigate. However, I can also spot the fine details writers may have missed. Pushcart Prize-nominee Brenda Sutton Rose explains:

“With an expert’s eye for detail, Val caught redundancies and irrelevancies, mistakes that muddled the clarity and disrupted the rhythm of the story.”

You’ll find me easy to work with (no diva here!), professional, and fast. I’m accustomed to tight deadlines and swift turnarounds. On top of that, I used to be a commercial pilot, and like all pilots, I take pride in being on time—old habits die hard!



The Wild Rose Press, Adams Basin, New York

  • Recently acquired and edited seven manuscripts for a small traditional publishing house in New York, including the following selected fiction manuscripts:
    • The Perfect Distance by Dianne May (Romantic Suspense)
    • BIOMASS: Rewind by Terry Persun (Sci-Fi Space / Murder)
    • BIOMASS: Sky People by Terry Persun (Sci-Fi / Space Murder)
    • Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder by Mary Cunningham (Amateur Sleuth / Murder Mystery)
    • Fiddlers Creek by Steve Taylor (Suspense/Thriller)
    • The Orb by John Mauldin (Urban Fantasy)
    • The Claiming by Jennifer Nielson (YA Fantasy)

Instructor, Developmental Editing

Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA)

  • Created curriculum for EFA’s developmental editing courses (beginning, intermediate, and advanced)
  • Teach remote courses in developmental editing (fiction)

Freelance Developmental Editor, Copyeditor, and Writing Coach

  • Shepherded and edited manuscripts from the first draft to the galley proof for individual clients (fiction and nonfiction)
  • Work as an editorial consultant for CRAFT literary magazine

College Instructor, Professional Studies, Professional Editing Standards

Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada (online)

  • Facilitate and instruct courses in editing standards, including the following:
    • Fundamentals of Editing Standards
    • Structural (developmental)
    • Stylistic (line editing)
    • Copyediting 1 & 2


A Writer’s Exploration Podcast:

The Chattahoochee Valley Writers Conference:


Steve Taylor, Fiddler’s Creek (Thriller / Murder). Contracted with The Wild Rose Press and will be published in 2021:

“To Val Mathews, my editor and mentor, without you I would still be floundering around.”

Major John D. Falcon (Ret.), The Freedom Shield (Nonfiction/Military History). Published with Casemate Publishers (2020). Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency, New York City, NY:

“A notable writing and editorial coach, Val possesses a brilliant approach to the smooth exchange of ideas with clients … Most noteworthy, she made it easy to release my innermost thoughts, emotions, and creative ideas for her critique. Highly respected and valued, Valerie delivers splendid results.”

Stephanie Baldie, Redemption (Murder Suspense/Thriller), Dancing Crows Press (2019):

“I found my dream editor! Val’s sensitivity to my manuscript made it a pleasure to work with her. She knew exactly what had to be cut and what was needed to make my manuscript soar. Val is easy to talk to, and her quick turnaround time is a huge plus. I can honestly say after working with Val, I have become a better writer and a client for life.”

Brenda Sutton Rose, “Samuel’s Wife, “Short story nominated for the Pushcart Prize:

“After my short story Samuel’s Wife was accepted for publication, Val Mathews worked with me to improve it. Respectful of me as a writer, she suggested no changes that would upset my voice and writing style. With an expert’s eye for detail, Val caught redundancies and irrelevancies, mistakes that muddled the clarity and disrupted the rhythm of the story. I would not hesitate to work with Val again. A true professional, she’s a meticulous editor. I loved working with her and would recommend her to anyone in search of an editor.”

Robert C. Covel (poet), Georgia Author of the Year:

“I have to say that, looking at the final versions with all of the suggestions incorporated, I am extremely proud of these two poems. I was thinking of TS Eliot’s comment about Ezra Pound (though I am no Eliot and these are certainly not The Wasteland!): il miglior fabbro, meaning the better maker. Your staff certainly qualify for that label. Thank you for your generosity in time and effort.”


Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW), Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia. Honors: with the highest distinction (GPA: 4.0)

Bachelor of Fine Arts, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. Honors: magna cum laude


Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA):

Publishers Marketplace:

American Copy Editors Society (ACES)


FAA Commercial Pilot with Instrument and Multi-Engine ratings

Certified Flight Instructor (CFII-ME)




Good Reads:




In the past, I flew airplanes for a living, and once I ate an entire bag of Fig Newtons on a spontaneous road trip from New Orleans to Philadelphia to see the Live Aid concert. No more fig bars for me!

Since my flying days, I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia and a Master of Arts in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University. I’ve taught English Composition to first-year college students, tutored in the university’s writing center, and edited for The English Broadside, Red Clay Review, the SurfCoaches website, and the Georgia Writers Association’s literary journal.

I stay active in the writing community. In fact, I regularly conduct writer workshops, accept pitches at writer conferences, and volunteer as a judge for fiction writing contests. A video clip of me speaking at the Chattahoochee Valley Writers Conference is available on my LinkedIn. I am an active member of the Editorial Freelancers Association. As I said, currently I’m an editor for The Wild Rose Press, a small traditional publisher in New York, and freelance as a developmental editor and writing coach.

I love editing because it’s always like a road trip (but without the figs).


Let’s chat about your novel or next project. Shoot an email to  For writer inspiration and craft talk, follow me on Twitter: @EditorVMathews. In the meantime, keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.

P.S. Here’s a little writer inspiration (and editor humor):

“Over and over I feel as if my characters know who they are, and what happens to them, and where they have been and where they will go, and what they are capable of doing, but they need me to write it down for them because their handwriting is so bad.” ― Anne Lamott

Athens, GA


Years in the field: 10
Years freelancing: 7


Val Mathews