Val M. Mathews

The Exit 271 Studio

Twitter: @EditorVMathews LinkedIn: EditorValMathews

Does your stack of manuscripts need a good freelance editor? Love to ease your load. I’m an experienced developmental editor and copy editor in Athens, Georgia—from the developmental stage to the galley proof. Fiction and nonfiction.

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.”

Because I work as an editor for The Wild Rose Press (a traditional, royalty-paying publisher), I’m used to the publishing process. Furthermore, sometimes indie authors ask me to shepherd their manuscripts through to the galley stage. For instance, Major John D. Falcon had me work with BookLogix Publishing Services on his war memoir, The Freedom Shield. These experiences have given me a good feel for the guidance authors need to get from start to finish.

I earned a Master of Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University in Georgia. In graduate school, I took editing classes, taught English composition, and worked as an editor for several publications, including the English department and the Georgia Writers Association. Tutored, too! I stay active in the local writing community. In fact, I regularly conduct workshops for local writer groups, and the Chattahoochee Creative Writers Conference hired me as an editor in 2016 and 2019. During the last three years, my editorial work has focused on book authors and their manuscripts.

You’ll find me easy to work with (no diva here!), professional, and fast. I’ve edited for literary journals with schedules to keep, and like I mentioned, I work with publishers, so 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!

May I send you references? I look forward to your reply. Thanks!

Warm regards,



“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.”

~Stephanie Baldie, Redemption

“When I got Val’s feedback, I was surprised at the clarity with which she could see what I was trying to do and nudge it in the right direction.”

~ Jessica Petree

“Her story suggestions are succinct and on point … she can peer not just into your mind but also your soul and know where you want to take your story, or where you ought to take it, and how to get there by the best marketable route.”

~ Charles “Chuck” Wanager

“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.”

~ Major John D. Falcon (Ret.) The Freedom Shield

“Val dove into my work, showing me what worked and what didn’t … she offered ideas and clarity my story was lacking. It was hard work, but my novel came together. Val’s direction was a critical part of my writing process. No one can ask for a better writing and editorial coach than Val Mathews. I would not consider another writing endeavor without her.

~ Gary McConville, A Stiff Wind Blows

Let’s chat! Shoot me an email. 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

Fall in Love with Your Characters: Chattahoochee Valley Writers Conference with Editor Val M. Mathews – video clip

Athens, GA

Cell phone: 770-597-6017


Years in the field: 10
Years freelancing: 5


Val Mathews