Tehlor Kay Mejia

Tehlor Kay Mejia

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** Note: I am currently closed to editorial submissions! **

My passion is helping people bring out the best in their stories. My true strength lies in working with early-stage manuscripts: helping to untangle plot threads and develop characters, helping solidify world-building, etc. But as a poet I am equally devoted to the rhythm and voice of a piece, and am happy to provide detailed line-edits, which will deal with word choice, sentence structure, and voice consistency.

When considering my services, give some thought to what kind of editing would best suit you and your manuscript. I offer three separate packages for writing in different stages of completion. All prices are based on your individual work, but I’ve included some ballpark per-word prices to give you an idea of what to expect. Prices are based on pieces between 35,000 and 100,000 words. For projects that fall outside that window, please send me an email with the details and we’ll work something out! I’m also happy to discuss payment arrangements if the costs listed here are prohibitive.

Tehlor’s attention to detail and understanding of character development are second to none. After receiving her editorial notes on my 2018 release, I knew everything I write will go through her before it goes to my agent. My manuscripts are ALWAYS more cohesive after passing through her hands, and I couldn’t recommend her services more highly.
— Nic Stone (New York Times Bestselling Author of DEAR MARTIN, Crown Books for Young Readers/Random House – October 2017)
Tehlor is a dream to work with–smart, prompt, thorough, and unfailingly enthusiastic. She’s the sort of editor whose comments make you so jazzed about making your book better, you want to start working right away. Her insight was subtle and on pointe, and I found myself referring to her feedback over and over again both for inspiration and encouragement. She’s a champion, through and through, dedicated to helping books become their best selves.
— Mackenzie Lee (THIS MONSTROUS THING, Katherine Tegan/Harper Collins / THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, Katherine Tegan/Harper Collins – June 2017)
Tehlor was an excellent beta reader. She was lightning fast and her insights added another dimension to my draft. Her enthusiasm got me excited to dive back in and get to work when I would normally be dragging my feet. I can’t recommend working with her enough!
— Whitney Gardener (YOU’RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE + CHAOTIC GOOD, Knopf ’17-’18)

Editorial Services

BETA CRITIQUE: (starting at $.005 per word)
The beta critique can be applied to books in later stages of completion that require less detailed, overall critique. This package includes a full read-through of your book and a 1-3 page editorial letter detailing general impressions.
A NOTE: I am no longer offering dedicated sensitivity reads. If you have a concern about your manuscript that’s relevant to my lived experience, feel free to mention it and I’ll keep it in mind during your beta critique. If you’re looking for a dedicated sensitivity reader, please visit Writing In The Margins for a comprehensive list.

DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING: (starting at $.0075 per word)
This package is a good fit for early stage manuscripts that need help becoming polished drafts. Special attention will be paid to plot/pacing, character development, world-building/research, setting, style/voice, etc. The package includes a full read-through of your manuscript and a detailed editorial letter (usually between 8-15 word document pages, double spaced) addressing each category as it relates to your story.

LINE EDITING (starting at $.015 per word)
Mainly focusing on word choice, sentence structure, character voice, rhythm, authenticity of dialogue, etc, this package is a good fit for manuscripts that have strong foundations, but are in need of attention from a stylistic standpoint. The package includes a full read-through of your manuscript with grammar, spelling, and punctuation corrected using Microsoft Word’s track changes feature. Additional line-notes will be inserted as comments in areas I feel could use improvement. Content based line comments generally include the suggested action, an explanation of the reason behind it, and an example of one way to accomplish the goal. I will return the manuscript with an email detailing any suggestions that apply to the larger story arc, but this package is mostly focused on line-by-line changes.

I had the opportunity to work with Tehlor on my second book, and her insights were incredibly helpful. She was prompt and enthusiastic, and she provided thoughtful, supportive big-picture feedback and specific line notes. I can’t emphasize enough how spot-on her suggestions were. She truly understood what I was trying to say, and her notes were so entirely in the spirit of the book. I’m so excited to implement Tehlor’s feedback, and I can’t recommend her highly enough.
— Becky Albertalli (SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, Balzer + Bray/Harper Collins / THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED, B+B – April 2017)
Tehlor has a natural eye for character, which is the heart of any project. I had the opportunity to work with her on my second book and she not only provided excellent insight into my characters and their struggles, she expressed her thoughts with such passion and detail, that I knew I could trust her with my words. Exposing yourself to critique can be scary, but Tehlor handled my words with a firm hand, helping me dig deep into my characters thoughts and motivations while still encouraging me in the overall scope of the book. She’s honest and sensitive, the perfect cocktail for constructive critique.
— Ashley Herring Blake (SUFFER LOVE, HMH – May 2016 / HOW TO MAKE A WISH, HMH – 2017)

Additional Packages


This package includes line-by-line notes on your query letter or pitch, with an email detailing overall comments. It also includes an optional re-read of the revised query with additional notes.

Deluxe Query Package: $75
This package is for authors ready to submit their novel to an agent or publisher. It includes a line-by-line critique of your query letter, synopsis (if applicable) and up to 10 sample pages, as well as an email detailing overall comments.

Consultation: $50
Have some questions about a work-in-progress? Need to follow up with additional inquiries after a manuscript critique? A consultation covers as many emails back and forth as it takes to answer your questions!