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2020 Annual Contest Editor ✓
Mini-Event Editor ✓
Miranda Darrow is an editor and story sleuth who digs deep into your manuscript to uncover the best version of your story. She’s a writer and voracious reader who has turned her passion for books into a career helping authors develop the intricate facets of their stories.
After graduating with a degree in English (and then a law degree), she became a practicing attorney, but never lost the urge to read and write fiction. Taking an in-house counsel position a decade ago allowed her the time to develop her writing and editing skills. She’s a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, the Professional Editors Network, and a frequent presenter to writing groups. Her editing clients run the gamut from individuals pursing publication to a USA Today bestselling author. Her logic skills honed as an attorney are an asset in detecting and remedying timeline issues, plot inconsistencies, as well as pacing and story arc concerns.
I love reading almost everything, but for #RevPit, I’m staying in my wheelhouse and seeking romance, women’s fiction, YA, and some speculative fiction. I’m accepting most romance subgenres (contemporary, rom-com, paranormal, romantic suspense), but I’m not the best fit for historical (earlier than the 1960s) or erotic romance. In speculative fiction, I’m accepting fantasy, dystopian, time travel, and light sci-fi (no space opera, military sci-fi, or horror). I prefer happy endings but will work on a story with a central love story that ends sadly as long as it’s clearly not marketed as a romance. I’m not here for the “not your mother’s romance” crowd.
Loves: forced proximity, ‘80s music, obscure sports, Schitt$’s Creek, cheese-heavy snacks, reality tv, and road trips.
Not looking for: MG, mysteries/thrillers, or non-fiction
Keeping it simple, I’m accepting:
- Adult: women’s fiction, speculative, and romance (most sub-genres)
- YA: contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, light sci-fi, with bonus points for romance or a central love story
I’m always open to diverse stories, including #OwnVoices and LBGTQA+, and as a special needs mom, I appreciate disability representation.
How can a manuscript’s first five pages make you sit up and take notice?
Jump right in & show your main character facing challenges in a clearly defined universe.
A main character with agency, making choices to obtain their goal, even if those choices are bad and lead to disaster.
No floaters in this pool, only swimmers.
What can writers expect from working with you during #RevPit, including communication?
My goal is for the story on the page to reflect the story vision the author carries, with the most impactful scenes and conflicts making it onto the pages. If during the selection process I envision larger structural changes, I’ll inquire as to your openness to material changes and availability for revisions during the limited revision period. True confession: I’m not your best source for sugar-coating. Consider me if you’re ready to accept direct feedback on your story and are ready and willing to tackle revisions with enthusiasm.
I’ll start with an in-depth assessment of developmental editing recommendations, which we can discuss after you read and review my assessment. Together, we’ll develop a plan for your revisions, which you’ll work on and send back to me. Depending on the timing and state of the manuscript after these revisions, we’ll either take another round of developmental edits or dive into a round of line edits, time permitting.
Email is the best way to reach me, and I’ll try to get back within a day with answers to questions, and will communicate my timelines for editing feedback once I receive your revisions. I’m not a night owl, so you’re more likely to catch me at 6 a.m. than you are at 10 p.m.
What do you expect from writers during the #RevPit revision process, including communication?
I’m a high energy person and want my chosen author to be excited to jump in and work on revisions so we can tease out the very best version of your story. I want passion paired with professionalism, as our efforts should be focused on the work with story goals in mind. I’m clearing time in my schedule for this and I expect the same from my author so we can be focused and driven with the goal of the best possible manuscript and query letter in the short time we’ll have as part of the program.
I also have a quirky sense of humor and look for the bright side of things, so expect every communication from me to have some positive feedback and some banter as we get to know each other. After we talk about next steps and revisions, tell me about your favorite new show, movie, music, books. I’d love to find some new object for my nerdy obsessions.
What hobbies do you have outside of writing and editing?
Writing and reading are my main “recreational activities.” I run two monthly critique groups in Minnesota, one romance-focused and the other is part of the MinnSpec speculative fiction writers’ group. I’m also in more book clubs than I care to count, in person and online. Does offering unsolicited book recommendations and comparable titles every time an author tells me about their manuscript count as a hobby?
In my free time, I watch reality shows with my sons: Survivor, Amazing Race, Big Brother. We just started watching Survivor: Winners at War, so don’t count on any chats or calls on Wednesday evenings until after May. I usually read while my husband and I watch sports, cheering for both the Wisconsin and Minnesota-based sports teams. My husband and I have a “mixed marriage” because I grew up in the Land of Cheese, so it’s complicated.
What is your favorite book to reread, and why?
I don’t usually re-read books because I have a good memory and the experience is seldom as satisfying as the first time in discovering the magic of a book. I’m digging into new books several times a week as there are so many out there to explore. The only books I’ve habitually re-read are classics by Jane Austen and Shakespeare, back from my college days. I’ve probably read Pride and Prejudice cover to cover a dozen times. Don’t fight me on whether Firth or Macfadyen is the better Darcy.