Note: The biographical notes reflect the person’s position at the time I worked with them or the project we worked on together.
Melissa Wuske is one of those rare editors who doesn’t just fix your errors, but improves your work. She can make your words sound better without sacrificing your writer’s voice. Her keen eye catches details that are easily overlooked while still bringing the kind of global perspective necessary to smooth and streamline the big picture of a project. My work is infinitely better for having been edited by her.
—Jordan Rosenfeld, author of How to Write a Page-Turner (Writer’s Digest Books) and seven other books
Melissa Wuske took my raw manuscript and gave it the clarity and focus it needed. Your editing helped provide the flow and cohesiveness it lacked. I also loved you met deadlines and were available for any questions.
—Romona Robinson, author of Your Voice Is Your Power and Poor Girl, Rich Life
My manuscript was a tribute to my mother, not only in the telling of the story, but in its jumbling chaos. Prior to Melissa’s help, my book mirrored the haphazard world into which mom slipped as her Alzheimer’s worsened. Melissa served as my conductor, she heard the aching melody of a song underneath the disparate tales. She helped me find the rhythm to my story, trimming the unnecessary and prodding for more details that would help readers comprehend the oddities of her disease.
I’d never written a memoir and I wasn’t sure that I could. With her help, I feel confident that I’ve chronicled her descent into her illness, and my response to it, with compassion, love, and a few original dance moves.
—Susan Badaracco, author of Dance With Me
The ultimate professional, Melissa delivered high quality editing results on time despite working during a world pandemic. She polished my words, added clarity to my sentences, and made me a better writer. Her work helped turn my manuscript into the clear message of hope I want to offer those who’ve lived through their darkest days.
—Bill Nelson, author of Firm Grip (to be released in 2021)
At the recommendation of a potential publisher, I hired Melissa Wuske to copy edit my book manuscript. She did a very thorough and professional job on schedule and for a reasonable budget. While editing Melissa also considered some key reviewer comments I shared with her, took care to flag a few inconsistencies in the text and offered several useful comments to improve overall readability. I was very satisfied with the final product and, as a result, can highly recommend Melissa Wuske to other writers with similar editorial needs.
—Thomas Johnson, author of Common Place: The Public Library in New England
Melissa was so helpful in guiding my book from a jumbled bunch of ideas into a coherent and concise narrative. Her edits were respectful of my core themes and added so much value. I would work with Melissa again in a heartbeat.
—Tim Vogt, author of nonfiction book for people with disabilities and Director of Vision and Scale at Starfire
Melissa Wuske was recommended to me by Jane Friedman, and the recommendation could not have been better. I enlisted Melissa to do a copy and line edit for my manuscript. She was very thorough in her proofing and editing, did what she said she was going to do, and did it within the timeframe she promised. But, more than this, Melissa made suggestions for making the manuscript better. When I asked Melissa for her honest opinion about how the manuscript was written and its current marketability as such, she gave me a very well thought-out answer, which I greatly appreciated. I would definitely work with Melissa again!
—Terri L. Baumgardner, PhD, author of Alzheimer’s Matters: A Family Guide for Every Stage of the Disease From Pre-diagnosis to Death and Grieving
I was referred to Melissa Wuske to help me with my book. I needed someone to review what I had written, to comment on content, to correct any spelling and typographical errors, and to make suggestions that might help the process of getting my manuscript published. Not only did she do everything extremely quickly, but she added, edited, and improved so much of what I had written. She even checked all the online references throughout the book to make sure they were still viable. She was easy to work with, easy to communicate with, and was able to finish her work ahead of our planned deadline. I thought her fees were very fair, considering how much work had to be done. I would not hesitate to recommend anyone in need of a copy editor to use Melissa. You will be very happy that you did.
—Elliot G. Levy, M.D., author of Investing 101 for Doctors: How to Invest Wisely and Sleep Well at Night
Melissa edited my book, Writer’s Digest Guide to Magazine Article Writing, and did a fantastic job. She has a keen eye for details with grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Plus she is spot on with edits relating to narrative content. I appreciated that she maintained my voice throughout the book and didn’t try to alter it. Melissa’s professionalism and insight make her a fantastic editor and I would highly recommend her.
—Kerrie Flanagan, author of Writer’s Digest Guide to Magazine Article Writing (Writer’s Digest Books)
Having never written a book before, I wasn’t sure what to expect from an editor. But what Melissa offered was way above anything I could have imagined. She was professional, timely, and thorough. She held to her schedule, was prompt in returning emails, and was available for any follow up questions or needs after she edited the book. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for an editor.
—Phil Steiner, coauthor of Reciprocal Missions: Short-Term Missions that Serve Everyone
There have been several occasions when I’ve turned to Melissa for help content editing books on a tight turn-around and she’s delivered high-quality work on time, every time. She’s saved me more than once and I look forward to working with her again.
—Amy Jones, Managing Content Director, Writer’s Digest Books
Melissa did the initial editing for my book 100% Choice. Melissa is pleasant, patient, punctual, and accurate. I learned a lot from her and warmly recommend her services.
—Sharon Shahaf, author of 100% Choice: The Truth Behind Personal Reality Creation
Melissa is professional, thorough, insightful and produces excellent results in a timely manner. Rather than offering to me a boiler plate solution, she kept my best interest at heart and tailored her services to perfectly meet my needs. Her feedback was extensive and constructive especially in identifying areas that needed more explanation for the reader, better structure, order of presentation and grammar corrections. Melissa’s expertise greatly improved my manuscript and she has earned my highest recommendation.
—Joe Haynes, author of Brunswick Stew: A Virginia Tradition
—Ryan Mitchell, author of How to Build a Tiny House
Melissa is a real professional who is dedicated to her work and always met her deadlines. She helped me with structural editing as well as providing feedback on marketing copies and video trailers. Melissa is always easily accessible and a pleasure to work with. I had I highly recommend her.
—Munir Moon, author of The Middle Class Comeback
Melissa is an exceptional editor! She is thorough in her grammatical and wording corrections, and she is generous with her feedback in order that the writer communicate as clearly and as effectively as possible to the reader. She has amazingly quick turn around time for the quality of editing she provides. I’m truly blessed by the work she did for me and will continue to use her and recommend her to others.
—Leslie Shuler, author of a Christian book for women on getting free of fear
As a first time author of a historical novel, I naively thought copy editing was simply correcting grammar and punctuation (particularly my obsessive use of commas, I discovered). I was fortunate enough to work with Melissa Wuske in this capacity. When I received my edited manuscript, I quickly realized copy editing was so much more than what I had expected. Her detailed feedback challenged some of the logic and flow of the story, the appropriateness of some of the dialogue, and the use of words or phrases that were anachronous to my novel’s setting. Her involvement has unquestionably resulted in a dramatically improved manuscript and I am grateful to her for that. She is the perfect person to put the final coat of polish on a story! From a business perspective, Melissa provided a budget and schedule for her work—completed as promised.
—Ken Fox, author of the historical novel Unlocking Freedom’s Door
Melissa was absolutely amazing. I am a new writer, and she knew exactly what to do to get my creative process started. She kept me focused and on time, getting both my side and her side of the work done on time. I was beyond blown away at the final product that we created; it was everything I dreamed of and more. Melissa was the first writer I worked with, and she will definitely be the only writer that I will ever work with. Melissa won’t let you down in fact she will lift you up and take you to a place you never thought you could accomplish.
—Austiage Soleimani, author of The Mirror Says You’re Beautiful
I am fortunate to have found Melissa Wuske. She provided expert editorial services for my manuscript Mindful Life Weight Loss: Making Peace with Your Weight. She showed me areas where I needed to expand, helped organize my information, and guided me toward greater clarity and readability. She also helped me to incorporate more of my voice into the book. Her suggestions were spot on, as was her attention to detail, punctuality, and professionalism.
—Kimberly Gold, author of Mindful Life Weight Loss: Making Peace with Your Weight
From our very first phone call, I knew Melissa Wuske was just the right editor for my non-fiction book, Living Backward. And from there she continued to solidify my trust in her excellent editorial skills. Editing from the perspective of my target reader, she provided insightful comments and suggestions for improvement that were invaluable. Her thoughtful questions helped bring greater clarity to the book’s content. She also did a brilliant job achieving the most effective pace and flow. Like clay in the hands of an expert potter, Melissa molded and shaped the contents of my book, refining the manuscript and taking it to the next level. Throughout it all she was extremely kind, professional, highly responsive, and a pleasure to work with. Melissa has truly played a very instrumental role in preparing Living Backward to be introduced to the literary marketplace. I would highly recommend her as a stellar content and developmental editor who not only knows her stuff, but also helps authors write more poignantly and effectively for their target audience. Hats off to her!
—Angelique Cooper McGlotten, author of Living Backward: The Gift of Hindsight In Building A Truly Significant Life
Melissa—teacher, guide, artisan, friend. An exceptionally skillful editor who invested not only her knowledge into my book but her heart as well. She instilled a flow, fine-tuned the narrative, and offered a fresh perspective bringing ideas to life. She added the polish. I never would have imagined that editing could be a story of its own. From her depth of detail, her suggested revisions and often praise, it was evident that she cared about the outcome of my book as would a friend. I look forward to working with Melissa again.
—Terrence Morton, author of the memoir What Do You Mean I Don’t Have A Soul?
Ms. Melissa Wuske walked me through all the changes needed to make my lifetime memoirs more deeply understandable to my readers. I had a story to tell that emphasized teaching kids, the power of prayer and perseverance which she brilliantly brought to the forefront of what I wanted to convey to my readers. Melissa is a word-master.
—William A. Welker, EdD, author of The Sparrow’s Spirit
Melissa is brilliant as an editor—she not only corrects grammar, spelling, and organizes your work, but looks at everything from the reader’s perspective and gives you honest feedback on what they may be thinking. Her insight made my book a hundred times better than it would have been on my own. I have written before without an editor, and after Melissa, I wouldn’t dream of doing that again!
—Lee McCaskill, author of Belly Bustin’ Tips You Can Use on Any Diet
Melissa is top-notch. Her eye caught what two other editors did not and her ear was pitch perfect. She got my rhythms and sounds and what I was striving for better than I did. She’s easy to work with and very attentive. I’m lucky to have found her, so are you.
—Brett Burlison, author of the romantic suspense novel Riverside
This is the beginning of a great partnership. I am just starting in the writing world following a personal interest. My goals are to make it fun and informative. Melissa is helping me maintain that goal and more. I work best with folks I can partner with and Melissa is just that. She has been a great advocate of my work, a field that is new to her. She prods and questions and reasons out the writing so it can be understandable. A good partner is a treasure.
—DJ MacPherson, author of Spirits of Trees: A Discussion About the Spirits of Trees
When I finished writing my book, I thought it was good. Melissa made it great. She has the ability to change and rephrase words to maximize their effect on the reader. My book now has an energy and focus that can only come from outstanding editing.
—Timothy E. Gray, author of No Redemption: Tax Lien Auctions, Evictions, and Lessons from the Foreclosure Crisis
I can’t think of enough good things to say about Melissa Wuske and her work. She is painstaking and thorough, but has also been very astute in helping me “stay on message” and achieve better flow in my book. Beyond any of this, Melissa has a generous nature. She welcomes questions and concerns, doesn’t get flustered, and offers clear, helpful advice.
—Christopher Foster, author of The Upside of Cancer: How a Feared Illness Led Me to Courage, Wisdom and Inner Peace
Melissa is delightful, efficient, and an expert in everything you need to know about books. She cleared the way for me when I was struggling with the outline and structure of my book. Melissa makes the complicated aspects of writing a book simple, manageable, and brings them to a close on schedule. Melissa is a pleasure to work with. I am looking forward to future projects together. Now that I have her on my team as a guide, developer, editor, and organizer all of my dream projects can become a reality.
—June Silny, author of untitled Mussar self-help book and a book for loved ones of people who have ADHD
Melissa has done a fantastic job on the content editing assignments I’ve hired her for. She is a thorough, conscientious editor who communicates well with authors, meets every deadline, and follows all of my instructions to the letter. I would recommend her for any project that requires consistent, mindful, and detail-oriented editing.
—Rachel Randall, Managing Editor, Writer’s Digest Books
It was such a pleasure to work with Melissa. I highly recommend her. She was very thorough and made many insightful comments. I really appreciate her attention to detail and the obvious pride she takes in her work.
—Judith Kennedy, PhD, author of North of Divorce
I had worked with several editors over the past 12 years and had not had a really good experience with any of them. When I needed an editor to edit the finished manuscript I had been working on for 12 years, I was skeptical. I carefully searched out an editor from the many choices available and actually asked at least six of them to do a 6-page sample edit. Melissa’s was the best by far. Not only does she carefully and thoughtfully read the material, but she rearranges the material very artfully, careful to never lose the essence or voice, while managing to improve the overall writing and organization. I can highly recommend Melissa to anyone wanting a conscientious, intelligent, respectful and skilled editor.
—Linda Mercer, author of 10 Minute Wellness: A Simple, Body-Mind-Spirit Guide to a Healthier and Happier Life
Melissa and I have been working on my memoir for the past 9 months. She has been absolutely professional and personable. Her attention to detail in editing and shaping the themes of the book have been flawless. Melissa asks the right questions, and her suggestions are thoughtful and succinct. She has a great eye for the big picture goals of my memoir as well as small details. She is a joy to work with!
—Marcus Doe, author of Catching Ricebirds: A Story of Letting Vengeance Go
I brought Melissa in on a project when I was having difficulty condensing several pages of text into a summary of 3 paragraphs. Melissa was a great listener as I explained the project and was easy to work with as we workshopped the text. Her editing choices were right on and she organized the parts into a cohesive, clear flow of the bulkier story. She was a pleasure!
—Sue Murad, visual and performing artist
—Deborah Halverson, author of Writing New Adult Fiction
—Victoria Noe, author of the Friend Grief series
I was able to utilize Melissa’s help as an independent editor on a book project. She was fantastic to work with, timely, had great insights and was able to help significantly with the flow of the content. I would highly recommend Melissa!
—Ken Wytsma, author of The Grand Paradox: The Messiness of Life, the Mystery of God and the Necessity of Faith
I was fortunate to have Melissa as my editor for my most recent book which I wrote for Writer’s Digest. Melissa was responsive and smart, and her specific, thoughtful suggestions improved my book. I’d highly recommend her if you’re looking for an editor for your own book project.
—Kelly James-Enger, author Writer for Hire
Melissa Wuske delivered a thorough developmental edit of my book Write-A-Thon. At every step of the process, Melissa gave clear instructions, asked insightful questions, and provided helpful suggestions. In addition, Melissa knew exactly what kind of support to give me during the editing process. I highly recommend Melissa!
—Rochelle Melander, author Write-A-Thon
Melissa was the editor of my recently published book “Word Savvy” (Nov. ’11), Her work was invaluable to the success of the finished product. She’s an insightful, careful, and enthusiastic editor — a pleasure to work with. Her suggestions on reorganization of parts of the manuscript worked out extremely well. Plus — she has a fine talent for text layout. I am pleased to endorse her work.
—Nancy Ragno, author Word Savvy
Other Writing and Editing Work
Melissa is a writer who really “gets it.” I can send her any project, and she will sift through the direction and material to produce a product that is exactly what I’m looking for. Melissa has an excellent sense of tone, audience, and rhetorical strategy. In her work for Blue Crane Communications, she deftly weaves story and narrative with fundraising and organizational messaging—a skill that is not easily mastered. Even after working with Melissa for a short period of time, she has already earned my trust—and gratitude.
—Elizabeth McDaniel, President, Blue Crane Communication
Melissa is an incredibly valuable member of our book-review team at Foreword Reviews. When I give her an assignment, whether a book to review or a longer magazine piece, I have confidence that she will approach the project with insight, intelligence, and flair. Plus, Melissa’s an editor’s dream—always open to suggestions and never files her work late!
—Howard Lovy, Executive Editor, ForeWord Reviews
—Allyce Amidon, Associate Editor, ForeWord Reviews
I have worked with Melissa Wuske as both a writer and editor for over six years. She maintains a level of professionalism that motivates me to continue to call upon her skills. Her editing is helpful, accurate, and knowledgeable. Her writing is creative and poignant. She consistently provides quality work and meets all deadlines.
—Kelly Carr, Editor at Standard Publishing
Melissa is an excellent Communications Director & valuable member of the Stop Traffick Fashion team. Her role includes creating an editorial calendar for our blog and other communications, coordinating guest bloggers, creating and sending press releases and other writing and editing for the company. She is professional, completes all work on time. All of her writing is well researched and meets stated objectives. Most importantly, her writing makes the vision and purpose of Stop Traffick Fashion come alive, inspires others and moves them to action!
—Emily Hill, Founder and Managing Director of Stop Traffick Fashion
Melissa has always provided us with thoughtful and well-written work that is delivered on-time and in the most professional manner. I would be happy to recommend her writing skills to any prospective clients or employers.
—Jennifer (Colbeck) Szunko, Director of Circulation and Marketing at ForeWord Reviews
Melissa did a wonderful job as our seminar speaker this past October. She was very personable and informative for writers at many different levels of experience.
—Shelley Lee, writer and author
As an Editor at Writer’s Digest Books (2008-2011)
Melissa was hired as a key content editor for the Writer’s Digest community, which required ultimate flexibility as a team member—someone who could collaborate with book authors, contribute content to the magazine, organize competition judging, and handle a variety of copywriting tasks.
Melissa worked efficiently and served as an excellent project manager for complex, deadline-oriented projects. But she also completed solid work for more creative assignments, such as interviewing prize winners for magazine articles or completing first and final edits for manuscripts.
I heard from a number of authors who expressed appreciation in having Melissa as their editor and would welcome the opportunity to work with her again.
—Jane Friedman, former Publisher & Editorial Director at Writer’s Digest/F+W Media
I had the pleasure of supervising Melissa while she was an editor for Writer’s Digest Books. She is a superb editor who is organized, professional and insightful. I came to rely on Melissa as a dedicated employee whose focus and drive I could count on to get the job done—and done well.
—Kelly Messerly, former Content Strategy Manager at Writer’s Digest Books
Melissa is a great editor—detail oriented, organized, and resourceful. Her projects always stay on schedule and her work is always top notch. In our time working together she was a treasured colleague—always helpful and great to work with. I’d recommend her services to anyone.
—Scott Francis, Editor at F+W Media
Melissa was a detail oriented editor who worked well with my team to manage the Writer’s Digest competition process.
—Tara Johnson, Manager of Competitions at F+W Media, Inc.