Barb Goffman
Mystery Writer

Lots of people offer editorial services. Not everyone has edited books and short stories that have won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel, the Derringer Award for Best Short Story, and the Ellery Queen Readers Award, as well as have been reprinted in The Best American Mystery and Suspense and The Best Mystery Stories of the Year.  But I have. I’m Barb Goffman. I’ve won the Agatha Award three times for my short stories, the Macavity Award twice, and the Anthony, Silver Falchion, and Ellery Queen Readers Award once each. My short stories have been nominated for major crime-writing awards 42 times, including 18 times for the Agatha Award—a category record—and multiple times for the Anthony, Derringer, and Macavity awards, and once each for the Thriller Award and Silver Falchion Award. They've also appeared on the Other Distinguished Mystery and Suspense list in two volumes of The Best American Mystery and Suspense. What this all means is I know good writing when I see it, and I know how to help make other people’s writing shine. I can do that for you.

I offer developmental editing, line editing, and copy editing for crime novels and short stories, specializing in cozy and traditional mysteries but also editing across the genre. With developmental editing, you’ll receive a thorough edit of your manuscript, addressing issues with character, plot, writing, and more. I’m also a no-longer-practicing attorney, and I can put that experience to work for you too when I read your manuscript. With line editing, I’ll drill down into your sentences, addressing issues with usage, flow, point of view, and clarity, among others. With copy editing, I address grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, continuity, and conformance with the Chicago Manual of Style.

I provide sample edits and will let you know up front what the project will cost, assuming the rest of the manuscript is in a similar shape to your sample. I can provide references from authors published by the Big Five and mid-sized publishers, as well as a New York Times bestselling author and authors who self-publish. I’m often booked four to eight months in advance, so if you’re interested in booking time or simply learning more, I recommend you contact me early. As one of my clients has said, working with me is “akin to taking a private master class in mystery writing.” I’d like to help you in the same way.


For more information, please email me using my gmail address. Put goffmanediting before the @ symbol.