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 Readers Award given by Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. But I have. I’m Barb Goffman. I’ve won the Agatha Award twice for my short stories, as well as the Macavity, Silver Falchion, and Ellery Queen Reader’s Award. My short stories have been nominated for major crime-writing awards 33 times, including 14 times for the Agatha Award—a category record—and multiple times for the Anthony, Derringer, and Macavity awards. 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. With developmental editing, you’ll receive a thorough edit of your manuscript, addressing issues with character, plot, writing, and more. I’m also a former attorney, and I can put that experience to work for you too. 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.