Heidi Bell Editing

Your work at its best

Are you working on what could be a brilliant novel? What might be a science fiction bestseller? An important cultural study? Something completely off the map? Whatever it is, I am committed to making your project the best it can be.

I am an experienced book editor and writer who has edited a broad range of acclaimed fiction and nonfiction, including Bonnie Jo Campbell’s American Salvage, finalist for the National Book Award.

I work with individual writers, from beginners to published authors. I also work with publishers: my clients have included Beacon Press, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin, The Learning Institute, McGraw-Hill, Simon & Schuster, Sourcebooks, and Wayne State University Press.



Heidi Bell is a thoughtful critic and consultant for work at every stage of development, and her skills as a line editor are unparalleled. I’ve worked with editors at New York houses and at university presses, and no one is as thorough, careful, and smart as she is. She edited my most recent book, American Salvage, 2009 National Book Award finalist, and I credit her with a good portion of the success the book has enjoyed.

Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of Mothers, Tell Your Daughters; Once Upon a River; and American Salvage


I am deeply indebted to Heidi Bell for all she has done for me as a writer. I was fortunate to find such a comprehensively skillful editor—but also guide, teacher, confidant, and even friend—to accompany me through writing my first novel. Somehow, she was able to make a rigorous, no-nonsense process always engaging, even fun—overall, a great learning experience for me.

Steve Braden, author and illustrator of Rocket Hammer

I deeply appreciated the thoughtful attention Heidi paid to my work-in-progress novel. She handled it with meticulousness, respect, and insight. I felt honored and fortunate that my work and characters had been in her care.

Ellen Airgood, author of South of Superior, Prairie Evers, and The Education of Ivy Blake

Heidi Bell’s exhaustive copyedit either caught significant errors or brought genuine improvement, particularly to the introductions to the various parts of the program.

Cynthia Barnhart, author of Let’s Read: A Linguistic Approach, Second Edition

Heidi Bell’s editing assistance with my novella was invaluable. She has a keen eye for detail and a pitch-perfect ear for language. She caught not only errors and inconsistencies but places where fine-tuning supplied far greater grace and nuance. I am so grateful to have had her as an editor and know that my work has gone out into the world much stronger for it.

Laura Kasischke, author of Eden Springs

I am amazed by the editing Heidi Bell did on my manuscript. Not only the quality but the scope. I recognize my work, and yet it's like reading it for the first time. Her recommendations for character and plot development are right on the mark. Some of the suggestions I had addressed in previous versions but removed to cut word count. I can now see how to reintroduce those elements without going overboard. Her input will impact my writing beyond this manuscript.

John DeBon, fiction writer


When Heidi Bell took over to copyedit the manuscript, I got an advanced course in what every writer needs to know about the limits of her own vision and the powers of a really accomplished professional editor. Having taught writing for over thirty years, I became a quietly humbled student, and I am deeply grateful.

Gail Griffin, author of “The Events of October”: Murder-Suicide on a Small Campus


Having Heidi Bell edit your manuscript means having a real pro at your side (and on the page) for every word. She didn't merely assist with line edits but asked the truly significant questions that are essential for a writer to move to more resonant levels—her probing led me to critical revisions at key points. From the beginning she envisioned the best possible version of the book.

Anne-Marie Oomen, author of An American Map 

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Editing Services

Editing services include developmental editing, manuscript evaluation, copyediting, and proofreading.

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Writing Services

Writing services include ghostwriting, rewriting, and educational writing.



If you have questions about the types of books I edit or about the publishing process, visit my frequently asked questions page.

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