I have edited 100 books of poems, nonfiction, fiction, children’s writing and drama, as well as university papers at the undergraduate and graduate level. My clients are publishers, writers and academics in Canada, India, the United States and Europe. I am often asked to work on projects that require a delicate touch, ones that cross genres, ones that have not yet found their shape, and ones in which the writers needs help guiding the book’s voice. Yours could be next. Consultations are free. Turn your work in progress into a journey.

I work with dozens of writers every year: publishers, poets, fiction writers, children’s writers, and non-fiction writers. By email, Skype, over the phone, and in person, I provide feedback and help writers shape their work into publishable shape, and then to expand it into new directions. I have a quick eye, can edit cold and on-the-fly, and use my extensive library to suggest connections and openings.

Email Editing – Convenience and flexibility

Daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly consultations on an ongoing basis. Together, we can bridge the distances of time and space. I work best hands-on, with practical examples linked directly to your writing.

Telephone Editing – The next best thing to sitting at the same table together.

Sessions can be stand-alone, or in tandem with more frequent email sessions. Telephone editing works very well for assessing the intent of a writer’s voice, and helping to match that with its written form.

In Person Editing – People, together

Your house or mine or a classroom, pub, or coffeeshop somewhere inbetween: if we can get together, we can work together.

Spiritual Editing – The sacred path

Over the years, I have been honoured to work with many writers working with spiritual traditions. Catholics, Buddhists, Anglicans, Wiccans, worshippers of the Goddess, Gnostics, metaphysical poets, and mystics have all sought me out, and we have journeyed together.

Rhyme Repair And metre, too

I have helped poets and children’s writers fine-tune their rhymes and metres, from first drafts to final proofs, to help their rhyming verses sing. With my background in both classical and modern traditions, I can fine-tune yours, too.

Publishability Reports – Who, where, when, what, why?

Many writers contact me for an opinion on the publishability of their work. In many cases I have also been able to suggest possible Canadian publishers. A manuscript sent incomplete, or to the wrong publisher, or with the wrong cover letter, can languish for months before being sent back unread. Together we can better the odds.

Quick Reports – An economical overview

I provide this service to writers wishing for an overview of the strengths and possible weaknesses of their manuscripts. For this service, writers receive a two page report, detailed analysis of two poems or two pages, and a few quick notes throughout. Many poets, as well, ask for and receive reports and advice on the arrangement of their poems in series to produce a complete book.

Detailed Revision – The works!

I provide this service to writers wishing for a line-by-line, page-by-page analysis of their work and a detailed revision of either complete sections or chapters of books. Even ten hours can go a long, long way.

Forensic Edits – Identifying the weak link.

Writers send me manuscripts, which have been returned to them from publishers and agents with encouraging but critical notes. I work with them to identify the weak links in the manuscripts, pair them with the strengths of the manuscripts, to suggests simple, practical steps for improving the publishability of the work.

New Departures – Take advantage of my experience

Writers also send me manuscripts when they have embarked on new directions, and wish the benefit of my experience with genres and genre-crossing, to let them know if they are on the path, and where the path might be leading.

The Pitch – Getting noticed

If you need help describing your book or writing project into that one sentence or paragraph that will hold an editor or juror’s attention, in crafting submission letters, or in shaping publicity copy for your book or your web-page, I’d love to help.

bookman testimonials2

Harold Rhenisch holds a great attribute in the ability of conceptual thought: formulating a unified idea from your perspective writings and drawing from its‚ creativeness.

He has awareness in the sensitivity of the nature and art of writing, that which bares one’s soul and intuitively treats it as though it were his.

Reaching further than critiquing, he stretches your imagination in a way that formulates not from pressure or insult but a gesture of kindness: Releasing his accumulated knowledge and wisdom ,bringing the best out of you and your writings.

His ability to communicate intimately imparts eloquence to the written words, never feeling that something has been taken away, but has been given:

Having become acquainted, he becomes the space and breath between the lines.

– Brenda. Florida.

I have worked with Harold over the past four years. During this time he has been my mentor, a fellow poet, and a friend. What started this relationship was Harold’s amazing ability to see the writing and the writer and to be able to guide and empower the writer and the work helping both bloom and develop into their uniqueness.

In a group setting I have watched him work with 12 people on their manuscripts over the course of a week in which time he managed to keep us all on our singular tracks while also bringing us together in the craft. One-on-one I remember the first time he read my words to me: I fell in love with them. That started me on my journey of not just reading my work, but “singing” and celebrating it.

Harold is playful, while being serious. He is patient, but not compromising. And he experiments while at the same time understanding and respecting tradition. Over the years of working together on editing my poetry, with every feedback Harold invited me to go further, to experiment, his comments geared toward seeing better what I am doing as a writer. I have always found it difficult when a writing teacher tries to make you write like them. Harold will not do that. It is more likely he will try to see what you are doing and help you do it better. He will help you write like you.

Today this relationship has strengthened into collaborations between the two of us. We are writing collaborative poems. One of which just came out in qarrtsiluni online literary journal in their Mutating the Signature issue.

I suspect Harold is in love as much with the poem/story as he is in love with the process. He walks alongside his students and gifts them, opens their eyes to form, to content, and to the transformation that is the writer’s path.

– Daniela Elza, Vancouver


1 thought on “Editing

  1. Dear Harold,
    I look after the Canadian Authors Association, Niagara Branch Submissions to you which are right up there with the number of chicken’s teeth this year. However I have fifteen pages of a manuscript for you. I have neglected to note your e-mail address. Could you please send it andI will forward the above.
    Regards, Ruth Troughton

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