Partnering With Writers To Bring Their Words To Life



There are plenty of freelance editors and writers out there who could help you make your work better. A sharp eye for grammar, structure, and creative development is an essential editorial foundation. But you may be looking for more than that—someone to provide narrative expertise for your manuscript; to advise you on making your work stand out for awards, fellowships, magazines, agents, publishing houses, the greater reading public; to help your work reach its fullest potential. In other words, you may be looking for an editorial guide who has big-five publishing experience and is, himself, a writer like you. On top of expertise that comes with two graduate degrees in language arts, I also bring five years of experience working for two of the world’s largest publishing houses.

As a fiction writer, I understand that we all use language as an artistic tool to create a significant experience for our readers that is as unique as our own thumbprint. Although writing is a solitary act, editorial requires partnership. Let me join you in your creative process as you mold your one-and-only voice and style into a phenomenon for the world to enjoy.


“My thanks go to Ryan Smernoff . . . Since God is in the details, his guiding of me to publication was godly.”

Art Garfunkel


Ryan Smernoff is a freelance editor and writer based in Los Angeles, California. He holds degrees in philosophy and English literature and has a MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

Formerly an Assistant Editor at Henry Holt and Company, Ryan has worked with authors like Elizabeth Kolbert, Sheila Heti, Russell Brand, Jaron Lanier, and Roger Daltrey. Before joining Henry Holt, he worked in editorial at Alfred A. Knopf with authors including Lorrie Moore, William H. Gass, Art Garfunkel, Anne Rice, Toni Morrison, and Ben Marcus.

Ryan is interested in fiction—literary, surrealist, genre-bending—and nonfiction with a strong narrative backbone, particularly on subjects about social/cultural issues, civil rights and social justice, new approaches to science, and fresh perspectives and interpretations of the arts and artists.


Fiction & Nonfiction Editorial:  

  • Manuscript evaluation
  • Narrative & structural development
  • Line editing
  • Copyediting
  • Review of book proposals, synopses, queries, & agent pitches

Academic Editorial: 

  • College essays
  • Journal articles
  • Theses
  • Dissertations
  • Academic books

Transcription Services:

  • Converting audio, video, or written documents into electronic text documents


Editorial Publications


Jeff Nichols. “Guestwords: Brown Gold.” The East Hampton Star. July 2, 2020.

Emerald Archer, et al. The Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California: Intersections: Identity, Access, & Equity. Los Angeles: Center for the Advancement of Women, Mount Saint Mary’s University, March 28, 2019.

Christopher Paul Wolfe. “‘Sir, I Never Thought I’d See the Day I’d Be Working for a Colored Officer.’” The New York Times Magazine (At War). February 7, 2019.


Bevy Smith. Bevelations: Lessons from a Mutha, Auntie, Bestie. New York: Andy Cohen Books, January 2021.

Claire Robin Adler. Perfect Cheese Boards: Easy Arrangements, Recipes, and Pairings for Any Occasion. Emeryville: Rockridge Press, January 2021.

Sara Mellas. The Quick and Easy Breakfast Cookbook: Fast, Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Mornings. Emeryville: Rockridge Press, November 2020.

Selina Almodovar. The Christian Woman’s Guide to Dating: Advice on Keeping the Faith While Looking for Love. Emeryville: Rockridge Press, November 2020.

Mariah Carey. The Meaning of Mariah Carey. New York: Andy Cohen Books, September 2020.

Thomas Lucking, PhD. How to Improve Your Social Skills: Practical Exercises and Techniques for the Socially Challenged. Emeryville: Rockridge Press, September 2020.

Mari Hernandez-Tuten. Proverbs 31 in 5 Minutes a Day: A Bible Study for Women. Emeryville: Rockridge Press, September 2020.

Erin Brockovich. Superman’s Not Coming: Our National Water Crisis and What We the People Can Do About It. New York: Pantheon, August 2020.

Robert Covolo. Fashion Theology. Waco: Baylor University Press, August 2020.

Karen Lee Young. The Electric Pressure Cooker Soup Cookbook: 100 Fast and Flavorful Recipes. Emeryville: Rockridge Press, August 2020.

James Newman Gray (illustrator). Faith in Full Color: A Christian Coloring Book for Adults. Emeryville: Rockridge Press, August 2020.

Lisa Danielson. Weight Loss the Vegan Way: A 21-Day Meal Plan with 75 Easy Recipes. Emeryville: Rockridge Press, August 2020.

William Deresiewicz. The Death of the Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech. New York: Henry Holt, July 2020.

Chloe Taylor. The Big Book of Invisible Technology: A Look at How Things Work for Kids, Even When You Can’t See Them!. Emeryville: Rockridge Press, July 2020.

Vanessa Charbonneau. Dog Care for Puppies: A Guide to Feeding, Playing, Grooming, and Behavior. Emeryville: Rockridge Press, July 2020.

Ron Edmondson. 90-Day Devotional for Men: Deepen Your Faith in Five Minutes a Day. Emeryville: Rockridge Press, June 2020.

Julee Morrison, The Complete Cookbook for Teens: 120+ Recipes to Level Up Your Kitchen Game (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, June 2020).

Linda Larsen (Ed.), The Ultimate Slow Cooker Cookbook: No-Fuss Recipes for Classic Dishes and New Favorites (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, June 2020).

Elizabeth Reninger, Taoism for Beginners: Understanding and Applying Taoist History, Concepts, and Practices (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, May 2020).

Chris Toy, Easy Chinese Cookbook: Restaurant Favorites Made Simple (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, May 2020).

Renata Alexandre, PhD, APRN, The Sleep Workbook: Easy Strategies to Break the Anxiety-Insomnia Cycle (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, May 2020).

Carl Safina, Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace (New York: Henry Holt, April 2020).

Matt Schifferle, Calisthenics for Beginners: Step-by-Step Workouts to Build Strength at Any Fitness Level (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, April 2020).

François de Mélogue, French Cooking for Beginners: 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook Like a Parisian (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, March 2020).

Hilary Mantel, The Mirror & the Light: A Novel (Wolf Hall Series, Book 3) (New York: Henry Holt, March 2020).

Bek Davis, The 5-Ingredient Low-Carb Diet Cookbook: 100 Easy Recipes for Better Health (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, March 2020).

Rachel Scott, Yoga to Stay Young: Simple Poses to Keep You Flexible, Strong, and Pain-Free (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, March 2020).

Ryan Boudreaux, The Best of New Orleans Cookbook: 50 Classic and Creole Recipes from the Big Easy (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, March 2020).

Kimberly Moore, The Bible in 52 Weeks: A Yearlong Bible Study for Women (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, February 2020).

Dr. Jackie Walters, The Queen V: Everything You Need to Know About Sex, Intimacy, and Down There Health Care (New York: Henry Holt, February 2020).

Diane Rehm, When My Time Comes: Conversations About Whether Those Who Are Dying Should Have the Right to Determine When Life Should End (New York: Knopf, February 2020).

Melvin I. Urofsky, The Affirmative Action Puzzle: A Living History from Reconstruction to Today (New York: Pantheon, January 2020).

Diane Ravitch, Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools (New York: Knopf, January 2020).

Adam Nicolson, The Making of Poetry: Coleridge, the Wordsworths, and Their Year of Marvels (New York: FSG, January 2020).

Dianne Wenz, The Truly Healthy Vegan Cookbook: 90 Whole-Food Recipes with Deliciously Simple Ingredients (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, December 2019).

Tanya Keith, Soccer Stars on the Pitch: Biographies of Today’s Best Players (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, December 2019).

Jocasta Odom, Make Great Decisions Workbook for Christian Teen Girls: A Practical & Biblical Guide to Choices that Matter (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, December 2019).

Sheila Thigpen, The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook: 90+ Recipes For Busy People Who Love to Eat Well (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, December 2019).

Jill Krause & Chrisie Rosenthal, IBCLC, LACTIVATE!: A User’s Guide to Breastfeeding (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, December 2019).

Colleen Francioli, CNC, The 30-Minute Low-FODMAP Cookbook: 101 Delicious Recipes to Soothe IBS and Other Digestive Disorders (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, December 2019).

Noah Michaud, The Healthy Cookbook for Teens: 100 Fast & Easy Delicious Recipes (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, November 2019).

Meryle Secrest, The Mysterious Affair at Olivetti: IBM, the CIA, and the Cold War Conspiracy to Shut Down Production of the World’s First Desktop Computer (New York: Knopf, November 2019).

Jeanine Basinger, The Movie Musical! (New York: Knopf, November 2019).

Tara Rochford, The 14-Day Elimination Plan: Identify Food Allergies and Sensitivities the No-Stress Way (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, October 2019).

Ellen Gipson, RD & Laura Morton, RD, BLW Baby Food Cookbook: A Stage-by-Stage Approach to Baby-Led Weaning with Confidence (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, October 2019).

Vicky Perreault, Grateful Together: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Their Parents (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, October 2019).

Elton John, Me (New York: Henry Holt, October 2019).

Kimberly Brown Pellum, PhD, Black Women in Science: A Black History Book for Kids (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, October 2019).

Tonya Leslie, PhD, So Other People Would Be Also Free: The Real Story of Rosa Parks for Kids (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, October 2019).

Jerome Robbins & Amanda Vaill (Ed.), Jerome Robbins, by Himself: Selections from His Letters, Journals, Drawings, Photographs, and an Unfinished Memoir (New York: Knopf, October 2019).

Justin Sapp, Maybe You Felt It Too: Journals, Prayers, and Writings from My 20’s (Los Angeles: Self-published, October 2019).

Paul Magnanti, How to Survive Your First Trip in the Wild: Backpacking for Beginners (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, September 2019).

Katya Seberson, Essential Speed-Reading Techniques: How to Become a Better, Faster Reader (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, August 2019).

Christina Anthis, The Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started (Emeryville: Althea Press, August 2019).

Philip Caputo, Hunter’s Moon: A Novel in Stories (New York: Henry Holt, August 2019).

Cara Harbstreet, MS, RD, LD, Healthy Eating for Life: An Intuitive Eating Workbook to Stop Dieting Forever (Emeryville: Althea Press, July 2019).

Janet Messineo, Casting into the Light: Tales of a Fishing Life (New York: Pantheon, July 2019).

GiGi Ashworth, She Does Keto: The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Women (Emeryville: Rockridge Press, June 2019).

Matt & Ted Lee, Hotbox: Inside Catering, the Food World’s Riskiest Business (New York: Henry Holt, April 2019).

Aaron & April Jacob, Love is Patient, Love is Kind: A Christian Marriage Devotional: Rebuild, Reconnect, and Grow in Christ (Emeryville: Althea Press, April 2019).

Mason Currey, Daily Rituals: Women at Work (New York: Knopf, March 2019).

Lucasta Miller, L.E.L.: The Lost Life and Scandalous Death of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, the Celebrated “Female Byron” (New York: Knopf, March 2019)

Victoria Riskin, Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir (New York: Pantheon, February 2019).

Toni Morrison, The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations (New York: Knopf, February 2019).

Emily Bernard, Black is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine (New York: Knopf, January 2019).

W. Thomas Boyce, M.D., The Orchid and the Dandelion: Why Some Children Struggle and How All Can Thrive (New York: Knopf, January 2019)

Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., & Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D., Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, Thirtieth Anniversary Edition (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, January 2019).

William H. Gass, The William H. Gass Reader (New York: Knopf, November 2018).

Roger Daltrey, Thanks a Lot Mr Kibblewhite: My Story (New York: Henry Holt, October 2018).

Becket & Anne Rice, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles: An Alphabettery (New York: Anchor, October 2018).

David Edwards, Creating Things That Matter: The Art and Science of Innovations That Last (New York: Henry Holt, October 2018).

Jane Sherron De Hart, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life (New York: Knopf, October 2018)

Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard, Killing the SS: The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History (New York: Henry Holt, October 2018).

Mark Cucuzzella, M.D., Run for Your Life: How to Run, Walk, and Move Without Pain or Injury and Achieve a Sense of Well-Being and Joy (New York: Knopf, September 2018).

Claudia Renton, Those Wild Wyndhams: Three Sisters at the Heart of Power (New York: Knopf, June 2018).

Jaron Lanier, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now (New York: Henry Holt, May 2018).

Sheila Heti, Motherhood: A Novel (New York: Henry Holt, May 2018).

James Hatch & Christian D’Andrea, Touching the Dragon: And Other Techniques for Surviving Life’s Wars (New York: Knopf, May 2018).

Lorrie Moore, See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary (New York: Knopf, April 2018).

Alon Shaya, Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel (New York: Knopf, March 2018).

Adam Nicolson, The Seabird’s Cry: The Lives and Loves of the Planet’s Great Ocean Voyagers (New York: Henry Holt, February 2018).

Steven Masley, The Better Brain Solution: How to Start Now—at Any Age—to Reverse and Prevent Insulin Resistance of the Brain, Sharpen Cognitive Function, and Avoid Memory Loss (New York: Knopf, January 2018).

Tina Brown, The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983 – 1992 (New York: Henry Holt, November 2017).

Jaron Lanier, Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality (New York: Henry Holt, November 2017).

David Hepworth, Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of The Rock Stars (New York: Henry Holt, November 2017).

Will Friedwald, The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums (New York: Pantheon, November 2017).

Anne & Christopher Rice, Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra (New York: Anchor, November 2017).

Russell Brand, Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions (New York: Henry Holt, October 2017).

Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard. Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence (New York: Henry Holt, September 2017).

Art Garfunkel, What Is It All but Luminous: Notes from an Underground Man (New York: Knopf, September 2017).

Annalena McAfee, Hame: A Novel (New York: Knopf, September 2017).

Bill Goldstein, The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster, and the Year That Changed Literature (New York: Henry Holt, August 2017).

Howard Markel, The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek (New York: Pantheon, August 2017).

Jonathan Skariton, Séance Infernale: A Novel (New York: Knopf, August 2017).

Helen Simpson, Cockfosters: Stories (New York: Knopf, June 2017).

Holly FitzGerald, Ruthless River: Love and Survival by Raft on the Amazon’s Relentless Madre de Dios (New York: Vintage, May 2017).

Helena Kelly, Jane Austen, the Secret Radical (New York: Knopf, May 2017).

Mary V. Dearborn, Ernest Hemingway: A Biography (New York: Knopf, May 2017).

Sarah Ruden, The Face of Water: A Translator on Beauty and Meaning in the Bible (New York: Pantheon, March 2017).

A. Roger Ekirch, American Sanctuary: Mutiny, Martyrdom, and National Identity in the Age of Revolution (New York: Pantheon, February 2017).

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870 (New York: Knopf, January 2017).

Richard Mason, Who Killed Piet Barol?: A Novel (New York: Knopf, January 2017).

Anne Rice, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis: The Vampire Chronicles (New York: Knopf, November 2016).

Jane Alexander, Wild Things, Wild Places: Adventurous Tales of Wildlife and Conservation on Planet Earth (New York: Knopf, September 2016).

Lynne Cox, Swimming in the Sink: An Episode of the Heart (New York: Knopf, September 2016).

Bill Burnett & Dave Evans, Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life (New York: Knopf, September 2016).

Nathan Hill, The Nix: A Novel (New York: Knopf, August 2016).

Gail Buckland, Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present (New York: Knopf, July 2016).

Denis Boyles, Everything Explained That Is Explainable: On the Creation of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Celebrated Eleventh Edition, 1910-1911 (New York: Knopf, June 2016).

Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others (New York: Vintage, June 2016).

Philippe Sands, East West Street: On the Origins of “Genocide” and “Crimes Against Humanity” (New York: Knopf, May 2016).

Agata Tuszyńska, Family History of Fear: A Memoir (New York: Knopf, May 2016).

J. Kael Weston, The Mirror Test: America at War in Iraq and Afghanistan (New York: Knopf, May 2016).

D. Peter MacLeod, Northern Armageddon: The Battle of the Plains of Abraham and the Making of the American Revolution (New York: Knopf, March 2016).

Patricia Bell-Scott, The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice (New York: Knopf, February 2016).

Diane Rehm, On My Own (New York: Knopf, February 2016).

Kathleen Spivack, Unspeakable Things: A Novel (New York: Knopf, January 2016).

Juan F. Thompson, Stories I Tell Myself: Growing Up with Hunter S. Thompson (New York: Knopf, January 2016).

James Curtis, William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come (New York: Pantheon, November 2015).

Flora Fraser, The Washingtons: George and Martha, “Join’d by Friendship, Crown’d by Love” (New York, Knopf, November 2015).

Stephen M. Silverman & Raphael D. Silver, The Catskills: Its History and How It Changed America (New York: Knopf, October 2015).

Melvin I. Urofsky, Dissent and the Supreme Court: Its Role in the Court’s History and the Nation’s Constitutional Dialogue (New York: Pantheon, October 2015).

Sparky Sweets, Ph.D., Thug Notes: A Street-Smart Guide to Classic Literature (New York: Vintage, August 2015).

Ben Marcus (Ed.), New American Stories (New York: Vintage, July 2015).

Layne Mosler, Driving Hungry: A Memoir (New York: Pantheon, July 2015).

Al Hirschfeld & David Leopold (Ed.), The Hirschfeld Century: Portrait of an Artist and His Age (New York: Knopf, July 2015).

Kevin P. Keating, The Captive Condition: A Novel (New York: Pantheon, July 2015).

Paolo Bacigalupi, The Water Knife: A Novel (New York: Knopf, May 2015).

Brian Catling, The Vorrh (New York: Vintage, April 2015).

Toni Morrison, God Help the Child: A Novel (New York: Knopf, April 2015).