PEN Membership Level: Silver

Editor: Megan Ryan 

Number of years in editing: 8 

Tell us how you got started as an editor. 

I began as a newspaper copy editor (it is two words in AP style!) after majoring in journalism in college. I felt strongly about the role of journalism in democracy, but reporting wasn’t for me. I found editing a much better fit. I worked for a daily newspaper for three years, doing copyediting, proofreading, page layout, and website posting. 

After a career break when my children were very young, I jumped into freelance copyediting and proofreading. I have been freelancing for five years now. 

What is(are) your area(s) of focus, and why did you select it(them)? 

When I began freelancing, I was open to doing almost any copyediting or proofreading projects, but I dreamed of editing books. God has helped me to fulfill that dream, as I am able to mostly fill my part-time schedule with books. I get to do a lot of Christian nonfiction titles, but I didn’t set out to make that an area of focus.  

What does a typical workday look like for you? How do you manage your time? 

I typically try to fit my work into my kids’ school days, which gives me from about 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. I don’t always get all that time to edit, as I also have some volunteer commitments during the week. I often get two or three hours of work in before lunch, get some exercise, and then get back to editing for an hour or so. 

I often have a goal for the week on each project I have, but I don’t always map out each day’s work exactly. I have a daily priority list with flexibility for my mood or whatever pops up during the day.  

What is your favorite thing about being an editor? 

Getting to read new books before anyone else! Okay, that is part of it, but it really is great to help authors reach their goals and share their stories or information with the world.  

What is your biggest challenge in being an editor, and how do you work through this? 

A challenge I have faced on and off has been finding new clients and projects. I began freelancing on Upwork, and I built up my samples and reviews on the platform for quite a while. Now I am trying some advertising and making more personal connections to find authors I can help.  

What advice do you have for editors just starting their career? 

Do your research, take classes, and get connected early on. I made my freelance career such a solo endeavor for years, and I think it would have been easier if I’d had places to go for help earlier. 

Where can people find you on social media? 

LinkedIn at 

Facebook at 

About Megan Ryan 

Megan Ryan provides copyediting and proofreading to help authors feel confident about sharing their writing with the world. She has copyedited and/or proofread more than 140 books for self-publishing authors and hybrid publishers.  

She lives in Michigan with her husband and three children. You can contact her at or find more information at 



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