When E.B.’s not writing, she is available for hire as a freelance editor, manuscript consultant, and/or writing coach. E.B. has been working as a freelance editor since 2012, and currently she is the Wellesley Writes It editor for Wellesley Underground. From 2013 to 2014 she was the online content editor for Columbia: A Journal of Literature & Art, when she co-founded the journal’s online publication branch, from 2014 to 2015 she was the managing editor of Wellesley Underground, and from 2018 to 2020 she was the nonfiction editor of the Cambridge-based literary magazine Pangyrus. Additionally, E.B. was an editorial assistant at the Frances Goldin Literary Agency in New York while she was in grad school, so she has first-hand experience working with literary agents and knows what makes for a strong query letter and book proposal.
In general, E.B. loves reading and writing everything nonfiction, but, in particular, she loves narrative writing that tells human stories (memoir, personal essays, and autobiographical comics, but also novels and short stories) and blends genres (combining the researched and the personal, fiction and nonfiction, images and words). She has a personal interest in reading and promoting work by women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community.
Favorite writers include Margo Jefferson, Eula Biss, Claudia Rankine, Maggie Nelson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Zadie Smith, Marjane Satrapi, Lindy West, Maxine Hong Kingston, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and MariNaomi, among others. She is happy to consult on nonfiction of any length — from one essay or personal statement to a full memoir or book-length manuscript.
Her favorite work to read and edit is nonfiction that intersects the personal and the researched, though she also loves working on a pure memoir/personal essay and she has also previously consulted on works of fiction (especially historical/researched fiction). In addition to helping with the writing itself, she has worked with clients on MFA (and other grad school) applications that have resulted in acceptances to programs, and has helped writers assemble book proposals, sample chapters, and query letters that have landed agents and editors. E.B. is also big on planning and outlining and has been hired to help writers, not only edit and revise their work, but also to come up with an action plan for how to move forward even once they stop working with her.
Contact E.B. for more information on her rates and how to set up a customized editing/consulting/coaching plan.
"E.B. has a wonderful ability to blend keen critique with optimism and support."
"Every writer needs a skilled, intuitive, astute editor. As the number of outlets for paid publication shrinks, it is ever more important for a writer’s work to be word-perfect, and that able editor is the writer’s best asset. I feel very fortunate to have found my editor in E.B. Bartels. She is a sensitive reader, an empathetic coach, an encouraging teacher, and a wise advisor. I have more confidence than ever in my writing because E.B.’s counsel ensures that it looks good."
"E.B.'s editing of my application essays was invaluable. As a writing coach, she helped me efficiently articulate complicated stories and concepts within a very small character limit, and she also taught me strategies in editing that I've carried forward into my graduate work."
"E.B. is an incredibly dedicated teacher and editor. Her honesty and transparency demystified the process of writing a book proposal, which gave me the confidence to take on a project I’d been dreaming about for years. Her feedback strengthened not only the details of my writing, but the purpose of it as a whole. She brought so much wisdom and care to each meeting, class, and email exchange. I’m so grateful for E.B.’s support and guidance."