Developmental editing


Manuscript evaluation






Educational writing



Literary and genre fiction

General trade and scholarly nonfiction

K–12 language arts, English, history; K–5 science

I've worked as a freelance editor and writer since 2002. My book reviews and fiction have appeared in The Women's Review of BooksJane, the Chicago ReaderSalon, and The Good Men Project, among other publications.


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


I know the book will be better thanks to Heidi Bell’s discerning input.

Christopher Beach, author of The Films of Hal Ashby


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 American Salvage


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


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


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