Manuscript Services

Are you looking for a fresh pair of eyes for your poetry manuscript?

I love helping both new and established authors whip your poetry collection into a manuscript that best achieves your vision.  I have done book consulting and editing services for several poets over the years, including Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Jack McCarthy, Derrick Brown, and Anis Mojgani, and I look forward to working with you!

Example Services

  • —Help poets discover the underlying theme or narrative progression to their manuscript and then select and/or arrange the poems to best reflect that theme.
  • —Perform a close reading of individual poems for style and consistency, including flagging confusing or unclear lines/imagery.
  • —When requested, provide copy editing and a reader’s perspective on poetic choices such as line breaks, formatting, word choice, and style.
  • —Provide cleanup and final proofreading services, including punctuation, spelling, and capitalization errors (while respecting the idiosyncrasies of the poet).

Rates and Products

I charge an hourly rate for my services.  A typical 50-150 page poetry manuscript can require anywhere from 5 to 15 hours of work, and at the end of the review, I provide a detailed 5-10 page report with my feedback.  The author always guides my work, and I focus on the areas where you feel your manuscript needs the most attention. In addition, I can provide my feedback in a variety of other formats, including directly in the poetry manuscript, through embedded notes, via track changes, and/or through an electronically marked up PDF (using standard proofreader marks).


Contact Me!

If you are interested in talking about your manuscript and what services and advice I can offer, contact me at:

You can see examples of my manuscript consulting work in the following books:

“I am so grateful for Wess Mongo Jolley! The poetry books he has edited for me have gone on to win awards! The book proposal he edited for me landed me in a bidding war with nine publishing houses — before I signed a contract with a major publishing house! And the nonfiction book he edited for me went on to spend three months on the New York Times bestseller list! Could I have achieved any of this without his keen eye, his razor-sharp editing skills, and his radiant support of my ultimate vision? Maybe, but Lord knows I wouldn’t want to risk it! I am not kidding when I say when I finish a rough draft of literally any major writing project, Wess Mongo Jolley is always my first call!”

— Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz,
New York Times bestselling author and poet

How the Body Works the Dark (forthcoming)
by Derrick Brown

“Wess Mongo Jolley is the most thorough and thoughtful editor I have ever worked with. Our press looks more professional, and I have heard from overjoyed authors who were impressed with his keen eye and his clarity on changes. We use him for proofing and editing whenever his schedule opens up every season.”

— Derrick C. Brown, President,
Write Bloody Publishing

“Wess Mongo Jolley truly brought my book to life! His edits were insightful and precise, and he stayed true to my original vision. You will not find a better manuscript editor, period. My book would not exist without his expertise!”

—Jessica Lohafer, Editor,
Allow the Light – The Lost Poems of Jack McCarthy

Allow the Light (forthcoming)
by Jack McCarthy