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Susan Sernau | Elance
Last Sign-in: Nov 22, 2015

Susan Sernau

Knowledgeable Expertise in Making Stories Shine
   United States
  |   South Bend, IN
  |  9:55 pm Local Time

Verified Freelancer

Susan Sernau's identity has been verified.  Learn More


Minimum Hourly Rate $33

I'm a developmental editor and although I'll dabble in all flavors of writing, in the end I really specialize in fantasy and science fiction. My work is systematic, thorough and designed to meet exacting professional standards. I believe in good communication, working quickly and effectively, and providing writers with a rigorous, but exceptionally positive and satisfying revision experience.

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Nov 10, 2015|Creative Writing|$0|Working
Jun 20, 2015|Editing & Proofreading|$2,605|Working
Jun 5, 2015|Creative Writing|$1,041|Completed
May 4, 2015|Editing & Proofreading|$548|Completed

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A solid five stars at Amazon: "A great read. Amazing, poetic and...
"Thorough, accurate, and extremely fast. I screened many editors and have found a...
Amazon Review: "Terrific imagination. I had trouble putting it down." As for...
Kirkus Review: Young people, girls in particular, will admire Zephrum and her tough,...
This developmental edit included a special preliminary consult that I've used with...
"I'm a first time author and Susan was the perfect fit for editing my novel. Along...
The developmental edit for the third book in Davis' series brought together the...
"When I'm a Storyteller" is a gentle poem to help children begin to see...

Skills (7)

Developmental Editing
Writing Coach
English Vocabulary Test (U.S. Version)
My Score
English Vocabulary Test (UK Version)
My Score
Creative Writing
Creative Writing
My Score
Creative Writing Test - Fiction (U.S. Version)
My Score
Writing process
Academic Writing
Copy Editing
Editing/Copy Editing
My Score

Service Description

Your Story is Almost Finished -
Still ahead is the delicate task of making sure that the structure is sound, highlighting the fine details and polishing the whole thing until it glows and is ready for publication. I am here to help, ready and able to guide you through this critical stage of the writing process.

My editing is detailed and comprehensive. I'll give you clear feedback with effective strategies and useful examples that will allow you to make the needed changes with confidence.

To begin with, I'll run a careful diagnostic on the structural elements of your story that affect your story's cohesiveness, integrity and flow. I'll help you unload the parts of the story that are dead weight, and help you to properly arrange the pieces that need to fit together. I'll look at things such as plot, premise, hooks, action, focus, proportionality, character development and the like to make sure they are doing what they need to do to make the story strong.

I'll examine the features of your story that give it flavor. You'll get feedback on tone, tension, cadence, word choice, word flow, characterization, dialog and staging. Capturing your voice is critical to making your story sing. I'll listen not only to what you say, but how you say it.

I'll work with the distinctive elements of your genre and target audience. I'll provide you with current market standards, and reader's expectations.

I'll also bring to the table experience and expertise in physical science,...

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Associate Faculty - Bethel College
Associate Faculty
2008 - Present
Advanced Reading and Language Arts Instructor Student teacher supervisor
Associate Faculty - Indiana University South Bend
Associate Faculty
2007 - 2008
Elementary methods and language arts instructor Student teacher supervisor
Editor and Writer - Booklinks Publishing Service
Consultant and text writer
2002 - 2006
Consultant and text writer for Booklinks Publishing Services: Scott Foresman Newcomer ESL Program – Created literacy lessons and activities for young English learners based on...
Consultant and Writer - LearningPoint
Project Consultant and text writer
2003 - 2004
Designed project parameters and wrote activities that integrated standards for economics education in the middle grades with sheltered English on an OPEC based...
Editor, Writer -Booklinks Publishing Service
Editorial Consultant and text writer
2002 - 2002
Houghton Mifflin project - Created guidelines for sheltering text from basal readers to meet the needs of elementary children learning English. Rewrote stories and end of story questions in...
Gifted Ed -South Bend Community School Corporation
Language arts and math tutor
2001 - 2001
Wrote and administered curriculum for small groups of gifted children needing enrichment activities.
Consultant and Writer - Oxford University Press
Consultant, reviewer and writer
1996 - 1997
Wrote and reviewed material for both the teacher’s guides and the student texts for two projects, the Oxford Picture Dictionary for Kids and the Oxford Picture Dictionary for Content Areas....
Associate Faculty - Indiana University South Bend
Associate Faculty
1995 - 1995
Supervisor for ESL student teachers Instructor for Education and American Culture
Writer - Scholastic Publishers
1994 - 1994
Contributed thematic units for the ESL component of an integrated reading program serving multicultural kindergarten and pre-K students.
Writer - Ithaca Public School District
1991 - 1991
English Literacy and the Intermediate Student. This detailed handbook was designed for teachers interested in promoting English proficiencies using a transactional approach to literacy
ESL Teacher - Ithaca Public School District
ESL Teacher, grades K-8
1986 - 1991
Taught English as a second Language in classroom, pull-out and blended service settings. Included creating materials and curriculum for all levels. Utilized materials and pedagogues from the Whole...
Curriculum Writer - Ithaca Public School District
Curriculum Writer
1986 - 1988
Curriculum writer and consultant for Ithaca School District, 1986-1987 Member of the task force that created a Scope and Sequence for the ESL high school curriculum. This project was designed to...
ESL Teacher - Minnetonka School District
ESL Teacher
1985 - 1986
Provided English instruction to refugee and. international students in tutorial and small group settings.
Classroom Teacher - Gladstone Baptist Elementary
Third Grade Teacher
1984 - 1985
Third grade classroom teacher.
Classroom Teacher - South Elementary
First Grade Teacher
1983 - 1984
First grade classroom teacher
Classroom Teacher St. Peter Claver Catholic School
Classroom teacher
1981 - 1983
Fifth grade and third grade teacher.


Indiana University South Bend
MA Elementary Education
- 1995
University of Minnesota
BS Elementary Education
1980 - 1981
Macalester College
BA ESL Education, International Studies, Religion
1976 - 1980
Overview  |  Job History  |  Portfolio  |  Resume/C.V.


Developmental Editing
Line Editing
Copy Editing
Creative Writing
Science Fiction
YA Fiction
Children's Writing
My Snapshot
Writing & Translation
Elance Level
Level represents activity and experience on Elance. Freelancers start at Level 1 and achieve higher levels through their work. A higher "Level" indicates greater earnings, ratings and other achievements on Elance. Learn More »
  • 12 months
  • Lifetime
Per Client
Member Since
August 2012
Elance URL
Susan Sernau | Elance

Susan Sernau