Elizabeth Benedict

Teaching, Editing, Coaching

After more than twenty years teaching creative writing and journalism at leading universities and colleges, Elizabeth teaches, edits manuscripts, coaches privately, and is part of the regular fiction faculty every year at the New York State Summer Writers Institute at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY.

Through her business Don't Sweat the Essay, she works with those applying to colleges and graduate schools on their essays and applications. For help with essays, please send an email.

If you are interested in manuscript evaluations, editing, or private coaching, please send an email.

Elizabeth's editing work includes decades of editing fiction, nonfiction, and memoir for individuals, nonprofits, and businesses. She has edited leading literary writers and journalists who appear in her two anthologies, including Jonathan Safran Foer, Katha Pollitt, Mary Gordon, Rita Dove, Jane Smiley, Marge Piercy, and Susan Stamberg.

"Elizabeth Benedict held my hand through my whole essay, and she did it in a graceful way that made me feel that all the insights and changes were my own."
--Caroline Leavitt, NY Times Bestselling novelist and contributor to What My Mother Gave Me.

"Elizabeth Benedict is a fantastic editor to work with. The anthology wouldn't have been what it is without her vision and plain old line editing."
-- Mary Morris, novelist, travel writer, Sarah Lawrence professor, contributor to What My Mother Gave Me.

"I've been reading Elizabeth Benedict's fiction for years and was thrilled to learn she also edits. I recently hired her to review three fiction manuscripts for me. She provided prompt, sharp, and useful comments on the pages and in our conversations. She has been helpful in large and small matters, including where to begin a novel, how to convey necessary information about my characters, and how to add energy and texture to prose. I have worked with other editors on these manuscripts but have found Elizabeth's responses to be by far the most incisive. Because I write often about the law in my fiction, her knowledge of law and lawyers has been invaluable to me as well.
-- Rangeley Wallace, author of Things Are Going to Slide and No Defense.

"What a splendid job you did on the novel! It inspired me to work extra hard on the revisions. Many new sections have been added or redone as per your incisive comments.... Would it be possible to meet and have your comments and additional marvelous editing before I leave the city? You are the best!"
-- Sidney B. Silverman, NY NY

Elizabeth Benedict
photo: Emma Dodge Hanson

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Free Essays

What I Learned About Sex On the Internet
Mad Dog Taborsky and Me