Margaret Knox

“Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.” — Samuel Johnson


Welcome. Until recently, I had a side business editing clients’ articles and books. I had to shut that down for a while, but if you’d like to be told when I return to it, please contact me. — Margaret

“Meg is a miraculous shaper of words and ideas. She helped guide my manuscript with a firm but light hand, with respect for my voice and vision and, at the same time, great empathy for the reader. She is a guru of both the micro and macro of editing, providing a strong sense of both structure and flow, while at the same time distilling sentences and paragraphs so gracefully, with such economy of language–a word-swap here, a deletion there–that one can’t imagine how the writing could have been otherwise. I, for one, won’t be caught publishing without her keen eye and calm guidance!”

            — Hannah Nordhaus, author of: The Beekeeper’s Lament and American Ghost


“Margaret provided critically needed edits to my book “Collaborative Resilience: Moving From Crisis to Opportunity”, published by MIT Press in 2011. Not only did she enliven and streamline the text – with a ruthless eye for academic jargon – she was delightful to work with and delivered on a tight deadline.”

                                         — Bruce Goldstein,  Associate Professor, Environmental  Design, University of Colorado Boulder

“I didn’t have the writing chops to pull it off.  Meg Knox took an axe to the unwieldy dialogue and reshaped it into narrative form. So thank you, Meg, for taking that painful, necessary first step.”

                                                — Neil Fabricant, author of: Mike! Wall Street’s Mayor


 Here us a picture of Margaret blocking out Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans
Margaret diagrams Nine Lives
And here is a good example of her skill:  When covering the Asian tsunami for The New Yorker, I originally wrote the piece like this: Relief.8.


Margaret, in her wisdom, drew big red X’s over the first seven pages of the story! I almost had a heart attack. What she was doing, though, was digging down through a useless anecdote to get to the concept around which the story was built.

Her edit looked like this: Relief.9.  And Mission to Sumatra pdf is how the story ran in The New Yorker. The New Yorker has very good editors who are vigorous about their jobs. But if you’ll notice, the story isn’t much changed from the way Margaret edited it.