It's all in the details. I want your story, your novel, your lit journal, your article to flow, so there's no hiccup, no hesitation in the reader, not even a period left accidentally italicized. I want it to look like I was never there.

“So many copyeditors and proofreaders are exacting about the “laws” of grammar and punctuation, but lack an ear for tone and voice, and will try to fix a legitimate concern while simultaneously inflicting damage on the rest of the sentence. As an accomplished poet and writer herself, Kristen Steenbeeke has the exacting eye and fastidiousness that one hopes for in a copyeditor—that hypervigilance—and yet she is also attuned to matters of style and taste. She was a delight to work with on both my new novel and my latest short story.”
— Peter Mountford, author of The Dismal Science and A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism
“The reason this blurb looks halfway decent grammatically is because Kristen edited it brilliantly. During her two years of work as copyeditor of the James Franco Review, I referred to her again and again as the copyeditor of my dreams. She helped develop the journal’s style guide and edited each issue—which came out every two months—with a dedication to the Chicago Manual of Style but with finesse enough to determine when to see beyond the rules to the necessity of the author’s style. This is what happens when a poet becomes a copyeditor: she recognizes the depth of a writer’s expression and makes it shine its brightest.”
— Corinne Manning, writer and editor of the James Franco Review


my strengths

  • My brain is built for shaking down inconsistencies—whether it’s an issue with spelling, style, or a character’s eye color changing from brown to blue, I have a knack for holding matters of continuity in my mind and making sure you don’t contradict yourself.

  • I want to adapt to your desired style of commentary. Do you take edits best in a straightforward manner? A jocular tone? With a bit of a lighter touch so as not to be bogged down by the end? Whatever gets you in the best mood to complete the often dreaded task of reading through comments and tracked changes.

  • I'm a writer! Which means I'm also an avid reader of a variety of forms, including essay, memoir, nonfiction, fiction, poetry, collage, academic texts, journalistic articles, et al. I'm constantly thinking about the most effective combination of words and the accepted styles of a genre—and, most importantly, how to subvert those accepted styles in a manner that has the most punch. I'm able to recognize and stylize experimentation in a way that allows for the most optimal innovation/comprehension balance.

Intimate Knowledge (or Index-Combing Prowess) in: the Chicago Manual of StyleAP Stylebook, and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

editing types

Proofreading — Looking at final proofs of a manuscript and identifying any errors. This is where my background as a graphic designer comes in handy—I'm able to recognize issues with language as well as visual inconsistencies in an efficient manner.

Copyediting — Checking for and correcting errors in spelling, grammar, syntax, and punctuation; finding continuity and factual errors; creating a style sheet to maintain technical consistency

Line editing — Assessing the language and flow of your creative piece, not only catching run-ons and redundancy but also making sure each sentence and paragraph flows smoothly and avoids bland or tonally inconsistent language. This is where my background as a writer comes in handy.

past editing work

Novels: The Nightingale's Stone and The Shadow Well, by David Mecklenburg; In the Rush of All Everything by Washington State Book Award–winner Peter Mountford; The True Adventures of MudBoyLiar, a middle-grade novel by M. A. Orth; Juliece's Vindication by Deborah Lloyd
Nonfiction Books: Sold Down the Yangtze by Gus Van Harten (ebook proofreading), The Last Ring Home by Minter Dial; both produced by Page Two Strategies
Journal: The James Franco Review, ed. Corinne Manning
Short Story: "Pay Attention," by Peter Mountford, published in the Paris Review
Newspaper: The Daily at the University of Washington
Nonprofit: Hugo House, Seattle, Washington
Grant: Application for Seattle to become a City of Literature
Film Captioning: Homebound by Katrin Braga