Customized, confidential support for your manuscript development.

In one-on-one services with ScholarShape, you receive direct support from me as you develop your Story-Argument. My role as your writing consultant / developmental editor is to analyze, and then provide feedback on or discuss, your work-in-progress with you. The aim is to help you imagine and realize the optimal Story-Argument for your research.

When I look at your draft, I see what it is, but I also see what it could be: the best, most fascinating, most page-turning version of it. And I describe that vision to you, and help you mark the path from where you are now to where you want the project to go. 

My service offerings include one-on-one Strategy Sessions (consultation) and custom Revision Reports (developmental editing).


Margy Thomas at work

About Manuscript Development Support Services

One-on-one editing/consulting services are for scholars who have...

  • A draft that is being prepared for submission to a journal/publisher or funding body (this may be a new article, book proposal, chapter, grant, or policy paper in progress; an old dissertation that has yet to be revised for publication; or a revise-and-resubmit that you’re unsure whether or how to rework before resubmission)

  • A lack of clarity on how to craft the material into a Story-Argument that does justice to the research and engages your target readers

Manuscript development services can provide greater clarity on...

  • The most effective revision strategy to get your draft where you want and need it to be – from the global level down to specific sentences

  • How (or whether) to implement feedback from gatekeepers and friendly reviewers alike

  • The precise constraints and affordances of the micro-genre you are writing within

  • The most compelling Story-Argument for communicating what matters about your specific findings to your intended audience

What you receive from me:

  • Close attention to your specific project and micro-genre at the macro, meso, and micro levels

  • Careful analysis of your draft in light of your goals for the finished manuscript

  • Concrete feedback in the form of a reader report, including suggestions for how to structure and frame your revised manuscript

  • Upon request, suggestions on whether or how to implement reviewers’ feedback and/or my assessment of how thoroughly you have implemented their feedback

  • Recommendations for how to prioritize and sequence revisions

  • The assurance that you are not alone in this writing process, and the enthusiasm of a supporter who cares deeply about your work as a scholar!

Benefits I hope you take beyond this project:

  • Insight on how to improve your work processes – making them more efficient, more enjoyable, or both

  • Insight into how to craft a Story-Argument from your research

  • Insight into how to tailor your writing to specific academic sub-genres


My two most popular services are the One-on-One Strategy Session and the Customized Revision Report.


scholarshape strategy session margy thomas phd

How it works: Complete the provided Workbook to identify the goals and questions you want to focus on in your consultation session with Margy; send this to Margy by 48 hours before your session. Then, meet with Margy for a 2-hour consultation by phone/video chat to develop a strategy for writing or revising your draft. Finally, schedule an Email follow-up on your preferred date to contact Margy with questions and challenges that arose after your session. Take advantage of the 15% discount by booking 4 sessions at a time.

1 session: U.S. $270 // 4 sessions: U.S. $900


scholarshape revision report margy thomas phd

How it works: Complete the provided Workbook to identify your goals, challenges, and questions with your current article, proposal, or chapter draft. Submit this workbook to Margy along with your draft. At the scheduled time, you’ll receive a detailed Revision Report, based on careful analysis of your draft and Workbook responses, with Margy's best suggestions for developing your manuscript. You also have the option to purchase Follow-up Edits for in-depth support in implementing and evolving the suggestions from the initial Report.

Report: U.S. $900 // Follow-up: U.S. $600



I also offer bespoke developmental editing support for larger projects. Read on to learn more!


Typical budgets:

  • For assistance with a full book manuscript, a typical budget is 60 – 80 hours ($5,400 and up)

  • For a book proposal + two sample chapters, a typical budget is 20 – 40 hours ($1,800 and up)

  • For line-by-line substantive editing of a grant proposal, a typical budget is 15 – 20 hours ($1,500 and up)

Hourly rates are U.S. $150 (rush services), U.S. $100 (regularly scheduled services), and U.S. $90 (Retainer hours; see details below).

Where to begin? If you’re interested in embarking on a large project or long-term support, but unsure how to proceed, I recommend starting with the 2-hour strategy session described above. We can use the time to talk in-depth about your project, goals, and where you are in your process, and from there, map out a global strategy for the coming months. The strategy may include additional ScholarShape services or may be a DIY plan for you to execute on your own.

Ready for a quote? If you would like a precise quote for a specific project, please complete the Intake form and, if your manuscript is close enough to the version you want to submit to me, email it to margy [at]


A note about payments and scheduling

To secure your place on the calendar, services are paid in full. In some cases, I am able to accept institutional funds after the fact if an appropriate contract is in place beforehand. The preferred payment methods are the ScholarShape payment page, check, money order, and bank transfer. When you make payment, you will be asked to accept the Terms of Service, which delineates your and my rights and responsibilities with respect to one another. For large projects, please plan 6-12 weeks ahead for the best chance of securing your preferred dates on the calendar. Smaller blocks of time can often be scheduled on shorter notice. For projects of any size that are scheduled on very short notice, rush rates may apply. 


The Retainer option for long-term services

If you decide to work with me on a large project and/or long-term, you may set up a Retainer for 40 hours, or U.S. $3,600, with the option of purchasing additional hours beyond that. If you choose to set up a Retainer after having already worked with me for 15+ hours, you may set up a Retainer for just 20 hours, or U.S. $1,800.

With the Retainer option, you receive a discounted hourly rate and may reserve Priority Dates on the calendar to use your purchased hours. Rush fees may apply on select dates should you choose to schedule hours on short notice. Beyond your initial purchase of Retainer hours, you can continue to purchase additional hours at the discounted Retainer rate.


Ready for a quote?

 If you would like a precise quote for a specific project, please complete the Intake form and, if your manuscript is close enough to the version you want to submit to me, email it to margy [at]



[Fill out the Intake form here]


"We are all apprentices in a craft

where no one ever becomes a master."

-Ernest Hemingway