Mariëlle delivered a full developmental edit on my cozy mystery MURDER ON LOAN this past winter. When I sent it to her, I knew it had problems— there were places in the manuscript that didn’t work. I probably could have fiddled with it by myself for another year, but I’d have lost a year and still not articulated the problems as well as Mariëlle did. Her evaluation clarified my next steps, and it helped me understand why some things weren’t working in the novel. She asked thoughtful questions throughout the manuscript which guided my revisions. I have been overwhelmed in revision in the past, but this time, in just a few months of revision I am almost finished with a third draft and moving forward in the process much faster than ever before. I am so thankful to have found a strong, responsive, and invaluable developmental editor in Mariëlle. I will definitely be hiring her again.
Sue Larkins Weems, the United States [developmental editing]
Mariëlle worked on my PhD dissertation and she was just the perfect language editor. She’s meticulous in her corrections as much as respectful of the text and its author. She pays extreme attention to details while at the same time taking great care of the meaning that I, as author, wanted to convey. So, her perfectionism was never imposed on the text at the expense of its nuances. The fact that she is entirely familiar with my field of academic research (gender studies, postcolonial studies, critical theory) certainly helped, together with her ethics and expertise as editor. Thanks for your work!
Gianmaria Colpani, Italy [academic language coaching]
What is the top priority of a relationship between myself, the author, and my editor? Everything! Marielle is the perfect editor for me. She knows her craft. My three book series needed help in the story structure. Marielle did the developmental edit for each book and for the series overall. Her suggestions have been spot on. She has helped tighten my story and how I tell it by keeping me on track and consistent in my voice. Good job there, thanks!
Her communication has been outstanding. She’s always been timely and quick to answer any of my questions. Just as important to me is her sense of humor. She understands.
One of my original concerns was my writing in American English and Marielle is in the Netherlands. No worries, she is proficient – way ahead of me. All in all, I’m a very happy camper. I look forward to a long relationship with her in my camp and hoping she’ll stay with me through my writing career.
Randy L. Scott, the United States [developmental editing]
Plot holes are a thing of the past when I work with Mariëlle. She edited my book Murder in Triangle City and I hired her for the entire subsequent trilogy, that’s how good her eye for story is. She is my company’s only developmental editor and I wouldn’t trust anyone else with my books.
Ric Beard, the United States [developmental editing]
I wholeheartedly recommend M.S. Wordsmith. It’s not just that Mariëlle provides good and efficient editing within the academic sphere. I find it particularly pleasant that she is respectful in regards to the texts, and the thoughts and desires of her customers. She’s able to be empathetic and deliver relevant critical comments at the same time.
Yolanda van Tilborgh, the Netherlands [academic editing]
I am also very much indebted to Mariëlle Smith, who edited the entire manuscript (except for this paragraph!) in the space of a few weeks. The quality of the English prose has been significantly enhanced through her meticulous work. Furthermore, as a native Dutch speaker, she found many great solutions for translations of my respondents’ often idiosyncratic phrasing.
Marcel van den Haak, the Netherlands, in the Acknowledgements section of his dissertation [academic editing]
What I love about working with Mariëlle on my project (a novel) is that she understands where you want to go with it. She has the ability to immerse herself in your work and treat it as she would her own work—with respect and enthusiasm—while she doesn’t shrink back to ask all the right questions and give clear and constructive feedback. She really joins you on your way to the final version that you envision for yourself.
Kathelijne Schoonackers, the Netherlands, [mentoring & developmental editing]
I worked with M.S. Wordsmith in 2015, when finishing my Master Thesis at the University of Utrecht. As English is not my native language, my supervisors recommended me to work with an editor in order to polish my language. Thanks to friends at the University, I got Mariëlle Smith’s contact details. Apart from her great feedback and constructive corrections during my final phase of thesis writing, I am extremely grateful for her positive, attentive attitude, which I urgently needed in this phase. Her feedback was direct, incredibly fast, and perfect at the same time. I particularly appreciated her attention to my mixture of German and English. Working with M.S. Wordsmith was different than working with other editors. Mariëlle gave me the impression that she cared about me, my work, and the authenticity of my language. Thank you!
Barbara Grabher, Germany [academic editing]
Mariëlle is very quick and accurate in checking academic work. Although she, at first, was only going to do a spelling check, Mariëlle also looked at the structure of my thesis and, where necessary, gave feedback on the content from a scientific perspective. When writing your own thesis, sooner or later you have to deal with the ‘tunnel vision’ syndrome. Mariëlle, from her own perspective, has provided a fresh look on my own written work. Her constructive criticism gave me new insights, and she always explained why her small improvements to my work were relevant and would add value. Mariëlle’s scientific insights and knowledge are a quality that helped me enormously to reach a good end result.
Jeroen Walraven, the Netherlands [academic editing]
Working with Mariëlle is like making your way along a path in the dark and suddenly being handed a light. Obstacles, road blocks, and pitfalls that were lying ahead and waiting to trip you up are illuminated. More importantly, all the possible ways to overcome them, as well as new and exciting paths you wouldn’t otherwise have seen also become visible. She doesn’t tell you what to write; she asks the right questions to get you to figure out what your story needs and how to go about it. She’s also helped me work out a writing schedule personally tailored to my needs and held me accountable—exactly what I needed. Working with Mariëlle motivates me and gets me excited to write.
Michelle Anne Laurie, United Kingdom [mentoring & developmental editing]
I write blogs for my own website and, at first, I had no idea how to put the information I had in my head on the page in a coherent way. Mariëlle really helped me with finding my own style, and structuring and putting together a story, whether it was personal or informative. In the meantime, I have started to write articles for magazines, so you could say I found my voice!
Denise de With, the Netherlands [critiquing]
Marielle worked fast and her language editing was thorough and careful. Her knowledge of my academic field (gender studies) was an added benefit, as she was able to spot the misspelling of an author’s name. I really appreciate that, next to correcting mistakes in the text itself, she provided an overview of repeated spelling mistakes and explained the rules behind them. This approach allows you to actually ‘learn from your mistakes’ and hopefully avoid them in the future.
Katrine Smiet, the Netherlands [academic language coaching]
Mariëlle Smith is an incredibly fine and clear translator. She reads up on the topic well, and is therefore greatly connected to the material. She tunes in to the author in a very considerate way. When she encounters something in the text that is not entirely clear, she will reach out via e-mail. In that, she is very concrete and elaborates on the different options for translation. As such, it is easy for the author to relate to the text and reach the correct translation. She works smoothly and accurately and is not afraid to be corrected. She is great in thinking along, and come up with new, inspiring suggestions in the event of alterations. Her use of language is beautiful. Very well recommended!
Frouk Riemersma, the Netherlands [translating]