I offer fast, meticulous developmental and line editing for individuals and creative organizations. My work is based on 20-plus years as an on-staff editor at major publications, with proven results in both fiction and nonfiction. I have also taught creative writing at the MFA level and have published five books—I really “get” writers and know how to help them up their game. I edit full-length books as well as individual short stories and essays.

Recent clients have received big-press and small-press contracts, have recieved major media attention, and have won literary awards. For rates and further information please use the form on my contact page.

I periodically teach creative writing through the Center for Fiction in New York. In addition, I have taught at Summer Literary Seminars in Tblisi, St. Petersburg, Vilnius, Lithuania, and Montreal; and as an adjunct in the MFA Program at Columbia University. 

In addition, I teach yoga with creative writing in a workshop/retreat setting. My  200-hour Yoga Alliance certification and 50-hour training in yoga nidra is from the Bhakti Center in New York.

2018-2019 Teaching

Ocean State Writer’s Conference, the University of Rhode Island, October 25-27

Columbia University, Short Form Prose, Spring semester

The Center for Fiction, 6-week class, March 19-April 30. Register here.

Trinity College, reading and discussion, March 14

Westport Lighthouse Writers Retreat, Zen & Ink, Pacific Post, Washington State May 16-19

The New School, Summer Writers Colony speaker, June 12

Wildacres Writers Retreat , Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, July 6-12

Summer Literary Seminars, Tblisi, Georgia, July 15-28


Not just a fabulous writer, Dawn Raffel is also an incisive, thoughtful, and passionate editor with a long track record of taking books and writers to the next level. Dzanc Books has turned to her time and time again to help guide projects from conception to completion and will continue to do so for a long time to come.
— Guy Intoci, Former Editor-in-Chief, Dzanc Books
Dawn Raffel is one of the industry’s very finest. An extraordinary writer herself, she cares deeply as well about the work of others. Asking the right questions, weighing the consequences, Dawn brings both integrity and compassion to her editing. I worked with Dawn on my Shebooks memoir, “Nest. Flight. Sky.” She invited me to write it. She waited while I did. She cared. That book exists because of Dawn.
— Beth Kephart
Dawn Raffel is simply the best. Her edits make perfect sense and she really goes the extra mile to understand what it is you are trying to do, and how she can point the way forward toward your own chosen direction. Her advice has made all the difference for me.
— Diane DeSanders
Dawn Raffel is hands-down the smartest and most creative magazine editor I’ve worked with. I’ve written for her for about 20 years at places including Redbook, Oprah, Readers Digest, and Shebooks, and would follow her anywhere.
— Marion Winik
“Dawn Raffel’s brilliance is unique. I strongly recommend her workshops for the opportunity to encounter her original, elegant, insightful and astounding aesthetic IQ, which is within one of the most tactful and generous of spirits.”
— Sari Friedman
Dawn Raffel’s editing class was an immense help in shaping the first chapter of my novel. Her astute edits clarified the ideas I was attempting to express and aided me in revealing the essence of my story as quickly as possible. Dawn has tons of experience and knowledge, sees clearly what you’re trying to do, and helps you get there in the best possible manner. She engages everyone in the class, gets to the point, and has practical, sensible advice. Dawn not only made my writing better, but gave me a dose of confidence to keep going. Take her class!
—Mauro M.