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 literary and mass-market 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, and have won literary awards.

I'm a "stay in touch editor" and, whenever possible, help my clients find agents and publishers. For rates and testimonials contact dawnraffel@gmail.com or use the form on my contact page.

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

I recently completed my  200-hour yoga certification at the Bhakti Center in New York and am in the process of creating a program that will combine creative writing and yoga in a practice that is precise, sustainable, embodied,  challenging, and  meaningful.

2018-2019 Teaching

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

The Center for Fiction, 6-week class, March 19-April 23 (details to come)

Trinity College, reading and discussion, March 14

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

Wildacres Writers Retreat , Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, July 6-12 (details to come)

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, 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.