Sylvia’s going on maternity leave!

Hello friends,

It’s been ages since we posted an update―mostly because Sarah and I have been busy, busy, busy. One of the things I’ve been busy with on top of my editing projects is baking a baby! Well, not actually baking one, but you know what I mean. I’m due August 26, but will be taking some time off before then to get things in order and to make sure I don’t leave any clients in the lurch in case the wee man decides to show up early.

What does this mean for my availability? I’ll be packing up shop around July 26, and then will be on leave until around mid-October, most likely. You can still email me during this time―I just probably won’t be able to get back to you very promptly. That said:

  • If you would like to book a small project between now and late July, please do reach out to me ASAP and I’ll see what I can do.
  • If you would like to look into booking something for this fall when I come back to work (with a tiny editorial assistant by my side), I would love to make that happen. Just drop me a line through the Contact page or directly at

Thanks, and I hope everyone’s having a great summer so far!

―Sylvia Cottrell

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NaNoWriMo Discounts: 10% Off Developmental Edits, $50 Off Manuscript Reviews

Hello friends,

As November comes to a close (Two more days? How did that happen?), hopefully you’ve got a nice Word or Scrivener file of 50,000 words or more sitting on your laptop, just itching to show itself off to the world.

That’s right: NaNoWriMo’s almost over, and we’re offering a couple of deals to help you hit the ground running on your novel’s next step: revision and editing.

Copyright © 1999 – 2016 National Novel Writing Month

If you’re interested in having Sylvia or Sarah review your manuscript and give you some helpful pointers on areas for improvement now that you’ve banged out your first draft (or second, or third, or eleventh), we’re taking $50 off all manuscript reviews for the month of December. If you’re ready for a developmental edit, we’re taking 10% off all developmental projects with start dates falling between December 1, 2016 through January 30, 2017. We’ll be booking on a first-come-first-served basis, so if you’re interested, please reach out to us ASAP as we booked up for the season fairly quickly last year.

Not sure what your manuscript needs? Don’t sweat it. Send us an email with any questions. We’d love to hear about your book!

Congratulations to those who’ve reached their 50K or more, and good luck to everyone still sprinting towards the finish line,

Sylvia + Sarah

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The Infinite Monkey Book Club Podcast

Hello, friends!

I recently joined a podcast with a couple of friends called The Infinite Monkey Book Club.

If you’re into sci-fi media, sociopolitical commentary, interviews with awesome authors, monkeys, and general shenanigans, we may be the podcast for you.

In episode 1, we discuss the 1949 post-apocalyptic novel Earth Abides as well as 2014 Philip K. Dick Award winner The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, and then Midwife author Meg Elison herself comes on for a chat a bit later in the episode (and she’s fantastic).

Please note: This episode is not for kids as it contains adult content, and we do discuss the topics of sexual violence and slavery in the context of Meg Elison’s book, which focuses largely on gender, sexuality, and reproductive rights in the context of the apocalypse.

You can find Episode 1 here.
Happy listening!
Sylvia C.
PS: If you’re curious about where we got “Infinite Monkey,” check this out.
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Post-NaNoWriMo Event: Come Talk Shop with Sylvia December 12th!

Hi friends, Sylvia here.

Life and work have been busy for both of us these last few months. Sarah has moved back to Portland with her husband and kitty, and I’ve relocated to the quaint little Northern California town of Calistoga, where I’ve been (with my husband-and-kitty unit, as well) since July. Things have been so packed, in fact, that we almost missed out on all the delightful NaNoWriMo madness this year!


On Saturday, December 12th, I’ll be hanging out all afternoon at the Calistoga Library’s temporary Calistoga Fairgrounds location in the beautiful Napa Valley talking post-NaNo shop with anyone who would care to join me.


Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

Did you hit your 50K and are wondering where to go from here? Did you not hit your 50K and are wondering the same thing? Do you just want to pick a professional editor’s brain for a bit? Come say hi and pick away! I’ll be there from 2:30 to 5:30 PM.

Location details:

Napa County Fairgrounds, Garden Room, 1435 North Oak St.
Calistoga, CA 94515



Also, since I imagine making the drive to Calistoga isn’t exactly feasible for any non-locals interested in participating, I’ll also be on Skype from 12 to 6 PM on the 12th if you’d like to drop me a line online instead (search for and I should pop up).

Hope to see some of you on the 12th, either online or in person!


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The Rules for the Short Story Contest Have Been Posted!

Calling all sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk, and paranormal romance short stories!

As promised, the rules for Ex Libris Editing’s First Annual Sci-Fi and Fantasy Short Story Contest have been posted and can be found on the Short Story Contest page. Please check there for contest particulars, including story and submission guidelines, the fee, dates, eligibility, and (most importantly) prizes! Submissions open May 1st, so start digging through those old notebooks and computer files for your most original and creative short story, and get ready to send it in.

This contest has been in the backs of our minds for a long time, and we’re very excited that it is becoming a reality. But, more than that, we’re looking forward to reading all of your entries!

Happy writing,

Sarah & Sylvia

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Ex Libris Editing’s First Annual Short Story Contest Is Coming Soon!

Ex Libris Editing Short Story Contest Teaser Flyer

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Hello to 2015 and Happy Third Anniversary!

The new year is always looked upon as a celebration of fresh starts, new adventures, and previously untouched opportunities. As part of this, it’s the perfect time to begin working towards a new goal. I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly picked out a few resolutions for 2015 (*cough* finish my novel) that I’m going to work my hardest to achieve.

Trying to anticipate everything that will happen in the new year would be impossible, but we know for sure that it will be filled with new projects, new relationships, and new learning experiences. We also plan to have our second intern ever next fall (so be on the lookout Oolies!) and anticipate utilizing the talents of our very capable subcontractors. All in all, it’s going to be a great year.

But, in addition to looking forward to things to come, we at Ex Libris would also like to take a moment to look back, in no small part because January 1, 2015 marked our third anniversary as a company. How awesome is that?

It hasn’t always been the easiest road, and our schedules have often been under- or over-booked, but ultimately, being part of Ex Libris has been amazing. I don’t think either of us would give it up willingly (I mean, where else can you work in your pjs all day?), and we have you all to thank for that.

So, without getting too sappy (or too long-winded), we just wanted to give all of our amazing clients and friends a shout out and say thank you for your continued support. We would never have made it this far without you.

Wishing you all a wonderful, writing-filled 2015!

– Sarah

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