Seeking Academic Developmental Editors - Glass coffee table with open laptop

Academic developmental editors

Ideas on Fire is looking to add more freelance academic developmental editors to our editing team.

We are looking for social justice-oriented editors with 2+ years professional experience developmentally editing academic books, journal articles, and book chapters in the following interdisciplinary academic fields: cultural studies, queer studies, film/media studies, transgender studies, women’s studies, ethnic studies, performance/dance studies, communication studies, disability studies, and related fields (see our portfolio for the types of projects we work on).

Our developmental editors are responsible for ensuring manuscripts have strong and well-proven arguments and sub-claims relevant to the authors’ academic fields, a clear and logical structure/flow that supports those arguments, strong topic sentences, the right amount and type of engagement with scholarly sources and debates, and consistent authorial tone.

Further, our developmental editors ensure manuscripts fit well with US academic publishers’ lists and audiences as well as advise clients on changes they can make to their manuscripts to best fit existing and emerging scholarly, artistic, and activist conversations in their fields.

Minimum requirements

  • You are committed to interdisciplinary, social justice-oriented work and want to help our clients create awesome feminist, queer, racial justice, disability justice, and economic justice projects.
  • You have a minimum of 2 years of professional experience developmentally editing academic books, journal articles, and book chapters in the interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences—see above for our specific fields. You may run your own editing company, be a freelancer working directly with authors or publishers, or have worked in-house at an academic press.
  • You have a deep familiarity with the US academic hiring and tenure process as well as how it shapes and is shaped by academic publishing.
  • You follow US interdisciplinary academic publishers in the fields listed above and are able to advise authors on those publishers’ lists, trends, and acquisition processes.
  • You keep up with and are able to advise our clients on the current texts, debates, and methodologies of the interdisciplinary humanities and social science fields listed above.
  • You are comfortable working on multiple concurrent projects in a fast-paced work environment.
  • You are professional, organized, and thorough. You always meet deadlines.
  • You love getting detailed feedback on your work and are eager to make adjustments based on that feedback.
  • You have fantastic US English writing and oral communication skills.
  • You are deeply familiar with and keep up with the regular changes to 2 or more of the following academic style manuals: Chicago (author/bibliography and author/date), APA, MLA, Harvard
  • You work well independently, go out of your way to learn new tools and systems, research solutions when faced with unknowns, and structure your time, tools, and communication practices to ensure you do your best work.
  • You have your own computer, Microsoft Word 2010 or later, and regular and reliable internet access.
  • Bonus: If you are fluent in and can edit languages in addition to English, let us know! All of our client manuscripts are in English (US English primarily; Canadian, Australian, and British English occasionally), but sometimes client manuscripts contain other languages as well. If you’d also be able to edit those non-English sections, let us know.


  • Developmentally editing interdisciplinary academic books, book chapters, journal articles, and occasional dissertations (carefully adhering to academic integrity requirements).
  • For each manuscript, providing page-by-page in-text edits using Track Changes in Microsoft Word as well as a separate editorial report addressing the manuscript’s strengths and areas for improvement, big-picture revision suggestions, and chapter-specific or section-specific advice on strengthening the text.
  • Occasionally working with the other IoF editors on editing projects. Sometimes you’ll be the sole editor on a manuscript and sometimes you’ll be one of several editors providing different services on the same manuscript.
  • All editing work is carefully reviewed by the IoF CEO and if necessary, editors make adjustments before projects are returned to clients. At the beginning of each project, editors are provided with a thorough project brief to follow and at the end of each project, they are given feedback on their work as well as recommendations for future projects.


This is an independent contractor position and you can work remotely from wherever you are. IoF is a fully remote company with team members located across North America.


Microsoft Word 2010 or later, Adobe Reader or Preview, Slack, Asana, Google Drive.


Pay is per project and based on word count and turn-around time. You’ll know the full payment amount (as well as turn-around, word count, subject area, manuscript type, and other logistics) before you decide whether or not to take on a project.


See our privacy policy for details on how we protect data you submit through this form. If you have questions, you can email us at general [[at]] ideasonfire [[dot]] net