poet, editor, teacher

About Me

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Originally from New York City, Emma Winsor Wood holds a BA from Harvard in Russian History & Literature and an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she taught literature and poetry writing. Her poetry has received fellowships from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the Napa Valley Writers' Conference, in addition to appearing in journals such as The Seattle Review, DIAGRAM, The Colorado Review, and The Journal.

Her first book, A Failed Performance: Selected Plays and Sketches of Daniil Kharms, a collaborative translation with the poet C Dylan Bassett, is forthcoming from Plays Inverse in 2018. 

She currently lives in Santa Cruz, CA, where she works as an editor for Stone Soup and as an interviews editor for The Rumpus. She also teaches writing to undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz and San Jose State University. 





  • Powerlifter: In a culture that prizes female beauty over all else, telling women that they will be ugly, freakish, and/or undesirable if they look too athletic is a highly effective, and entirely legal, way to keep them out of the weight room and on the elliptical.
  • All Happy Couples are Alike: "I'm sorry," he said. "We would've had beautiful children."
  • The Works and Days of Elena ShvartsThough Shvarts still stands in my mind on a pedestal hewn with the word POET—not PERSON, not WOMAN, not SOMEONE I COULD HAVE MET AT A COCKTAIL PARTY—I’m generally pleased with my progress.
  • Start of Darkness: In the summer of 2010, I traveled to Russia to volunteer at the Kitezh-Orion Children’s Community. Three weeks after arriving, I lost half of the vision in my left eye. 


As a contributor, and now editor, for the Rumpus interviews section, I have interviewed a number of writers, including Mary Karr, Robyn Schiff, Terese Svoboda, and Amy Fusselman. You can find them all here

I have also been the subject of a few interviews, listed below: 

  • Interview with Joseph Dobrian, "Interesting People"
  • Interview with The Collagist 
  • Interview with New Delta Reivew





2016   MFA (Poetry), University of Iowa, Iowa Writers’ Workshop

2012   BA in Russian History and Literature, Harvard University, Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude

Senior Honors Thesis: “Fleeing the Poetic Convent: Elena Shvarts’s ‘Works and Days’ and Problems of Female Authorship in the Late-Soviet Literary Underground”


2016-2017         University of California Santa Cruz, College 9 Core Instructor

                            Class sizes: 24 (Fall 2016), 24 (Fall 2016)

2015-2016          University of Iowa, Instructor of Poetry Writing

                            Class sizes: 13 (Fall 2015) and 17 (Spring 2016)

2014-2015          University of Iowa, Instructor of Literature

     Class sizes: 20 (Fall 2014), 23 (Spring 2015), and 21 (Spring 2015)


2016-present    Tutor at UCSC’s Westside Writing Center

2016-present    Essay Consultant for LaMeire College Consulting and Brittany Maschal Consulting

2016-present    The Rumpus, Deputy Interviews Editor

2014-2016        The Morning News, Contributing Editor and Art Editor

2015-2016         SparkNotes, Contributing Writer to the SparkLife blog

2012-2014         Aram Fox, Inc., Literary Scout

2010-2012         Harvard University, Research Assistant for Kevin Birmingham’s national bestseller,                                           A Most Dangerous Book 

HONORS AND AWARDS                                                                                                  

2016   Awarded the post-graduate Pflughaupt Prize on the strength of my poetry manuscript

2016   Selected from a competitive pool of Iowa poets to attend the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference on the                Jack Leggett Scholarship

2015   Recipient of a Teaching-Writing Fellowship, in recognition of demonstrated excellence in poetry writing

2012    Awarded the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize, given to the best senior theses across majors, and the                 Oliver-Dabney Senior Prize for a senior thesis of high distinction within my major

2011    Harvard College Research Project Grant for thesis research in St. Petersburg, Russia



Forthcoming book: A Failed Performance: Selected Plays of Daniil Kharms. Plays Inverse. Winter 2018. Translating with C. Dylan Bassett.


2016    Pioneer Book, Provo, UT

2016    Mission Creek Festival Lit Crawl, Iowa City, IA

2015    Anthology Reading Series, Iowa City, IA

2014    Quiet Lightning, San Francisco, CA

2014    MFA Mixer, San Francisco, CA


French (5 years)

Russian (4 years, intensive)

Latin (3 years)

Ancient Greek (2 years)


Extensive experience with social media (Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram), Microsoft Office, Pages, Wordpress, Submittable, Google Drive, Dropbox, copy editing, fact-checking, archival and internet research, and office administration. Clear and frequent communicator. Very prompt with email.


Vegetarian, loves dogs and Twitter, runs marathons, lifts weights, listens to a lot of podcasts. Favorite TV shows include BuffyBojackThe Office, and Twin Peaks.

Editing Services

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A part-time editor for online publications such as The Rumpus and The Morning News and a consultant for high school students working on their college essays, my services include developmental editing, line editing, copy editing, and proofreading for literary fiction manuscripts, poetry and essay collections, memoir, scholarly work (dissertations, theses, book projects), as well as application and fellowship essays. 

A graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, I currently work as a writing tutor at UCSC. Having worked in NYC publishing for two years, and having been a poet among poets while at Iowa, I also have a strong understanding of both the mainstream and small-press publishing scenes. 

But don't just take my word for it! Here's what former clients had to say:  

Emma Winsor Wood’s extensive training as a literary editor and poet is clear in her manuscript consultations. Not only does she help to shape the thematic and narrative movement in your manuscript, but she also attends to the sentence-level mechanics of language and style. With vivid, clear feedback and solid grounding in a variety of literature and texts, she is an excellent reader who works with you to identify and develop your project’s unique vision.

—Courtney Kersten, author of Daughter in Retrograde: A Memoir (forthcoming from the University of Wisconsin Press)


Emma accepted my emergency request for proofreading help, delivered right on time, and saved me from some deeply regrettable errors.  She is a pleasure to work with, and I warmly recommend her.

David B. Morris, University of Virginia, author, Eros and Illness (Harvard University Press, 2017) 


Emma gave me invaluable help in preparing my novel, Goat Girl, for an agent search. She straightened out punctuation with dialogue, suggested section breaks to improve the novel's flow, and offered strategies for character development. Emma was efficient and professional with her time, making the experience affordable and worthwhile. 

Melinda Weinstein, Associate Professor, English, Lawrence Technological University


College Consulting

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This past fall, I began working as a college essay consultant for LaMeire College Consulting and Brittany Maschal Consulting, helping students develop, revise, and finalize their college application essays. As an experienced editor and writing teacher who has also informally coached and edited a handful of friends through their college and graduate school applications (and gone through the process with graduate school recently myself!), I am thrilled to begin offering my own services for college admissions counseling, transfer applications, and graduate counseling.

As your counselor, I will work in conjunction with Brittany Maschal, a seasoned college consultant who has worked in admissions at a number of universities, including Princeton, UPenn, and Johns Hopkins, in order to provide you with the expertise and attention individuals need during this often-trying process. 



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Cheers! You've finally completed your manuscript. You've celebrated (as you should) and maybe rested on your laurels for a bit (as you should). Or maybe you finished your book awhile ago and have struggled to place it. So now you want to know...

What happens next?

  • Have you tried to ignore a major plot hole? 
  • Are your transitions shaky or abrupt?
  • Is your dialogue awkward and unrealistic?
  • Do you have way too many poems to fit into a single book?
  • Are you lacking a clear narrative arc?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it doesn't mean your book is destined for the desk drawer. You've written the book—that's the hard part! 

Now let me, an experienced editor, help you polish and finalize your book. 

If you still aren't convinced, remember you only have one chance to introduce your manuscript to the agent or publisher of your dreams...

Are you sure your book is the best it can be? 

You need an impartial reader with years of experience reading and critiquing professional-level work to answer your questions, to ensure you're putting your best foot forward.

This is where I come in.

Here are the details: 

Manuscript Critique: For a comprehensive review of your manuscript on a structural level and a 60-minute Skype or phone conversation:

  • $250 for up to 50,000 words
  • $350 for up to 100,000 words
  • $500 for 100,000+

[$50/hour for additional time. Feedback can also be conducted via email if you prefer.]

Timeline*: 2-3 weeks

Comprehensive Edit: For a marked-up, chapter-by-chapter, page-by-page, phrase-by-phrase, word-by-word edit of your manuscript. This package includes written feedback on the structure of your manuscript as well as marginal comments and line edits:

  •  $100 base price + .03 cents per word

Timeline: 5-6 weeks

Copyedit: For a polished manuscript that only needs to be checked for errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting: 

  • $50 base price + .02 cents per word

Timeline: 3-4 weeks

Application Essays: For a package that includes structural feedback, a line edit, and a follow-up copyedit, once changes have been, on any graduate school, job, internship, fellowship, or college application essays: 

  • $50 base price + .04 cents per word

​Timeline: 1 week

[$50 extra for service within 24 hours of delivery]

*Timelines may vary based on availability and manuscript length. 

Contact Me


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