Dina L. Relles

writer. editor. curious + common.

Not accepting new clients at this time.


I am a lawyer, writer, and editor with a B.A. in Philosophy from Brown University and a J.D. from Fordham Law. I have an extensive background editing both fiction and nonfiction work of any length or form—from college essays and resumes to flash prose to full-length manuscripts. My editorial bylines include The New York Times, Salon, Wall Street Journal, The Cut, LitHub, decomP, Atticus Review, Pidgeonholes, and matchbook, among others, and my own work has been widely published, both online and in print (bylines here). With editorial experience at four nationally renowned literary journals—and currently as the Nonfiction Editor for Pidgeonholes—I also offer a nuanced command of the submissions market and literary landscape.


I have a profound love of language at the granular level, and working with writers to elevate their pieces in progress is a true passion. I become invested in work as if it were my own and enjoy little more than being let in at the early stages, engaging with raw words, readying them for release into the world. I would be thrilled to apply a keen eye and creative mind to your project, while facilitating a collaborative process that preserves your voice and vision.


Click here to contact me and get started. Areas of focus, quotes, and turnaround time can be customized according to project scope, availability, and client need, based on our initial conversation.


Shorter Work

I will provide (1) an intensive line edit, (2) feedback on the story as a whole, and (3) targeted submission suggestions.

Flash Prose (Fiction or NF) / Prose Poetry (up to 1,000 words): $50

Personal Essay or Short Story (up to 2,500 words): $100

Longform Pieces (2,500-5,000 words): $150

An additional complete review of a revised draft is available for a customized fee.

Full-length Manuscript

Developmental Edit: Feedback on the work as a whole—structure, plot, character development, story cohesion—to offer a critical perspective, analyze the elements that are working, and identify any opportunities for clarification or improvement, complete with specific textual references and ideas for next steps.
Cost: $.01/word

Copy Edit: A detailed line edit to identify typos, grammatical errors, passive voice, extraneous verbiage and optimum phrasing, while strengthening the story at the sentence level.
Cost: $.01/word

Combined Developmental & Copy Edit (recommended): You will receive feedback in narrative form that includes an overview of what’s working and suggestions for improvement, as well as textual line edits and comments incorporated throughout a live Google document.
Cost: $.03/word

A sample edit is available to determine if I’m the right editor for you. Cost: 5 pages for $25 (applied to total fee if retained) with no commitment.


Dina is an editorial wizard. Her ability to think big picture about the overall essay and its heart as well as remaining attuned to the details of each sentence is quite remarkable. She reveals such grace and gorgeous insight as she works with words. I am incredibly grateful for my work with Dina, as she helped elevate my piece to a place of exceptional cogency while maintaining lyricism and beauty. I look forward to working with Dina again—her professionalism is unparalleled. She is incredibly dedicated, astute, and whip smart.

Jessica Zucker, PhD

Dina dove into my manuscript and found the cracks and helped me fill them in; she saw what was good and helped make it better; she carefully, skillfully, artfully moved through the text and gave the most thoughtful consideration, the most elegant edits I’ve ever seen. Working with Dina has made me a better writer. She could see my vision and help me get there more clearly. She is so in love with the written word, with storytelling, that it was like talking to an old friend, sitting around a campfire, figuring out the nuts and bolts of how to make it all sing the way it was meant to. I cannot recommend working with Dina enough. It will, without question, better you.

Robert James Russell, editor of Midwestern Gothic and CHEAP POP and author of Mesilla and Sea of Trees

Dina is one of my absolute favourite editors to work with. Her incisiveness, thoroughness, attention to detail, and instinct for written excellence is unparalleled. I cannot recommend her highly enough.

Lauren Apfel, co-founder and executive editor of Motherwell

The best thing I have done for my book is send it to Dina. She is an incredibly warm, generous reader with a sharp critical eye—a dream combination! She has a real knack for getting at the heart of a problem and articulating why it is a weak point. This may sound simple. It’s not. She hit on issues in my manuscript that I’d been struggling with for years, and she succinctly summed up those problems and offered practical, approachable editorial suggestions rooted in the goals I had for my book.

Dina has given me the greatest gift: feedback that makes me excited to get to work. To say I would not hesitate to use her services again isn’t strong enough. Not only did I find renewed motivation for my current manuscript, but I feel even more excited about my next project because I know I have a trusted reader to share it with when it’s complete.

Amy Rossi, managing editor of Split Lip Magazine

Just want to tip my hat in Dina’s direction after implementing all those brilliant line edits. A few of them were on lines I had rewritten a dozen times and still weren’t working. Her suggestions were perfect fixes. I can’t thank Dina enough for her feedback. All of her comments are so thoughtful. I couldn’t be more grateful or glad to have reached out to her. Dina’s email has been the highlight of my week so far.

James Tate Hill, editor of Monkeybicycle and author of Academy Gothic

Dina’s editing is a rare combination of heart and logic; her eye for sentence details makes any project stronger, without sacrificing a writer’s emotional goals or personal traits.

James Yates, contributing editor at Longform Fiction

I am in absolute heaven with Dina’s revisions and suggestions. Her notes are so incredibly helpful and are pushing this piece into clarity—a lot of my recent essays have been very abstract and her suggestions really helped me find the places where the reader needs grounding.

Dina is such a good editor. Her suggestions are spot-on and it is the difference between having an essay reviewed by someone studying creative nonfiction and someone writing creative nonfiction—she is the latter. The best writers really do make the best editors because it’s that practice in your own work that helps you see missing elements or unfleshed elements in others.

Kristine Langley Mahler, asst. nonfiction editor at Pithead Chapel

Dina gave me the most thoughtful and wonderful edits that took my story to the next level, and she was amazing to work with.

Madeline Anthes, acquisitions editor at Hypertrophic Press

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