Academic editing
for the humanities


Editing is the shaping and re-shaping of an author's voice, so that both author and audience will recognize themselves in what they read. It is one of the many stages between idea and publication, thought and print – in essence, a kind of translation.


Azarel Press is dedicated to academic editing in the best sense of the word: as an active process between editor and writer that brings out – in a highly readable narrative form – the scholarship that you dedicated months or years of your life to. It illuminates and clarifies the invisible process of language revision by actively engaging with text and author, turning your manuscript into a story that audiences in and outside of academia will be compelled to read.




Research in the humanities is about human stories. Often we are propelled by the question of what these stories mean for our own lifetime. I have always felt there is a reason we delve into a subject for years on end, without necessarily finding an audience or knowing where it is going. As an author and scholar, you create the narrative you set out to write; or an entirely different one – which happens a lot.


We can discuss the directions you would like your book to take. In general there are three levels at which we can engage with your text:

When your manuscript is complete and in good shape, but needs polishing. Grammar, punctuation, consistency, and adjustment to a publisher’s style guide are the main issues here.

Stylistic editing
When your manuscript is well under way but needs assistance in the clarification of structure and argument. In this case I will look at ways to formulate the main thesis, develop the argument and language, and clarify the author’s voice.

Developmental editing
When you are working on your manuscript and would like thorough conceptual input about its direction. In this case, editing will address questions about structure, organization, and conceptualization of the main story.

* If you would like a sense of my editing style before committing to a project, you are welcome to send me a brief excerpt to proof-edit. We will discuss your work and expectations in detail before we set to work.




I have over ten years of experience with editing in the humanities. In my capacity as senior editor at the European Review of History, I have edited hundreds of articles and special issues. As an independent editor, I have edited book manuscripts for Central European University Press, Palgrave Macmillan, Brill, Peter Lang, the Litmann Library of Jewish Civilization, the History Department of Central European University, and Amsterdam University Press.


My expertise covers the following subject areas within the humanities:

- Modern history
- European history
- Jewish Studies
- Literary Studies
- Gender Studies
- East Central European history
- Cold War Studies
- Intellectual history
- Holocaust Studies
- Conceptual history
- Hungarian Studies
- Transnational history
- Migration Studies
- Histories of Violence
- Cultural Studies

And the following languages:

- Dutch
- English
- Norwegian
- Hungarian
- Hebrew
- French
- German
- Italian

While I edit in English and Dutch, I read, translate, and correct the other languages, too. Besides book manuscripts and articles, I am open to editing other academic texts – fellowship proposals, conference reports, Curriculum Vitae – or creative non-fiction. Get in touch with your specific query and we will discuss the options.




Editing is a little like sculpting: you need to pay close attention to the individual components of the text (words) as well as the general outline (story and structure).

The costs of editing depend on a number of things:

- What kind of editing would you like to have done? 
- What is the length (word count) of your text?
- What is the time frame for your project?
- And of course: what is your budget?

I understand that budgets can vary, and therefore we can discuss the options that would work for your particular project. We can agree on an hourly rate or start with a lump sum and take it from there.

"We have been working with llse for five years. She is extremely detail-oriented, has a strong skill-set in writing and editing, and takes every project she is given to the next level. She does much more than just revise the text: in her very non-intrusive but thought-provoking way, she helps the authors to discover what they really wanted to say. She is knowledgeable and erudite with a wide area of expertise. What is really unique about her is her compassion towards each and every project. All the authors she has worked with were praising her wonderful editing work and thanking her for making their text more lucid and accessible for the readers. Another quality I admire is her extreme timeliness: she has never missed a deadline."

Krisztina Kós, Director of Central European University Press (Budapest, Hungary)

"Ilse did a beautiful job editing my monograph Written Here, Published There: How Underground Literature Crossed The Iron Curtain for Central European University Press. She helped me adapt the language to the publisher's requirements and make it more reader-friendly. Ilse was very inspiring with her feedback to the text and the major arguments. Her feedback went far beyond the standards of a simple copy-editor. She was absolutely responsible with keeping the time-line, responding to emails and securing a smooth communication between the press and me as an author. I can highly recommend her services to other interested authors, especially to those with a special focus on the history of Central and Eastern Europe."

Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovács, Assistant Professor of Southeast- and East European History (Regensburg University, Germany)