Developmental assistance helps you organize and refine your ideas before you start writing or when you are early in your writing process. It’s designed to save you time down the road. We can work together to conceptualize your project, develop and refine an outline, organize your manuscript, and prioritize your efforts. I can also offer feedback on an early draft, helping you shape your final manuscript.

With developmental assistance, you get an interested generalist who asks insightful questions. We’ll break your project down into a series of smaller sub-projects, removing the stress of a last-minute rush to meet your deadline. I offer developmental editing for two types of projects: books and grant proposals.

Book editing:

  • Overall assessment of your book’s strengths, weaknesses, and style
  • Chapter-level assessment of cohesion, flow, narrative arc, logic, argument
  • Eliminate redundancies, flag paragraphs with too much detail or insufficient data, improve transitions, reorganize sections, identify gaps

Grant editing and consultation:

Because I am both a grant writer and an academic editor, I bring two sets of perspectives to bear on your proposal.

  • Feedback that organizes, develops, and refines your aims
  • Thoughtful queries to help you articulate everything you already know, but have difficulty expressing because you are too close to the material
  • Targeted edits that amplify your grant’s impact, funder fit, and research significance
  • Careful attention to detail to ensure cohesion in all parts of your grant


I have a Master’s of Science from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Chinese Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. I have written successful grants for health clinics and public health organizations. I have also provided developmental assistance on dozens of articles and books. No matter where you are in your writing process, get in touch for a consultation.


Jessica has been the perfect editor to support me as I convert my dissertation into a book readable by a wide range of audiences. She is deftly capable of editing both chapters-long narrative arcs and telling me when and how to use commas, dashes, and semicolons. Like any newly-minted PhD, I was intimidated by a writing process that was more engaged that anything I had done. But Jessica’s ability to envision a final product in a way that I, as a young author, could not, greatly increased my confidence as a writer.

While I wanted the book to advance discussions on immigration policy and health, I also wanted it to be narratively engaging, character driven, and, like the topic itself, emotional, human, real. Jessica understands the value of stories, even in theoretical health writing.

In short, I could not recommend Jessica Yen highly enough to any author desiring professionalism, vision, a careful editorial eye, and a deep understanding of health theory. Thanks Jessica!

-William Lopez, public health scholar