Mark Lawley headshot bw round.jpg

Mark Lawley


Mark Lawley's fiction has been recognized by PLOUGHSHARES, ZOETROPE: ALL-STORY, GLIMMER TRAIN, SHENANDOAH, NIMROD, AZURE, and the SOUTHWEST REVIEW, and he has won awards from Dartmouth College and fellowships from New York University and the Summer Literary Seminars.

In addition to his love of fiction, he brings five years of professional resume, essay, and dissertation editing services to Yellow Bird. He received his BA in music and creative writing from Dartmouth College and his MFA in fiction from NYU, where he coordinated the poetry program at Goldwater Hospital and taught fiction and poetry to undergraduates.


  • Short stories
  • Academic papers
  • Application essays & cover letters
  • Literary & commercial fiction in a variety of genres including: historical fiction; science fiction; fantasy; women's fiction
  • General nonfiction including: memoirs; self help; business writing
  • Poetry


  • Manuscript critiques; developmental editing; content editing; writing coaching for adults, kids, and teens

“Mark is one of those extraordinary humans who is gifted in a variety of domains. He is an artist, a published author, a computer coder, and an entrepreneur, among other things.  With this diverse background, Mark can help you arrive at a final product that will be accessible to a wide audience. I have a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Psychology. I think my work is fascinating; however, it would seem that others might disagree. I asked Mark for help and I could not have had a better experience. I recommend Mark not just because he is an intellectual, but because he is interested. He was engaging and intellectually curious in a way that reminded me of why I love what I do, and he will do the same for you.”

–Tammi Walker, JD, PhD. Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law

“I worked with Mark to create math mock exams for an educational publisher, and I really couldn't ask for a better collaborator and co-author! Mark is a bona fide genius with a deep imagination that allows him to come up with inventive ideas and examples – but he still manages to break difficult concepts down so that anyone can understand them.”

Jennifer Dziura, Author and entrepreneur, GET BULLISH (


Part of what makes Mark such an intelligent editor is that he is a prolific reader—he is instantly able to call to mind novels that mirror the plot structure, lyrical style, or theme relevant to the advice he gives. His edits are buttressed by an extensive knowledge of literary theory. He was able to imagine several ways my novel could play out and then—as a final step—suggest edits that were not derivative of any of these prior novels, but that encouraged the innovation he could see I was attempting. Mark helped me cohere extremely disparate parts (flashbacks, multiple perspectives, multiple settings) of my 500-page literary fiction manuscript; he has an excellent knack for discerning subtle distinctions between the main plot and subplots, thereby restoring balance to even the most unwieldy of works. Mark was simultaneously rigorous with his edits and gentle in his attitude toward maintaining the integrity of the manuscript. He presented both his verbal and his written comments in a detailed, organized, and eloquent fashion, which proved to be of immeasurable worth as I sat down to revise my novel.

 -Sakina Fakhri, Editor of Azure

I could sing your praises all day! I've had a very successful application cycle (offered 14 interviews, of which I attended 9, and am holding 5 acceptances so far), and I most definitely owe part of my success to your awesome editing skills. It would mean a lot to me to contribute and let the world know how great you are!

Hannah Grierson, entering medical school