Merrill Perlman

Independent writing and editing consultant


Merrill Perlman spent 25 years at The New York Times in jobs ranging from copy editor to director of copy desks, in charge of all 150-plus copy editors at The Times. (Both titles are, sadly, now extinct at The Times.) Now, she coaches writers and editors in self-editing, grammar, language and clarity, where her clients have included the Poynter Institute, Weather Channel, FoxNews, communications companies, corporations, law firms and foundations. She’s a freelance editor who has worked for such places as ProPublica, Rosetta Books and Amazon Kindle Singles: She has edited include Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporters, Erica Jong, Sloane Crossley, Mara Altman, The Onion, Stephen King, Eliot Spitzer, Jamie Merisotis, John Sculley and Kurt Vonnegut (posthumously, for him). She’s on the board of the Education Fund of ACES: The Society for Editing, was a longtime member of the ACES parent board, and was twice on the board of Journalism and Women Symposium.

Merrill is a recipient of the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism and the Charles R. O’Malley Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, among other awards.

Before going to The Times, Merrill was a copy editor and assistant business editor at The Des Moines Register. Before that, she was a reporter and copy editor at The Southern Illinoisan newspaper in Carbondale. She’s a volunteer tour guide and greeter in Central Park in New York, where she lives.