Common Questions

I'm a writer
I'm an editor

How do I know I'll get quality editors?

Penmob is founded on the notion that many opinions are better than just one or two. Other editing platforms are a black-box process: you email your manuscript, slap some cash on the figurative table, and in a week or two they send feedback.

Here, lots of editors contributing small amounts at a time means you're not locked in to any one kind of feedback.

Do I always have to pay for edits?

You may post one free draft at a time, to get your feet wet. However, editors will have a better chance of reading your draft if there's a monetary budget posted with it.

How do I post a draft?

Once you're ready for feedback from the community, you'll activate your draft. While activating, you will add a description detailing what sort of feedback you're looking for.

How do I post a budget?

When you activate a draft, you will be taken to a payment form. We process payments through Stripe, so it's secure and we never see your information.

We encourage you to pay a fair market rate for your budget. Depending on how much work your draft needs, that's anywhere between 3¢ and 6¢ per word.

Can I change the budget amount I posted?

You can't reduce the budget (editors are people too, after all) but you are free to boost the amount at any time. Boosting is a great way to get your draft in front of more editors.

How do I participate after posting?

When someone edits your draft, you will score their feedback. Score lower for less helpful edits, and higher for edits that are substantive. Then leave a comment to continue the conversation with that editor.

Are drafts public or private?

Your draft can only be read by other Penmob users, and only after you've activated it. Private, invite-only drafts are also an option.

I'm writing a book. Can I post the whole thing to Penmob?

Penmob is intended for shorter fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and blogs. So you are welcome to post one or two chapters at a time, although an entire book is too long for our format. That said, we're cooking up another project tailored toward matching up the best freelance editors with book-length writing. Drop us your email or send us a note — we'd love to hear from you and learn more about your needs.

What is an editor's process like?

Here's the cool part: the feed of live drafts comes to you, so you don't have the hassle of finding prospective clients.

There will be a short sample editing quiz first. We need to verify that you aren't a robot (or at least are a highly advanced one). As soon as we give feedback on your sample edits, you can pick from the feed of drafts that writers have posted.

Each writer posts directions along with their manuscript for guidance into what kind of feedback they are looking for. If other editors have already contributed, you can read their edits too. When you see something worth mentioning, highlight the text around it. A box will pop up in the sidebar where you can type out your thoughts.

How does payment work?

When the editing round ends on a draft, the points you received from your edits will be tallied up and taken as a percentage of the total number of points given out. That percentage is the cut of the writer's budget that you will get.

Say you received 24 points out of a total of 100 that the writer gave out for her short story, and that she posted a $200 budget. That means you'll be paid $48 for your editing work on that draft.

By spreading out across lots of drafts, you can "dip in and dip out", and focus on your strengths as an editor and not get locked into a single project.

Hang on, do you expect editors to work for scraps?

Definitely not. The goal of Penmob is to have a healthy exchange of ideas and conversations around pieces of writing, rather than to squeeze out the lowest price possible.

If a writer sets their price too low they should not expect editors to contribute much, and will be encouraged to increase their total budget.

Can I set a minimum payment amount?

For drafts that are open to the public, the amount you get paid is directly tied to the score you receive. More helpful and substantive edits are scored higher. Writers are encouraged to set their total budget between 3¢ and 6¢ per word, depending on how much editing work it needs.

On private drafts, you will set your own minimum price-per-word.

Note to editors: private drafts are our most-requested feature, and will be implemented shortly after Penmob's public launch. To be one of the first Penmob editors and get priority access to invitations, shoot an email to

Can I disagree with other editors?

Yes! You, the other editors, and the writers themselves are engaged in a conversation. Not everyone agrees all the time, but we expect there to be a high level of discourse. You may comment on other people's edits to clarify a point or add a counterargument. Keep the writer's feedback in mind when commenting, as they are in control of how the edits on their draft get scored.

Are you a writer or freelance editor? Want to get on the list of beta users and be the first to know when Penmob launches? Of course you do.