Who We Are

Here at Quill Pen, we all share three things in common: A love of the written word, a meticulous attention to detail, and a conviction that every book we work on is valuable. We specialize in taking independent and small-press manuscripts from rough, first drafts to their final form–polished, professional novels that meet or exceed the quality standards of the major publishing houses. We also work with a number of writers who are interested in pursuing traditional contracts, helping them prepare their manuscripts for submission to literary agents across the country. In every project we take on, three overriding principles govern us:

  1. Your book is beautiful. You as the writer have something to say. Only you can tell the story that’s on your heart, and you deserve a passionate editorial team who cares about your novel.
  2. We help you craft your best story. We’re honored to have the privilege and responsibility of partnering with you to communicate your vision effectively to your readers. Your manuscript merits time and careful attention as it’s refined.
  3. We deal ethically with every client and editor. A fifth-generation entrepreneur, our founder, Catherine, understands the importance of treating people fairly. We refuse to pay our editors like sweatshop workers. We also won’t charge wildly inflated rates. It’s the right way to do business, and we know you’ll see the difference in each interaction with our editors.

Meet Our Team

Catherine Jones Payne

Executive Editor

Catherine Jones Payne is Quill Pen’s owner and managing editor. She has been editing professionally for four years and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Wheaton College, where she graduated summa cum laude. Her editing portfolio includes over twenty published books, including Katie Cross’s award-winning fantasy novel Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, and she is particularly seeking YA fantasy and fiction that creatively explores themes of gender, beauty, social justice, and religion. In addition, she is experienced with non-fiction, blogs, and writing aimed at a professional audience. Her passions include rigorous editing, polished prose, and exceptional literature. She lives in Waco, TX with her historian husband and a kitten who begs her daily for an Instagram account. When she isn’t editing, she can be found reading, drinking Twinings tea, writing her novel, or playing racquetball.


Stephanie Guido

Managing Editor

Stephanie Guido has loved reading since she was four years old when her mother found her studiously examining Little House on the Prairie page by page and insisting she could understand every word. Literature has been her haven for relaxation and inspiration, and she is thrilled to be editing with Quill Pen. Stephanie completed an undergraduate education in classical liberal arts at Patrick Henry College in northern Virginia and graduated summa cum laude with highest honors and a degree in government. She now lives in Texas with her husband, Ben, a doctoral candidate in philosophy at Baylor University, and their two children: Rowena and Cedric. (Bonus question: Which two famous pieces of literature have characters with the names Rowena and Cedric?)  Stephanie and Ben share a love of reading and used-book-sale shopping, which has resulted in a home library proudly displaying almost three thousand titles. When Stephanie does have any free time that she hasn’t already filled with reading, she enjoys baking, hiking, jigsaw puzzling, and swimming.