2nd Draft Critique Editors

Our Critique Editors

Jack Adler

Jack Adler has been a full-time freelance writer since 1974, drawing upon his previous business experience for his writing specialties: travel, health, recreation, and leisure articles. A full-time job as feature editor of Travel Weekly helped lead Jack to becoming a columnist, on a freelance basis, for the travel section of the Los Angeles Times for 15 years; he wrote two columns: Consumer Report and Bargain Corner. He has also been a columnist for Westways and Cruise Travel magazines, West Coast Bureau Chief for Travel Trade, and a columnist/editorial writer for Better Business Traveling. Currently, he is the leader of the travel bulletin board for Aantares.

Jack’s most recent book, Make Steady Money As A Travel Writer-Without Traveling was published in April 2009. His other published books include Splendid Seniors: Great Lives/Great Deeds, Consumer’s Guide to Travel, Exploring Historic California, Travel Safety: Security At Home & Abroad (co-authored), Companion Guide to Southern India, and There’s a Bullet Hole in Your Window, a nonfiction collection of his own travel experiences. Jack has recently had several novels published, including Ditsy and Champion and a historical trilogy, Parthian Retreat, Seres Sanctuary, and Parthian Karma. Jack also has had several e-books published: How to Break in as a Travel Writer and two novels, Blind Gods and A Savage Duty. Other novels include a travel adventure series: City Havoc, The Impresario of Terror, Irish Spring, The Rage of Kali, and The Sperm Farm.

Jack’s magazine credits include Let’s Live, Shape, Venture, Friendly Exchange, Transitions Abroad, Gentlemen, Off Duty, Home & Away, Discovery, Cruise Travel, Journey and Rice, among others. Jack also developed the Essentials of Travel Writing workshop for Writers Online Workshops.

Jack is interested in Freelance: Travel, Health, Recreation, and Leisure Articles. Fiction: Historical, thriller, political.

Dayna Bennett

Dayna Bennett is a writer, editor, and educator whose articles have been featured in local press and the online journal, Sweatpants and Coffee. She serves on the board as National Secretary for the Women’s National Book Association, and previously served on the advisory board for Central Coast Writers Conference, where she taught workshops for beginning writers on finding your voice and persevering on the creative path. Dayna also works as a freelance editor and with Writers Digest’s Second Draft.  As an educator, Dayna spends her days guiding local teens on the path towards college and has been a mentor working with Chumash Youth since 2004. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s passionately advocating for the Monarch Butterfly. 

As an editor, Dayna has helped writers of all backgrounds polish their prose and develop their stories for publication. As a writing coach, Dayna works with writers on developing and implementing their knowledge of the craft as well as encouraging them to persist.  Writers at any stage of development in any genre are welcome to work with Dayna. 

Jessica Berg

Jessica Berg is a contemporary and historical fantasy novelist whose work is influenced by her experiences as an expat. She provides developmental editorial feedback for 2nd Draft, Uncharted Magazine, and Fractured Lit. A multi-nominated writer, she holds an MFA from Spalding University, and is represented by Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Find out more about her here.

Mort Castle

Mort Castle is a horror author and a writing teacher who has published over 500 short stories. Twice a winner of the Black Quill award, seven times a Bram Stoker Award nominee, Castle edited On Writing Horror, the primary reference work for dark fiction authors. Mort specialized in horror, dark fantasy, literary, historical, how-to, Pop Fiction, comics/graphic novel. 

Jess Dallow

She has a BFA in Writing for Film and Television from the University of the Arts and worked in entertainment for eight years before returning to her home state of NY where she worked at a literary agency for two years before joining Brower Literary & Management. Jess specialized in YA, adult. contemporary, thriller, romance, crime, & women's fiction.

Margaret Danko 

Margaret is on leave until October 2024

Originally from the heart of the south, Margaret Danko received her BA from Oberlin College before pursuing an MFA from Temple University. While there, she climbed the ranks to become an editor of TINGE Magazine, publishing fiction, essays, and poetry. She has worked as a freelance editor and media consultant. A lover of the dark, the quirky, and the fantastical, Margaret has a keen eye for projects that take unexpected turns or are told from unusual perspectives. Margaret specializes in literary fiction with teeth, historical fiction with a dash of magical realism, fresh literary and commercial suspense, spooky contemporary and fantasy YA, narratives with a deep sense of place and history, quirky and heartwarming family stories, and rom-coms full of charm and whimsy. She is also interested in nonfiction in the areas of humor, lifestyle, popular science, health/wellness, true crime, and current affairs. 

Margaret does not do line edits or proofreading critiques. 


Megan Flahive 

When Megan was a kid she refused to take naps, so her preschool teachers taught her to read instead. A lifelong learner, her favorite stories transport her to another place where there are no bounds to the imagination. She has a deep, enduring love for travel, other cultures, fairy tales, and food. She loves to partner with authors for developmental edits and help propel their work forward through characterization, worldbuilding, plot, pacing, and more. Megan is most interested in MG and YA Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Historical Fiction. She is also proficient in proofreading and copy editing, focusing more closely on details like grammar, word choice, and punctuation, to make sure the piece is clean and polished. She can’t wait to collaborate with you and polish your gem!

Terri Valentine

The writing career of romance novelist Terri Valentine is truly a Cinderella story. An avid reader all of her life, she began writing her first historical romance in the summer of 1985 on an old Smith-Corona manual typewriter. Of course it had several keys that stuck, and invariably every time she made even minor changes the entire manuscript had to be completely retyped. In spite of such adversities, she believed in herself and finished that first valiant effort, and then went on to revise her manuscript several times before satisfied.