Humanities First

Humanities First was launched in response to the need within the humanities for affordable editorial support and feedback. Many scholars have had trouble placing their manuscripts with presses or journals simply because of inaccessible prose and badly edited writing. This should never happen. At Humanities First, we can help you. We have the time, resources and expertise to help shape your book or article into the kind of clear and polished work that is prized by academic publishers.

Humanities First is invested in the long-term success of humanities scholars.

Humanities First understands the pressures of academic publishing, and we build individual relationships with every writer who trusts us with their work. Throughout the editing process, our Chief Editor Michael Needham will nurture your writing and provide you with one-on-one support from your first draft through final submission to your press. He will make time to talk you through the process whenever you feel like your project needs a little push.

A track record of success

Michael Needham has performed developmental editing for manuscripts that were accepted for publication with major academic presses in the fields of Latin American history, political crisis, queer theory, popular culture, crip theory, environmental studies, 19th century British literature, African studies, post-colonial Indian history, poetry, women’s studies, and food studies. He is currently developing manuscripts and dissertations in a number of fields, including Chinese opera, African American music, modern photography, Russian art, and post-colonial Vietnamese literature.

We are a nonprofit organization

As a nonprofit organization, Humanities First is able to provide top-notch content analysis and copy editing at a reasonable cost to you. You have spent countless hours on your research and your time is valuable. Editorial guidance is a key factor in ensuring that your research is developed and polished into a publication-ready manuscript.

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President/Chief Editor

Michael Needham began his career as a print journalist, then transitioned to writing and editing for the web, and eventually graduated to academic editing before founding Humanities First. Michael specializes in developmental review and adapting powerful ideas for a wide range of audiences. He has helped place dozens of manuscripts with academic publishers nationwide, and is passionate about making a difference in the lives and careers of scholars.

Michael lives in Cincinnati, OH, with his partner Anita and their two cats.


Associate Editors

Kimberly Alecia Singletary received a PhD in Rhetoric and Public Culture from Northwestern University, and has worked as an academic editor and writer for the last ten years. Kimberly previously served as Assistant Director of Communications at the George Washington University Law School. She has an M.A. from Georgetown University’s Communication, Culture, Technology program and a B.J. from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Kim manages the stresses of everyday life via the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira.


Rachel F. Van Hart began her editing career as a news page designer and copyeditor after graduating with a B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She later studied writing and rhetoric while pursuing a master’s degree at Virginia Commonwealth University. She currently copyedits a broad range of scholarly work on multiple platforms, including digital media and traditional print publications for a variety of university presses. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside and piddling with projects related to sustainable living.


Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees represents different disciplines across the United States and gives Humanities First a unique multidisciplinary perspective. Our Trustees work in a wide variety of fields, including, but not limited to, gender and sexuality, ethnic studies, disability issues, poetry, film and visual culture.

Humanities First helps students, scholars, academics, and professors with services including copy editing, proofreading and content review.

Contact us today to get a free quote. We will keep your inquiry and information absolutely confidential, unless otherwise requested.