Childrens Book Editing
Writing For Children
Ever been caught by a child who knows you just skipped over a line while reading them their favorite story? Then you already understand the power of a well-written children's book, and why it's important to get the words just right. You also already know the books children really treasure are tailored just for them, with age-appropriate language, believable story lines, and characters a lot like them who get in (and out of) all sorts of interesting trouble, just like they do.
What can a children's editor do to help you get the words just right? A children's editor never forgets that the best children's fiction always has a message, but to capture a child's interest and imagination, that message must come through a fun, creatively crafted, age-appropriate read. To achieve this, children's editors are familiar with the way young people speak and learn. They can critique and examine illustrations with the fresh eye of a young reader. They also understand the specific trends and nuances of children's writing. To ensure that your work will appeal to your target audience, they can help you modify your manuscript to suit the reading abilities of children within your target age group. Editors skilled in this unique genre also understand the basic elements of good fiction—character, conflict, plot, theme, setting and dialogue. So, whether you've written a picture book, a chapter book, or a YA novel, they can help you polish all these elements in your manuscript while ensuring a fun, engaging read.
Appropriate word use by grade/level: Children's Writer's Word Book by Alijandra Mogilner
Also see: ChildrensBookEditors.com
Children's Book Editors
Line editing, copy editing, content/developmental editing, proofreading, query letters
Fiction: novels, young adult, children’s; Nonfiction: memoirs, history, sports, biographies, military, politics
DAVID ALAN has edited more than 200 books and authored nearly 100 books for 30 publishers, including St. Martin’s Press, HarperCollins, Lyons Press, Random House, Running Press, Warner Books, Total/Sports Illustrated, and Scholastic. His books have generated more than $20 million in revenue and have appeared on the Today show, The Early Show, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. His rating on Goodreads.com is 4.21 based on nearly 3,000 ratings.
"Excellence is his habit," asserted publisher Les Krantz, "and everybody I’ve teamed him up with (my clients, my authors, namely) loves to work with him. They are very vocal about it."
David edited the award-winning The Holocaust Chronicle, which earned a letter of commendation from Vice President Al Gore. CBS anchorman Harry Smith said on The Early Show about David’s Civil Rights Chronicle, "This should be in every home in America." After reviewing that book, Walter Cronkite agreed to write the foreword for David’s next effort, The Sixties Chronicle.
The Murder of Emmett Till, which David authored, was assigned reading for journalism students at New York University. He cowrote JFK Day by Day, which was featured on Today with Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira. He has penned biographies on such individuals as Harvey Milk, Magic Johnson, Malala Yousafzai, Mitt Romney, Eminem, Malcolm X, Alex Rodriguez, and Amy Winehouse.
David has edited the writing of many scholars and such esteemed Americans as John Eisenhower, Margaret Truman, U.S. congressman John Lewis, and U.S. senators Daniel Inouye and Ben Nighthorse Campbell. He has written thousands of MLB and NFL player bios for The Topps Company.David would love to help YOU get your book published.
What David Can Do for You
- Evaluate your manuscript and suggest what he and you could do to get it "publish ready."
- Edit the manuscript to the point where it can be published as is.
- Help you write a polished query letter for publishers and/or literary agents.
- Offer publishing advice (traditional and self-) and marketing advice.
Judge: Indie Book Awards
Developmental Content Editing, Writing Assistance, Query Letters, Book Proposals, Submissions to Literary Agents and Publishers
BETH BRUNO is a columnist, author, and book editor. Hundreds of her articles have been published in print and online, and her first book, Wild Tulips, came out in 2001 and went into a second printing in 2002. Beth's proximity to New York and her position as President of the CT Authors and Publishers Association give her unique access to literary agents and publishers in and around New York City. Several of the authors whose manuscripts she has edited have been published in the mainstream, thanks to her referrals on their behalf.
Beth’s editing interests are eclectic and include a delicious mix of fiction, nonfiction, young adult, and children’s works. Among the 350+ manuscripts she has edited, she has a special affinity for: mystery/suspense, women’s fiction, memoir, psychology topics, romance, self-help, how-to, and both fiction and nonfiction for young adult (YA) readers.
In addition to editing, Beth serves as a judge for the Indie Book Awards, an excellent contest for authors who self-publish. Winners receive cash prizes, publicity, and introduction to literary agents and publishers.
"I want to thank Beth for the spectacular job she did editing my book, which has just been published. When Beth first*** received the manuscript, she understood what was missing and recognized the changes needed to improve the flow, characterization, plot, etc., of my novel. She had a keen eye for small details. Beth was also always very available to discuss suggestions, and she quickly came up with alternatives to solve the problems we encountered along the way. She guided me through the particulars of my novel to the final polished product. The result: A published book." Oscar Medina
Rosanne's love of the written word began with her passion for books, but her knowledge of punctuation, grammar, diction and style comes from a lifetime of exceptional training. A poet herself, Rosanne understands the blood, sweat and tears that go into writing.
She gives each author's work the care it deserves, drawing on her diverse life experiences and knowledge in many fields like period clothing, genetics, all aspects of theater, Celtic legends, rustic camping, the martial arts, architecture and languages (Latin, French, Anglo-Saxon, Middle English, a little Welsh and Japanese).
Add that to the marketplace savvy she learned working in publishing houses, and you have an experienced editor who can polish a manuscript and get it past that crucial first reader!
- Copyediting, developmental editing
- Children's/young adult
- Science fiction and fantasy
- Christian, inspirational
Before STACEY DONOVAN became a professional editor more than 20 years ago, she worked in a literary agency where she learned how to say no more often than yes, and include reasons why. A stint in advertising followed, teaching her to tell it short and sweet, meet deadlines, and most important: never give up.
Donovan is a ten-time published book author of both fiction and non-fiction. She has edited or ghostwritten dozens of published books for her clients. Two became New York Times Bestsellers, and another nominated for Best First Novel by International Thriller Writers. She is experienced in many genres: Contemporary/Mainstream; Caper/Detective; Erotica; Gay/Lesbian; Literary Fiction; Mystery; Psychological Thriller; Suspense; Women's Fiction; Young Adult; Memoir/Autobiography; Creative Nonfiction.
- Detailed critique/evaluation of your manuscript
- Developmental/structural/stylistic edit of your manuscript
- Complete revision of your manuscript
- Collaborate with you in a mentoring capacity as you edit your manuscript
- Collaborate with you on a query and/or synopsis when the manuscript is ready for publication
- Determine with you which literary agent would be suitable for representation
- Determine with you whether to pursue mainstream, small, or self-publishing
- Consultation on your initial and/or ongoing Social Media strategy
Donovan is a writing coach, mentor, collaborator and ghostwriter. She has published dozens of non-fiction articles on design and art, and specialized in celebrity interviews with experts in their field. She is also a Publishing and Social Media strategist.
MARLO GARNER has been editing books and teaching writing since the late 1990s. She teaches Writing for Children's Books (picture books), Writing Chapter Books for Children, and various other writing and revision workshops. She also works in an editorial advisory capacity, and a copyeditor and illustrator for a number of independent or educational publishers. Her Ginny Giles chapter book series—which contains numerous poems and rhyming verse—was released in 2010, and she is the author and/or illustrator of a number of other published books for children, including a picture book for Internet security giant AVG. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), and received first place in the 'published' division of the New England SCBWI 2013 illustration awards. Marlo is currently writing and illustrating a middle grade dystopian graphic novel as well as a picture book, and she blogs about writing, editing, and grammar.
“Marlo was immensely helpful and pleasant to work with. I knew I had a penned a good story, but her suggested improvements will really help my middle-grade dragon tale connect emotionally with young readers. Thanks to her encouragement and advice, I will be submitting my manuscript and illustrations to agents and editors with far greater confidence." J. C. Stevens
- Copyediting & proofreading
- Developmental/substantive editing
- Cover letters, query letters (free with contracted service)
- Correct formatting & understanding the submission process
- Critiques, writing instruction & mentorship
- Children's books: picture books, poetry, magazine submissions, chapter books, young adult, children's non-fiction.
- Literary fiction, crime, fantasy
- Illustration, illustration critiques and advice for aspiring illustrators.
Writing Coach, Mentor, Collaborator, and Ghostwriter Editing Services
Contemporary, Mainstream, Creative Nonfiction, Detective, Erotica, Gay/Lesbian, Literary Fiction, Memoir/Autobiography, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult
TED GASNER edited hundreds of award-winning fiction and nonfiction titles during his six years as a supervising editor for Scholastic Inc. Ted developed book series for print, eReaders, and websites, then assigned topics to authors, helped them with their outlines and first drafts, and then took over from there to copyedit the final product.
As a freelance editor, Ted has edited novels, memoirs, marketing and advertising materials, textbooks, research papers, websites and whatever else has comes his way. He has a strong background in fiction, history, the sciences, and sports.
Ted specializes in developmental editing, copyediting, line editing, and proofreading. A strong communicator, he works as a team with authors to help them bring out the best of the manuscripts.
"Ted has an amazing ability to boil it down to the best moments in the least amount of words! I really like all the sophistication he brings to the writing. Casual tone but with varying sentence structures that keep it interesting." —Eileen Wacker, author of The Mom’s Code and Once Kids’ Fujimini Adventure Series
"I glanced over the edits – I don’t like them – I LOVE THEM!!! You’re a genius! You really made my girls pop! I had to laugh at a couple of your comments. Great catch about Facebook age appropriateness. So, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all that work! It’s so much red, I feel like a failing kid in seventh grade." -Yvette.
"I’ve had the privilege of working with Ted, and he is a consummate professional. A talented editor with a keen eye for detail, Ted always offers fresh and creative ideas to help strengthen my prose without compromising my voice. If you are looking for a caring, prompt, thorough editor, he is definitely the person to contact. —Lisa Fox, author of Knightly Desire
"I chose Ted Gasner over cheaper proposals because of his sample edit. He was worth every penny as he put MORE into the project than he needed to. Nice quality work and easy to work with." -Don McGann
JOAN GIARDINO is an editor, proofreader, and translator with more than 25 years’ experience in the book publishing industry. Her clients include major book publishers, authors, illustrators, theater directors, and personal historians.
She has edited or proofread hundreds of award-winning published books—children, middle-grade, and young adult fiction, nonfiction, adult fiction and nonfiction, biographies, and personal memoirs. Since access to the Internet has given the reader the ability to “see” and/or “experience” situations and places far away in time and place, Joan makes certain that the text rings true when editing nonfiction, historical fiction, or fiction that includes real places and events.
Genres: Children, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Memoir, Autobiograpy, Biography, Science for Children, Middle Grade, and Young Adult
CAROLINE HILEY is a full-service editor who specializes in copyediting novels, particularly in the youth categories. She works with both traditional publishers and independent authors to help make their stories shine.
Whether for stand-alone titles or series, she focuses on consistency, accuracy, and clarity, so that authors can successfully connect with their readers (while avoiding any embarrassing bloopers). Because she writes fiction and nonfiction herself, she knows the creative process from both sides and understands how editing can help or hinder.
Caroline thoroughly grooms a manuscript, checking spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting, and style; tracking character traits and story timeline; confirming proper names, dates, places, and other technical or historical elements; flagging any spots that may raise a question in the reader’s mind. Authors then accept or reject the revisions, and move on to the next stage in their story’s progression.
In addition to copyediting, Caroline offers substantive editing (also called line editing), a more detailed work-through of a manuscript without the full immersion that goes with developmental editing. For authors seeking guidance for their own revisions, she also offers manuscript evaluation.
ANA HOWARD is the author of seven well-reviewed and award-winning children’s novels and has helped many others with their manuscripts, including picture books, chapter books, middle grade and young adult novels. After working in public schools for many years, she has now been a part of the publishing industry for fifteen years and provides a creative and supportive environment. She is passionate about children’s literature and offers the following services:
• Developmental, substantive and content editing
• Formatting and guidance on the submission process
• Query letters and synopses
• Advice for self-publishing authors
PUBLISHING CREDITS INCLUDE:
- Water at the Blue Earth, young adult historical fiction (Roberts Rinehart)
- A Ceiling of Stars, middle grade contemporary fiction (American Girl)
- Nowhere, Now Here, middle grade contemporary fiction (American Girl)
- The Magic of Ordinary Days, adult historical fiction (Viking Penguin)
- Under a Stand Still Moon, young adult historical fiction (Brown Barn Books)
- Call Me the Canyon, young adult historical fiction (Brown Barn Books)
- Nicki, contemporary middle grade fiction (American Girl)
- Thanks to Nicki, contemporary middle grade fiction (American Girl)
She has seen one of her novels made into film (for Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions on CBS) and has won numerous literary awards. She believes that even in today’s tough publishing climate, it is still possible for new writers to enter the business and succeed. Second to writing her own novels, she loves to mentor others to help them achieve their goals. She knows firsthand how writers benefit from the help and support of other writers and/or editors.
"My novel had lingered in the offices of editors at the Big Six for years. Ana’s editing was timely and skillful and showed an understanding of my work. I used 95% of her suggestions and cut 200 pages from a 600 page manuscript. End result is a book with a clean, compelling narrative that has been called 'a gripping read'. Reader reviews of my book at Amazon and Goodreads have been very gratifying and allowed me to enter the top 100 for science-fiction/fantasy. Kirkus Reviews selected Prophets of the Ghost Ants as one of their Best of 2011. I would recommend Ana Howard's services to any author whose work needs an edit. Cost of the service was more than fair and the end result was priceless." —Clark T. Carlton
ALAN JEFFRIES started out in newspaper journalism and small press publishing, working for grizzled editors on weekdays and then posing as one on weekends. These experiences propelled Mr. Jeffries to a World Fantasy Award and publishing some of the biggest names in genre. Then he headed off to Hollywood to work in creative development and marry an English teacher. During this time he created in-house publishing programs for two different producers before returning to full-time professional editing.
More recently, Mr. Jeffries initiated a prose division for a media company, commissioning a wide variety of genre narrative prose from an international roster of writers, both seasoned pros and new talents. These projects included horror, dark fantasy, YA adventure, neo-pulp, and military SF.
SANDRA JUDD is an editor, proofreader, and indexer with more than 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Her clients have included university presses, large, mainstream publishers, and smaller presses and professional organizations.
She has edited or proofread over 300 published books, on topics that include politics, history, business, literary criticism, ethnic history, anthropology, science and medicine, industry manuals, memoirs, Christian and inspirational, parenting and relationships, humor, and fiction. She believes every person has a story to tell and she has a real passion for bringing these stories to print.
She has worked with children's and young adult books from the very beginning of her career and has worked with all types of works in this genre, including young adult novels, children's picture books, and all types of nonfiction, including history books, self-help books, youth Bibles, and devotionals.
From helping the author to mold the bigger picture to perfecting the details of grammar and punctuation, she covers every aspect of the editing process, bringing a polish to each work.
Selected titles in the children's/young adult genre include:
- Maddy Wylde by Josephine McLachlan (Ablaze Books, 2012)
- The Jerk Magnet (Life at Kingston High, Book #1) by Melody Carlson (Revell, 2012)
- A Burro's Tale by P. J. Day (self-published, 2011)
- My Mercy by Tina Klock (self-published, 2011)
- Never Been Kissed by Melody Carlson (Revell, 2011)
- God Girl Bible by Haley DiMarco (Baker Books, 2011)
- Saying Goodbye When You Don't Want To: Teens Dealing with Loss by Martha Bolton (Servant Publications)
- If the Tongue's a Fire, Who Needs Salsa: Cool Advice for Hot Topics from the Books of James by Martha Bolton (Vine Books, 2002)
- 29 Missing: The True and Tragic Story of the Disappearance of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald by Andrew Kantar (Michigan State University Press, 1998).
- Proofreading and copyediting, to catch those tiny errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar and put the finishing touch on a manuscript
- Stylistic editing, to polish each sentence and make the text sing
- Substantive editing, to help groom the bigger picture, round out story lines, perfect plot, and develop characters
JOHN DAVID KUDRICK (BA in Theology / MA in Journalism—Professional Writing: Fiction).
You're sitting at your computer, smiling, feeling an incredible sense of satisfaction in your heart. After more hours than you can count, you've finally finished your novel – a story from deep within your soul that you want to share with the world.
But then the questions start hitting your mind: Is it the very best that it can be? Will anyone even want to read it? What should I do with it now?
With nearly twenty years of experience as an editor, John David understands the gamut of feelings that comes with getting your novel from your hard drive and into print. That's why he'd love to partner with you in getting your novel to the next level …
- Manuscript Critique – With a detailed evaluation document and annotated comments/suggestions throughout your manuscript, find out how you can make your good book even better.
- Content Editing – Guidance and hands-on editorial help in reorganizing and revising your story to make it even more powerful and engaging. Includes two rounds of editorial review.
- Copyediting – Line-by-line editing to take care of grammar, word usage, tone, format, and more. Includes two rounds of editorial review.
- Proofreading – A final polish to clean up typos, inconsistencies, misspellings, and punctuation problems. Includes two rounds of editorial review.
- Ghostwriting – Crafting of a book-length manuscript using existing material from author. Also includes a follow-up copyedit. (NOTE: Ghostwriting available for Christian living/spirituality book projects only.)
FLOYD LARGENT specializes in history, natural history, anthropology and the sciences on the non-fiction front, and speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, and allied fields) otherwise. He's published his own e-book on fiction marketing (100 Great Places to Sell Your Short Stories, Both On and Off the Web), and is intimately familiar with technical writing, having worked as a technical writer and editor for ten years. He's also been published in most of the popular American history magazines, including American History, America's Civil War, Old West, and True West.
Mr. Largent can provide publishing assistance (especially with short stories and journal articles), content development, manuscript evaluation, and mentoring services, supplemented with advice concerning manuscript mechanics, query letters, book synopses, and proposals.
- Developmental editing
- Book proposals
"I handed Floyd my 65,000 word manuscript on June 6th and got it back, polished to within an inch of its life, on July 25th. Floyd did a fantastic job."
"I've been going through the story and I'm about halfway through the review.... So far, the work is incredible. I really like what you've done with it to say the least. Satisfaction would be an understatement."
"Floyd Largent did an outstanding job with my manuscript. [H]is attention to detail, knowledge, and professionalism surpassed my expectations. I could not have been happier with the final product, or picked a more qualified editor to work with."
Paranormal romance | psychic/supernatural phenomena | science fiction | fantasy | speculative fiction | western romance | young adult
KELLY LYNNE is a professional writer and editor with over 10 years’ experience in fiction manuscript critique and over 80 published titles edited. Her fortes in Young Adult and Middle Grade novels include adventure, fantasy, mystery, romance, sci-fi, and stories of psychic or supernatural phenomena.
Empathic about the “feel” of a story, Kelly encourages authors to learn craft techniques they may not yet have tried to bring forward goal, motivation and conflict in the characters and draw young readers into the emotions on the page, all while maintaining the author’s voice. Whether in a critique or a full edit, developmental fiction editing requires an emotional investment in the work—an investment of time and effort that Kelly is happy to make.
Kelly has published over 100 non-fiction articles, three short stories, and two novels. She knows the hoops authors are expected to jump through and helps authors polish their submission packets (query letters, synopses) for traditional publishing or will assist with sales copy and formatting for self-publishers.
Book Editing Specialties:
- Style-sheet to track continuity, character traits, and plot aspects
- Critique of story plot, character believability and setting
- Verifying readability with Flesch-Kincaid mapping to keep Middle Grade stories in the 8-12-yr-old expected reading range for vocabulary and sentence complexity
- Formatting for CreateSpace (Amazon print) and Kindle
Developmental editing, substantive editing, line editing, manuscript evaluation, publishing consultation
Fiction and nonfiction: literary, historical, mystery/suspense, adult, young adult, fantasy, sci-fi, horror, paranormal, erotica, humor, and new age/spirituality
ANDREA ROBB spent over a decade as an acquiring editor at Penguin Random House, working on key titles for Knopf, Doubleday, Pantheon, Vintage and Anchor Books. Prior to that, she was on the editorial team at The Book of the Month Club, where she evaluated hundreds of titles for club inclusion.
Notable fiction projects that Andrea has edited have included Jennifer McMahon's NY Times bestselling novels The Winter People, The Night Sister, and Burntown; the NY Times bestselling Veronica Mars mystery series; the Harvard Lampoon's NY Times bestselling parody Nightlight; the translations of Paulo Coelho's internationally bestselling novels The Spy, Adultery, Manuscript Found in Accra, and Aleph; Whiting Award-winner Melanie Sumner's How to Write a Novel; and Latifah Salom's debut suspense novel, The Cake House.
Nonfiction projects include blogger and comedian Samantha Irby's We Are Never Meeting in Real Life; Vela magazine founder Sarah Menkedick's debut essay collection Homing Instincts; multiple anthologies in the bestselling Foxfire series on Appalachian history and culture; the political travel guide The Nation Guide to the Nation; and new editions of Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey's Driven to Distraction and Answers to Distraction.
In addition to her editing work, Andrea has worked with over one hundred bestselling and award-winning authors to tailor their copy and paperback packaging for the softcover audience, often developing new materials such as reading group guides, introductions, and glossaries.
Authors she's worked with in this capacity have included Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus), Anne Rice (Prince Lestat), Chris Bohjalian (The Sandcastle Girls), Lisa Unger (Heartbroken), Karen Russell (Vampires in the Lemon Grove), Joby Warrick (The Triple Agent), Kate Alcott (The Dressmaker), Ariel Lawhon (Flight of Dreams), Kevin Kwan (Crazy Rich Asians), Stephen Harrigan (The Gates of the Alamo), Alex Kava (Hotwire), J. Courtney Sullivan (Maine), Jennifer Close (Girls in White Dresses), Peter Heller (The Dog Stars), and Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven).
Via a penname, Andrea is also the author of a successful young adult novel with HarperTEEN that was chosen as a selection of the Scholastic Book Club, and has written text for popular television tie-in projects published by Insight Editions.
Polish provides luster, adds richness, and enhances beauty. It works on fingernails, shoes, furniture, even your car. Ginny Rogers specializes in polishing your writing, whether a book manuscript, a dissertation, or a business manual.
With experience in nonfiction, academic, business, and technical editing, Ginny targets word choice, style, tone, organization, flow, and development in addition to essential grammar, spelling, and punctuation. For fiction, she also addresses character motivation and growth, plot development, action, and consistency. One award-winning client noted:
If what I need is a skilled pen able to sharpen plot development while polishing the edges; to cause prose to leap off the page, gripping a reader with anticipation; and to excite imagination with blazing imagery, then I turn to Ginny Rogers. A highly talented editor and writer gifted with uncanny insight, Ginny Rogers is at the pinnacle of her craft.
Ginny's outside perspective frees you to focus on your ideas and follow your inspiration while she takes care of the details. Targeted assistance includes:
- Honing your individual writing style.
- Examining organization, flow, and progression.
- Editing for clarity and consistency.
- Proofreading for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style.
- With fiction, assessing characters, their motivations, and their actions.
- Refining descriptive word choices.
- Clarifying publication goals.
- Analyzing how well the document meets those goals.
- Designing documents appropriate to both content and purpose.
- Maintaining style standards across documents.
S. J. SUTTON has worked in the book publishing and the film industries for thirty years—on the front lines and behind the scenes—finding projects to publish and/or produce, and developing and editing them, seeing them through to completion on the page or screen.
In the book publishing industry, she was a developmental editor, copy editor, and proofreader for Canfield Press, Harper & Row (now Harper Collins), Prentice-Hall, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Grune & Stratton, Abrams Publishers, and many others.In the film industry she worked as a story analyst and development consultant on feature film and television projects for DreamWorks, Disney, Showtime, Lifetime, among others, and worked on the development of films such as L.A. Confidential (Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published), Get On Up, Enigma, HBO's Vinyl, and countless others. She assisted writer/director Albert Brooks on Defending Your Life.