Children’s Book Editors

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 book editor do to help you get the words just right? A children’s book 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 book 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 writing for children.

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 children’s chapter book, a middle grade chapter book, or a young adult book, they can help you polish all these elements in your manuscript while ensuring a fun, engaging read.

Marlo Garner

Marlo Garner

Children’s Book Writer, Editor, and Illustrator

Marlo edits children’s books and teaches writing for children. She offers clients free query letter writing as part of her children’s book editing services.

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 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.

Ana Howard

Ana Howard

Book Editor and Author of Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade Fiction, Memoirs, Historical Fiction

Ana specializes in fiction and offers a unique editorial perspective as the author of eight novels. Her books include contemporary and historical children’s, young adult, and adult literature. She has worked with both small independent publishers, such as Roberts Rinehart and Brown Barn Books, and large publishing houses, such as Penguin Putnam and American Girl.

She has seen one of her novels made into film 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 others writers and/or editors.

Kelly Lynne

Kelly Lynne

Paranormal Romance, Westerns, Young Adult, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Psychic, Supernatural Phenomena

Kelly Lynne is the proud "auntie" to over 150 published novels, novellas and short stories, which have sold to Kensington Publishing, Carina Press, Cerridwen Press, Awe-Struck Publishing, Samhain Publishing, Wings ePress, Bradley Publishing, Damnation Books, and The Wild Rose Press as well as author self-published titles. These books have gone on to earn high praise from reviewers and readers, as well as multiple awards and contest wins. As an editor for The Wild Rose Press, she edited contemporary western and light paranormal romances, with heat ratings from sweet to spicy. Outside of romance, her fiction fortes include sci-fi, fantasy, speculative fiction, young adult, and stories of psychic or supernatural phenomena.

Empathic about the "feel" of a story, Kelly provides suggestions so that authors may revise with their own style in mind, preserving the individual voice, while alerting authors to current trends in publishable styles. 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, four 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 and professional quality formatting are as important as a well-polished manuscript.

Steven Severn

Steven Severn

Award-Winning Ghostwriter, Screenwriter, Editor, and Writing Coach for 6 #1 Bestselling Books

STEPHEN SEVERN is an award-winning ghostwriter, editor, screenwriter and writing coach. Mentored by Academy Award-winning writer Stewart Stern (Rebel Without A Cause), Stephen served as editor for the #1 best-sellers Tears For My City and The Revved Life. He also served as consultant for Robert Beatty’s New York Times #1 best-selling Serafina series of children’s books, published by Disney Hyperion, and as editor for the blog of #1 best-selling Christian author Emerson Eggerichs.

Stephen’s work as editor has resulted in 25 international awards. In addition, his ghostwritten screenplay was winner of Best Adaptation at the Hollywood Book Festival, and a runner-up at the prestigious Circus Road Script Competition. He’s written for rock magazines and heavy metal websites, film and TV reviews, and ghostwritten or edited more than 30 published books.

He specializes in rescuing, restoring and reawakening broken dreams. It would be his honor to help reawaken yours.

Minimum rates: 5 cents per word, $75 per hour.

SJ Sutton

SJ Sutton

Book Editor, Script and Screenplay Story Consultant

Publishing Consultant, Television and Film Industry Veteran

DreamWorks, Disney, Showtime, Lifetime, HBO

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 large publishers. 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.