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 that 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.

The Value of a Professional Children’s Book Editor 

An experienced 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.

Good editors for kids 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.

Johanna Ehrlich

Johanna Ehrlich

Copy Editor

Johanna Ehrlich has been a freelance editor, copy editor, and writer for more than twenty-five years. Having grown up in the center of a Jewish community, she is particularly adept at working on books with Jewish content. She is a graduate of Brandeis University and a long-time member of a world-renowned Jewish chorus that has honored her for her decades of leadership.

Johanna is eager to work on anything that “educates, inspires, or entertains,” to quote her public television station. Your memoir, how-to book, self-help book, or other work of nonfiction will benefit from her focused thinking and her clear-sighted editing.

As a copy editor, Johanna is meticulous in examining grammar, spelling, punctuation, and the flow of words. Her goal is to do as much—or as little—as is required to let your voice and ideas reach your readers with clarity and ease.

Johanna also enjoys working on books for young readers. She began her editing career by working on textbooks; these projects gave her a keen eye for clear and age-appropriate language for school-age readers. She is the author of eight books for young people (fiction and nonfiction, leveled readers and graphic novels), published by Houghton Mifflin, Macmillan McGraw-Hill, and PowerKids Press.

S. Maia Grossman

S. Maia Grossman

YA novels and middle reader fiction, nonfiction, and reference – Developmental editing, line editing, copy editing, manuscript critiques, coaching, synopses, query letters, cover copy

A writer herself, S. Maia Grossman has five children’s nonfiction books published that stayed in print longer than she ever expected when she wrote them. She had a central role in two award-winning children’s products about animals and nature produced by Microsoft, as a writer and editorial manager, and worked on the scripts for children’s games at Nintendo.

As an in-house editor of children’s nonfiction, Maia helped produce hundreds of books at Macmillan. As an independent editor of children’s nonfiction, she has edited children’s encyclopedias and a thesaurus, served as a consulting editor on 100 Questions and Answers about AIDs by Lambda Literary award-winning author Michael Thomas Ford, and edited or critiqued scores of YA novels as an independent editor.

She loves helping first-time authors shape their ideas into marketable, publishable works.

Her word of advice about writing for young people: “Streamline subplots but don’t underestimate your audience’s capacity for emotional depth.”

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.

Floyd Largent

Floyd Largent

During my 35+ years in the literary world, I’ve built experience in many aspects of the field—from non-fiction to fiction, short stories to novels, game creation to publication tips. My first love as a fiction editor has always been science fiction/fantasy and related genres.

I’ve had the pleasure of working on fun and imaginative young adult fantasy, and always welcome the opportunity to assist writers with such stories.

My greatest strengths lie in manuscript evaluation and developmental editing, especially for works in which science, characterization, mystery, and unusual cultures play an important part.

My published authors include:

Edun, Terah. 2013. Sworn to Raise: Book One of Courtlight. Young Adult Fantasy. Amazon Digital Services (e-book).

Edun, Terah, 2012. Red Madrassa: Book One of the Algardis. Young Adult Fantasy. Amazon Digital Services (e-book).

Fydell, Ian. 2010. Breathing Space: Book One of the Exodus Trilogy. Science Fiction. Legwork Team Publishing, New York.

Rachel Lawson

Rachel Lawson

Rachel Lawson is a former college literature and writing instructor who offers excellence in comprehensive copyediting, line editing, and proofreading. Her strength lies in helping the author make his/her written voice shine in a highly readable, page-turning, memorable way.

Rachel specializes in the genre of Christian and spiritual/religious manuscripts, including children’s books, memoirs, devotionals, and larger theological works. Rachel’s work as a copy editor, line editor, and proofreader for three Christian publishers has now reached 30 Christian books.

She ghostwrites author bios, back cover copy of books, and author websites.
Rachel also designs and formats book interiors for print or eBook distribution.

Rachel invites all writers, but is especially interested in supporting the efforts of Christian and spiritual/religious writers, pastors and theologians, mystics, memoirists, and children’s and young adult book authors. With Rachel, you can prepare to publish your unique voice in a polished, professional manner.

Christa Michel

Christa Michel

Romance, Women's Fiction, Young Adult

CHRISTA MICHEL has edited over 150 books in the romance, YA, middle grade, and women’s fiction genre, many of which have garnered industry awards or hit the NYT and USA Today bestseller lists. She has worked with smaller publishing houses as well as large NY publishers including St. Martin’s Press, Macmillan Children’s Books, Tor Teen, Kensington, and Sourcebooks. She is also an award-winning multi-published YA author.

Her editor philosophy is to create a partnership with authors so that she can guide them into perfecting the stories they want to tell. She approaches stories with grace, honesty, compassion, humor, and integrity.

Christa passed the proofreading test to join the Book Editing Associates network and may offer copyediting and proofreading services to her BEA clients.

Gina Nelson

Gina Nelson

Christian YA and Adult Fiction, Nonfiction, Inspirational

A professional editor for over twenty years, Gina specializes in line editing and proofreading Christian fiction and nonfiction/inspirational books for young adult and adult readers.

She has worked with smaller publishers, such as 5 Fold Media (which launched The Passion Translation) and Anaiah Press, as well as large publishing houses, including Crossroad Publishing Company and Pearson.

Gina’s passion is working closely with authors to ensure their unique voices are maintained while polishing the grammar, punctuation, spelling, syntax, and word usage in their manuscripts.

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.

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.

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