Jessica Lee Anderson

Jessica Lee Anderson – Editor

I'm an award-winning author with over 50 publications (from early readers to young adult) with 17 years of editing experience.


I studied education to become a teacher and had a chance to take a children's literature course that rocked my world. I re-read some of my favorite books from my youth, and I knew that's what I wanted to do: write books for young readers. I set out to learn more about storytelling and craft. When I wrote my first novel, I became brave enough to seek critiques and incorporated editorial feedback to strengthen my story. This book was eventually pulled from the slush pile for publication. I went on to study children's literature in graduate school, earning a Master of Arts from Hollins University. Studying there helped me to hone my writing and editorial skills which are things that I look forward to sharing with you. My list of writing credits includes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of children's magazines, anthologies, early readers, picture books, chapter books, and novels for middle graders and teens. My love of writing combined with my love of teaching led me to become an instructor at the Institute of Children's Literature where I went through extensive critique training. I also later taught a graduate level children's literature course at St. Edward's University and had the honor of working closely with my students editorially.

Over the years, I've critiqued manuscripts professionally for writing competitions, at SCBWI conferences, and also independently. It is a privilege and joy for me to work with writers of all ages and experience levels to reach those "aha" moments and get their manuscripts polished and ready for the market. I think it is important to discuss what your goal is overall and what you're looking forward to accomplishing with a critique. Each person has a unique story to tell, and I aim not to change an individual's voice, but rather to amplify it along with the overall story. I like to point out what's working and why as well as show areas of the story that can be strengthened. My feedback is truthful as I believe this is the best way to grow as a writer, though I aim to be as professional and supportive as always. I understand all too well how sharing your work with others can make you feel vulnerable, though I have experienced how editorial feedback has helped strengthen me as a writer and led to publishing contracts. Whatever your dream might be, I would be honored to share my expertise with you!


"Thank you so much for your guidance, and for believing in me. I would not have written it without you, your guidance and encouragement." --Kim Han, author of "The Canadian Inuit Dog: Icon of Canada's North"

"You helped me get unstuck! I just needed your fresh, talented eyes!!!" --Jennifer Coleman, author of "The Texas Nutcracker"

"God has blessed me and put people in my path that really know this business, otherwise I’d be lost. You have no idea how grateful I am!" --Claudia Villarreal, author "The Bully Who Learned to Love"

" Your notes, as always, are spot on and gave me a fresh look at my manuscript." --Lori Keckler, picture book author

"Thank you so much for all of your pointers and advice. I was feeling a bit lost and felt that some areas just weren't right. Having someone else read it and give me some of their thoughts is just what I needed. I really appreciate the time you put into reading and critiquing. I feel like I can go forward now with a better idea of what I need to fix and change." --Katie Klein , picture book author

Children’s Non-Fiction
Coming of Age Fantasy Middle Grade Middle Grade Fantasy Picture Books
English (US)
  • Milkweed Prize for Children's Literature
  • YALSA’s Readers’ Choice Award Nomination
  • Spirit of Texas Nomination
  • Quick Picks Nomination
  • IRA Children’s Book Award Notables
  • Shirley Henn Memorial Award

Work experience

St. Edward's University

Jul, 2012 — Sep, 2016 (about 4 years)

At St. Edward's University, I completed professional development training. I taught a graduate level writing course with a focus on children’s literature ranging from board books to young adult novels. I worked closely with students, providing much editorial feedback on each writing assignment and master thesis projects.

Institute of Children's Literature

Oct, 2005 — Dec, 2010 (about 5 years)

At the Institute of Children's Literature, I received extensive critique training. I worked with hundreds of students ranging in age and experience levels. I worked with each individual to work on their personal goals and provided critiques throughout the course.


Oct, 2005 — Present

I am an author of over 50 publications for young readers and teens with an extensive background in children's literature. I have been offering critiques since 2005 whether independently, part of professional organizations like SCBWI, or as a judge for writing contests. My feedback is honest as I believe this is the best way to grow as a writer, though I try to be as supportive and professional as possible.


Mar, 2002 — Present

I've published over 50 fiction and nonfiction books and magazine pieces for young readers. SAVING SNAKES, THE MYSTERY OF THE BALL PYTHON, THE DRAMA NOODLE, and PROBLEMS AT THE POND release January 2023. My novel titles include UNCERTAIN SUMMER, BORDER CROSSING, TRUDY, CALLI, and BORDER CROSSING. I've published multiple chapter books and early readers for Rourke Educational Media to include such titles as FANGS!, BROWNIES WITH BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, TIME TO MOVE, PEACOCK, and RUNAWAY ROBOT. I've worked with Scholastic, Capstone, Heinemann, Pearson, Seedling Publications, Six Red Marbles, and a variety of magazines including HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN. I graduated from Hollins University with a Master of Arts in Children's Literature, and previously instructed at the Institute of Children's Literature and St. Edward's University

Jessica Lee has 43 reviews





Sierra G.

Sierra G.

Oct, 2023

Jessica is a dream editor, and I couldn't be happier with the experience. Her attention to detail, insightful feedback, and dedication to improving my manuscript were truly exceptional. Jessica's expertise and guidance elevated my book to a new level of excellence. She was super encouraging throughout the entire process and very helpful- even sending me tons of resources for story writing. I'm ...
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Darlene E.

Darlene E.

Aug, 2023

Jessica is a dream to work with. She completed her review well within the window of time she suggested. Her comments in the manuscript were extremely helpful, and she wrote a long and detailed letter outlining the strengths and weaknesses of the story. In addition, Jessica sent links to sites she thought would be helpful to me in revising my story, as well as links on writing the query letters ...
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Jeff F.

Jeff F.

Apr, 2023

Jessica was absolutely AMAZING!!! Truly top notch professional on here that I would recommend highly! She want ABOVE AND BEYOND her services. After working with her, I not only had a better query letter, but my confidence and excitement were amplified - plus she gave me a TON of resources and recommendations to explore next on my pursuit of bringing my kids book to life.
Evelina V.

Evelina V.

Apr, 2023

Working with Jessica was a real pleasure. As somebody, who has never tried to publish a book, I was impressed with the amount of guidance and useful materials I received. Jessica was always very helpful, professional and put up with my sporadic e-mail answering. As a non-native speaker I imagine I had more grammar mistakes than an average writer, which Jessica thoroughly fixed, and had many gre...
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Meg T.

Meg T.

Mar, 2023

Jessica was wonderful to work with! She helped strengthen my story and get it ready to submit to literary agents and publishers. She was excited about the story, gave great feedback, and her suggestions kept the integrity of my story intact and only strengthened the characters and their adventures. I would absolutely work with Jessica again. Her support and knowledge has helped me feel confiden...
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