Adrienne Kisner

Adrienne Kisner - Editor

Boston, MA, USA

Send me your wild space adventures or your quiet slices of life; sci fi, fantasy, romance, YA/MG/Adult -I'll love your stories as my own.

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Salutations! I am an experienced editor, writing professor, and author. I love working with both new and more seasoned writers to get their novels, synopses, and query letters into the best shape possible. I will bring my passion, attention to detail, and encouragement to your work.

A sample of the books I've developmentally edited:

-STAND UP, YUMI CHUNG! by Jessica Kim

Praise for STAND UP:

★“With wonderful supporting characters, strong pacing, and entertaining comedy bits, debut author Kim has woven a pop song of immigrant struggle colliding with comedy and Korean barbecue.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★"Kim has taught school, and it shows, both with the spot-on dialogue and the up-to-date social media references... This will certainly remind readers of Kelly Yang's Front Desk (2018)."
—Booklist, starred review

★"A must-read."
—School Library Connection, starred review

-THE DEGENERATES by J. Albert Mann


“The author portrays the movement's prejudice, racism, and violence with brutal realism; an author's note explains that the doctors' dehumanizing dialogue comes verbatim from real medical notes. Crucially, she reminds readers that such prejudice still exists. . . . Respectful, unflinching, and eye-opening.” -- Kirkus Reviews

-FIX by J. Albert Mann

Praise for FIX:

“Intense, unflinching…a gratifying story.”

―Kirkus Reviews

"Eve’s physical and emotional experiences resonate, and the supporting cast…are vividly drawn in this hopeful contemporary novel."―Publishers Weekly

“The insidiousness of substance dependency, grief, and pain weave together in this incredibly powerful, all-consuming, captivating novel.”

―The Tiny Activist

A sample of the books on which I've offered an editorial assessment:



Query letter edit samples available upon request

In addition to freelance editing, I have taught writing for publicaiton at Wheelock College (Boston, MA), Southern New Hampshire University (Manchester, NH) and The Writing Barn (Austin, TX). I've participated in several rounds of the "Author Mentor Match" program; all of my mentees have gone on to sign with agents and/or land impressive book deals. Other queries I've critiqued have netted agents at: Dystel, Goderich & Bourret; Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency; Sandford J. Greenburger Associates; Ravenquill Literary Agency; New Leaf Literary; Inkwell Management Literary Agency; Headwater Literary Management, and Laura Dail Literary Agency (to name a few!)

My Author Bio:

Adrienne Kisner has lived her entire “adult” life in a college dormitory working in both Residence Life and college chaplaincy. She went to school for a long time so that now she gets to swoop around in a fancy robe and silly hat (like at Hogwarts). She also has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts (a place like Hogwarts). Adrienne is a birder and knitter with more heart and enthusiasm than actual skill. Her debut novel DEAR RACHEL MADDOW won a 2016 PEN New England Susan P Bloom Discovery Award and was one of YALSA’s 2019 picks for Best Fiction for Young Adults. Her second novel, THE CONFUSION OF LAUREL GRAHAM, was released in the 2019 and won the Green Earth Book Award in 2020. Book three, SIX ANGRY GIRLS, came out in 2020 and is shortlisted for Massachusetts Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Fiction Award 2021.


"What unfolds is a heartbreaking but ultimately hopeful tale of a struggling student who sees an injustice and steps in. She does so unwillingly, but still, she does. Brynn is realistically depicted and even though this novel is epistolary, the supporting characters are well fleshed out, too. A necessary purchase wherever there are teens." —School Library Journal, starred review

"In her debut novel, Kisner uses the epistolary format to portray the life of a girl who has very little parental support and is seemingly falling through the cracks at school. . .Revealing Brynn to be an individual withrealistic insecurities, biases, and complexities, Kisner playfully explores the very human manner in which a stranger like Maddow might come to feel like a friend and confidant."—Publishers Weekly


"There is a sweet and potent earnestness here that casts out any sort of hipper-than-thou irony and fully embraces Laurel’s passion, highlighting her ambition and hard work, both as a photographer and birder. Her self-recrimination over not stopping her grandmother from going for a walk on that fateful day is believable, though misguided, and the threat of two major losses—her grandmother and the preserve—is deftly conveyed as her efforts to find the elusive bird and stop the development become more frantic. The ending is bittersweet, but Laurel’s tough, and it seems likely she’ll weather the winds of change just fine until bluer skies arrive." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books


"Speech and debate meets Shine Theory in this smart school romp . . . With a lightness of hand, Kisner brings together a unique group of girls, diverse in personality, identity, and sexual orientation, to create a potent story about camaraderie and power." -Publisher's Weekly

"Kisner’s diverse, impassioned, and witty novel about smashing the patriarchy will leave readers feeling empowered. A must-have for any library collection. (Starred review) -School Library Journal

*Named one of Bank Street Best Children's Books of 2021

English (US)
Chick Lit
Christian Fiction
Contemporary Fiction
LGBTQ Fiction
Middle Grade
Science Fiction
Young Adult


  • Ph.D--Theology, Boston University, Boston, MA
  • MFA--Writing, Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, VT


  • International Literacy Association Children's and Young Adults' Award for Young Adult Fiction, 2019
  • Green Earth Book Award, 2019
  • PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Award 2016

Work experience

Freelance Editor

January, 2016 – Present (about 6 years)

Provided whole novel critiques, query submission critiques, and on-going mentorship to authors at various stages of their career. Services included developmental editing, line editing, proof-reading, query outlines, preparing packets, and face-to-face mentoring during agent and editor submission process.

Adjunct Professor

April, 2018 – Present (almost 4 years)

In my courses, students can choose to focus on any of the following: Brainstorming, generative writing, developmental/concept editing, line editing, revision planning, querying, synopsis writing, & deciding on an agent or editor.

Courses Taught:

Fiction Workshop
Advanced Fiction Workshop

Adjunct Professor

Wheelock College
August, 2015 – May, 2018 (over 2 years)

Courses Taught:

English Composition I
English Composition II
Creative Writing
Introduction to Religious Studies

Portfolio (13 selected works)


Albert Mann, J.

Taylor Before and After

Englund, Jennie, Kellogg, Camille


Condie, Ally

Confusion of Laurel Graham

Kisner, Adrienne

Six Angry Girls

Kisner, Adrienne

The Ivies

Donne, Alexa

The Degenerates

Mann, J. Albert

Dessert First

Gloster, Dean

Adrienne has 9 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Dakota Cahill
Adrienne did a phenomenal job! I couldn't be happier with the entire process and final product. Highly recommend!

Dakota Cahill, January 2022

David Lugo
Adrienne was a pleasure to work with. Her suggestions for my work were spot on, and presented in such an encouraging way. I know my novel is so much better after reading her thorough comments. She found quirks in my writing I wasn't even aware I had, as well as places where the voice of my characters were being a little too writerly (is that a word? It is now.) Furthermore she also shared wit...
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David Lugo, January 2022

Alexandra Magill
First of all I am absolutely thrilled with the edits and commentary I received from Adrienne! Since this is my first novel, I was incredibly nervous about the entire editing process and I wasn't sure if I even really needed help, but holy smokes am I glad I chose Adrienne to edit my work! She was extremely punctual and detail oriented when leaving me comments. I feel like she really internalize...
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Alexandra Magill, January 2022

Miriam Sawan
Adrienne provided thorough and detailed feedback on my manuscript. She was very engaged with my novel and shared her industry insights, which I hope will improve the quality of my writing as I make further edits. She was punctual, accessible, kind and a joy to collaborate with. I highly recommend Adrienne.

Miriam Sawan, January 2022

Emily LeVault
I cannot say enough about Adrienne’s work. The feedback was both challenging and encouraging, and I look forward to working together again.

Emily LeVault, January 2022

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