Adrienne Kisner

Adrienne Kisner - Editor

Boston, MA, USA

I love it all: Adult, MG, YA from sci fi to fantasy, from contemporary to thrillers or romance. Let's get your book ready to publish!

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I came to editing because I am, to my core, a reader. Give me your adult grim dark futures, your middle grade portals to another world, your YA romances between star-crossed lovers, your humor, your coming-of-age tales, your cozy mysteries, your thrillers, your contemporary realistic stories . . . I love it all.

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. I am also an author and understand the need to weigh the strong aspects of your story with the need for revision.

An example of one of the successful projects for which I gave editorial feedback:

-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

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 and was included on the Banks Street Books Best of Young Adult Fiction list 2021..

English (US)
Christian Fiction
LGBTQ Fiction
Middle Grade
Science Fiction
Thriller & Suspense
Young Adult


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


  • Texas Library Association Tayshas List
  • Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year
  • Massachusetts Book Award Must Read Book
  • ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project List 2021
  • 2019 ILA Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Award for YA Fiction
  • YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults 2019
  • YALSA Rainbow Book List 2018
  • Junior Library Guild Pick
  • Winner of the 2020 Green Earth Book Award for Young Adult Fiction
  • PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award, 2016

Work experience

Freelance Editor

January, 2016 – Present (about 7 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 5 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 (18 selected works)


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


Albert Mann, J.

Taylor Before and After

Englund, Jennie, Kellogg, Camille

Adrienne has 33 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Mona Frazier
I sought out a developmental editor for a completed Young Adult ms. Someone who could specify what was not working and how to take the novel to the next level, as several lit agents had requested but passed on representation. Adrienne's bid was timely, within my budget, and she knew the YA market. She sent me several pages commenting on the three acts, the pacing, plot points, how the theme...
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Mona Frazier, December 2022

megan chadsey
Her feedback was fantastic, it gave me exactly what I needed.

megan chadsey, November 2022

Janeen Swart
Adrienne supplied worthwhile corrections to my synopsis making it a much smoother, concise read. She also completely changed my cover letter to a different format than what I had been using. We'll see if it works.

Janeen Swart, November 2022

Heather Ammons
It was a pleasure to work with Adrienne Kisner.

Heather Ammons, November 2022

Shawn Kozlowski
Always a great experience with Adrienne. Clear and concise notes. Can't wait till we can work together again!

Shawn Kozlowski, September 2022

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