Alyssa Matesic

Alyssa Matesic - Editor

San Francisco, CA, USA

Passionate book editor who's worked with bestselling authors at Penguin Random House on thrillers, historical fiction, and book club reads.

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I'm a passionate fiction editor who loves helping writers tell compelling and moving stories. Having worked at Penguin Random House, Macmillan, and a top-tier literary agency, I have firsthand knowledge of what the country’s top agents and publishers are looking for—and how to get your manuscript noticed.

Between working in traditional houses and freelancing, I’ve evaluated and edited hundreds of novels, giving me a strong sense of what qualities help get a manuscript represented, acquired, and sold to readers. My experience spans line editing through multiple rounds of revision, high-level developmental editing, crafting thoughtful and constructive editorial letters, revising query letters, and evaluating manuscript submissions.

I'd love to help you refine your novel to flex its strengths or help craft a query letter that catches attention. I specialize in thriller/suspense, historical fiction, and contemporary women’s fiction. In short, anything that can be devoured in one sitting and spurs conversation!

Publishing can be an intimidating process to pursue on your own. Feel free to reach out with any questions you have about how we might work together. I’m here to help!

And if you're working on a thriller, check out my Reedsy Live webinar: "The 5 Most Common Suspense Pitfalls (and How to Avoid Them)"

English (US)
Contemporary Fiction
Historical Fiction
Historical Mysteries
Psychological Thriller
Romantic Suspense
Women's Fiction


  • Certificate in Book Publishing, New York University
  • BA in English and American Literature, New York University
  • Minor in Creative Nonfiction, New York University

Work experience

Freelance Book Editor

August, 2018 – Present (almost 3 years)

Evaluate submissions and provide extensive editorial feedback on client manuscripts for a group of top-tier New York City literary agents, including projects by New York Times bestselling authors. Complete full-novel developmental editing, editorial assessments, and query letter reviews for writers.

Editorial Assistant

Penguin Random House
May, 2017 – July, 2018 (about 1 year)

Independently edited novels from acquisition to publication through multiple rounds of revision. Assisted in editing books by New York Times bestselling authors, composing extensive editorial letters and providing constructive line edits. Evaluated dozens of monthly fiction submissions.

Genres: thriller/suspense, historical fiction, and women's fiction.

Literary Agent Assistant

The Book Group
September, 2015 – April, 2017 (over 1 year)

Composed detailed editorial letters for leading literary agents regarding clients’ manuscripts before submission to editors. Independently managed agency's submissions inbox, reviewing hundreds of queries and determining whether to consider them or pass.

Genres: thriller/suspense, historical fiction, women's fiction, and literary fiction.

Editorial Staff

Macmillan (Henry Holt and Company)
June, 2015 – August, 2015 (2 months)

Evaluated submissions from agents and wrote editorial letters to strengthen novels prior to publication.

Genres: literary fiction and narrative nonfiction.

Editorial Assistant

Gibson Square Books
February, 2015 – May, 2015 (3 months)

Line edited and proofread manuscripts for independent London publishing house, working with writers through rounds of revision.

Genres: humor, thriller, nonfiction, and self-help.

Portfolio (18 selected works)

Keep You Close: A Novel

Cleveland, Karen

In Her Shadow: A Novel

Miller, Kristin

Tell Me Everything: A Novel

Brockman, Cambria

Lost Roses: A Novel

Kelly, Martha Hall

The Winters: A Novel

Gabriele, Lisa

Tangerine: A Novel

Mangan, Christine

The Little Clan

Cohen, Iris Martin

Need to Know: A Novel

Cleveland, Karen

Bad Girl: Hush Money Mystery Series, Book 2

T. E. Woods, Xe Sands, Tantor Audio

The Marriage Pact: A Novel

Richmond, Michelle

Alyssa has 66 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Leah Rice
It has been a pleasure collaborating with Alyssa. Her precision and clarity has elevated my manuscript to a whole new level. I am so pleased with the outcome.

Leah Rice, May 2021

Bill Black
A gem.

Bill Black, May 2021

Charles Brace
I found working with Alyssa invaluable and would highly recommend her work. Her help and insights strengthened my book and gave critical feedback to improve the final product. Her professionalism and attention to detail were both superior, I cannot recommend highly enough.

Charles Brace, April 2021

lori mathews
Ms. Matesic is wonderfully thorough and generous with her help, with her process and with her feedback. Ms. Matesic was able to guide me toward a better understanding of my novel and where it should be headed so that it can be successful. Ms. Matesic work on my behalf was solid and invaluable.

lori mathews, April 2021

Natasha Mileusnic
Alyssa was fabulous! She asked insightful questions, made smart suggestions about what to cut and clarify and flesh out, and addressed specific questions about my manuscript. I got the feeling she really understood what I was trying to achieve. She was also responsive and generous with her feedback in a couple of follow-up emails. I highly recommend working with Alyssa!

Natasha Mileusnic, April 2021

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