Alyssa Matesic

Alyssa Matesic - Editor

Boston, MA, 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 (about 2 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, line editing, and query letter review 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 26 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Elia Sheldon
From the very beginning of our collaboration, Alyssa has impressed me as a talented and professional editor. She set expectations in terms of timing of deliverables and met those expectations every single time. The feedback she provided on my manuscript, both inline and in an editorial letter, is so helpful and already has my creative wheels spinning in productive and exciting ways. From a tech...
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Elia Sheldon, October 2020

Peter Sacks
Alyssa is knowledgeable and a great resource for a writer focused on honing a query and pages prior to submission. I would work with her again.

Peter Sacks, October 2020

Kerry Crisley
Thanks to Alyssa's fantastic suggestions, I got a hit on my new and improved query letter!!

Kerry Crisley, October 2020

Cathlin Sullivan
Alyssa provided exactly what I was looking for. From the beginning, she was the most clear about pricing and what she was able to provide. Her editorial assessment gave me the direction and confidence that I needed to continue to work on my novel. I am so happy and grateful that I was able to work with Alyssa.

Cathlin Sullivan, October 2020

Alexandra Diemand
After Alyssa worked with me on my redraft for an agent, the agent got back to me and said that he loved the book! Thank you so much Alyssa! I´m super happy! Let´s just say Alyssa went above and beyond! She is very familiar with the suspense genre, and caught some inconsistencies as well as issues concerning pacing and tension build-up. But even more importantly, she came up with great ideas h...
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Alexandra Diemand, October 2020

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