Amy Hughes

Amy Hughes – Editor

As an editor with 30+ years experience, I love to help writers organize and structure their books and polish and fine-tune their prose.


I've worked in publishing since 1987 and was formerly the editor-in-chief of Chanticleer Press in New York. As an editor, I’m know for digging deep to help writers tease out exactly what they wish to say—and communicate it in the clearest way possible. For most of my career, I've specialized in nonfiction, mainly illustrated books, and I also edit literary fiction, memoir, and narrative nonfiction. I've developed and copyedited books (including series) and essays across a wide range of subjects and genres: history, true crime, current events/topics, memoir, literary fiction, children's nonfiction, sports, travel, science, field guides, how-to, crafts, cooking, wine, cinema, photography, architecture, and art. I worked almost exclusively in natural history for the first two decades of my career and have a deep understanding of a wide variety of subjects in that field, including birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, trees, astronomy, rain forests, ecology, habitat, conservation, and so forth.

I love getting to know and collaborating with writers to help them produce a well-structured, well-organized, internally consistent manuscript with clear and engaging prose. I'm hands-on as an editor and approach each project with my full attention. I listen to authors to find out what they're looking for and make a point to explain the editing process. I work equally well with first-time writers and seasoned professionals.
Art History Nature
Literary Fiction
English (UK) English (US)

Work experience


Jan, 1988 — Present

Involved in every facet of editorial process and development, in digital and print media. Longtime website and book-publishing professional, with experience in conceiving and developing website and book projects (including series); hiring authors, artists, mapmakers, and support staff; and editing, copyediting, and fact-checking copy through all phases of production. Have worked on wide variety of illustrated books (fine art, nature, home decorating, food, gardening, lifestyle, travel guides), fiction and nonfiction, and websites. Write about travel, natural history, ecology and conservation, culture, family and relationships, current events, and other material. Clients include many New York and national publishers, businesses, and websites as well as individuals.

Kids Discover/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York

Nov, 2016 — Jun, 2017 (7 months)

Head writer and editor of a team tasked with developing, updating, and revising four dozen titles in the Kids Discover magazine series for an innovative new fifth- and sixth-grade social studies curriculum launched by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Fine Creative Media, New York

Apr, 2009 — May, 2016 (about 7 years)

Editor and writer for startup website company,. Conceived article ideas; researched, assigned, and edited and/or wrote articles and blog posts; managed production cycle and schedules.

Jan, 1999 — Dec, 2005 (almost 7 years)

In-house editor, writer, and naturalist for Webby-award-winning website dedicated to educating people about North America’s wildlife, plants, habitats, and other aspects of the natural world. Principal in the site’s conception and launch. Reviewed and edited all content; conceived and developed new features and material; wrote articles for newsletters (peak newsletter circulation: 400,000), web-based articles, and weekly night sky guides; conceived and created online guides to invasive plants, native plants for gardening, and endangered species; wrote copy for quizzes and contests. Worked closely with designers and technicians in setting up and testing site features. Prepared copy for posting online in html and worked in various online content management tools.

Chanticleer Press, New York

Jun, 1987 — Sep, 2008 (over 21 years)

Served in various staff capacities over 20 years, from editorial assistant to editor-in-chief, as well as a freelance project editor. Chanticleer Press is America’s oldest packager of science and nature books, creator of the National Audubon Society (NAS) Field Guides and Pocket Guides (Knopf) and the Taylor’s Guides to Gardening (Houghton Mifflin). Under my tenure as editor-in-chief, we expanded these series and launched the Sibley Guides to Birds, the NAS First Field Guides (Scholastic), the NAS Regional Field Guides (Knopf), and the National Wildlife Federation Field Guides (Sterling). I coordinated editorial production of high-quality illustrated books from conception stage through bound book. Conceived book and project ideas; hired and worked with authors, consultants, staff, and freelancers; worked closely with photo editors, mapmakers, illustrators, and design department; edited text; maintained schedules; and oversaw work of all support staff.


“Murphy artfully connects multiple narratives to produce a sprawling tale of love, family, duty, war, and displacement. It is above all a stinging indictment of the ill-fated war in Iraq and the heavy tolls it continues to exact on its people.”—Khaled Hosseini... read more
In 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the presidency with the help of key African American defectors from the Republican Party. At the time, most African Americans lived in poverty, denied citizenship rights and terrorized... read more
The untold story of Michelangelo's final decades―and his transformation into one of the greatest architects of the Italian RenaissanceAs he entered his seventies, the great Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo despaired that his productive years were past. ... read more
A brilliantly conceived and vividly drawn story―Washington, D.C. on the eve of Abraham Lincoln’s historic second inaugural address as the lens through which to understand all the complexities of the Civil War By March 4, 1865, the Civil War had slaughtered mor... read more
Everyone has questions about drinking, but it can seem like every bartender (and bargoer) has different answers. Between the old wives' tales, half-truths, and whiskey-soaked conjectures, it's hard to know what to believe—until now.Armed with cutting-edge rese... read more
How the lives of wild honey bees offer vital lessons for saving the world’s managed bee coloniesHumans have kept honey bees in hives for millennia, yet only in recent decades have biologists begun to investigate how these industrious insects live in the wild. ... read more
“Once in a great while, a natural history book changes the way people look at the world. In 1838, John ames Audubon’s Birds of America was one...In 1934, Roger Tory Peterson produced Field Guide to the Birds...Now comes The Sibley Guide to Birds.”Thus did The ... read more

Antoinette Le Normand-Romain

Essential for every art lover—the definitive new book on Rodin's life and work. With more than 350 pictures, many never before seen, Rodin reveals, in great beauty and detail, the genius of the man known as the father of modern sculpture. The stories of Rodin'... read more
Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms is the catalog for the first comprehensive traveling exhibition devoted to Norman Rockwell's iconic depictions of FDR's Four Freedoms. Enduring Ideals illuminates both the historic context in which FDR a... read more
In this visually stunning and much anticipated book, acclaimed art historian Joseph Koerner casts the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel in a completely new light, revealing how the painting of everyday life was born from what seems its polar opp... read more
How science changed the way artists understand realityExploring the Invisible shows how modern art expresses the first secular, scientific worldview in human history. Now fully revised and expanded, this richly illustrated book describes two hundred years of s... read more
This book tells a story to shake the conscience of the world. It is the catalogue of the first-ever traveling exhibition about the Auschwitz concentration camp, where 1.1 million people―mostly Jews, but also non-Jewish Poles, Roma, and others―lost their lives.... read more
Shuggie Bain is the unforgettable story of young Hugh “Shuggie” Bain, a sweet and lonely boy who spends his 1980s childhood in run-down public housing in Glasgow, Scotland. Thatcher’s policies have put husbands and sons out of work, and the city’s notorious dr... read more
Elements of Fiction

Walter Mosley

In his essential writing guide, This Year You Write Your Novel, Walter Mosley supplied aspiring writers with the basic tools to write a novel in one year. In this com-plementary follow up, Mosley guides the writer through the elements of not just any fiction w... read more
A remarkable four-year investigation into the dangerous world of synthetic drugs―from black market drug factories in China to users and dealers on the streets of the U.S. to harm reduction activists in Europe―which reveals for the first time the next wave of t... read more
The Last Stone

Mark Bowden

The true story of a cold case, a compulsive liar, and five determined detectives, from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author and “master journalist” (The Wall Street Journal). On March 29, 1975, sisters Katherine and Sheila Lyons, ages ten and twelve, vanis... read more

Amy has 1 review





Gail M.

Gail M.

Oct, 2020

Working with Amy was a pleasure - Five stars! I would have no reservations recommending her work to another author.

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