Eric Bell

Eric Bell - Editor

Philadelphia, PA, USA

Traditionally published middle grade author with experience editing, mentoring (Pitch Wars), teaching, coaching, and brainstorming.

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Overview

I am the traditionally published middle grade author of ALAN COLE IS NOT A COWARD and ALAN COLE DOESN'T DANCE (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins). My work has also appeared in the middle grade LGBTQ+ short story anthology THIS IS OUR RAINBOW (Knopf).

I am a regular mentor in Pitch Wars, an online mentoring program in which unpublished authors work with mentors through intensive revision and coaching with the eventual goal of acquiring an agent. This includes a full manuscript, a pitch, and a query letter. Several of my mentees have not only gone on to become agented, they have also sold the manuscripts we worked on together to major publishing houses. I also regularly run writing classes and workshops in which participants are subjected to my helpful developmental feedback and terrible jokes.

I believe in building up writers through honest and supportive feedback, discussing what's working about your manuscript, and engaging in a dialogue about what could be stronger.

I am skilled in all areas of craft, though if I had to pick one specialization, it would be character. I love bringing out the voices and personalities of characters and working on characterization exercises with my writers. However, I'm also good at picking apart a plot and peering into the innards to see what's working and what needs extra attention. Past writers I've worked with can tell you I'm adaptable to the needs of whatever story I'm working on.

Though I specialize in middle grade, I also have experience working with young adult fiction and picture books.

In addition to editing services, I also offer:
- Coaching that can be tailored to fit your needs
- Brainstorming help for story starts and snags

Testimonials:
“Eric helped me sharpen my characters, strengthen my climax and improve my middle grade manuscript in more ways than I can count. Beyond his keen insight, I appreciated his encouragement, his humour, and his willingness to be a sounding board in the stressful moments. Eric was a mentor in the very best sense of the word—he didn’t just help me write a better book, he helped prepare me for everything that came next. He was a pleasure to work with.” -Chad Lucas

“Eric provided such lovingly detailed, meticulous, and well-rounded feedback in his edit letters that gave me the tools to recraft and fine tune my manuscript. He invested far more time and care into helping my book become a better story than I ever could have imagined. In the most challenging of times, Eric’s knack for understanding the ins and outs of storytelling kept me inspired and gave me the confidence to make major changes in my writing. Ultimately, working with Eric gave me a clearer vision for my book and sharpened my skills as a writer in ways I’m still uncovering. His patience, knowledge of the industry, and passion for writing made him an invaluable part of my writing education.” -Jesse James Keitel

“Eric is such a thoughtful and thorough reader, and provides feedback for you to help clarify the ideas you care about and gain confidence in your story. From the beginning, he proved that he “got” my book and gave it such incredible attention, care and passion. He really helped strengthen my manuscript in areas I particularly struggle, such as tightening focus, heightening stakes and tying my plot lines together. He also reminded me how important it is to put the main message of the story front and center, and helped me reinforce the message of my novel in revisions. All of Eric’s edits made sense, and were very clear and concrete, so I found the editing process to not be as difficult as I feared. He’s also an incredible cheerleader; his encouragement helped me believe in my writing again. I can’t recommend working with Eric enough!” -Meg Kuyatt
Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Middle Grade
Middle Grade Fantasy
Young Adult

Awards

  • Rainbow List for GLTBQ+ Books for Children

Work experience

Faculty

Highlights Foundation
September, 2021 – Present (over 1 year)

Facilitated a small group of five writers who submitted twenty pages of their completed novels for peer review. Led discussion centered around questions each writer submitted and provided positive and constructive feedback centered around various aspects of craft and industry advice.

Workshop Facilitator

Self-employed
January, 2020 – Present (almost 3 years)

Facilitated virtual writing workshop centered around feedback on participants' manuscripts and additional freewriting sessions. Participants described feedback as supportive and helpful.

Editor

Yellow Bird Editing, Pitch Wars, freelance
July, 2018 – Present (over 4 years)

Provided developmental editing, including macro and micro level feedback, as well as an edit letter, line edits, and phone support. I have also mentored in Pitch Wars, an online mentoring program, for four years, which has resulted in two of my mentees landing agents and book deals.

Teacher

Self-employed
September, 2017 – Present (over 5 years)

Taught classes and ran educational writing workshops for adults, teens, and children. Topics included characterization, plot, voice, and setting, with homework to read a modern children's book and provide a brief report on it meant to stimulate critical thinking.

Copyeditor

Self-employed
January, 2017 – Present (almost 6 years)

Copyedited various documents for several companies, mostly consisting of educational modules, interviews, and internal documents. Helped draft style guides for two separate companies.

Portfolio (7 selected works)

Lola Shapes the Sky

Greenley, Wendy, Domeniconi, Paolo

The Wolf's Curse

Vitalis, Jessica

Good Different

Kuyatt, Meg Eden

Eric has 3 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Lorie Greenspan
Eric was extremely helpful in providing insight into what he liked about my manuscript versus what he believed needed to be revised. He also outlined areas where he thought I needed more plot work, which enabled me to break through the fog.

Lorie Greenspan, April 2022


Feng Han
It was easy to communicate with Eric and he provided us constructive feedback. We learned a lot from his notes and we know we can carry that knowledge to make our future books better.

Feng Han, March 2022


Brenda Dinges
Eric responds quickly and gives expert direction.

Brenda Dinges, March 2022

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