Blair Thornburgh

Blair Thornburgh - Editor

Downingtown, PA, USA

Former Senior Editor with 8+ years in publishing, YA/kids author with Harper, S&S, Abrams. Bring me your YA, fantasy, romance, and more!

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Overview

Hi there! I'm Blair, a professional editor, published author, and publishing instructor with over seven years' experience in trade publishing. I love YA, fantasy, romance, sci-fi, dystopian, and all kinds of children's books. During my years at Quirk Books, I got to work on the signature brand of delightful and quirky bestselling fiction, including the fan favorite YA novel GEEKERELLA series and its follow-ups. As an editor, I've worked on everything from NYT bestsellers to Goodreads Choice Award finalists to five-starred indie releases. I was honored to receive the prestigious Publishers Weekly Star Watch nomination in 2017 for my editorial work.

I'm also the author of two critically-acclaimed YA novels from HarperTeen and two picture books with Abrams and Simon & Schuster. I've received starred reviews and made both Publishers Weekly and Booklist's "best books of the year" lists. I received my MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University, where I was awarded two scholarships for my picture book and critical writing, and have taught publishing and writing at Rosemont College, the Romance Writers of America conference, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, BinderCon, Writers Digest, and many more.

In my editorial work, I work hard to create a collaborative and constructive atmosphere. Seeing things from the "author perspective" allows me to bring an empathy and deeper understanding to my feedback style—I know what it's like, and I know it's just as important to point out what IS working as well as what needs work. I specialize in young adult genre fiction and picture books, but have worked on a breadth of genres and age categories, and have worked happily with authors seeking traditional and/or indie publication.

If you think we'd be a fit, I'd love to hear from you! Send me a message and tell me about your book and your goals.

TESTIMONIALS
“I received 11 requests and an offer of rep last week! Thanks for your edits and being a part of the querying process. I appreciate it so much.”
—Brian Z., YA magical realism

"I just had to let you know that the book is doing fantastic on Amazon. It’s #1 in two categories and #6 in a third on Free Kindle [...] I couldn’t have done it without you!”
—Louisa B., historical fiction

“Her feedback was amazing. Parts of the story I had questions about, Blair helped me see how to either blow them out, change things or get rid of them—not huge parts, just the little things that niggled at me—she somehow magnified what the problem was. [...] Totally worth the money, I would recommend Blair wholeheartedly to anyone who wants solid, honest and professional feedback for their project.”
—Lesley W., literary fiction

“Blair’s knowledge and her in-depth analysis of my manuscripts at The Author Studio exceeded all expectations for a truly professional edit of my works. I highly would recommend her to anyone as the best editor I have encountered. I will never change again!”
—Tom Haase, author of the Coastal Adventure series

“Blair, you are the BEST!!!! Thank you so much for your kind words and amazing assessment!!!! I can't wait to start revising—you rock!!!”
—Kat M., YA contemporary
Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Dystopian
Fantasy
Historical Fiction
Picture Books
Romance
Women's Fiction
Young Adult

Certifications

  • MFA in Creative Writing
  • Member, Romance Writers of America
  • Member, Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

Awards

  • Publishers Weekly Star Watch Nominee 2017

Work experience

Senior Editor

Quirk Books
January, 2013 – Present (over 7 years)

Adjunct Instructor, Editing

Rosemont College Graduate School of Publishing
September, 2019 – Present (about 1 year)

Lead Editor

The Author Studio
June, 2017 – Present (over 3 years)

Portfolio (23 selected works)

The Princess and the Fangirl: A Geekerella Fairytale (Once Upon A Con Book 2)

Ashley Poston

The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston. Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actr... read more

The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston. Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actr... read more

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge: A Novel

Paul Krueger

In this sharp and funny urban fantasy novel, booze is magic, demons are real, and millennial Bailey Chen joins a band of monster-fighting Chicago bartenders instead of finding a “real” post-college job. Bailey Chen is fresh out of college with all the usual new-adult demons: no cash, no job offers, and an awkward relationship with Zane, the old friend she kinda-sorta hooked up with during high... read more

In this sharp and funny urban fantasy novel, booze is magic, demons are real, and millennial Bailey Chen joins a band of monster-fighting Chicago bartenders instead of finding a “real” post-college job. Bailey Chen is fresh out of college with all the usual new-adult demons: no cash, no job offers, and an awkward relationship with Zane, the old friend she kinda-sorta hooked up with during high... read more

Soul Bound (Waterborn Series Book 4)

Kimberly James

Heartbroken after his break-up with Erin, Jamie Jacobs reluctantly acts as the poster boy when his kind is officially introduced to the world. But Jamie doesn’t relish the role of circus clown, and when an unexpected ally offers him the chance to change his course, Jamie must decide between the life he thought he wanted and one that will mean breaking all ties to those he loves.If Noah Jacobs ... read more

Heartbroken after his break-up with Erin, Jamie Jacobs reluctantly acts as the poster boy when his kind is officially introduced to the world. But Jamie doesn’t relish the role of circus clown, and when an unexpected ally offers him the chance to change his course, Jamie must decide between the life he thought he wanted and one that will mean breaking all ties to those he loves.If Noah Jacobs ... read more

Hades Academy: First Semester

Abbie Lyons

I thought I could survive anything—until I met actual demons.Ever since my mother disappeared, I’d been fending for myself on the streets of New York by running scams—anything to get a dollar.So when I almost lightning-blast my latest victim (WTF), and some guy in a slick suit saves me from the cops by telling me I’m half-demon (double WTF) and I belong at a place literally called Hades Academ... read more

I thought I could survive anything—until I met actual demons.Ever since my mother disappeared, I’d been fending for myself on the streets of New York by running scams—anything to get a dollar.So when I almost lightning-blast my latest victim (WTF), and some guy in a slick suit saves me from the cops by telling me I’m half-demon (double WTF) and I belong at a place literally called Hades Academ... read more

Geekerella: A Fangirl Fairy Tale (Once Upon A Con)

Ashley Poston

Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale romance. Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest f... read more

Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale romance. Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest f... read more

Skulls!

Blair Thornburgh

Debut picture book author Blair Thornburgh and award-winning illustrator Scott Campbell put their heads together to celebrate one of the most important bones in your body: the skull!You probably don’t think much about skulls. So what’s the big deal about them? Well, every head of every person you’ve ever seen has a skull inside. And that includes YOU! This smart, skull-positive story cheerfull... read more

Debut picture book author Blair Thornburgh and award-winning illustrator Scott Campbell put their heads together to celebrate one of the most important bones in your body: the skull!You probably don’t think much about skulls. So what’s the big deal about them? Well, every head of every person you’ve ever seen has a skull inside. And that includes YOU! This smart, skull-positive story cheerfull... read more

My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel

Kitty Curran, Larissa Zageris

The romance novel that lets you pick your path, follow your heart, and find happily ever afterYou are the plucky but penniless heroine in the center of eighteenth-century society, courtship season has begun, and your future is at hand. Will you flip forward fetchingly to find love with the bantering baronet Sir Benedict Granville? Or turn the page to true love with the hardworking, horse-lovin... read more

The romance novel that lets you pick your path, follow your heart, and find happily ever afterYou are the plucky but penniless heroine in the center of eighteenth-century society, courtship season has begun, and your future is at hand. Will you flip forward fetchingly to find love with the bantering baronet Sir Benedict Granville? Or turn the page to true love with the hardworking, horse-lovin... read more

Sword of Peace

Louisa M Bauman

Will she betray her friends to save her own life?Anna thinks she has escaped the violence of the Reformation when she moves to Amsterdam. However, in November 1531, Charles V mandates all subjects to swear allegiance to the Holy Roman Empire, or be arrested and tried for heresy. Terror reigns in the city when Spanish officials arrive in this ‘nest of heretics’, determined to hunt down those wh... read more

Will she betray her friends to save her own life?Anna thinks she has escaped the violence of the Reformation when she moves to Amsterdam. However, in November 1531, Charles V mandates all subjects to swear allegiance to the Holy Roman Empire, or be arrested and tried for heresy. Terror reigns in the city when Spanish officials arrive in this ‘nest of heretics’, determined to hunt down those wh... read more

Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods: A Novel

Tania del Rio

Warren the 13th is back in another lushly illustrated middle grade adventure.In the spirit of Edward Gorey and Tim Burton, this fast-paced and beautifully-designed sequel to Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye is packed with nonstop action, adventure, and mystery for middle-grade readers. Twelve-year-old Warren has learned that his beloved hotel can walk, and now it’s ferrying guests around... read more

Warren the 13th is back in another lushly illustrated middle grade adventure.In the spirit of Edward Gorey and Tim Burton, this fast-paced and beautifully-designed sequel to Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye is packed with nonstop action, adventure, and mystery for middle-grade readers. Twelve-year-old Warren has learned that his beloved hotel can walk, and now it’s ferrying guests around... read more

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks

Sam Maggs

This ultimate handbook for ladies living the nerdy life is a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom. Fandom, feminism, cosplay, cons, books, memes, podcasts, vlogs, OTPs and RPGs and MMOs and more—it’s never been a better time to be a girl geek. With delightful illustrations and an unabashed love for all the in(ternet)s and outs of geek culture, this book is packed ... read more

This ultimate handbook for ladies living the nerdy life is a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom. Fandom, feminism, cosplay, cons, books, memes, podcasts, vlogs, OTPs and RPGs and MMOs and more—it’s never been a better time to be a girl geek. With delightful illustrations and an unabashed love for all the in(ternet)s and outs of geek culture, this book is packed ... read more

Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven

Jaya Saxena, Jess Zimmerman

A magical lifestyle guide for everything from powering up a stylish crystal to banishing terrible Tinder datesWant to feel terrifyingly beautiful? Wear the right color of eye shadow to project otherworldly glamour. Need to exorcise a toxic friendship? Repeat the proper incantation and make it disappear. Want to increase your energy? Whip up a tasty herbal “potion” to rev up your stamina. DIY p... read more

A magical lifestyle guide for everything from powering up a stylish crystal to banishing terrible Tinder datesWant to feel terrifyingly beautiful? Wear the right color of eye shadow to project otherworldly glamour. Need to exorcise a toxic friendship? Repeat the proper incantation and make it disappear. Want to increase your energy? Whip up a tasty herbal “potion” to rev up your stamina. DIY p... read more

Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of '80s and '90s Teen Fiction

Gabrielle Moss

A hilarious and nostalgic trip through the history of paperback pre-teen series of the 80s and 90s.Every twenty- or thirty-something woman knows these books. The pink covers, the flimsy paper, the zillion volumes in the series that kept you reading for your entire adolescence. Spurred by the commercial success of Sweet Valley High and The Babysitters Club, these were not the serious-issue YA n... read more

A hilarious and nostalgic trip through the history of paperback pre-teen series of the 80s and 90s.Every twenty- or thirty-something woman knows these books. The pink covers, the flimsy paper, the zillion volumes in the series that kept you reading for your entire adolescence. Spurred by the commercial success of Sweet Valley High and The Babysitters Club, these were not the serious-issue YA n... read more

Girl Squads: 20 Female Friendships That Changed History

Sam Maggs

A fun and feisty tour of famous girl BFFs from history who stuck together and changed the world.A modern girl is nothing without her squad of besties. But don't let all the hashtags fool you: the #girlsquad goes back a long, long time. In this hilarious and heartfelt book, geek girl Sam Maggs takes you on a tour of some of history's most famous female BFFs, including: • Anne Bonny and Mary Rea... read more

A fun and feisty tour of famous girl BFFs from history who stuck together and changed the world.A modern girl is nothing without her squad of besties. But don't let all the hashtags fool you: the #girlsquad goes back a long, long time. In this hilarious and heartfelt book, geek girl Sam Maggs takes you on a tour of some of history's most famous female BFFs, including: • Anne Bonny and Mary Rea... read more

Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History

Sam Maggs

A fun and feminist look at forgotten women in science, technology, and beyond, from the bestselling author of THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY You may think you know women’s history pretty well. But have you ever heard of. . . · Alice Ball, the chemist who developed an effective treatment for leprosy—only to have the credit taken by a man?· Mary Sherman Morgan, the rocket scientist whose liqu... read more

A fun and feminist look at forgotten women in science, technology, and beyond, from the bestselling author of THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY You may think you know women’s history pretty well. But have you ever heard of. . . · Alice Ball, the chemist who developed an effective treatment for leprosy—only to have the credit taken by a man?· Mary Sherman Morgan, the rocket scientist whose liqu... read more

Stuff Every Graduate Should Know: A Handbook for the Real World (Stuff You Should Know)

Alyssa Favreau

The New York Times best seller makes the perfect graduation gift for young adults in the real world! This ultimate pocket-sized guide for life after school is filled with information for every step of the road to adulthood. Just because you’ve got a diploma in hand doesn’t mean you know everything—especially if it’s doing laundry, cleaning your house, or acing an interview. Topics include: · H... read more

The New York Times best seller makes the perfect graduation gift for young adults in the real world! This ultimate pocket-sized guide for life after school is filled with information for every step of the road to adulthood. Just because you’ve got a diploma in hand doesn’t mean you know everything—especially if it’s doing laundry, cleaning your house, or acing an interview. Topics include: · H... read more

Stuff Every Groom Should Know (Stuff You Should Know)

Eric San Juan

Perfect for engagement parties or a groomsman’s gift, this little black book has all the skills a guy needs to get from “yes!” to “I do.” Fun, easy, and stress-free chapters on wedding planning for dudes include: ·How to Budget for a Wedding ·How to Choose the Best Best Man ·How to Pick the Perfect Tux ·How to Write Your Own Vows ·How to Survive Your Bachelor Party

Perfect for engagement parties or a groomsman’s gift, this little black book has all the skills a guy needs to get from “yes!” to “I do.” Fun, easy, and stress-free chapters on wedding planning for dudes include: ·How to Budget for a Wedding ·How to Choose the Best Best Man ·How to Pick the Perfect Tux ·How to Write Your Own Vows ·How to Survive Your Bachelor Party

Stuff Every Wine Snob Should Know (Stuff You Should Know)

Melissa Monosoff

Full of tips, trivia, and useful how-tos, this pocket-sized handbook is the perfect gift for wine lovers.Wine is one of the world’s oldest beverages, and there’s never been a better time to fill a glass with the fruit of the vine. Whether you prefer robust reds, crisp whites, or subtle rosés, you’ll find lots to drink in on the pages of this pocket-sized guide, packed with information, how-tos... read more

Full of tips, trivia, and useful how-tos, this pocket-sized handbook is the perfect gift for wine lovers.Wine is one of the world’s oldest beverages, and there’s never been a better time to fill a glass with the fruit of the vine. Whether you prefer robust reds, crisp whites, or subtle rosés, you’ll find lots to drink in on the pages of this pocket-sized guide, packed with information, how-tos... read more

Stuff Every Beer Snob Should Know (Stuff You Should Know)

Ellen Goldstein

This pocket-sized handbook to all things beer is the perfect gift for the homebrewer, craft beer lover, or anyone who appreciates a good pint.From classic craft beers to trendy microbrews, beer is booming nationwide. Whether you prefer light lagers or hearty stouts, you’ll find lots to drink in on the pages of this pocket-sized guide, packed with information, how-tos, and trivia for beer enthu... read more

This pocket-sized handbook to all things beer is the perfect gift for the homebrewer, craft beer lover, or anyone who appreciates a good pint.From classic craft beers to trendy microbrews, beer is booming nationwide. Whether you prefer light lagers or hearty stouts, you’ll find lots to drink in on the pages of this pocket-sized guide, packed with information, how-tos, and trivia for beer enthu... read more

Betrayed Angel (Coastal Adventure Series Book 1)

Tom Haase

Chuck McGregor, adrenaline junkie, is done with combat and itching for something to do. He's got wealth on his side, but no direction to guide him. For now, he spends his days on the Georgia beach and his nights drinking too much. He has no job, no friends, no purpose.Until one day on the beach he hears a young woman scream, fighting to get away from two men. When he goes to help, one of them ... read more

Chuck McGregor, adrenaline junkie, is done with combat and itching for something to do. He's got wealth on his side, but no direction to guide him. For now, he spends his days on the Georgia beach and his nights drinking too much. He has no job, no friends, no purpose.Until one day on the beach he hears a young woman scream, fighting to get away from two men. When he goes to help, one of them ... read more

Fire Bound (Waterborn Series Book 5)

Kimberly James

Sol Kelley believes in two things: himself and magic. He doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t have regrets. He see’s a problem, he deals with it. Convincingly. Some people think that makes him an asshole. Sol thinks it makes him expedient.When the magic goes perversely wrong, Sol has no choice but to resort to extreme measures. Blowing up his boat while he was still on it sounded like a good idea... read more

Sol Kelley believes in two things: himself and magic. He doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t have regrets. He see’s a problem, he deals with it. Convincingly. Some people think that makes him an asshole. Sol thinks it makes him expedient.When the magic goes perversely wrong, Sol has no choice but to resort to extreme measures. Blowing up his boat while he was still on it sounded like a good idea... read more

Who's That Girl

Blair Thornburgh

This laugh-out-loud debut is filled with hilarious awkward encounters, a supportive LGBTQ organization, and too many cheesy lyrics to count—all with the compulsive readability of Audrey, Wait! and Boy Meets Boy. Junior Nattie McCullough has always been that under-the-radar straight girl who hangs out in the cafeteria with her gay-straight alliance friends. She’s never been the girl that gets t... read more

This laugh-out-loud debut is filled with hilarious awkward encounters, a supportive LGBTQ organization, and too many cheesy lyrics to count—all with the compulsive readability of Audrey, Wait! and Boy Meets Boy. Junior Nattie McCullough has always been that under-the-radar straight girl who hangs out in the cafeteria with her gay-straight alliance friends. She’s never been the girl that gets t... read more

Ordinary Girls

Blair Thornburgh

Perfect for fans of Sarah Mlynowski and Jenny Han, this heartfelt and humorous contemporary take on Sense and Sensibility follows two sisters—complete opposites—who discover the secrets they’ve been keeping make them more alike than they’d realized. For siblings as different as Plum and Ginny, getting on each other’s nerves is par for the course. But when the family’s finances hit a snag, send... read more

Perfect for fans of Sarah Mlynowski and Jenny Han, this heartfelt and humorous contemporary take on Sense and Sensibility follows two sisters—complete opposites—who discover the secrets they’ve been keeping make them more alike than they’d realized. For siblings as different as Plum and Ginny, getting on each other’s nerves is par for the course. But when the family’s finances hit a snag, send... read more

Home Alone: The Classic Illustrated Storybook (Pop Classics)

The beloved, classic Christmas movie is now an illustrated storybook for readers of all ages! With an amusing read-aloud story and enchanting, immersive illustrations, this charming adaptation is the perfect nostalgic gift alongside family holiday classics like The Polar Express and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Eight-year-old Kevin McCallister wished his family would disappear. He never tho... read more

The beloved, classic Christmas movie is now an illustrated storybook for readers of all ages! With an amusing read-aloud story and enchanting, immersive illustrations, this charming adaptation is the perfect nostalgic gift alongside family holiday classics like The Polar Express and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Eight-year-old Kevin McCallister wished his family would disappear. He never tho... read more

Blair has 27 reviews

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

Janelle Gabay
Blair was personable, fast, and competent. I'm going over my manuscript now and her notes are full of depth. She pulled things out of my manuscript that I didn't see. Her guidance will take this story to the next level. She went above and beyond.

Janelle Gabay, August 2020

Blair Thornburgh
Thank you, Janelle! You have a dynamic story and it was a pleasure to work with you.

Reply from Blair Thornburgh


Aileen Withers
Excellent insight. Her advice has helped me to continue writing a book I was sick of & that was stalled for many months, and made me confident I could do what is needed even if it meant drastic changes. She managed to pick up what I, and other readers and editors, felt what was wrong but was unable to properly identify and propose a solution. Her enthusiasm and positivity helped keep me going d...
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Aileen Withers, July 2020

Blair Thornburgh
Wow, thank you, Aileen! I'm so happy that you're energized and I'm glad my feedback could help. I loved working on your project.

Reply from Blair Thornburgh


Jim Palmieri
Blair has edited three books for me. She is absolutely incredible. Her professionalism and attention to detail are top notch. I very, very highly recommend her. She met every one of my expectations. I can’t thank her enough. JIm Palmieri

Jim Palmieri, June 2020

Blair Thornburgh
Thank you, Jim! I have loved getting to know your writing and characters in our work together. Keep writing!

Reply from Blair Thornburgh


Ashli Mildenberger
I am really thankful for Blair's input and feedback when it came to editing and shaping my novel from an amateurish piece to one that was ready to be published. She did all the technical work and caught little nuisances I don't think I would have ever been able to catch! She was responsive to my emails and answered all my questions with thoughtfulness. Thank you Blair! Can't wait for you to see...
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Ashli Mildenberger, April 2020

Blair Thornburgh
Thank you so much, Ashli! You've written such a lovely and special book. It was a pleasure to work with you.

Reply from Blair Thornburgh


Brian Corley
Amazing insight, great suggestions, and a breeze to work with. Blair is the best, thank you!

Brian Corley, March 2020

Blair Thornburgh
Thanks, Brian! It was a blast working with you, too.

Reply from Blair Thornburgh

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