Blair Thornburgh

Blair Thornburgh – Editor

Former Senior Editor at Quirk Books, award-winning author of YA and children's books, graduate professor, word nerd, story whisperer.

Overview

Hi there! I'm Blair, longtime editor, multi-published author, and publishing instructor with over a decade of experience in trade publishing.

As an editor, I've worked on everything from NYT bestsellers to Goodreads Choice Award finalists to five-starred indie releases. 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. I was honored to receive the prestigious Publishers Weekly Star Watch nomination for my editorial work there.

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. I've 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.

Please note: due to my schedule, I am only able to work on query letter critiques for the time being.
Services
Fiction
Dystopian Fantasy Historical Fiction Picture Books Romance Women's Fiction Young Adult
Languages
English (US)
Certifications
  • MFA in Creative Writing
  • Member, Romance Writers of America
  • Member, Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

Work experience

Quirk Books

Jan, 2013 — Sep, 2018 (over 5 years)

Rosemont College Graduate School of Publishing

Sep, 2019 — Present

Portfolio

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... 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 co... 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 ... read more
Space Throne

Corley, Brian

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 ne... 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 lik... 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 perv... 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... 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 m... 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 an... 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 fe... read more

Blair has 37 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Joseph C.

Joseph C.

Mar, 2024

Blair's insight was super. It's clear she knows YA and she was able to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, and give actionable solutions.
Blair T.
Thank you, Joseph! I loved reading your work and discussing it with you.
Carla L.

Carla L.

Feb, 2022

Amazing to work with Blair. Her Copy Edit really smoothed over my novel and helped my writing look and sound so much better. She got to grips with my characters and really understood and represented their voice. I'd highly recommend her.
Gerard D.

Gerard D.

Jan, 2022

Blair offered both professional advice and encouragement. Both of which are essential for beginning authors.
Maureen M.

Maureen M.

Jul, 2021

Blair was delightful as an editor and in a way, the writing coach I needed to help me work through some challenges in my story. She has a strong sense of structure and was able to help me hone in on the areas of my manuscript that I knew weren't working but couldn't understand why. She's great at highlighting the strong parts of the writing, while pointing to parts that need further exploration...
Read more
Sarah W.

Sarah W.

Feb, 2021

Blair's feedback for my editorial assessment was amazing. Her suggestions were detailed and specific, and even though she only read the beginning of my manuscript, I felt like she knew exactly where the story was going and how best to get there. She was great to work with, and I would recommend her services to anyone!
Blair T.
Thank you, Sarah! I'm so glad the feedback was helpful, and it was really my pleasure getting to explore the world of your story. Happy revising!

Sign up to read more reviews

Create a free Reedsy account to connect with Blair and thousands of other publishing professionals on Reedsy.

Professionals similar to Blair

Get a range of offers by requesting quotes from multiple professionals.

Bibiana Snyder

Bibiana S.

Highly detailed freelance editor with 9 years of professional publishing experience in fiction and nonfiction. I'd love to read your work!

Chicago, IL, USA

93% reply rate

View profile
Joshua Graber

Joshua G.

Literary fiction editor. Friendly collaborator. Narrative shaper and sentence wrangler.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA

100% reply rate

View profile
Taryn O.

Taryn O.

Exceptional, attentive Romance and YA copyeditor/proofreader with an MA in English lit + 15 years of experience at Harlequin/HarperCollins

Toronto, ON, Canada

100% reply rate

View profile