Brenna McDuffie

Brenna McDuffie - Editor

New York, NY, USA

Editor who's worked with bestselling authors at Penguin Random House and Grove Atlantic on lit. fiction, crime, history, memoir, and more.

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Overview


Looking to craft a powerful narrative and publish a successful book or short story?

As an editor with experience at the center of NYC publishing, my services are bolstered by a deep knowledge of the ins and outs of the book publishing industry. Having worked at Penguin Random House, Grove/Atlantic, and Assouline Publishing, I have firsthand knowledge of what top agents and publishers are looking to acquire across fiction and nonfiction genres.

I've worked with award-winning authors and academics, including Tatyana Tolstaya, Karl Marlantes, Mark Bowden, Martha Grimes, Thomas McGuane, Adam Gopnik, and Ian Johnson. I have also worked with debut writers and translators, so I understand the vulnerabilities of first-time authors and am passionate about helping them meet their writing goals. Whether you're a seasoned expert or a new writer looking to land an agent, get your first short story published, or self-publish your book, my keen, instructive feedback will help you find greater focus, insight, and confidence in your work.

My services include editorial assessment and developmental editing. I have experience working on short stories, novels, thrillers, essays, biographies, memoirs, narrative journalism, travel writing, argument-driven nonfiction, and illustrated books. I love storytelling in all its forms, so don't hesitate to bring any genre to my plate!
Languages
English (AUS)
Non-Fiction
Art
Biographies & Memoirs
History
Political Science & Current Affairs
Fiction
Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Short Story
Thriller & Suspense

Work experience

Editor

Assouline Publishing
March, 2019 – Present (over 1 year)

Editor and Copywriter

Self-employed
March, 2018 – Present (over 2 years)

Assistant Editor

Grove Atlantic
March, 2018 – March, 2019 (about 1 year)

Editorial Assistant/Assistant Editor

Alfred A. Knopf
December, 2015 – March, 2018 (about 2 years)

Portfolio (12 selected works)

Aetherial Worlds: Stories

Tatyana Tolstaya

“Playful and poetic . . . A foxy, original writer. Memory fuses with wonder, and wonder with worship." —The Wall Street Journal“Marvelously vivid, perfectly tuned. . . Tolstaya is well known in Russia as a brilliant and caustic political critic, but her memories of her Soviet childhood have a tender, personal quality.” —The New York Times Book Review“Grimly hilarious ... Everything in this gen... read more

“Playful and poetic . . . A foxy, original writer. Memory fuses with wonder, and wonder with worship." —The Wall Street Journal“Marvelously vivid, perfectly tuned. . . Tolstaya is well known in Russia as a brilliant and caustic political critic, but her memories of her Soviet childhood have a tender, personal quality.” —The New York Times Book Review“Grimly hilarious ... Everything in this gen... read more

Deep River

Karl Marlantes

Karl Marlantes’s debut novel Matterhorn, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, has been hailed as a modern classic of war literature. In his new novel, Deep River, Marlantes turns to another mode of storytelling—the family epic—to craft a stunningly expansive narrative that is no less rich and honest in its depiction of human su... read more

Karl Marlantes’s debut novel Matterhorn, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, has been hailed as a modern classic of war literature. In his new novel, Deep River, Marlantes turns to another mode of storytelling—the family epic—to craft a stunningly expansive narrative that is no less rich and honest in its depiction of human su... read more

Wilmington's Lie

David Zucchino

From Pulitzer Prize-winner David Zucchino comes a searing account of the Wilmington riot and coup of 1898, an extraordinary event unknown to most AmericansBy the 1890s, Wilmington was North Carolina’s largest city and a shining example of a mixed-race community. It was a bustling port city with a burgeoning African American middle class and a Fusionist government of Republicans and Populists t... read more

From Pulitzer Prize-winner David Zucchino comes a searing account of the Wilmington riot and coup of 1898, an extraordinary event unknown to most AmericansBy the 1890s, Wilmington was North Carolina’s largest city and a shining example of a mixed-race community. It was a bustling port city with a burgeoning African American middle class and a Fusionist government of Republicans and Populists t... read more

The Lost Pianos of Siberia

Sophy Roberts

From acclaimed journalist Sophy Roberts, a journey through one of the harshest landscapes on earth—where music reveals the deep humanity and the rich history of SiberiaSiberia’s story is traditionally one of exiles, penal colonies and unmarked graves. Yet there is another tale to tell. Dotted throughout this remote land are pianos—grand instruments created during the boom years of the nineteen... read more

From acclaimed journalist Sophy Roberts, a journey through one of the harshest landscapes on earth—where music reveals the deep humanity and the rich history of SiberiaSiberia’s story is traditionally one of exiles, penal colonies and unmarked graves. Yet there is another tale to tell. Dotted throughout this remote land are pianos—grand instruments created during the boom years of the nineteen... read more

The Irishman: The Making of the Movie

Shone, Tom, Lacombe, Brigitte

Cinema on Paper

Dwight Cleveland

How the West Stole Democracy from the Arabs

Elizabeth F. Thompson

The story of a pivotal moment in modern world history, when representative democracy became a political option for Arabs—and how the West denied the opportunity. When Europe’s Great War engulfed the Ottoman Empire, Arab nationalists rose in revolt against the Turks. The British supported the Arabs’ fight for an independent state and sent an intelligence officer, T.E. Lawrence, to join Prince F... read more

The story of a pivotal moment in modern world history, when representative democracy became a political option for Arabs—and how the West denied the opportunity. When Europe’s Great War engulfed the Ottoman Empire, Arab nationalists rose in revolt against the Turks. The British supported the Arabs’ fight for an independent state and sent an intelligence officer, T.E. Lawrence, to join Prince F... read more

Their Little Secret

Mark Billingham

A woman’s suicide puts a detective on the trail of a cold-hearted con artist: “Outstanding . . . a maximum of suspense” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). When DI Tom Thorne is called to the site of a suicide, he expects to be in and out in no time. But when he arrives at the Underground station where a woman named Philippa Goodwin threw herself in front of a train, he inexplicably senses so... read more

A woman’s suicide puts a detective on the trail of a cold-hearted con artist: “Outstanding . . . a maximum of suspense” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). When DI Tom Thorne is called to the site of a suicide, he expects to be in and out in no time. But when he arrives at the Underground station where a woman named Philippa Goodwin threw herself in front of a train, he inexplicably senses so... 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, vanished from a shopping mall in suburban Washington, DC As shock spread, then grief, a massive police effort found nothing. The investigatio... read more

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, vanished from a shopping mall in suburban Washington, DC As shock spread, then grief, a massive police effort found nothing. The investigatio... read more

Totally Wired

Andrew Smith

“The Social Network meets Hammer of the Gods” in this story of a 1990s web titan who made a fortune and lost it all—and what happened afterward (The Independent). One day in February 2001, Josh Harris woke to certain knowledge that he was about to lose everything. The man Time magazine called “The Warhol of the Web” was reduced to a helpless spectator as his fortune dwindled from 85 million do... read more

“The Social Network meets Hammer of the Gods” in this story of a 1990s web titan who made a fortune and lost it all—and what happened afterward (The Independent). One day in February 2001, Josh Harris woke to certain knowledge that he was about to lose everything. The man Time magazine called “The Warhol of the Web” was reduced to a helpless spectator as his fortune dwindled from 85 million do... read more

The Old Success

Martha Grimes

When the body of a French woman washes up on a wild inlet off the Cornish coast, Brian Macalvie, divisional commander with the Devon-Cornwall police is called in. Who could have killed this beautiful tourist, the only visible footprints nearby belonging to the two little girls who found her? While Macalvie stands stumped in the Scilly Islands, inspector Richard Jury–twenty miles away on Land’s... read more

When the body of a French woman washes up on a wild inlet off the Cornish coast, Brian Macalvie, divisional commander with the Devon-Cornwall police is called in. Who could have killed this beautiful tourist, the only visible footprints nearby belonging to the two little girls who found her? While Macalvie stands stumped in the Scilly Islands, inspector Richard Jury–twenty miles away on Land’s... read more

Brenna has 2 reviews

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

larry center
She's the best! Seriously!

larry center, July 2020


Jan Burzlaff
My work with Brenna would get ten stars if I could assign more than the available five here. Brenna has done an amazing job bringing the best out of my article. Not only did she deliver on time, but she also gave me probably the most thoughtful, detailed, and insightful edit of my writing. I have worked with several editors, Brenna stands out. I'm looking very much forward to our future collabo...
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Jan Burzlaff, July 2020

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