Bunmi Ishola

Bunmi Ishola - Editor

Chicago, IL, USA

Experienced editor and writer, primarily in children's and young adult literature. Former journalist and middle school teacher.

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Overview

"She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live." — Annie Dillard

Before jumping full-time into the publishing world, I worked as a middle school teacher for 7 years. I have front-row knowledge of what kids enjoy reading, how they act and think, and how books have the power to know only spark their curiosity, but also quench it. I can also speak to how teachers use books—fiction and non-fiction, picture books to tomes—as tools in the classroom. I'm an avid reader personally and have expertise in a lot of genres, but my specialty is middle grade, picture books, and YA.

I have a strong passion for diversity and seeing the advance of diverse narratives in publishing. I have volunteered with We Need Diverse Books and the Diverse Books Club, and serve as a board member and the Editor-Writer Mentorship Chair for The Word, a Story Telling Sanctuary.

I have worked for a variety of newspapers and magazines, both full-time and on a freelance basis. I also did some freelance editing for self-published authors like Tatiana Moore and some traditionally published authors like Meredith Davis. I'd love to help you tell your story! So hit me up for any of your editing needs! Even if my primary genre isn't the same as yours, I'm a critical reader first and foremost, and so we still could be a great match!

Some basic requests before you send me a proposal:
*Please make sure to include 2-3 RECENT competitive titles (books with similar themes, target audience, style that were published within the last 2-4 years)—I strongly believe that to be a good writer, you must be a good reader, but to get your book published you need to be aware of what the market looks like.
*If you're seeking developmental editing, consider having at least 2-5 friends and family read your story and given you feedback OR that you've taken a class or been a part of a critique group. You can get a lot of FREE advice and direction before paying for some, and so I always encourage this.
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Children’s Non-Fiction
Fiction
Christian Fiction
Cultural & Ethnic
Middle Grade
Picture Books

Work experience

Editor

Penguin Random House
September, 2020 – Present (about 1 year)

I acquire and publish children's books (picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and YA)—specifically for the faith-based market.

Editorial Project Coordinator

Kidsbooks
December, 2019 – August, 2020 (8 months)

Developed editorial concepts, proofread and copyedited new titles, managed social media and website development, among other administrative and support tasks.

Editorial Assistant

Sourcebooks
September, 2018 – October, 2019 (about 1 year)

Serve as an instrumental part of the Children’s editorial team, offering suggestions for new ideas, partnerships and projects, that will deliver readers with books that both inform and delight.

- Oversaw the project management, workflow, and planning of over 80 new and existing children’s titles per season
- Conducted industry and market research to determine trends, project strength and competitive positioning
- Wrote catalog, jacket and marketing copy, as well as enter editorial corrections into manuscript files, do general proofreading, copyediting, copywriting and manuscript preparations
- Read, logged, and reviewed incoming manuscripts and prepare them for acquisitions meetings as needed
- Created robust presentations to launch titles and facilitate partnerships, within and outside the company
- Represented the company at a writer’s conference and led a session on diversity in publishing

Toolbox Project Curriculum Writer

Character Lab
May, 2016 – June, 2018 (about 2 years)

The aim of the Character Lab is to advance both the science and the practice of character development. I was one of 15 teachers selected to be a part of a groundbreaking project that brings together outstanding teachers and world-class researchers to create and execute curriculum around self-control. Working with researchers Angela Duckworth (2013 MacArthur Foundation Fellow and professor at the University of Pennsylvania) and Ethan Kross (professor at the University of Michigan), the team wrote 14 lessons to translate cutting-edge research into curriculum for use in middle-school classrooms nationwide.

Spent the fall on 2017 piloting the curriculum with a group of 50 8th graders, and provided detailed feedback on the lesson plans before they are released to a wider audience.

Portfolio (8 selected works)

The Girl Who Spoke to the Moon: A Story about Friendship and Loving Our Earth

Land Wilson

A sweet story that will inspire children to protect the Earth and encourage others to do the same.When Sofia dreams of visiting the Moon one night, she discovers people are hurting the Earth! With the Moon as her guide, Sofia learns how we can work together to make Earth feel better.With rhyming text and beautiful illustrations, this sweet, environmentally friendly story is a gentle lesson and... read more

A sweet story that will inspire children to protect the Earth and encourage others to do the same.When Sofia dreams of visiting the Moon one night, she discovers people are hurting the Earth! With the Moon as her guide, Sofia learns how we can work together to make Earth feel better.With rhyming text and beautiful illustrations, this sweet, environmentally friendly story is a gentle lesson and... read more

The Big Book about Being Big

Coleen Murtagh Paratore

A beautifully illustrated picture book with a "BIG" message, BIG is the perfect gift to celebrate all the biggest milestones in life, in the spirit of Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go!Are you big yet? Follow three young friends as they figure out that being BIG isn't measured by years, or weight, or inches. It's being healthy. Being imaginative. Being kind and helpful. It's being a friend ... read more

A beautifully illustrated picture book with a "BIG" message, BIG is the perfect gift to celebrate all the biggest milestones in life, in the spirit of Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go!Are you big yet? Follow three young friends as they figure out that being BIG isn't measured by years, or weight, or inches. It's being healthy. Being imaginative. Being kind and helpful. It's being a friend ... read more

Killing Memories

Tatiana Moore

Estela Ramos knows she will die a lonely virgin spinster with donut glaze on her face. She’s resigned herself to this fate, but the women in her life have other plans. Soon, there are two men standing before her: the first is a desperate gynecologist with personal space issues, and the second is a handsome high-fashion photographer who claims that they’ve known each other for years. Estela bec... read more

Estela Ramos knows she will die a lonely virgin spinster with donut glaze on her face. She’s resigned herself to this fate, but the women in her life have other plans. Soon, there are two men standing before her: the first is a desperate gynecologist with personal space issues, and the second is a handsome high-fashion photographer who claims that they’ve known each other for years. Estela bec... read more

A Bird on Water Street

Elizabeth O. Dulemba

"Elizabeth Dulemba seamlessly melds a coming-of-age story to the reality of life in a single-industry town. This is a book that sings." - Betsy Bird, School Library Journal blog A Fuse #8 ProductionLiving in Coppertown is like living on the moon. Everything is bare-there are no trees, no birds, no signs of nature at all. And while Jack loves his town, he hates the dangerous mines that have rui... read more

"Elizabeth Dulemba seamlessly melds a coming-of-age story to the reality of life in a single-industry town. This is a book that sings." - Betsy Bird, School Library Journal blog A Fuse #8 ProductionLiving in Coppertown is like living on the moon. Everything is bare-there are no trees, no birds, no signs of nature at all. And while Jack loves his town, he hates the dangerous mines that have rui... read more

A Dolphin's Wish: How YOU Can Help Make a Difference and Save Our Oceans

Trevor McCurdie

Dive under the sea with a family of dolphins and discover the dangers of plastic pollution.Every year, huge amounts of plastic end up in our oceans. Luckily, there's something we can do to change that! Follow along as Daddy Dolphin and his son show readers what we're doing wrong, then be inspired to take action and make a difference!Featuring charming rhymes, bold illustrations, and educationa... read more

Dive under the sea with a family of dolphins and discover the dangers of plastic pollution.Every year, huge amounts of plastic end up in our oceans. Luckily, there's something we can do to change that! Follow along as Daddy Dolphin and his son show readers what we're doing wrong, then be inspired to take action and make a difference!Featuring charming rhymes, bold illustrations, and educationa... read more

Let's Fly a Plane!: Launching into the Science of Flight with Aerospace Engineering (Everyday Science Academy)

Chris Ferrie

Equip the next generation of scientists with a brand new series from Chris Ferrie, the #1 science author for kids!How do airplanes stay up in the sky? That's the question Red Kangaroo needs answered and she knows exactly who can help her―Dr. Chris! Explore the four forces of flight―drag, lift, thrust and weight―and get ready to take off with this introduction to aerospace engineering.Chris Fer... read more

Equip the next generation of scientists with a brand new series from Chris Ferrie, the #1 science author for kids!How do airplanes stay up in the sky? That's the question Red Kangaroo needs answered and she knows exactly who can help her―Dr. Chris! Explore the four forces of flight―drag, lift, thrust and weight―and get ready to take off with this introduction to aerospace engineering.Chris Fer... read more

Let's Ride a Wave!: Diving into the Science of Light and Sound Waves with Physics (Everyday Science Academy)

Chris Ferrie

Equip the next generation of scientists with a brand new series from Chris Ferrie, the #1 science author for kids!Waves are all around us! And what starts out as a fun day at the beach leads to even more fun for Red Kangaroo, as she learns that waves exist beyond the ocean. There are waves our eyes cannot see and waves only our ears can hear! Dive into this fascinating study of light and sound... read more

Equip the next generation of scientists with a brand new series from Chris Ferrie, the #1 science author for kids!Waves are all around us! And what starts out as a fun day at the beach leads to even more fun for Red Kangaroo, as she learns that waves exist beyond the ocean. There are waves our eyes cannot see and waves only our ears can hear! Dive into this fascinating study of light and sound... read more

Bunmi has 6 reviews

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

Ashok Banker
Bunmi was awesome to work with. Her editorial assessment was clear, concise, insightful and covered everything from market trends to line/text suggestions. She gave me clarity and insight into what worked and didn't work in my manuscripts, making it easy for me to tweak, polish, or revise as required. She was invaluable to this process and I would love to work with her again every chance I get....
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Ashok Banker, April 2021


Najmah Muhammad
Bunmi was very professional and thorough in her report. I definitely hope to work with her again!

Najmah Muhammad, October 2020


Zenda Walker
Bunmi offered great feedback and truly helped me shape my story in a way that will truly resonate with my target audience. I appreciated her ability to keep it real and not shy away from giving me the “tough love” feedback I needed. I am much more confident as a first-time author to move forward with publishing with my manuscript!

Zenda Walker, February 2020


Zhauntel Fields
Bumni is wonderful, insightful and available. She really brings your story to life, where she challenges your writing in a gentle way. Her attention to detail and thorough feedback really made my story dynamic.

Zhauntel Fields, February 2020


Tobias Macbeth
Her Editorial Assessment is in depth and thoughtful, and I look forward to continuing to work with her.

Tobias Macbeth, January 2020

Bunmi Ishola
Thanks, Tobias! You were a pleasure to work with as well!

Reply from Bunmi Ishola

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