Caroline Leavitt

Caroline Leavitt – Editor

New York Times Bestselling, critically acclaimed novelist. Manuscript editor, will help you get your work in shape for agents/publication.

Overview

I'm a New York Times Bestselling novelist with 12 critically acclaimed novels, including Pictures of You, Cruel Beautiful World, and With or Without You. My 13th novel , Days of Wonder, will be published April 2024 by Algonquin/Hatchette. I’ve had film options and I have been translated into 12 languages, plus I review and have reviewed for the NYT, People, and more. I teach novel writing in a hybrid class for UCLA Writers Program Extension, as well as working with private clients on their manuscripts to get them in shape for agents. Being a writer, I know what it's like to be in the trenches and to sometimes feel lost. Being a critic, I know how to find the bones of the novel, how to distinguish what works and what doesn't and why. And being a professor. I know how to fix the things that aren't working.


I'm passionate about the work I do and about the writers I work with. We all have stories to tell. Let me help you tell yours. (P.S. Query letter is always included!)



PRAISE


"Caroline is the champion, creative confidant, and literary magician that every writer dreams of having in their corner. Because of her, my novel became a Target Emerging Authors Pick and a New York Times bestseller--and I am convinced its success is due to Caroline."

Emily Colin, The Memory Thief



​"Caroline has always given me thoughtful, insightful criticism while at the same time being a real cheerleader. Some things I just didn’t see how to fix. But Caroline did.” Mary Morris - receipt of Rome Prize in Literature 2016. Author of Gateway to the Moon (Knopf Doubleday)



​" Caroline was not only amazingly helpful, but also absolutely delightful. She worked on my novel The Wednesday Sisters, which became a New York Times bestseller, and was named by Entertainment Weekly as one of the twenty-five best friendship novels of all time." Meg Waite Clayton, New York Times Bestselling author of The Wednesday Sisters and the Race for Paris



​"Caroline helped me with my debut novel, which became a national bestseller, and my novel, Strangers in Budapest, which was selected as a best new book in November 2017 by Entertainment Weekly. She is a mentor supreme.”

Jessica Keener, national bestselling author of Strangers in Budapest, Algonquin Books



"Caroline is the kind of brilliant editor who makes suggestions that change the trajectory of your career without ever crushing your soul. She shaped up my manuscript, helping me write the query letter that sealed the deal with my agent, and later with HarperCollins, as well as attention from Hollywood producers."

Susan Henderson, Pushcart Prize winner and author of THE FLICKER OF OLD DREAMS, Harper Perennial



​"Working with Caroline changed my life. Thanks to her incredible eye, passion for writing and amazing support, not only did I get a Top NYC agent, but I got a publishing deal with Harper Collins." Gina Sorell, Read With Jenna Anticipated Pick, Good Morning America Buzz Book, THE WISE WOMEN

Services
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Inspirational
Fiction
Coming of Age Contemporary Fiction Historical Fiction Literary Fiction Psychological Thriller Women's Fiction
Languages
English (US)
Awards
  • New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship in Fiction
  • Bellevue Goldenberg Prize in Fiction, Honorable Mention
  • Finalist, Sundance Screenwriters Lab
  • Finalist, Nickelodeon Screenwriting Fellowship
  • Long Listed for the Maine Readers' Prize
Certifications
  • New York Times Bestselling Author
  • Book critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, People Magazine
  • Award-winning novel writing instructor for Stanford and UCLA Writers Program Extension

Work experience

Self-employed

Jan, 2000 — Present

I do developmental editing of manuscripts for UCLA, and private clients and agents. I work to make sure a manuscript has character arcs, narrative drive, storyworld, moral choices, reveals, revelations and more. I'm fast and reasonable and my work always includes a one hour video conversation when I am finished, which usually takes about 3 weeks tops.

Reedsy allows editors to pick only two genres, but please know I do all kinds of fiction, non-fiction and inspirational.

AND A CLIENT OF MINE, Kristin Vukovic became a client of Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency (a huge agency) and they sold her book THE CHEESEMAKER'S DAUGHTER to Regalo Press. Pub date August 2024.

Portfolio

Nadia

Evans, Christine

Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
Editorial Assessment
Stealing Faith: A Novel

Skolkin-Smith, Leora

Developmental Editing
Girl Unmoored: A Novel

Jennifer Gooch Hummer

Apron Bramhall has come unmoored. Fortunately, she's about to be saved by Jesus. Not that Jesus-the actor who plays him in Jesus Christ Superstar. Apron is desperate to avoid the look-alike Mike, who's suddenly everywhere, until she's stuck in church with him ... read more
In Emily Colin’s exquisite debut novel, perfect for the fans of Kristin Hannah, one man’s vow to his wife sparks a remarkable journey that tests the pull of memory and reaffirms the bonds of l... read more
Developmental Editing Editorial Assessment
Hystera

Leora Skolkin-Smith

Set in the turbulent 1970s when Patty Hearst became Tanya the Revolutionary, HYSTERA is a timeless story of madness, yearning, and identity. After a fatal accident takes her father away, Lillian Weill blames herself for the family tragedy. Tripping through fai... read more
Edges: O Israel, O Palestine

Leora Skolkin-Smith

It's summer, 1963. Fourteen-year-old Liana travels to Jerusalem, accompanied by her older sister and larger-than-life mother. The trip takes her from a sheltered life in Westchester County, NY to the hot, bustling, and thoroughly confusing landscape of the Mid... read more
The Fragile Mistress

Leora Skolkin-Smith

The story of a girl of fourteen brought abruptly from a comfortable suburban Westchester to the harsh terrain of a young State of Israel. The girl is caught in the maelstrom of political claims between Israel and a West Bank, still part of the Kingdom of Jorda... read more
The most successful and influential rock band to emerge from San Francisco during the 1960s, Jefferson Airplane created the sound of a generation. Their smash hits "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit" virtually invented the era's signature pulsating psychedel... read more
London—Today—Guys named “Jack” are being killed across the city by a female serial killer with an almost supernatural ability to stay hidden. When Jack Tate, an emotionally bleak detective sergeant, is called in to investigate the brutal killings, he teams wit... read more
If a story is going to fail, it will do so first at the premise level. Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Master Premise and Story Development for Writing Success is the only book of its kind to identify a seven-step development process that can be repeated and... read more
"If you haven’t read Mary Morris yet, start here. Now. Immediately."—Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great ThingsFrom award-winning novelist Mary Morris comes the remarkable story of a remote New Mexican town coming to grips with a dar... read more
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERFive women, one passion, and the unbreakable bond of friendship When five young mothers—Frankie, Linda, Kath, Ally, and Brett—first meet in a neighborhood park in the late 1960s, their conversations center on marriage, raising children... read more
Miriam the Medium

Rochelle Shapiro

In the face of her husband's failing business and her daughter's estrangement, modern Long Island housewife Miriam considers going public with her psychic abilities in order to heal the family's financial woes, but finds her situation and abilities to be beyon... read more
"My father proposed to my mother at gunpoint when she was nineteen, and knowing that she was already pregnant with a dead man’s child, she accepted."Thus begins this riveting story of a woman's quest to understand her recently deceased mother, a glamorous, cru... read more

Caroline has 105 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Ivy G.

Ivy G.

Apr, 2024

Caroline has a sharp eye for story structure and character arcs. Her editorial assessment gave me the directions and clarity I have been searching for. Caroline is supportive and thorough. She was generous with her time in meeting me online to go over questions and concerns I had regarding her feedback. She genuinely cares about the success of my writing and offers insightful suggestions to mak...
Read more
TheFizzBiz F.

TheFizzBiz F.

Mar, 2024

Caroline is phenomenal. She dove right in, provided a bounty of ideas and insights. She was always informed and informative. Dare I say the taboo term -- she was also friendly, constructive in a way that was engaging. Put simply, I'm in a better spot now. Onwards and upwards.
Tristen H.

Tristen H.

Feb, 2024

I’m so grateful for all of Caroline’s help! She really took the time to understand my vision and help me execute better on it. She’s definitely on my list to work with again. I wish her the best for her upcoming novel.
Omar H.

Omar H.

Feb, 2024

An excellent and very thorough developmental edit. It made me think of my story from a completely different angle. Caroline was very honest and constructive. It forced me to better my manuscript. Much appreciated.
Kara B.

Kara B.

Jan, 2024

Caroline has been wonderful! She had thoughtful and constructive comments about my manuscript, she completed the project early and she offered a live discussion to go through her comments. She is straightforward without being harsh; in short, she’s lovely to work with!

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