Elisabeth Chretien

Elisabeth Chretien - Editor

Iowa City, IA, United States

Award-winning and New York Times bestselling editor of nonfiction and memoir.

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Overview

I'm an award-winning and New York Times bestselling editor with over fifteen years of experience working on memoirs and general nonfiction. I am skilled at doing extensive developmental editing, editorial assessments, copyediting, and proofreading. I am committed to working with authors to make their voice and their ideas shine through. I look forward to working with you to make your manuscript the very best it can be.
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
History
Nature
Travel

Certifications

  • Copyediting Certificate - University of California-San Diego Extension, April 2017, 4.0

Work experience

Editor & Writer

Self-employed
April, 2016 – Present (almost 7 years)

Acquisitions Editor

University of Iowa Press
March, 2012 – May, 2016 (about 4 years)

Associate Acquisitions Editor

University of Nebraska Press
May, 2006 – February, 2012 (almost 6 years)

Portfolio (16 selected works)

A Wrestling Life: The Inspiring Stories of Dan Gable

Dan Gable, Scott Schulte

What does it take to be an Olympic gold medalist and to coach a collegiate team to fifteen NCAA titles? In A Wrestling Life: The Inspiring Stories of Dan Gable, famed wrestler and wrestling coach Dan Gable tells engaging and inspiring stories of his childhood in Waterloo, Iowa; overcoming the murder of his sister as a teenager; his sports career from swimming as a young boy, to his earliest wr... read more

What does it take to be an Olympic gold medalist and to coach a collegiate team to fifteen NCAA titles? In A Wrestling Life: The Inspiring Stories of Dan Gable, famed wrestler and wrestling coach Dan Gable tells engaging and inspiring stories of his childhood in Waterloo, Iowa; overcoming the murder of his sister as a teenager; his sports career from swimming as a young boy, to his earliest wr... read more

A Wrestling Life 2: More Inspiring Stories of Dan Gable

Dan Gable

When most people think of the celebrated greatness that is Coach Dan Gable, they think of an almost mythic intensity toward wrestling. Gable breathes and bleeds the sport, and faithfully applies lessons learned from both on and off the mat. Expanding upon Gable’s first collection of stories, A Wrestling Life 2 goes a little deeper into the mindset and life events that have shaped the man, the ... read more

When most people think of the celebrated greatness that is Coach Dan Gable, they think of an almost mythic intensity toward wrestling. Gable breathes and bleeds the sport, and faithfully applies lessons learned from both on and off the mat. Expanding upon Gable’s first collection of stories, A Wrestling Life 2 goes a little deeper into the mindset and life events that have shaped the man, the ... read more

Running to the Fire: An American Missionary Comes of Age in Revolutionary Ethiopia (Sightline Books)

Tim Bascom

In the streets of Addis Ababa in 1977, shop-front posters illustrate Uncle Sam being strangled by an Ethiopian revolutionary, parliamentary leaders are executed, student protesters are gunned down, and Christian mission converts are targeted as imperialistic sympathizers. Into this world arrives sixteen-year-old Tim Bascom, whose missionary parents have brought their family from a small town i... read more

In the streets of Addis Ababa in 1977, shop-front posters illustrate Uncle Sam being strangled by an Ethiopian revolutionary, parliamentary leaders are executed, student protesters are gunned down, and Christian mission converts are targeted as imperialistic sympathizers. Into this world arrives sixteen-year-old Tim Bascom, whose missionary parents have brought their family from a small town i... read more

On the Origin of Superheroes: From the Big Bang to Action Comics No. 1

Chris Gavaler

Most readers think that superheroes began with Superman’s appearance in Action Comics No. 1, but that Kryptonian rocket didn’t just drop out of the sky. By the time Superman’s creators were born, the superhero’s most defining elements—secret identities, aliases, disguises, signature symbols, traumatic origin stories, extraordinary powers, self-sacrificing altruism—were already well-rehearsed s... read more

Most readers think that superheroes began with Superman’s appearance in Action Comics No. 1, but that Kryptonian rocket didn’t just drop out of the sky. By the time Superman’s creators were born, the superhero’s most defining elements—secret identities, aliases, disguises, signature symbols, traumatic origin stories, extraordinary powers, self-sacrificing altruism—were already well-rehearsed s... read more

Up in Here: Jailing Kids on Chicago's Other Side

Mark Dostert

Raised in a comfortable Dallas suburb, Mark Dostert crossed cultural and socioeconomic boundaries as a college student by volunteering as a counselor at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, Chicago’s infamous 500-cell juvenile jail, known locally as the Audy Home. Inmates there had been indicted on first-degree murder, rape, and carjacking charges, yet some enthusiastically met... read more

Raised in a comfortable Dallas suburb, Mark Dostert crossed cultural and socioeconomic boundaries as a college student by volunteering as a counselor at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, Chicago’s infamous 500-cell juvenile jail, known locally as the Audy Home. Inmates there had been indicted on first-degree murder, rape, and carjacking charges, yet some enthusiastically met... read more

Campaign Inc.: How Leadership and Organization Propelled Barack Obama to the White House

Henry F. De Sio. Jr.

It takes more than an excellent candidate to win elections; it takes an outstanding campaign organization, too. Campaign Inc. is the story of how leadership and organization propelled Barack Obama to the White House. As the chief operating officer of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, Henry F. De Sio, Jr., was positioned to view this historic campaign as few others could. In this fascinating ... read more

It takes more than an excellent candidate to win elections; it takes an outstanding campaign organization, too. Campaign Inc. is the story of how leadership and organization propelled Barack Obama to the White House. As the chief operating officer of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, Henry F. De Sio, Jr., was positioned to view this historic campaign as few others could. In this fascinating ... read more

The Rainy Season: Three Lives in the New South Africa

Maggie Messitt

Just across the northern border of a former apartheid-era homeland sits a rural community in the midst of change, caught between a traditional past and a western future, a racially charged history and a pseudo-democratic present. The Rainy Season, a work of engaging literary journalism, introduces readers to the remote bushveld community of Rooiboklaagte and opens a window into the beautifully... read more

Just across the northern border of a former apartheid-era homeland sits a rural community in the midst of change, caught between a traditional past and a western future, a racially charged history and a pseudo-democratic present. The Rainy Season, a work of engaging literary journalism, introduces readers to the remote bushveld community of Rooiboklaagte and opens a window into the beautifully... read more

Mythical River: Chasing the Mirage of New Water in the American Southwest

Melissa L. Sevigny

In a lyrical mix of natural science, history, and memoir, Melissa L. Sevigny ponders what it means to make a home in the American Southwest at a time when its most essential resource, water, is overexploited and undervalued. Mythical River takes the reader on a historical sojourn into the story of the Buenaventura, an imaginary river that led eighteenth- and nineteenth-century explorers, fur t... read more

In a lyrical mix of natural science, history, and memoir, Melissa L. Sevigny ponders what it means to make a home in the American Southwest at a time when its most essential resource, water, is overexploited and undervalued. Mythical River takes the reader on a historical sojourn into the story of the Buenaventura, an imaginary river that led eighteenth- and nineteenth-century explorers, fur t... read more

Down from the Mountaintop: From Belief to Belonging

Joshua Dolezal

A lyrical coming-of-age memoir, Down from the Mountaintop chronicles a quest for belonging. Raised in northwestern Montana by Pentecostal homesteaders whose twenty-year experiment in subsistence living was closely tied to their faith, Joshua Doležal experienced a childhood marked equally by his parents’ quest for spiritual transcendence and the surrounding Rocky Mountain landscape. Unable to f... read more

A lyrical coming-of-age memoir, Down from the Mountaintop chronicles a quest for belonging. Raised in northwestern Montana by Pentecostal homesteaders whose twenty-year experiment in subsistence living was closely tied to their faith, Joshua Doležal experienced a childhood marked equally by his parents’ quest for spiritual transcendence and the surrounding Rocky Mountain landscape. Unable to f... read more

And the Monkey Learned Nothing: Dispatches from a Life in Transit (Sightline Books)

Tom Lutz

Tom Lutz is on a mission to visit every country on earth. And the Monkey Learned Nothing contains reports from fifty of them, most describing personal encounters in rarely visited spots, anecdotes from way off the beaten path. Traveling without an itinerary and without a goal, Lutz explores the Iranian love of poetry, the occupying Chinese army in Tibet, the amputee beggars in Cambodia, the hi... read more

Tom Lutz is on a mission to visit every country on earth. And the Monkey Learned Nothing contains reports from fifty of them, most describing personal encounters in rarely visited spots, anecdotes from way off the beaten path. Traveling without an itinerary and without a goal, Lutz explores the Iranian love of poetry, the occupying Chinese army in Tibet, the amputee beggars in Cambodia, the hi... read more

Tales from an Uncertain World: What Other Assorted Disasters Can Teach Us About Climate Change

L. S. Gardiner

So far, humanity hasn’t done very well in addressing the ongoing climate catastrophe. Veteran science educator L. S. Gardiner believes we can learn to do better by understanding how we’ve dealt with other types of environmental risks in the past and why we are dragging our feet in addressing this most urgent emergency. Weaving scientific facts and research together with humor and emotion, Gard... read more

So far, humanity hasn’t done very well in addressing the ongoing climate catastrophe. Veteran science educator L. S. Gardiner believes we can learn to do better by understanding how we’ve dealt with other types of environmental risks in the past and why we are dragging our feet in addressing this most urgent emergency. Weaving scientific facts and research together with humor and emotion, Gard... read more

Elisabeth has 38 reviews

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

Kristine Wyatt
Elisabeth has been wonderful throughout this process. She’s been incredibly patient. This has been a very good experience.

Kristine Wyatt, September 2022


Farid Mostamand
It has been the most exhilarating experience working with Elisabeth. Her attention to detail, punctuality and a vast range of experience makes her an ideal element to have in one's writing ventures, specifically if English is your second language. I interviewed many editors to work with when I started my writing, I chose to work with Elizabeth, and she didn't disappoint. She just finished the ...
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Farid Mostamand, July 2022


David Jones
Elisabeth always gets five stars from me. She is great to work with.

David Jones, June 2022


Janine Diliani
I was lucky to find such a professional and efficient editor for my memoir. Elisabeth has done an amazing job and is highly recommended. I have enjoyed working with her very much. She’ll definitely be my first choice if I plan to write my second book.

Janine Diliani, June 2022


Shelly C
Elisabeth was absolutely amazing. She exceeded my expectations and I look forward to working with her further. From the start, she was extremely professional, personable, and timely. I am a brand-new memoir writer and wrote a very personal story that has caused me to be extremely vulnerable. That vulnerability has made me nervous of the possible criticism of the story itself and my writing in ...
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Shelly C, June 2022

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