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Elisabeth Chretien

Elisabeth Chretien - Editor

Iowa City, IA, United States

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

Overview

Reviews (13)

I'm an award-winning and New York Times bestselling editor with over a decade of experience working on memoirs and general nonfiction. I am skilled at doing extensive developmental and line editing, editorial assessments, copyediting, proofreading, writing jacket copy/book descriptions, and obtaining permissions for works protected by copyright. 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.

Services
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Entertainment History Nature Religion & Spirituality Social & Behavioral Sciences Travel

Certifications

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

Work experience

Editor & Writer

Self-employed
April, 2016 – Present (over 1 year)

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 (14 selected works)

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

Leaving the Pink House

Ladette Randolph

Ladette Randolph understands her life best through the houses she has inhabited. From the isolated farmhouse of her childhood, to the series of houses her family occupied in small towns across Nebraska as her father pursued his dream of becoming a minister, to the equally small houses she lived in as a single mother and graduate student, houses have shaped her understanding of her place in the... read more

Ladette Randolph understands her life best through the houses she has inhabited. From the isolated farmhouse of her childhood, to the series of houses her family occupied in small towns across Nebraska as her father pursued his dream of becoming a minister, to the equally small houses she lived in as a single mother and graduate student, houses have shaped her understanding of her place in the... 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

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

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

Workshops of Empire: Stegner, Engle, and American Creative Writing during the Cold War (New American Canon)

Eric Bennett

During and just after World War II, an influential group of American writers and intellectuals projected a vision for literature that would save the free world. Novels, stories, plays, and poems, they believed, could inoculate weak minds against simplistic totalitarian ideologies, heal the spiritual wounds of global catastrophe, and just maybe prevent the like from happening again. As the Cold... read more

During and just after World War II, an influential group of American writers and intellectuals projected a vision for literature that would save the free world. Novels, stories, plays, and poems, they believed, could inoculate weak minds against simplistic totalitarian ideologies, heal the spiritual wounds of global catastrophe, and just maybe prevent the like from happening again. As the Cold... read more

The Vanishing Messiah: The Life and Resurrections of Francis Schlatter

David N. Wetzel

In 1895, an extraordinarily enigmatic faith healer emerged in the American West. An Alsatian immigrant and former cobbler, Francis Schlatter looked like popular depictions of Jesus, and it was said that his very touch could heal everything from migraines and arthritis to blindness and cancer. First in Albuquerque, and then in Denver, thousands flocked to him, hoping to receive his healing touc... read more

In 1895, an extraordinarily enigmatic faith healer emerged in the American West. An Alsatian immigrant and former cobbler, Francis Schlatter looked like popular depictions of Jesus, and it was said that his very touch could heal everything from migraines and arthritis to blindness and cancer. First in Albuquerque, and then in Denver, thousands flocked to him, hoping to receive his healing touc... 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

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

Finding Bix: The Life and Afterlife of a Jazz Legend

Brendan Wolfe

Bix Beiderbecke was one of the first great legends of jazz. Among the most innovative cornet soloists of the 1920s and the first important white player, he invented the jazz ballad and pointed the way to “cool” jazz. But his recording career lasted just six years; he drank himself to death in 1931—at the age of twenty-eight. It was this meteoric rise and fall, combined with the searing origina... read more

Bix Beiderbecke was one of the first great legends of jazz. Among the most innovative cornet soloists of the 1920s and the first important white player, he invented the jazz ballad and pointed the way to “cool” jazz. But his recording career lasted just six years; he drank himself to death in 1931—at the age of twenty-eight. It was this meteoric rise and fall, combined with the searing origina... read more

Elisabeth has 13 reviews

Professionalism
Quality
Value
Communication

Mark Elliott

Great editing services from Elizabeth. She had edited the book MS and this was editing the Query Letter and Chapter Summaries. Very helpful in getting me ready to pitch to Lit. agents and Pubs. The best thing about her approach is her willingness to be available for follow up emails through Reedsy and a skype session to summarize the collaboration. Couldn't be happier with the process or results.

, October 2017


Al Badre

I was very glad that Elisabeth was the editor I chose to help me with my manuscript. She is supremely competent and totally thorough in her edits and commentary. I plan to ask her to help me again in future projects.

, October 2017


Julie Kane

Elisabeth was quick to understand the specific things I was looking for in a developmental edit. Her comments were thoughtful and on point. I especially appreciated the follow-up Skype meeting in which we discussed her comments, providing resources and examples. Her experience in the publishing field was a plus for me. I highly recommend her services.

, October 2017


Zhena Muzyka

Astute, fabulous edits. A joy to work with! Thank-you!

, September 2017


Judy Gaman

I had a fabulous experience with Elisabeth. Her edits are spot-on. She is timely and professional. I will use her again in the future!

, August 2017

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