Ellen Dreyer

Ellen Dreyer - Editor

Maplewood, NJ, USA

Award-winning children's book editor helps you develop your ideas and voice into a finished book. Effective query letters and proposals too.

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Overview

I'm a book editor specializing in children's and young adult fiction and non-fiction.

I have 20-plus years’ experience as an editor who helps writers develop their fiction and non-fiction manuscripts from initial concept through to polished, marketplace-ready work. I have edited many published, award-winning authors, including Nikki Grimes, Gerald and Loretta Hausman, Johanna Hurwitz, Milton Meltzer, Andrea Davis Pinkney, April Pulley Sayre, and many more. The publishers I have worked for, both on staff and as a consulting editor, include Dial Books, Dorling Kindersley, Morrow Junior Books, Orchard Books, National Geographic, and Nickelodeon/Simon & Schuster.

My purpose is to assist you in the creating your best work whether it's a novel, novella, short story/story collection, picture book, or memoir. Since I write as well as edit books for children and young adults, I understand the heart, soul, and commitment it takes to create and bring one’s writing into the world. We’ll look together at what is strong in your writing, as well as what needs further development.

How I work: I will read your project through at least twice. On the first pass, I will experience your manuscript as a reader would, listening to your writer's voice and getting an overarching sense of the work. On the second pass, I will be examining all aspects of the project, from voice, plot, pacing, characterizations, and style (if it’s fiction), to presentation of subject matter, structure, and style (if it's non-fiction). I will make line-by-line editorial notes using Track Changes.

After the second pass, I will send you an in-depth report detailing the project’s strengths and weaknesses, and recommendations for how to approach revisions. You will receive professional, courteous, and honest feedback. I offer one phone call to discuss the report, and am open to several rounds of email communication if you wish to discuss any aspect of your book in greater depth.

I’m excited to hear what you are working on, and to see if we’re a good editorial match!

Testimonials
“I can’t thank you enough for all the amazing feedback you provided…the manuscript is really in much better shape now than when we started!”
A.C., Senior Editor, Simon & Schuster

“In my twenty-plus years as an author and publishing professional, Ellen Dreyer is one of the most gifted editors I’ve ever worked with. She is the rarest of creatures: an editor who can address the macro and micro issues of a manuscript with equal skill and sensitivity. Ellen has the ability to see to the heart of a book, and to help writers bring forth their best.”
--Kris Waldherr, author of Doomed Queens (Broadway/Doubleday Books), The Book of Goddesses and The Lover’s Path (Abrams Books)

“Once I decided to self publish my debut novel, I knew I had to choose an excellent editor to help make it the very best it could be. Thank goodness I heard about Ellen’s experience through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She was a dream to work with. She asked the hard questions, and she pointed out scenes, descriptions, and characters that could use more development. With Ellen’s invaluable help, I was able to publish a historical fiction novel of which I’m very proud.”
--Nancy Herman, author of All We Left Behind: Virginia Reed and the Donner Party

"Ellen understands fiction. Her summary comments, while encouraging, directed me to a critical shortcoming in my writing. After reviewing her comments, writing seemed simpler. When it came to certain aspects of character development, I was consistently missing the mark. Ellen pinpointed that for me.

Ellen’s detailed commentary is equally compelling. The page-by-page comments have substance and relate directly to Ellen’s overall view of the work. Her summary and details reinforce each other.

Speaking with Ellen is a pleasure, because she is willing to explore ideas. She takes a positive tone. She gives specific direction. Beyond being a capable editor, Ellen is a good coach.

For me, continuing to work with Ellen is one more reason to write. Please feel free to contact me for more information.”
--Michael Megliola

“Ellen was able to help me shape my story into something I am proud to give people to read. She is a total professional with fast turnarounds. Authors working with Ellen can be confident in the result of their project.”
--Amy Alessio
Languages
English (AUS)
English (CAN)
English (UK)
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Children's - Non-fiction
Education & Reference
ELT
Fiction
Children's - Middle Grade
Children's - Picture Books
Historical Fiction
Young Adult & Teen

Awards

  • Bank Street College of Education. Best Book: The Glow Stone.
  • Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Briar, VA. Writing Fellowship.
  • Dorset Colony House, Dorset, VT. Resident writer.
  • Cranbrook Institute, Bloomfield Hills, MI. Cranbrook Writers' Guild Scholarships.
  • The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. 2 Avery Hopwood Awards in Creative Writing.

Work experience

Freelance Editor

Ellen Dreyer
February, 2000 – Present (over 19 years)

Writer and Editor

Scholastic, Inc., New York City, NY
April, 2006 – February, 2008 (almost 2 years)

Planned and edited books on the theory and practice of language arts teaching. Titles include Critical Literacy, Launching a Reading and Writing Workshop, and Teaching the Elements of Powerful Writing.

Project Manager

Great Source Education Group
April, 2004 – January, 2006 (almost 2 years)

Directed all aspects of development and publication of 36-book “hi-lo” reading program, for middle to high school grades. Collaborated with writers to develop their ideas and edited their manuscripts. Completed 24-month project within budget and on time.

Editor

Orchard Books, Scholastic, Inc.
February, 2000 – March, 2001 (about 1 year)

Actively acquired, edited and promoted picture book, novel, and non-fiction books by award-winning authors and illustrators, including the 2003 Coretta Scott King Award-winning book, Talkin’ About Bessie by Nikki Grimes.

Portfolio (14 selected works)

IOPENERS A BAND OF BRAVE MEN: STORY OF THE 54TH REGIMENT SINGLE GRADE 5 2005C

CELEBRATION PRESS

Complete Classroom Library includes one each of the following: Math Library Science Library Social Studies Library Content Area Classroom Libraries include: 1 display box containing 10 6-packs (60 little books) 1 Teacher Resource Portfolio 1 Assessment Book (where available) Classroom Library Add-on Packs include 1 copy of each title from the social studies, science, and math libraries. Add-On... read more

Complete Classroom Library includes one each of the following: Math Library Science Library Social Studies Library Content Area Classroom Libraries include: 1 display box containing 10 6-packs (60 little books) 1 Teacher Resource Portfolio 1 Assessment Book (where available) Classroom Library Add-on Packs include 1 copy of each title from the social studies, science, and math libraries. Add-On... read more

School Spirit

Johanna Hurwitz

Fearing that Edison-Armstrong School will close and force him into a school away from his closest friends, Julio rallies Lucas, Cricket, and Zoe into a campaign to save the school that tests his school spirit.

Fearing that Edison-Armstrong School will close and force him into a school away from his closest friends, Julio rallies Lucas, Cricket, and Zoe into a campaign to save the school that tests his school spirit.

The Glow Stone

Ellen Dreyer

The sudden death of her beloved uncle triggers a chain of events that threaten to overwhelm Spider and her family.Fifteen-year-old Phoebe Bernstein (a.k.a. Spider) has been collecting rocks since she was a child. She keeps her prized specimens in a musty underground garage, stored in the drawers of an old desk that was a gift from her beloved young uncle, Bradford. News of Bradford’s sudden de... read more

The sudden death of her beloved uncle triggers a chain of events that threaten to overwhelm Spider and her family.Fifteen-year-old Phoebe Bernstein (a.k.a. Spider) has been collecting rocks since she was a child. She keeps her prized specimens in a musty underground garage, stored in the drawers of an old desk that was a gift from her beloved young uncle, Bradford. News of Bradford’s sudden de... read more

All We Left Behind: Virginia Reed and the Donner Party

Nancy Herman

WINNER OF 2017 INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD: DISTINGUISHED FAVORITE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION In 1846 the Reed and Donner families leave Illinois on a 2,000-mile journey to California in search of free land and a healthy climate. Thirteen-year-old Virginia Reed is thrilled to ride ahead of the wagons each day beside her adored father. But enthusiasm turns to alarm when her father and other party leade... read more

WINNER OF 2017 INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD: DISTINGUISHED FAVORITE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION In 1846 the Reed and Donner families leave Illinois on a 2,000-mile journey to California in search of free land and a healthy climate. Thirteen-year-old Virginia Reed is thrilled to ride ahead of the wagons each day beside her adored father. But enthusiasm turns to alarm when her father and other party leade... read more

Meeting Dolphins

Kathleen Dudzinski

The author describes her work studying dolphin communication and her invention of a listening device that allows researchers to tell which of a group of dolphins is vocalizing underwater.

The author describes her work studying dolphin communication and her invention of a listening device that allows researchers to tell which of a group of dolphins is vocalizing underwater.

Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman (Coretta Scott King Author Honor Books)

Nikki Grimes

Soar along with Bessie Coleman in this inspirational tale of a woman whose determination reached new heights.Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman was always being told what she could & couldn't do. In an era when Jim Crow laws and segregation were a way of life, it was not easy to survive. Bessie didn't let that stop her. Although she was only 11 when the Wright brothers took their historic flight, she ... read more

Soar along with Bessie Coleman in this inspirational tale of a woman whose determination reached new heights.Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman was always being told what she could & couldn't do. In an era when Jim Crow laws and segregation were a way of life, it was not easy to survive. Bessie didn't let that stop her. Although she was only 11 when the Wright brothers took their historic flight, she ... read more

Back Home (Picture Books)

Gloria Jean Pinkney

Even though eight-year-old Ernestine lives with her family up North, "back home" is Lumberton, North Carolina, the place where she was born and where her mama grew up. From the moment she steps off the train, Ernestine feels right at home in the lush, green countryside, working on the family farm, and spending time with her aunt, uncle, and cousins. This nostalgic, sweetly humorous visit home-... read more

Even though eight-year-old Ernestine lives with her family up North, "back home" is Lumberton, North Carolina, the place where she was born and where her mama grew up. From the moment she steps off the train, Ernestine feels right at home in the lush, green countryside, working on the family farm, and spending time with her aunt, uncle, and cousins. This nostalgic, sweetly humorous visit home-... read more

Escape From Botany Bay: The True Story of Mary Bryant

Gerald Hausman, Loretta Hausman

Condemned to a penal colony in Australia for stealing a woman's bonnet, young Mary braves every danger in Britain's newest colony, Australia: disease, famine, rape, and the cruelty of the penal system. Mary is the first convict married in Australia, Mary learns from aboriginal friends how to survive. Eventually, she and her husband Will escape. Her daring run up the coast and all the way to Ti... read more

Condemned to a penal colony in Australia for stealing a woman's bonnet, young Mary braves every danger in Britain's newest colony, Australia: disease, famine, rape, and the cruelty of the penal system. Mary is the first convict married in Australia, Mary learns from aboriginal friends how to survive. Eventually, she and her husband Will escape. Her daring run up the coast and all the way to Ti... read more

Birthday Surprises: Ten Great Stories to Unwrap

Johanna Hurwitz

"This unique collection of short stories celebrates the creative power of imagination. At Hurwitz's invitation 10 well-known children's authors have written pieces based on a single premise: a young person finds an empty box among his or her birthday gifts. The enormously varied responses range in tone from amusing to heartwarmingly sad; all provide food for thought....An excellent surprise pa... read more

"This unique collection of short stories celebrates the creative power of imagination. At Hurwitz's invitation 10 well-known children's authors have written pieces based on a single premise: a young person finds an empty box among his or her birthday gifts. The enormously varied responses range in tone from amusing to heartwarmingly sad; all provide food for thought....An excellent surprise pa... read more

Speechless in New York - Going To Series: Going To New York City

Ellen Dreyer

Story of a young girl's trip to New York City.

Story of a young girl's trip to New York City.

Whole Language, Whole Learners: Creating a Literature-Centered Classroom

Laura Robb

A teacher shows how personal creativity and willingness to grow are the main ingredients of successful transition into whole language

A teacher shows how personal creativity and willingness to grow are the main ingredients of successful transition into whole language

Teaching the Elements of Powerful Writing Using Great Fiction and Nonfiction Models: 15 Motivating Lessons That Teach Focus, Sequencing, Structure, Word Choice, Elaboration, and More

Midge Madden, Jane Sullivan

Aliveness. Clarity. Strength. These are characteristics of good writing, characteristics too often lacking in student work. Jane Sullivan and Midge Madden have developed a successful approach that helps students to see and appreciate these qualities in literary models-and then to revise their own writing with the ideas in mind. Includes 15 classroom-tested lessons in a format that lets teacher... read more

Aliveness. Clarity. Strength. These are characteristics of good writing, characteristics too often lacking in student work. Jane Sullivan and Midge Madden have developed a successful approach that helps students to see and appreciate these qualities in literary models-and then to revise their own writing with the ideas in mind. Includes 15 classroom-tested lessons in a format that lets teacher... read more

Day of Delight: A Jewish Sabbath in Ethiopia

Maxine Rose Schur, J. Brian Pinkney, Brian Pinkney

Depicts a young Ethiopian Jewish boy and his family, including their typical daily routine followed by preparation for and celebration of the Sabbath

Depicts a young Ethiopian Jewish boy and his family, including their typical daily routine followed by preparation for and celebration of the Sabbath

Ten Queens: Portraits of Women of Power

Milton Meltzer

From the fierce battle tactics of the courageous Boudicca to the reforming spirit of Catherine the Great, this collection of ten essays, covering a two-thousand-year span of reigns, outlines the lives of ten women who ruled in their own right. Reprint.

From the fierce battle tactics of the courageous Boudicca to the reforming spirit of Catherine the Great, this collection of ten essays, covering a two-thousand-year span of reigns, outlines the lives of ten women who ruled in their own right. Reprint.

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