Fiona Simpson

Fiona Simpson – Editor

With over 20 years of experience in NYC children’s publishing, I specialize in Middle-Grade. Together we can make your book standout.

Overview

I am a New York City-based editor with over 20 years of experience in publishing working at three of the top five publishing companies.

Until recently, I was editorial director at Simon & Schuster’s Aladdin imprint. Before that, I was at Scholastic and Random House. My extensive publishing background helps me advise aspiring authors on their path to publication.
As the editorial director charged with developing an entire list for an imprint I worked closely with writers at all levels of experience as well as top agents,I know the importance of helping authors not just publish a book but grow a career. I believe that it is vital to listen and to give honest, constructive feedback. Publishing can be daunting, overwhelming even, but I can help you zero in on what will make your book stand out in today’s marketplace, strategize how to get an agent, and understand what to expect from the publishing process. Most importantly, I can help you refine your work to make it appealing for publication.

As a freelance editor, I will take on a variety of different tasks: revising full manuscripts, doctoring book proposals and query letters, developmental editing, and more. I can help identify the weaknesses in your manuscript that editors will spot and help accentuate the things they’ll like most. I’m a very hands-on editor, but I also know that the most important part of the process is that you are left with a manuscript that reflects your creativity and talent. Let me help you get your writing in the best possible shape to present it to the world!

I'm always happy to answer questions, so please feel free to get in touch with me.
Services
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Fiction
Contemporary Romance Fantasy Historical Romance Humor & Comedy Middle Grade Mystery & Crime
Languages
English (US)

Work experience

Wattpad Webtoons Bookgroup

Jul, 2021 — Present

Senior Editor with a focus on women’s and YA fiction including romance, thrillers, and paranormal romance. I work with both the W and Wattpad Books imprints.

Self-employed

Jul, 2009 — Aug, 2019 (about 10 years)

At Aladdin, I oversaw the editorial direction of an imprint that published everything from picture books through Middle-Grade which gave me a broad picture perspective of the marketplace. Additionally, I edited a full list of my own titles focused primarily on chapter books and middle-grade novels, series, and nonfiction titles for various ages. My titles included New York Times bestsellers (Baseball Genius and the Michael Vey series), an Edgar-nominee (Framed!), and an Edgar-winner (Trapped!), as well as titles that appear on numerous state reading lists. I worked with the Jeter Children’s imprint to create both fiction and nonfiction titles. As, as well as working closely with art, design, sales, and marketing to create the perfect package for both the book and the marketplace, I’ve worked with many experienced and first-time authors including Richard Paul Evans, Tim Green, James Ponti, Kate O’Hearn, Ryan Calejo, and many other talented individuals.

Scholastic, Inc.

Aug, 2000 — Nov, 2008 (over 8 years)

Working primarily in licensing, I created publishing programs for series books and licensed properties directed toward readers from early childhood to young adult. I rewrote manuscripts as necessary based on script changes or series needs for novelizations, readers, and storybooks.

Licensors included major movie studios (DreamWorks Animation, New Line, and Warner Bros.), sports leagues (NBA and NFL), television (Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Discovery Channel, and DC Comics), and toy companies (LEGO and Hasbro). Additionally, I helped to launch the LITTLE SHEPHERD imprint, including the best-selling Read and Learn Bible.

Random House

Aug, 1994 — Aug, 2000 (about 6 years)

I edited and assisted in developing Young Adult and Middle-Grade series and novels as well as movie and television tie-ins, picture books, and nonfiction picture books. Projects included The Saddle Club and Pony Pals series, books with the American Museum of Natural History as well as pop culture titles.

Pubworks, Inc.

Nov, 1989 — Aug, 1994 (over 4 years)

I began my career working on educational materials tackling manuscripts in all content areas and overseeing production. I have also written materials for use in classroom libraries—including an adaptation of THE CANTERBURY TALES.

Self-employed

Oct, 2019 — Present

My favorite part of publishing has always been the one-on-one relationship between an editor and an author. I enjoy the collaborative process and my experience with line and developmental editing can help you to improve voice; clarity, and narrative flow for a wide range of fiction and nonfiction projects.

At the end of the day, it’s your name on the book, but I can help you to have the best material inside.

Portfolio

Faking It

Reekles, Beth

Developmental Editing
Spellbound

Johnson, Crystal J.

City Spies

James Ponti

In this thrilling new series that Stuart Gibbs called “a must-read,” Edgar Award–winner James Ponti brings together five kids from all over the world and transforms them into real-life spies—perfect for fans of Spy School and Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls.... read more
Discover the world of Mount Olympus with Emily and Pegasus as they soar to new heights with this collectible boxed set!Emily and Pegasus have faced many dangers. Their first meeting was on the roof of a New York City apartment building during a war between imm... read more
“Well worth it for ravenous fans of quest stories.” —Kirkus Reviews “A highly recommended adventure series” —School Library Journal Inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America, this bold sequel to ... read more
Be With Me

Cunsolo, Jessica

Michael Vey

Richard Paul Evans

From Book 1: The start of an action-packed teen series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Richard Paul Evans.To everyone at Meridian High School, fourteen-year-old Michael Vey is nothing special, just the kid who has Tourette’s syndrome. But in truth, M... read more
School’s out, and three horse-crazy best friends promise to have the best summer everBefore Lisa Atwood, Stevie Lake, and Carole Hanson become high school juniors in the fall, the girls have a busy summer ahead. Lisa is spending every waking minute with her bo... read more
The ultimate guide to BIONICLE ® and a must-have for all fans. New and Updated!An encyclopedic look at the entire Bionicle story line, featuring new and updated entries. Want to know more about the Piraka? They're all here. And what about Nidhiki or Makuta? Th... read more
What begins with happily ever after and takes you far, far away? Scholastic's Shrek 2 publishing program of course!Join Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey on a journey to the Kingdom of Far, Far Away. There they meet all kinds of strange fairytale folk, including Fiona'... read more
Read And Learn Bible

American Bible Society

Timeless stories from the Bible for children and parents to share. Parents and children can deepen their understanding of the Bible by reading Bible stories together. The Read and Learn Bible features stories from the Old and New Testament including: Genesis, ... read more
Ellie Dray and her League of Archers are keeping Robin Hood’s legacy alive, but when Ellie is accused of Robin’s murder, she must learn what it really means to be a hero in this exciting adventure story.Twelve-year-old novice nun Elinor Dray has always idolize... read more
Family secrets combine with medieval fantasy in this epic tale of battle, magic, strange creatures, power, and fate, in this sweeping middle grade series that Publishers Weekly called “Game of Thrones on a mellow day.”An ancient prophecy says that when three s... read more
Learn about NBA superstar Kevin Durant in this book in a nonfiction series about your favorite athletes’ childhoods and what (or who) helped them become the stars they are today!He’s 6’ 9” with a wingspan of 7’ 5”, and everyone knows him as KD. He’s a two-time... read more
Before she was scoring goals, Becky Sauerbrunn was just a kid trying to fit in. Learn more in this first book in a brand-new nonfiction series about the childhoods of your favorite athletes.Midway through her first soccer game for the US Women’s National Team,... read more
Jeter Publishing presents a brand-new series that celebrates men and women who altered the course of history but may not be as well-known as their counterparts. Ida B. Wells was an African-American journalist and activist who led an anti-lynching crusade in th... read more
Siren Sisters

Dana Langer

A soon-to-be siren finds herself responsible for the lives of her sisters--and the fisherman they curse--in this haunting debut novel.Now that I know the truth, I sometimes picture my sisters in headlights, the way they would have looked on that cold February ... read more
Lizzy Legend

Matthew Ross Smith

A basketball-loving girl makes a wish to never miss a basket in this charming middle grade novel that pushes girl power to the max!Lizzy Trudeaux loves basketball. She doesn’t have much by way of money, but she has access to the community court, a worn ball na... read more
Dead City

James Ponti

A tween takes on undead New Yorkers in this paranormal action-adventure that “breathes new life into the zombie genre” (Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games).Most kids have enough to deal with between school, homework, extracurricular activities, and fr... read more
Ethan Marcus Stands Up

Michele Weber Hurwitz

“A thoughtful next step for readers of Andrew Clements.” —BCCB Multiple points of view lead to multiple theories about what really happened after one kid turns a punishment into a protest in this hilarious novel from Michele Weber Hurwitz.Perennial good kid Et... read more
“Who better to raise teens’ awareness of mental illness and health than the YA authors they admire?” —Booklist (starred review) “[A] much-needed, enlightening book.” —School Library Journal (starred review) Your favorite YA authors including Ellen Hopkins, Mau... read more
“A perfect pick for kids who love Rick Riordan.” —Booklist (starred review) “A winner for all kids, but it will be especially loved by Latinx and Hispanic families.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) The Lightning Thief meets the Story Thieves series in this mi... read more
An average kid with an above average talent for predicting baseball pitches tries to help his favorite player out of a slump in this New York Times bestselling novel from authors Tim Green and Derek Jeter.Jalen DeLuca loves baseball. Unfortunately his dad can’... read more
An Edgar Award Winner for Juvenile Fiction Perfect for mystery buffs with “elements of Alex Rider, James Bond, and Sherlock Holmes,” (School Library Journal) the Framed! series stars the only kid on the FBI Director’s speed dial and several international crimi... read more

Fiona has 23 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Diane D.

Diane D.

Jul, 2023

It's always a pleasure to work with Fiona. I can rely on her professional eye and thoughtful suggestions to make my manuscript the best it can be.
Fiona S.
Thanks, Diane. It’s a pleasure to work with you.
Jamie P.

Jamie P.

Apr, 2023

Fiona edited a query letter for me and was wonderful to work with. She had insightful suggestions, was prompt in responding, and was very easy to converse with. I definitely recommend her!
Fiona S.
Thank you so much, Jamie! It was a real pleasure to help you on this journey, and I can’t wait to see your book in stores!
Charlotte F.

Charlotte F.

Dec, 2021

Simply the best!
Fiona S.
Thank you, Charlotte. It was a pleasure to work on your project.
Gerry H.

Gerry H.

Jul, 2021

Fiona is friendly and professional and I would recommend her services to others.
Fiona S.
Thank you, Gerry! It was a pleasure to work on your project--and I'm sure this book will find a home. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.
Mya R.

Mya R.

Jun, 2021

Fiona is an amazing conceptual editor and brought developmental concerns to my attention that I had not considered. I found her edits to be spot on, and my three finished products were considerably improved due to her input. She was always the ultimate professional and responded quickly to all my requests. Most importantly, her overall evaluation of the manuscripts enabled me to produce tightly...
Read more
Fiona S.
Thanks for your kind words, Mya. It’s real pleasure to work with you—and I’m so happy that the feedback you’re receiving is positive. Looking forward to continuing the journey with you and your cha...
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