Fiona Simpson

Fiona Simpson - Editor

Valhalla, NY, USA

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

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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.
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Fiction
Fantasy
Humor & Comedy
Middle Grade
Mystery & Crime

Work experience

Independent Editor, Writer, Publishing Consultant

Self-employed
October, 2019 – Present (12 months)

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.

Editorial Director, Aladdin

Self-employed
July, 2009 – August, 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 that furthered their publishing goals. At the same time, I was building relationships with authors and agents, 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.

Executive Editor

Scholastic, Inc.
August, 2000 – November, 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.

Managing Editor

Random House
August, 1994 – August, 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.

Editor/Writer/Office Manager

Pubworks, Inc.
November, 1989 – August, 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.

Portfolio (21 selected works)

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.Sara Martinez is a hacker. She recently broke into the New York City foster care system to expose her foster parents as cheats and lawbr... read more

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.Sara Martinez is a hacker. She recently broke into the New York City foster care system to expose her foster parents as cheats and lawbr... read more

The Pegasus Mythic Collection Books 1-6: The Flame of Olympus; Olympus at War; The New Olympians; Origins of Olympus; Rise of the Titans; The End of Olympus

Kate O'Hearn

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 immortal beings. They have traveled through time to Ancient Greece and modern-day Hawaii. Their next adventure takes them to London where o... 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 immortal beings. They have traveled through time to Ancient Greece and modern-day Hawaii. Their next adventure takes them to London where o... read more

Charlie Hernández & the Castle of Bones (Charlie Hernandez)

Ryan Calejo

“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 Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows, which Booklist called “a perfect pick for kids who love Rick Riordan” in a starred review, fo... 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 Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows, which Booklist called “a perfect pick for kids who love Rick Riordan” in a starred review, fo... read more

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, Michael is extremely special—he has electric powers. Michael thinks he is unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor has t... read more

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, Michael is extremely special—he has electric powers. Michael thinks he is unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor has t... read more

Vanished! (Framed! Book 2)

James Ponti

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 criminals’ most wanted lists!Middle school is hard. Solving cases for the FBI is even harder. Doing both at the same time—well that’s just cr... 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 criminals’ most wanted lists!Middle school is hard. Solving cases for the FBI is even harder. Doing both at the same time—well that’s just cr... read more

Baseball Genius: Baseball Genius 1 (Jeter Publishing)

Tim Green, Derek Jeter

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’t afford to keep him on the travel team. His dad runs a diner and makes enough to cover the bills, but there isn’t anything for extras. ... 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’t afford to keep him on the travel team. His dad runs a diner and makes enough to cover the bills, but there isn’t anything for extras. ... read more

Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows (Charlie Hernandez)

Ryan Calejo

“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 middle grade fantasy inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America.Charlie He... 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 middle grade fantasy inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America.Charlie He... read more

Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles

Maureen Johnson, Robison Wells, Lauren Oliver, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Amy Reed, Aprilynne Pike, Rachel M. Wilson, Dan Wells, Amber Benson, E. Kristin Anderson, Sarah Fine, Kelly Fiore-Stultz, Ellen Hopkins, Scott Neumyer, Crissa-Jean Chappell, Francesca Lia Block, Tara Kelly, Kimberly McCreight, Megan Kelley Hall, Hannah Moskowitz, Karen Mahoney, Tom Pollock, Cyn Balog, Melissa Marr, Wendy Toliver, Cindy L. Rodriguez, Candace Ganger, Sara Zarr, Cynthia Hand, Francisco X. Stork, Jessica Burkhart

“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, Maureen Johnson, and more recount their own experiences with mental health in this raw, real, and powerful collection of essays that explor... 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, Maureen Johnson, and more recount their own experiences with mental health in this raw, real, and powerful collection of essays that explor... 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 Ethan Marcus has just done the unthinkable: refuse to stay seated during class. He’s not causing a riot; he’s not wandering around; he’s j... read more

“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 Ethan Marcus has just done the unthinkable: refuse to stay seated during class. He’s not causing a riot; he’s not wandering around; he’s j... 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 friends, but Molly Bigelow isn’t your typical tween. By day, Molly attends MIST—the Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology—but i... read more

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 friends, but Molly Bigelow isn’t your typical tween. By day, Molly attends MIST—the Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology—but i... 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 named Ginger, and she practices constantly. After fighting to join the boy’s team at her school, Lizzy is finally given the opportunity to... read more

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 named Ginger, and she practices constantly. After fighting to join the boy’s team at her school, Lizzy is finally given the opportunity to... 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 night, armed with shovels and pickaxes, and digging in the graveyard. Lolly Salt has three beautiful sisters. When they're not in school... read more

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 night, armed with shovels and pickaxes, and digging in the graveyard. Lolly Salt has three beautiful sisters. When they're not in school... read more

Ida B. Wells: Discovering History's Heroes (Jeter Publishing)

Diane Bailey

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 the United States in the 1890s. On one fateful train ride from Memphis to Nashville, in May 1884, Wells reached a personal turning point. ... 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 the United States in the 1890s. On one fateful train ride from Memphis to Nashville, in May 1884, Wells reached a personal turning point. ... read more

Becky Sauerbrunn (Real Sports Content Network Presents)

David Seigerman

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, Becky Sauerbrunn broke her nose. More to the point, it exploded, really, in a head-to-head collision. Still, it never occurred to her t... 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, Becky Sauerbrunn broke her nose. More to the point, it exploded, really, in a head-to-head collision. Still, it never occurred to her t... read more

Kevin Durant (Real Sports Content Network Presents)

Real Sports Network

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 NBA champ, two-time Finals MVP, and four-time Scoring Champ. He’s Kevin Durant, and the NBA has never seen a player quite like him befo... 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 NBA champ, two-time Finals MVP, and four-time Scoring Champ. He’s Kevin Durant, and the NBA has never seen a player quite like him befo... read more

Crown of Three Epic Collection Books 1-3: Crown of Three; The Lost Realm; A Kingdom Rises

J. D. Rinehart

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 stars appear in the sky, triplets will take the throne and peace will come to the land. The stars have appeared, and the triplets are Gul... 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 stars appear in the sky, triplets will take the throne and peace will come to the land. The stars have appeared, and the triplets are Gul... read more

League of Archers

Eva Howard

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 idolized Robin Hood. She and her friends try to be like him by sneaking out to hunt on the lands belonging to the village Baron, stealing from ... 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 idolized Robin Hood. She and her friends try to be like him by sneaking out to hunt on the lands belonging to the village Baron, stealing from ... read more

Read And Learn Bible

American Bible Society, 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, Noah and the Flood, Exodus, Daniel in the Lion's Den, The Story of Queen Esther, The Nativity, Jesus the Teacher, Jesus Comes to Jerusal... read more

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, Noah and the Flood, Exodus, Daniel in the Lion's Den, The Story of Queen Esther, The Nativity, Jesus the Teacher, Jesus Comes to Jerusal... read more

Shrek 2: The Movie Storybook

Tom Mason, Dan Danko

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's parents the King and Queen, a wicked Fairy Godmother, and that fierce ogre-hunter, Puss-in-Boots. It's a hilarious adventure that prov... 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's parents the King and Queen, a wicked Fairy Godmother, and that fierce ogre-hunter, Puss-in-Boots. It's a hilarious adventure that prov... read more

Bionicle Encyclopedia

Greg Farshtey

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? The Toa? The Toa Inika? The city of Metru Nui? And the watery world of Mahri Nui? It's all here: everything you ever wanted to know - and ... 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? The Toa? The Toa Inika? The city of Metru Nui? And the watery world of Mahri Nui? It's all here: everything you ever wanted to know - and ... read more

The Long Ride (Pine Hollow Book 1)

Bonnie Bryant

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 boyfriend, Alex—who’s also Stevie’s twin brother—until she leaves to visit her dad and his new family in California. Stevie just got her d... 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 boyfriend, Alex—who’s also Stevie’s twin brother—until she leaves to visit her dad and his new family in California. Stevie just got her d... read more

Fiona has 9 reviews

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

susan crovo
Fiona is a diligent, insightful editor who views the written words of the author through eyes that honor the author's voice! I will be happily using her experienced focus of my work to edit and improve my story. I would definitely work with her again and recommend her highly. It was such an asset to have someone with Fiona's experience to provide such a detailed editorial review. Thank you Fiona!

susan crovo, September 2020

Fiona Simpson
Thank you so much, Susan! I really enjoyed working on your project—the world and characters you’ve created felt so real and engaging. I can’t wait to see what you do next.

Reply from Fiona Simpson


Jeanette Mendell
Fiona was great to work with. She responded right away to any questions I had and completed her edits within the time agreed.

Jeanette Mendell, August 2020


Diane DiRoberto
Fiona is a careful and thoughtful editor. Beyond the basic line edits, she offered suggestions that made my manuscript stronger. I look forward to our continued relationship.

Diane DiRoberto, August 2020

Fiona Simpson
Thank you, Diane! I look forward to working with you again. This experience was a pleasure.

Reply from Fiona Simpson


Tonya Ellis
Working with Fiona was great! She completed the deliverables as scheduled and gave valuable insights and action items that I can use to polish and improve my book. I would definitely work with her again.

Tonya Ellis, July 2020

Fiona Simpson
Thank you, Tonya! I really enjoyed working with you and getting the chance to read your manuscript. It was great fun, and I have absolutely no doubt that you’ve got a wonderful start to your new se...
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Reply from Fiona Simpson


James Famera
Fiona went above and beyond for my middle-grade sports-themed novel. She's a true pro, and I highly recommend her to anyone looking for a detailed, sentence-by-sentence analysis of their manuscript. She gave my book a full, "big picture" assessment of what was working and what needed development, so I thank her for that! I now have a great starting point to work from as I approach the revising ...
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James Famera, June 2020

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