Gene Hult

Gene Hult – Editor

Creative, experienced editor of novels, children's books, and poetry. Let's prepare your manuscript for publication together.


I'm a freelance writer and editor, a publisher of poetry and children's books, and a college English teacher. In my more than 30 years as an editor of young adult and middle grade novels and children’s picture and novelty books, I edited hundreds of books for houses including Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Random House, and Scholastic. I also have written more than 125 books that have been published for children and young adults, and two books of poetry.

Please do the math before you request a quote, because it's no fun writing a personalized response only to have my offer declined from sticker shock. For example, if your fiction manuscript is 10,000 words in length, a developmental edit ($.06/word) will cost $600, plus the addition of Reedsy and Stripe fees, which would bring my quote to approximately $680.

Here are the editorial services I offer, with approximate fees (not including the addition of Reedsy and Stripe fees):

Editorial Assessment: I'll read your manuscript and tell you what I think. This stage is about deciding whether a manuscript is worth pursuing, based on interest, originality, age appropriateness, relevance, genre consistency, character development, world-building, language use, voice, style, cinematic visual acuity, and rhythm. You would receive a letter detailing my opinion of all of the above, with suggestions for improvement. This does not include a line-by-line annotation of the manuscript itself. $.02/word.

Developmental Editing: I'll read your manuscript, tell you what I think, and show you the specifics of how to make it better. This pass is about analyzing a manuscript draft for language issues, visual efficiency, pace, structural functionality, scene coherency, character development and consistency, emotional truth, story rhythm and arcs, believability within the book’s own idiom, originality and avoiding clichés, natural-sounding dialogue, and effective dramatization and humor. Includes comprehensive comments, suggestions, and line edits in Microsoft Word, with a long, detailed editorial letter explaining and discussing larger concepts. $.06/word.

Copy Editing: I'll clean up your final manuscript and prepare it for submission to agents and editors, or for layout for self-publishing. This pass corrects or queries a finished manuscript's grammar, spelling, punctuation, word usage, unclear meanings, and inconsistencies in time, character, and setting details. $.04/word.

Proofreading: I'll check your designed book layout for typos. This pass is a final check for errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation, particularly looking for missed mistakes, homophones, and formatting errors. Proofreading is usually done in a final layout suitable for publishing (either in print or electronically) to check exactly how a book will appear, including cleaning up line, paragraph, and page breaks, letter-spacing, and hyphenation. $.03/word.

If there is an unlisted type of editing you require, or some customized hybrid of the above, I am certainly open to discussing how a cooperative process could be developed for your specific project. Every book is its own unique creation -- and its own problem child.

PICTURE BOOK AND POETRY AUTHORS: Because of the necessarily low word count of a picture book or poetry manuscript, that quantity is not a great representation of the work and time involved in editing it. Picture books and poetry are more thought-intensive than longer fiction — the writing is concentrated, and so the editing is, too. Therefore I either charge $55/hour for editing picture and poetry book manuscripts, or almost double my usual fees, depending on the amount of work necessary, judged from your sample.

I hope to hear from you soon so we can refine and finalize your manuscript.

Action & Adventure Comics & Graphic Novels Fantasy LGBTQ Fiction Literary Fiction Middle Grade Poetry Science Fiction
English (UK) English (US)

Work experience

San Jacinto College South

Aug, 2019 — Present

Teaching English Composition and Creative Writing to college students.

Uptown Stories

Apr, 2014 — May, 2015 (about 1 year)

Taught writing in a non-profit after-school program to children ages 9-12. Workshops included Adventure Stories and Introduction to Non-fiction.

Simon & Schuster

Jun, 2005 — Feb, 2007 (over 1 year)

Oversaw the creation of 30-40 coloring, activity, puzzle, and devotional books per season in various formats for all markets, including the bestselling Kids' Book of Sudoku series and the #1 New York Times children's bestseller A Treasure's Trove: Secrets of the Alchemist Dar, as well as coloring and activity properties such as Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, Care Bears, Thomas and Friends, VeggieTales, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. My duties encompassed managing an editorial staff, line editing, design and art conception, trafficking, author and title acquisition and presentation, developing new formats, maintaining schedules, communication with licensors, packagers, and agents, and computing production finances.


Mar, 2002 — Jul, 2005 (over 3 years)

Edited 25-40 children's books per season in a full range of formats, all based on licensed properties, particularly Shrek 2, Batman Begins, Spider-Man 2, The Batman, Teen Titans, Clifford, Maya and Miguel, Tonka, Duel Masters, Barbie, Krypto, G.I. Joe, Care Bears, Trollz, Rescue Heroes, Strawberry Shortcake, and Dragon Ball Z.


Jun, 1998 — Mar, 1999 (10 months)

Edited children's media tie-in series paperbacks, including Two of a Kind, The New Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley, Patrick's Pals, Life with Louie, Mystic Knights of Tir na Nog, NASCAR Pole Position Adventures, Noddy, and the new Captain Kangaroo.


Jul, 1997 — Present

Writing and editing fiction, non-fiction, novelizations, poetry, calendars, interactive storybook apps, and web content. Author of more than 125 published books, mostly under the children’s book pseudonym J. E. Bright.

Daniel Weiss Associates/17th Street Productions

Sep, 1994 — Jul, 1997 (almost 3 years)

Edited the book series Sweet Valley High (Bantam), Extreme Zone (Pocket), Super Hoops (Bantam), Sports Mysteries (Scholastic), and Indigo Island (Reader's Digest). My duties included composition of original plot outlines, line editing, author acquisition and instruction, and the creation of new series. I also organized and directed shoots for photographic covers.

Denver Quarterly

Mar, 1992 — Aug, 1994 (over 2 years)

In charge of all production areas for the award-winning literary journal, from solicitation of original manuscripts to distribution to subscribers and bookstores, with duties including layout design, proofreading, line editing, evaluating manuscripts, processing all finances, scheduling, and organizing a staff of thirty unpaid graduate students.


Go on a journey with beloved sisters Elsa and Anna in this graphic, guided journal based on the much-anticipated Frozen 2!When the natural elements are mysteriously swept out of Arendelle in Frozen 2, Elsa and Anna travel further than ever before, and each fac... read more
Created to engage middle-grade reluctant readers and all science fiction fans! Pick Your Powers! Scott, Matt, and Jett are keeping a secret about their school’s jungle gym. It turns into a spaceship, launching them on important adventures as the Recess Heroes!... read more
Why do cats always win video games? They get nine lives! More than 350 goofy jokes inside, plus quirky pictures on every page! This kooky cat’s collection of kid-friendly clean jokes has tons of nutty funniness so everybody gets the giggles. Don’t miss the sil... read more
Spirit Guides

Rosemarie Koch

Poems embracing mediumship and motherhood.This is the ancestral gathering.These are the impossible mosaicsthat proliferate not by shattered glassor fastening. They are the facetsof everything that was and is,the essential tableauxof whispering and release.All ... read more
I can't prove anything he says.Some cyber-psychos deliberately deceive. Catfish is a long poem about being in love with an ideal but fraudulent man on a chat app. After is an imagist cycle of poetry about psychic, creative, and romantic reconstruction in the a... read more
The verse of renowned poets collected with the voices of select modern writers, all inspired by the ceaseless splendor of the sea.Includes a reading guide for teachers and book groups, and biographies of the poets inside.Classic Dante AlighieriJoseph Auslander... read more
Was that a cheer ... or a scream?The Sweet Valley High cheerleaders have been kidnapped! Co-captains Jessica Wakefield and Heather Mallone thought they'd found the perfect faculty advisor for their cheer squad in Nancy Swanson. But the cheerleaders don't know ... read more
Catherine Lescault

Walter Idlewild

Which form of art is the finest? In the delirious and vitalizing novel Catherine Lescault, alternative incarnations of Honoré de Balzac’s classic characters from The Unknown Masterpiece enact romances of lunacy and obsession to dramatize their search for the r... read more
The immortal super-villain VANDAL SAVAGE is loose! He has escaped prison and fled to the timeless tombs of Egypt, where he raises an army of living mummies. HAL JORDAN, as GREEN LANTERN, soars into the shifting sands to defeat the zombie-like rampage, but VAND... read more
All young Vikings must prove they are fierce and strong enough to fight dragons. But Hiccup isn't as brawny as his friends and fails miserably at dragon training. So he invents a new weapon that can take down the fiercest dragon in the sky—and when it actually... read more
Journey to the world of magical horses . . .A beautiful water horse, Coral is destined to meet a special girl in need of her guidance. Coral must lead the young girl to important discoveries that will change the course of their destinies forever.
Brad Myers has never been happier. A junior at Webster High, he's madly in love with his girlfriend, Caitlin Dawes; his band is booking a lot of gigs; and he's doing great in school. With all the positive things going on, Brad has everything to look forward to... read more
This follow-your-own-destiny romance series lets the reader choose her fate. Will her decisions lead to terminal embarrassment...or a delicious first kiss?You share an instant connection with Mike, the star of your school's rival soccer team. Too bad he's dati... read more
Deep in the ocean, TOPO THE OCTOPUS plays some relaxing music for AQUAMAN. Suddenly, a huge whirlpool appears in the distance, threatening the city of ATLANTIS. Without a moment to lose, AQUAMAN leaps aboard his SUPER-SEAHORSE, STORM, and jets toward the liqui... read more
When Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson attend a charity magic performance, they discover an archenemy has a few tricks up his sleeve! The Joker hypnotizes the entire audience, and only Batman is immune to his mesmerizing powers. As the Joker's twists on classic mag... read more
Famous American Folktales gathers the most famous and shared folktales. Beautifully illustrated, it is a perfect book for bedtime. It will include: "The Phantom Train of Marshall Pass,"" Sasquatch," "The Maid in the Mist," "Paul Bunyan and the Hard Winter," "M... read more
America’s Next Top Model is a runaway runway series and must-see television for millions of teens and tweens. Young women of various backgrounds, shapes, and sizes are mentored by today’s top fashion stylists and industry experts. With chapters that focus on b... read more
Welcome back to Gotham City! Scholastic is thrilled to announce a new line of tie-in books based on the new animated series THE BATMAN on the Kids' WB!The first BATMAN chapter book -- based on two episodes from the new animated TV show! Also includes an 8-page... read more
The heartwarming, magical, beautifully illustrated fantasy story inside Secrets Of The Alchemist Dar is only the first layer in the book's appeal. Because hidden throughout the intricate pages are clues to the secret location of 100 precious rings hidden acros... read more
Read along with Clifford in a new BIG RED READER!Clifford is running for President . . . of the Birdwell Island dog park! Emily Elizabeth needs to put up a candidate for a class project, so of course she nominates the Big Red Dog who's always a big winner!
Before Clifford was a Big Red dog, he was a very small puppy.The beginning of the new school year brings a new neighbor to the apartment building where Emily Elizabeth lives. Clifford and his friends are scared by a strange wailing noise coming from the new ne... read more
G.i. Joe

H. Kowitt

G.I. Joe defeats Cobra Commander and the Neo-Vipers once again in the first GI Joe 6x9 reader. Boys will love the story and the cool tattoos inside!The COBRA creeps are in the Alaskan wilderness trying to melt huge chunks of the frozen wasteland in order to mi... read more
Introducing the first ever phonics box starring Dora the Explorer!Based on the best research on how children develop reading skills, these twelve books introduce a carefully selected progression of letter sounds-starting with the easiest and most common. Each ... read more
Go back to the beginning! When the mysterious origins of Batman's background are explained, Scholastic will be there with books based on the new movie BATMAN BEGINS!See the full story of the exciting new motion picture BATMAN BEGINS, told with full-color still... read more
With moving parts on every spread, along with secret surprise flaps to lift, kids will love learning about big Tonka trucks while they play!A follow up to the popular TONKA: FIRE TRUCKS IN ACTION!, this novelty board book has a moving paper-engineered part on ... read more
#3 in the awesome I'M A GREAT BIG series, this realistic and factual 8x8 storybook describes the features and activities of a giant monster truck from its point of view.Monster trucks are awesome! There's a very good reason why kids love monster truck rallies ... read more
Shrek Tales #2

Micheal Anthony Steele

SHREK TALES continue the adventures of Shrek and his friends. In this episode, Shrek meets his long-lost brother -- an abominable snowman!Shrek is thrilled when Snowgre, his long lost brother, comes for a visit. There's only one problem: Snowgre is a snowman -... read more
When Shrek and Donkey meet a mysterious stranger named Puss in Boots in the deepest, darkest part of the woods, will they be in terrible danger . . . or meet a new friend? Maybe a little of both! A beautifully illustrated full-color storybook, based on a wonde... read more
It's a busy day in Toyland! Noddy has lots of errands to run, but everything keeps going wrong. With a little determination . . . and lots of luck, things turn out even better than planned. Full color.
Who's Got SkillsWhen Patrick first meets Dikembe-'the new kid intown'-he's really pumped to have a new player on his team. He and Dikembe see eye to eye on just about everything'-and it's not just because they're both so tall! There's only one problem. Patrick... read more
A legend of brave heroes and great warriors... Rohan was an orphan, a lowly apprentice to the King's magical adviser Cathbad...until a fragment of an ancient scroll revealed his true identity. Now, along with his companions Angus, Ivar, and Princess Deirdre, R... read more
The stars of the Branford Bulls live and breathe basketball, and they can really play, but when their coach and his sons--two of their best players--move away, they wonder if they still have what it takes.
The moment Noah and Harley meet, they feel an immediate connection-- a connection that goes deeper than either ever could have believed. Alone, both are lost in their personal terrors of the night. Their last hope lies in learning to trust each other, but in t... read more
Fashion! Models! Deadlines! Identical twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are interning at Flair--the hippest fashion magazine ever! As the assistant to famous photographer Quentin Berg, Jessica thought she'd be working on glamorous photo shoots. Instead, sh... read more

Gene has 14 reviews





Pearl G.

Pearl G.

Jul, 2021

His work was greatly appreciated and thorough .
Steven S.

Steven S.

Jul, 2021

I will admit, it was a most daunting task to choose an editor from such a list of qualified professionals. Somehow, I landed on a real gem in selecting Gene Hult! His assessment was concise, specific and a clear reflection of his experience and professionalism. Bravo Gene, and Reedsy, for providing a new author with such a valuable source for feedback and direction!!
Gene H.
Thank you, Steven!
Lauren C.

Lauren C.

Jun, 2021

Gene was great to work with! He provided excellent feedback and we even joked back and forth a bit which made me feel like I was working with a friend. I originally requested copy editing but he suggested a bit of developmental work as well. I was hesitant at first but was ultimately so grateful for it. Would definitely work with Gene again!
Gene H.
Thank you, Lauren!
Kelly J.

Kelly J.

May, 2021

Gene Hult was awesome to work with, and he definitely eased my anxieties about allowing someone outside my circle to view and edit my manuscript. His initial response to my request definitely reinforced that he would be a great fit for me. He exceeded my expectations, and I look forward to working with him in the future.
Gene H.
Thank you, Kelly!
Kristen M.

Kristen M.

Aug, 2019

Gene's editorial advice was concise, straight forward and thorough. His suggested directions improved my manuscript.

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