Hala Saadani

Hala Saadani – Editor

Passionate and tenacious editor, translator, and ghostwriter with a focus on Children's and Young Adult books (English and Arabic).


I am an experienced publisher, editor, translator, and ghostwriter who works in both English and Arabic. As a Third Culture child, I play to my strengths and specialize in stories that cross the divide between English and Arabic. For the past three years I have been Head of Children's and Young Adult Publishing at a bilingual publishing house, which has further strengthened my ability to bridge cultures. On the non-fiction side, I also have a strong background in Middle East Studies and educational matters.

I think editing or refining a book for publication is a two-fold exercise.

On the one hand, I like to get to know you (my author) very well so that we are both on the same side and trying to project the same voice. On the other hand I will discuss our audience with you as we develop our strategy: what do they like, will a sentence resonate with them, how should phrasing be weighed? In a world where it is getting harder to catch and keep a child's attention, books should take their new competition into account.

We will work together on flow, rhythm, and feel, and we will figure out how to keep the integrity of your voice while packaging it in the form that works best. My experience as a publisher also allows me to offer suggestions for illustrations, format, and production for your work.
Children’s Non-Fiction Humanities & Social Sciences Political Science & Current Affairs
Comics & Graphic Novels Middle Grade Picture Books Young Adult
English (CAN) English (UK) English (US)

Work experience

The Literary Consultancy Middle East

Jan, 2017 — Present

I have recently joined the team of TLC Middle East which provides a dedicated manuscript assessment service tailored to writers from the Arab world, writing in English, who are based in the Middle East. My focus with TLC Middle East is children's, middle grade and YA fiction

HBKU Press

Apr, 2014 — Present

Responsible for seeking out new authors, illustrators, and translators,
review all titles to be acquired by my division for translation and/or publication,
working closely with Sales team to direct acquisition in line with our market,
provide mentorship to first-time authors in order to refine their work for publication,
developed a database of authors, illustrators, and translators
currently acting head of English Publishing division (adult books in English, fiction and non-fiction).

German Technical Cooperation (GIZ)

Dec, 2008 — Dec, 2010 (about 2 years)

GIZ was working on a great project to rehabilitate the Old City of Damascus, working out of a 200 year-old house right in the heart of the town. From here I worked on project publications, including editing a number of children's books designed to enhance awareness of water conservation, and two larger-scale studies about the conservation of ancient buildings in the Old City. The academic nature of the books took a bit of getting used to, but I had minored in Islamic Architecture, and my passion for the subject was rekindled during these editing tasks.

Canadian Council of Muslim Women

Mar, 2008 — Jun, 2008 (3 months)

For new arrivals to Canada, familiarization with their new way of life sometimes takes years; this is especially the case with women who leave very traditional societies where their access to information is limited. The CCMW undertook a project to provide these women with information about the rights accorded to them under Canadian Family Law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in their native languages. I served as consultant editor on the original English text and on the accuracy of the Arabic portion. Because I was in charge of the Arabic, which is the language of the Quran and the main Shariah texts, this was a very intricate and enjoyable project because there were corrections and edits to be made in both languages.


Dec, 2004 — Present

Over the years I have provided various editorial services to a very interesting range of clients. A lot of people came to me to access the bi-cultural and bilingual input that I am uniquely positioned to offer; so I have been asked to check a lot of publications (and video scripts) to ensure flow, consistency, and cultural sensitivity.


The Qatar Nature Explorer series offers a unique insight into Qatar's natural history and wildlife, and is an essential resource for schools and parents.Titles in this series include:Plants of Qatar / ISBN: 9789992178850Sea and Shore Life of Qatar / ISBN: 9789... read more
Emma is new in town. More than anything, she wants to make new friends. See what happens when she smiles, asks to play, offers to help, and shares her toys. Making friends is fun! Stuart J Murphy's I SEE I LEARN teaches important skills for school readiness an... read more
Nolan Byrd is Cedar Valley Elementary's No. 1 nerd. But when Bubba Bixby-- a nasty bully who enjoys tipping over kids' lunch trays, calling names, and swiping stuff-- pushes Nolan a little too far, the brainiac boy decides to build a web site dedicated to outi... read more
Mah and Me

Ibtihaj al Harthi

Azzan introduces us to his grandmother, who he loves, very much. He loves visiting her, listening to her tell him stories, and he big hugs. But one day Azzan has to say goodbye to his grandmother...will he be able to understand where she has gone and what it m... read more
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school-until now. He's about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Augg... read more
Manal is a lively young girl who loves reading her stories and living imaginary adventures as much as she loves playing in the park with her friends. One day Manal notices a little girl sitting by herself in a corner at the park. Even though the little girl ca... read more
Carissa is a loveable cow who just can't seem to stop bumping into things! What could the trouble be? Off she goes on an adventure to find out what is making her so clumsy. Can you guess what it is? She makes a surprising new friend along the way, and he has q... read more

Hala has 1 review





Akmaral B.

Akmaral B.

Aug, 2017

It was pleasure to work with Hala as she could help me with things I didn't know about. Her knowloge of Arabic language and culture was espatially important for my book She is very responsible , gives a lot of attention to the details and has a good imagination to help new authors to develop their writings . I would definitely recommend Hala to anybody who needs professional help

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