Hannah Sheppard

Hannah Sheppard – Editor

Development Editor and Literary Agent with twenty years' experience of trade publishing.

Overview

Please note, because I offer freelance edits around my literary agency work my time is limited and I get booked up well in advance - if you're looking for someone to start immediately it's unlikely I'll be able to help - but if you're planning ahead and looking to book something in for a month or so from now please do get in touch. I am currently only offering submission package reviews rather than full manuscript reads.
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I worked in house as an editor for over a decade before making the switch to become a literary agent working across children's fiction (middle grade, teen and YA) and adult fiction (crime/thriller and women's fiction).

My interest in editing was sparked by a love of stories. One of my earliest memories is being captivated by the unfolding magic of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and spending the next year hopefully investigating any antique wardrobe I encountered in the hope of finding an entrance to Narnia.

I carry this passion for stories into my work as a freelance editor and literary agent. As a teenager I was an avid reader of detective and mystery stories (Nancy Drew was my hero) and I harboured a secret ambition to become a police investigator. Over the years of working in publishing (at Macmillan Children's Books and Headline, part of the Hachette group) I’ve convinced myself that being an editor is not dissimilar to being a detective. When I’m helping an author develop a novel I’m looking for the holes in the plot, asking the questions that haven’t been covered yet and ensuring everything’s as clear and true to the story as possible.

Services
Fiction
Dystopian Middle Grade Middle Grade Fantasy Mystery & Crime Romance Thriller & Suspense Women's Fiction Young Adult
Languages
English (UK) English (US)

Work experience

DHH Literary Agency

Jul, 2013 — Present

I'm an agent at the DHH Literary Agency in London. I represent authors such as:

Abi Elphinstone

Keris Stainton

Adam Hamdy

Chris McGeorge

Kate Mallinder

Amy Beashel

Dee Benson

Amy McLellan

Gabrielle Kent

Jim Beckett

Olivia Lara

Morgan Owen

Sarah Bonner

Self-employed

Sep, 2012 — Present

I'm a freelance editor working through literary consultancies and directly with authors. I can offer editorial reports focusing on structural development as well as line editing but I don't offer copy/proof reading.

Headline (Hachette Group)

Aug, 2007 — Sep, 2012 (about 5 years)

I ran the YA and crossover list at Headline and am proud to have commissioned, amongst others, Julianna Baggott’s PURE trilogy, gorgeous contemporary romance from Jennifer E. Smith, illustrated YA novels from Cathy Brett, teen horror from Andrew Hammond and stunning debut HEART-SHAPED BRUISE by Tanya Byrne which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger and longlisted for the Branford Boase Award. Tanya was also shortlisted for New Writer of the Year at the National Book Awards.

Macmillan Children's Books

Oct, 2002 — Jul, 2007 (over 4 years)

I worked my way up from Editorial Secretary to Assistant editor during the 5 years I worked at Macmillan Children's Books. I supported the senior editors in the department in the publication of their authors (Judy Blume, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Eva Ibbotson, Meg Cabot, Francis Hardinge) and started to commission my own list.

Portfolio

Wranglestone

Charlton, Darren

Her Perfect Twin

Sarah Bonner

HER PERFECT TWIN. YOUR NEW OBSESSION.'Sarah Bonner's debut novel made my jaw drop. There are so many twists in this story, I never knew what was coming next. You won't want to miss this one!' Samantha Downing, author of My Lovely Wife'A terrifyingly vivid psyc... read more
Guess Who

Chris McGeorge

ONE ROOM. FIVE SUSPECTS. THREE HOURS TO FIND A KILLER.'An impressive debut' James Oswald**************GUESS WHO A waitress. A cleaner. An actress. A lawyer. A student. Everyone is a suspect.WHERE In a locked room - with no escape, and no idea how they got ther... read more
Ace of Spades

Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

"One of 2021's biggest books." gal-dem "This summer's hottest YA debut." Entertainment Weekly An instant New York Times bestseller, ACE OF SPADES is Gossip Girl meets Get Out, with a shocking twist. Buried secrets come to light when two students are targeted b... read more
The Sky is Mine

Amy Beashel

Izzy feels invisible. Trapped under the weight of expectation and censored by shame. Her mum Steph and best friend Grace have always been there to save her. But with one under the control of her stepfather and the other caught in the throes of new love, Izzy i... read more
Someday in Paris

Olivia Lara

A magical new love story about star-crossed lovers, perfect for hopeless romantics and fans of One Day and The Notebook. Finding the one is only the beginning... 1954. Zara is fifteen the first time she meets Leon. During a power cut in a small French museum, ... read more
Summer of No Regrets

Kate Mallinder

After their exams, four sixteen-year-old best friends pledge to live a summer regret-free, doing what they want to do however much it scares them: Sasha agrees to spend the holiday with her father in Geneva, having not seen him for six years, but is not expect... read more
The Dreamsnatcher

Abi Elphinstone

Twelve-year-old Moll Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare - the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life. Be... read more
"More than a crime story; it's jam-packed with family drama and heartbreak. Highly recommended for suspense and mystery fans." --Library JournalIn the wake of a devastating bombing, a father risks everything to find out who was responsible.When Bish Ortley, a ... read more
Waiting for Callback

Perdita Cargill

Geek Girl meets Fame meets New Girl in this brilliantly funny new series! When Elektra is discovered by an acting agent, she imagines Oscar glory can't be far away, but instead lurches from one cringe-worthy moment to the next! Just how many times can you be r... read more
Eliza Rose

Lucy Worsley

The captivating debut children's novel from popular television historian Lucy Worsley is an exciting and charming glimpse behind the scenes of the Tudor court. I would often wonder about my future husband. A knight? A duke? A stable boy?Of course the last was ... read more
Pendulum

Adam Hamdy

James Patterson has hailed Adam Hamdy's PENDULUM as 'one of the best thrillers of the year' saying he read it in 'one gloriously suspenseful weekend'. A photo-journalist is targeted for death in this high-concept, twisting, dangerous journey through a digital ... read more
Alone

D J Brazier

The trip of a lifetime - that’s what it was supposed to be, paid for with money Gran left thirteen-year old Sam in her will, but when the small plane taking Sam and his Dad back to the airport crashes in the jungle, Sam is left alone and terrified.As time pass... read more
Counting Stars

Keris Stainton

A new life in a new city - what could possibly go wrong . . . ?When eighteen-year-old Anna leaves school and moves to Liverpool, she feels like her life is finally beginning. She's landed her dream job at a theatre, and she's moving into an exciting (if not sl... read more
Follow Me Down

Tanya Byrne

The sensationally good Tanya Byrne returns with her new novel - a dark, compulsive tale of obsession and betrayalWhen sixteen-year-old Adamma Okomma, a Nigerian diplomat's daughter, arrives at exclusive Crofton College in Wiltshire, she is immediately drawn to... read more
Interwoven with tales of World War I, this is a story about growing up, moving on and the strength of a family.Things haven't been going so well for fifteen-year-old Esther Armstrong. With her brother Max - her closest ally - absent, she's forced to face every... read more
City of Fae

Pippa DaCosta

Look, but don't touch. Touch, but don't feel. Feel, but never ever love. From the moment Alina touches London's hottest fae superstar, breaking one of the laws founded to protect all of her kind, her fate – and the fae – close in. Below ground, the fae High Qu... read more
They say I'm evil. The police. The newspapers. The girls from school who sigh on the six o'clock news and say they always knew there was something not quite right about me. And everyone believes it. Including you. But you don't know. You don't know who I used ... read more

Hannah has 18 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Patricia M.

Patricia M.

Jun, 2022

I really enjoyed working with Hannah. She provided a thorough editorial assessment, which gave me a really clear direction on what to work on for my next draft, and was also happy to answer any additional questions I had once she completed it. I would definitely work with her again and would recommend her to anyone.
Chris W.

Chris W.

Apr, 2022

Hannah gave me realistic timescales for when the report would be produced, and delivered a few days earlier than I expected. I had a feeling that something was wrong with my YA scifi novel, but I couldn't quite work out what it was. Hannah had a lot of good insights about what was working and (more importantly) what wasn't. From this she made suggestions on where to improve and potential direc...
Read more
Nikki L.

Nikki L.

Apr, 2022

I highly recommend working with Hannah. Hannah reviewed a first draft of my middle-grade novel and produced a thorough and considered editorial assessment. Her feedback and suggestions will be a huge help as I develop the novel further. Hannah answered all of my queries and completed the report within the agreed timelines. This was the first time I had used a professional editorial service an...
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Dave C.

Dave C.

Feb, 2022

When I hired Hannah, I was specifically looking for guidance on querying, pitching and rewriting my synopsis. I'm very happy with her work. I feel like all three are much stronger, and in better shape to finally earn agent requests. We had several useful follow-up exchanges that clarified some remaining questions. I highly recommend her. Thanks Hannah!
Hannah S.
Thank you Dave, so pleased you found the report helpful. Good luck with your agent hunt.
Deborah J.

Deborah J.

Jan, 2022

An insightful critique. I would thoroughly recommend Hannah. Her insight into the story has given me the kick I needed to complete this project. She is direct and professional, which is exactly what I wanted. I didn't want someone to sugarcoat and wax lyrical about my prose, which would make the entire exercise redundant. Don't get me wrong, there was praise, which helps when you're hitting yo...
Read more
Hannah S.
Ah, thank you Deborah. I'm so pleased you found the report helpful.

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