Jean Li Spencer

Jean Li Spencer - Editor

New York, NY, USA

THEY/THEM ▪ Former editorial assistant at Big Five children's imprint ▪ Sub reader ▪ Editorial development ▪ YA, MG, and PB ▪ Educator

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Former editorial assistant to the publisher at Big Five children's imprint. We Need Diverse Books grant recipient '21. My background is in evaluating mss for senior editorial leadership, writing reader's reports, author care, and drafting editorial letters. I have worked with NYTimes bestselling, award-winning authors, and debut talent, on stories that range from silly underpants-wearing dogs to sparkling vampire covens. I have also been a sub reader for lit agents and continue to offer part-time services. 🏳️‍⚧️🏳️‍🌈

I am dedicated to helping first-time authors at the early to mid stages of story development as they prepare to query! I get excited over smug space cowboys, feral gays, playground superheroes, and the perennial underdog! I am most adept at working on picture books, MG, and YA (fantasy, romance). My approach depends on your greatest needs. I am honest and strive to offer what I think will make your story stand out. Every experience is tailored to the project. I communicate best through written comments and phone calls. If that sounds like your cup of tea– brew a piping hot mug and hit me up! Let's chat!
English (US)
Children’s Non-Fiction
Coming of Age
LGBTQ Fiction
Young Adult

Work experience

Editorial Assistant

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
August, 2021 – June, 2022 (10 months)

Managed projects and editorially assisted Publisher, Executive Editor, and Executive Editor of children's books. Key editorial contributor for bestselling authors and projects including Stephenie Meyer, Kwame Alexander, Mary Ann Hoberman, Todd Parr, Adalyn Grace, Christine L. Herman, Dan Santat, the Bush sisters, and more.

Editorial Intern

Random House Children's Books
June, 2021 – August, 2021 (2 months)

Editorial Intern

Ayesha Pande Literary Management
March, 2021 – June, 2021 (3 months)

Editorial Intern to Senior Agent/Owner

Metamorphosis Literary Agency
January, 2021 – June, 2021 (5 months)


GenerAsians Magazine (Wellesley College)
September, 2019 – June, 2021 (over 1 year)

Portfolio (15 selected works)

The Door of No Return

Alexander, Kwame

An American Story

Alexander, Kwame, Coulter, Dare

If You Were My Valentine

Plourde, Lynn, Meyer, Jennifer L.

The Baby-Changing Station

Miller, Rhett, Santat, Dan

The Joyful Book

Parr, Todd

The Night Frolic

Berry, Julie, Zollars, Jaime

Hustle Bustle Bugs

Bailey, Catherine, Eldridge, Lauren

Roto and Roy: Helicopter Heroes

Duskey Rinker, Sherri, Tate, Don

Leprechaun vs. Easter Bunny

Tarpley, Todd, Laberis, Stephanie

Sway with Me

Masood, Syed M.


Andrews, Christiane M.

Jean Li has 1 review

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Gretchen Porier
Jean Li was exactly what I needed as I prepare for my first time entering the query stage. Jean Li provided helpful editing feedback and supplied me with a list to help me get started with my queries.

Gretchen Porier, August 2022

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