Jenn Bailey

Jenn Bailey – Editor

I am an award-winning author and editor of books for children and young adults. I specialize in humor, fantasy, and scifi.


Editors and agents always want to see your first 10 pages and you've polished them to a high shine. But how does the rest of your book read?

My debut picture book, A FRIEND FOR HENRY, won the ALA National Schneider Family Honor Award in 2020 and the KAC Children's Book of the Year Award in 2019. My book was named a Capital Choice Noteworthy book and a Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year for 2020.

I have been a professional editor and writer for over 10 years, and have my Master of Fine Arts in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. I have edited and consulted on picture books and middle grade and young adult novels. I work most comfortably in the sub genres of contemporary, sci-fi/fantasy, historical fiction, nonfiction, and humor. If you want a snarky look at your romance novel, I can give you that too.

When it comes to your work, I offer a deep and thorough critique, targeting elements of plot, structure, pacing, characterization, and agency. I have traveled the path from newbie writer to published author and understand that a truly beneficial critique balances encouragement with straight-forward speaking. I know the struggles writers have--with time, perseverance, and confidence--and I feel sure, that together, we can push through those issues and any others.

Not many freelance editors take on picture books, but I love them. I feel they are one of the most difficult things to write well, and it is my joy to dig in and make every word count.

Besides being a working author, editor, and acquiring reader, I am an accuracy reader specializing in Autism/Aspergers. I taught the 8-week Nonfiction Writers Intensive for Park University and presented at the 2019 and 2020 AWP Writers Conference and Book Fair with the following lectures; Making Light: Humor's Serious Place in Children's Middle Grade and Young Adult Literature; Tone, Voice, and Mood: Not Just for Angsty Teens. Other requested lectures include: Redeeming your Villain; Making Magic; World Building is not just for Fantasy; and Make the Reader your Accomplice.

I am an acquiring reader for a literary agency and two publishing houses. As such, I am the first gatekeeper you need to pass on your path to representation and/or publication. Your work must convince me to let you pass, and your query letter introduces me to your work. Submission guidelines for query letters have varied "dos" and "don'ts," which is why you should always follow the posted requirements on each agency and publisher's website. Writing effective query letters comes down to the skill of crafting the synopsis and providing enticing and memorable plot points in a limited word count. Query letters don't make or break a submission, but they are a first impression, and I can help you make a good one.

Thank you for considering me for your project. I look forward to hearing from you.

Action & Adventure Fantasy Humor & Comedy Middle Grade Picture Books Young Adult
Children’s Non-Fiction
English (US)
  • ALA National Schneider Family Honor Award
  • Bank Street Best Children's Books of the Year 2020
  • Capitol Choices Noteworthy Book 2020
  • Virginia Reads Selected Book 2021-2022
  • Arkansas Diamond Book Award Nominee 2022
  • Flying Pig Grade A Ham Humor Award 2018
  • Candlewick Picture Book Award 2016
  • Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults, Vermont College of Fine Arts, (Master's Thesis on Making the Reader Your Accomplice)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Film, Boston University
  • Annual One Year Adventure Novel (OYAN) contest and scholarship judge

Work experience


Dec, 2016 — Present

I edit reports, proposals, environmental impact statements, and other documents for a full-service consulting firm. This sounds rather formal and scientific, and it is, and therein lies the challenge. It is my job to help project managers turn their teams' hard work in the field into readable narratives their clients can understand and take action on.

I also edit creative work for two publishing houses. Yes, sometimes I am the one who sends you the long letter that helps you tighten your work before it goes to press.


Jan, 2010 — Present

I have been a writer and freelance editor since 2008. As a working author represented by The Stimola Literary Studio, I understand the process, the pitfalls, and the promise of a writer's path. I offer a deep and thorough critique, targeting elements of plot, structure, pacing, characterization, and agency.


May, 2008 — Present

I run a social media consulting firm specializing in teaching social media to authors. I've led workshops and spoken at such events as SCBWI- LA National Conference, SCBWI-NY National Conference, Regional SCBWI events and conferences, and Chicks-Who-Click. I was a founding member of the Social Media Club of Kansas City and was elected their first Advocacy Chairperson.


"You must believe in yourself and allow your dreams to soar." --Shaesta WaizShaesta Waiz, a refugee from Afghanistan, dreamed of doing great things. But first she had to leave a refugee camp with her family to make a new life in America, overcome gender stereo... read more
LOVE AND LOYALTY. As the youngest daughter of the House of Fane, Asa lives every day of her life in honor of both, for herself and her people. But as her kingdom's food and energy crisis peaks, Asa must find more to fuel Fane's survival.Taking the place of her... read more
In Classroom Six, second left down the hall, Henry has been on the lookout for a friend. A friend who shares. A friend who listens. Maybe even a friend who likes things to stay the same and all in order, as Henry does. But on a day full of too close and too lo... read more
It's 1913, and 12-year-old Primmy's greatest wish is to join the US Life Savers Service. But there's only one problem---girls aren't allowed. Receiving little encouragement from family and friends, Primmy does everything she can to change their minds and make ... read more
California Burns is a unique and dramatic interactive book that brings the heat, smoke, and drama of wildfire into your living room. Never before seen images of wildfires tearing through hills, valleys, and neighborhoods will open your eyes to the speed, feroc... read more
What's a sheep to do when it just can't go to sleep? Wandering about the barnyard, one tired little sheep asks for the other farm animals how they lull themselves to sleep. Each animal offers their exhausted friend a suggestion that works for them, but it is o... read more
Initially an ardent admirer of Adolf Hitler, Wilm Hosenfeld became aware of the Third Reich's relentless brutality against the Poles and Jews when he was stationed in Poland. Witnessing the Nazis' inhumanity changed Hosenfeld from an enemy occupier to a rescue... read more
A Stick Until...

Constance A.

A stick is just a stick until…an elephant turns it into a flyswatter, an alligator uses it to catch prey, or a child uses a stick as a toy. Constance Anderson (Smelling Sunshine) shows readers how a simple stick can become a tool or a toy in this enjoyable loo... read more
Salmina Arends school was a scary place. The fence had big holes and the schoolyard was full of junk. No one wanted to play there. With the donation of new computers, the future begins to look bright for 11-year-old Salmina and Manyano School in the poor South... read more
Tea parties have certain rules. You must lay your napkin carefully in your lap, say "please" and "thank you," and sip, not slurp, your tea. But SOMEONE at this tea party keeps breaking a very important rule—NO TOOTING! Will this tea party be ruined? And WHO ke... read more
It's the summer of 1918, and all twelve-year-old George Callahan wants to do is hunt for spies with his best friend. But with America at war, the Callahan family is facing new challenges on all fronts. Thoughtfully researched, beautifully written, and filled w... read more

Jenn has 29 reviews





Jason E.

Jason E.

Apr, 2023

I cannot recommend Jenn highly enough. She has a level of expertise and professionalism that can't be beat, but she delivers the sometimes-hard-to-hear feedback in such a gentle, affable and thorough manner that you find yourself nodding along to each piece of critique. Jenn was clearly engaged in the work, encouraging, and incredibly fun to work with. My piece is in a far better place because...
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eva F.

eva F.

Dec, 2022

I loved working with Jenn , she understood perfectly my story and gave professional advice. I would like to work with her in the future .
George M.

George M.

May, 2022

Jenn provided me with a brilliant, detailed edit of my draft manuscript. Notably, her feedback was positive and provided me with actionable insights; after identifying an issue, she explained the nature of the problem with suggestions and examples of solutions for it. I highly recommend her services, and plan to retain her again on my next novel.
Daniel S.

Daniel S.

May, 2022

Jenn is the BEST! She really took the time to go through every line of my manuscript, and put the time and effort into making the story work and setting me up for success moving forward. She has a ton of experience in the world of picture books, and our collab was both informative and fun. I can't wait to work with Jenn on any future projects!
John B.

John B.

Aug, 2021

Jenn is the consummate professional. Her feedback is fantastic & actionable. She will improve your story. I almost don't want to leave positive feedback because I want to monopolize her. But she deserves it, and you deserve. She'll help improve your story. I highly recommend her services!

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