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Jennifer Hirsch

Jennifer Hirsch - Editor

Near Madison, Wisconsin, USA

20 years' experience in children's publishing. I will help you sharpen your characters, scenes, story arc—and channel your inner child.

Overview

Reviews (1)

"Jennifer Hirsch is a superb editor and the best partner-in-creativity that a writer could wish for. With insight, intelligence, and humor, she brings heart and clarity to a story. Over many years, we’ve worked together on projects large and small including historical fiction, nonfiction essays, choose your adventure, and marketing copy, and Jennifer made every writing project a delight and a satisfying enterprise from brainstorm to final copy. Working with Jennifer is a pleasure and a wonderful experience. She will make you a better writer." —Valerie Tripp, author of the FELICITY, KIT, JOSEFINA, SAMANTHA, MOLLY, and MARYELLEN series

"It was my pleasure to work with Jennifer on seven books. She is a writer’s editor, pointing out problem spots without specifying the changes to be made. This collaborative approach, in tandem with her upbeat attitude and professional manner, made even the stickiest editing situations positive all the way around. What I most appreciated was the feeling that she was trying to help me create the best book I could create. She is insightful, creative, specific and kind, and I highly recommend her to any writer seeking additional editorial assistance."
—Kirby Larson, winner of the Newbery Honor & Scott O'Dell awards, author of the BITTY BABY series

"Jennifer is as skilled at helping to focus an initial proposal as she is at zeroing in on specific areas that need revising. She suggests ways to sharpen character development, and sees when there is a need to tighten plots. When a manuscript is near completion, she has a sharp eye for finessing edits that polish the work. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Jennifer. I feel I have grown as a writer through my association with her. What more could any author ask of her editor? " —Jacqueline Dembar Greene, author of the REBECCA series

Over 20 years as a senior and executive editor with a traditional children's publisher, I've developed fiction and nonfiction for every age group, from board & picture books to middle reader and YA. I've created historical and contemporary series as well as mysteries, time travel, and "choose-your-adventure" series. I help my fiction authors understand story structure, tighten their plot and pacing, and create characters that young readers will fall in love with. My nonfiction experience include crafts and parties, journaling, how-to, games and puzzles, as well as informational nonfiction on a range of topics. I help nonfiction authors organize their material for maximum fun and inspiration, and write clear, age-appropriate prose in a friendly voice that never talks down to kids.

I know what it takes to make a manuscript publishable and commercially appealing. When you're ready, I can help craft a professional query or proposal to give your ms. an edge with agents and publishers or help prepare your ms. for self-publishing.

Services
Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Children's - Middle Grade Children's Picture Books Historical Fiction Young Adult & Teen
Non-Fiction
DIY & Crafts

Certifications

  • B.A. English with emphasis in Creative Writing, Stanford University, with Honors
  • University of Chicago Copyediting & Advanced Copyediting courses

Work experience

Executive Editor, Senior Editor

American Girl

January, 1995 – Present (almost 22 years)

Created inspiring fiction and nonfiction for young readers. Helped authors write and refine manuscripts.
Negotiated terms with agents. Supervised editorial teams of authors, editors, and researchers. Wrote picture books, middle reader fiction and nonfiction, scripts, teacher's guides, and marketing copy. Developed story content across media platforms: print, e-book, movies, social media, games, apps, online engagement. Produced author videos. Supervised copyediting, fact-checking, and conversion of print titles to e-books.

Writer

University of Wisconsin

December, 1989 – December, 1993 (about 4 years)

Wrote and edited books, newsletters, journal articles, and policy analysis related to women's issues and gender equity on campus.

Freelance Writer

Regional magazines and newspapers

December, 1989 – Present (almost 27 years)

Write features about local history, home building and remodeling, gardening, education, and remarkable women.

Portfolio (20 selected works)

Aloha, Kanani (American Girl) (Girl of the Year (Quality))

Lisa Yee

Kanani loves helping out in her family's store and sharing the wonders of Hawaii with visitors. When her chic cousin Rachel from Manhattan comes to stay for a month, Kanani can't wait to get to know her cousin and help Rachel feel at home. But a clash of cultures ensures, and Kanani feels ignored. She tries to extend hospitality but everything she does seems to make Rachel unhappy. How can she... read more

Kanani loves helping out in her family's store and sharing the wonders of Hawaii with visitors. When her chic cousin Rachel from Manhattan comes to stay for a month, Kanani can't wait to get to know her cousin and help Rachel feel at home. But a clash of cultures ensures, and Kanani feels ignored. She tries to extend hospitality but everything she does seems to make Rachel unhappy. How can she... read more

Full Speed Ahead: My Journey with Kit (American Girl Beforever Journey)

Valerie Tripp

What if you suddenly found yourself in Kit's world during the Great Depression? How would your life be changed, and what ways might you help your family and others who are less fortunate? Join Kit on exciting adventures where the two of you can find ways to help the needy, have a hobo adventure, and maybe even hop a train! Your journey back in time can take whatever twists and turns you choose... read more

What if you suddenly found yourself in Kit's world during the Great Depression? How would your life be changed, and what ways might you help your family and others who are less fortunate? Join Kit on exciting adventures where the two of you can find ways to help the needy, have a hobo adventure, and maybe even hop a train! Your journey back in time can take whatever twists and turns you choose... read more

Princess Bitty Baby

Kirby Larson

Discover the world of Bitty Baby - a special new friend to help girls ages 3 - 5 shine bright! In this story, a little girl and her Bitty Baby doll are all ready for bed and can't wait for a bedtime story. So the girl tells one of her own - about Princess Bitty Baby, a dragon, and an enchanted frog - and discovers the power of her own storytelling. Includes a "For Parents" section that provide... read more

Discover the world of Bitty Baby - a special new friend to help girls ages 3 - 5 shine bright! In this story, a little girl and her Bitty Baby doll are all ready for bed and can't wait for a bedtime story. So the girl tells one of her own - about Princess Bitty Baby, a dragon, and an enchanted frog - and discovers the power of her own storytelling. Includes a "For Parents" section that provide... read more

Happy New Year, Julie (American Girl (Quality))

Megan Mcdonald

Julie knows Christmas will be difficult this year, but when her sister Tracy refuses to go to Dad's house for Christmas, Julie feels as if her family is falling apart. Over the holidays Julie finds comfort spending time with her best friend, Ivy Ling. The Lings are getting ready for Chinese New Year, and helping with their preparations distracts Julie from her sadness about her own family. The... read more

Julie knows Christmas will be difficult this year, but when her sister Tracy refuses to go to Dad's house for Christmas, Julie feels as if her family is falling apart. Over the holidays Julie finds comfort spending time with her best friend, Ivy Ling. The Lings are getting ready for Chinese New Year, and helping with their preparations distracts Julie from her sadness about her own family. The... read more

Julie and the Eagles (American Girl (Quality))

Megan Mcdonald

Julie and Ivy are eating snowcones in Golden Gate Park when they hear an odd sound. It's a baby owl--and it needs help. At a wildlife rescue center, Julie meets Shasta and Sierra, two bald eagles. Shasta's wing is injured, and Julie hopes he'll be able to fly again--but that can only happen if the rescue center raises enough money to release the eagles back into the wild. Julie feels sure that... read more

Julie and Ivy are eating snowcones in Golden Gate Park when they hear an odd sound. It's a baby owl--and it needs help. At a wildlife rescue center, Julie meets Shasta and Sierra, two bald eagles. Shasta's wing is injured, and Julie hopes he'll be able to fly again--but that can only happen if the rescue center raises enough money to release the eagles back into the wild. Julie feels sure that... read more

Kit's Friendship Fun (American Girl (Quality))

Jennifer Hirsch, Michelle Jones

Crafts, recipes, and games are designed to give a sense of the 1930s, or the period setting for books in the American Girls collection which feature the character named Kit.

Crafts, recipes, and games are designed to give a sense of the 1930s, or the period setting for books in the American Girls collection which feature the character named Kit.

Kit's Mystery Party Game (American Girl Collection)

The package includes everything for the perfect mystery party for eight girls and one adult - 8 party invitations with envelopes, 9 character cards, 9 scripts, 6 secret clues, a party planner and 9 character name tags. Kit's mother discovers her pearl necklace is missing. Clues reveal that everyone has a motive, so everyone's a suspect. It's up to Kit and her friends to search for hidden clues... read more

The package includes everything for the perfect mystery party for eight girls and one adult - 8 party invitations with envelopes, 9 character cards, 9 scripts, 6 secret clues, a party planner and 9 character name tags. Kit's mother discovers her pearl necklace is missing. Clues reveal that everyone has a motive, so everyone's a suspect. It's up to Kit and her friends to search for hidden clues... read more

A BRIGHTER TOMORROW: MY JOURNEY WITH JULIE (American Girl Beforever Journey)

Megan McDonald

What would it be like if a girl suddenly found herself in Julie’s world--sunny San Francisco in the 1970s? How would she feel with lots of changes happening at once, and what could she do to make things change for the better? In this book, readers can join Julie on an adventure where they can challenge the boys to a basketball contest, or spend a day at the beach and rescue a baby sea otter. T... read more

What would it be like if a girl suddenly found herself in Julie’s world--sunny San Francisco in the 1970s? How would she feel with lots of changes happening at once, and what could she do to make things change for the better? In this book, readers can join Julie on an adventure where they can challenge the boys to a basketball contest, or spend a day at the beach and rescue a baby sea otter. T... read more

Lanie (American Girl Today)

Jane Kurtz

Ten-year-old Lanie loves science and nature, but she has a problem: she's an "outside" girl with an "inside" family. She longs get out and go camping, but they all want to stay home. It wouldn't be so bad if her best friend was around, but she's halfway around the world, living out their dream of studying wildlife. Lanie feels she never gets to have any adventures-anywhere. But when her favori... read more

Ten-year-old Lanie loves science and nature, but she has a problem: she's an "outside" girl with an "inside" family. She longs get out and go camping, but they all want to stay home. It wouldn't be so bad if her best friend was around, but she's halfway around the world, living out their dream of studying wildlife. Lanie feels she never gets to have any adventures-anywhere. But when her favori... read more

Meet Rebecca (American Girls Collection: Rebecca 1914)

Jacqueline Greene

Rebecca Rubin longs to be the center of attention, but it's not easy in a family of five children! When mysterious cousin Max, the actor, tells her the secret to pleasing an audience, Rebecca can hardly wait to try it out. Then she learns that her young cousin Ana and her family are in danger--they must escape Russia and come to America. Rebecca decides to raise money for their passage by putt... read more

Rebecca Rubin longs to be the center of attention, but it's not easy in a family of five children! When mysterious cousin Max, the actor, tells her the secret to pleasing an audience, Rebecca can hardly wait to try it out. Then she learns that her young cousin Ana and her family are in danger--they must escape Russia and come to America. Rebecca decides to raise money for their passage by putt... read more

A Bundle of Trouble: A Rebecca Mystery (American Girl Mysteries)

Kathryn Reiss

When Rebecca is put in charge of the new neighbors' baby, she hesitates to take on such a responsibility--especially with a kidnapper on the loose in New York! While her brother creates trouble in the neighborhood, Rebecca brings the baby to the park and meets some mysterious children. But when she returns home with the baby, she discovers there has been a terrible mistake.

When Rebecca is put in charge of the new neighbors' baby, she hesitates to take on such a responsibility--especially with a kidnapper on the loose in New York! While her brother creates trouble in the neighborhood, Rebecca brings the baby to the park and meets some mysterious children. But when she returns home with the baby, she discovers there has been a terrible mistake.

Secrets at Camp Nokomis: A Rebecca Mystery (American Girl Mysteries)

Jacqueline Greene

Rebecca is off to summer camp, where she can't wait to swim, canoe, and meet new girls. She loves the shivery tales told around the campfire and seeing the stars and fireflies at night, but making friends turns out to be harder than she expected. What secrets is her bunkmate hiding--and why? When camp pranks start getting out of hand and a girl goes missing, Rebecca is determined to find out w... read more

Rebecca is off to summer camp, where she can't wait to swim, canoe, and meet new girls. She loves the shivery tales told around the campfire and seeing the stars and fireflies at night, but making friends turns out to be harder than she expected. What secrets is her bunkmate hiding--and why? When camp pranks start getting out of hand and a girl goes missing, Rebecca is determined to find out w... read more

The Bitty Twins go to school

Jennifer Hirsch

The Bitty Twins Go to School by Jennifer Hirsch. Illustrated by Renate Lohmann. Published by Pleasant Company Publications. An American Girl book. Small, thin hardcover.

The Bitty Twins Go to School by Jennifer Hirsch. Illustrated by Renate Lohmann. Published by Pleasant Company Publications. An American Girl book. Small, thin hardcover.

Bitty Baby and Me (Illustration C)

Kirby Larson

Discover the world of Bitty Baby - a special new friend to help girls ages 3 - 5 shine bright! In this first story, a little girl introduces her new doll, Bitty Baby, to her family, including her prickly big sister. At nap time, the little girl tells Bitty Baby a story about a magical mermaid adventure - but the best magic of all is the creative way the girl makes her wish come true and gets h... read more

Discover the world of Bitty Baby - a special new friend to help girls ages 3 - 5 shine bright! In this first story, a little girl introduces her new doll, Bitty Baby, to her family, including her prickly big sister. At nap time, the little girl tells Bitty Baby a story about a magical mermaid adventure - but the best magic of all is the creative way the girl makes her wish come true and gets h... read more

Bitty Baby Makes a Splash

Kirby Larson

Discover the world of Bitty Baby--a special new friend to help girls ages 3 - 5 shine bright! These engaging tales are written by Newbery Honor winner Kirby Larson and illustrated by award-winning artist Sue Cornelison. In this story, a little girl and Bitty Baby are excited about swimming lessons--until they find out she'll have to put her face underwater. To ease their water worries, the lit... read more

Discover the world of Bitty Baby--a special new friend to help girls ages 3 - 5 shine bright! These engaging tales are written by Newbery Honor winner Kirby Larson and illustrated by award-winning artist Sue Cornelison. In this story, a little girl and Bitty Baby are excited about swimming lessons--until they find out she'll have to put her face underwater. To ease their water worries, the lit... read more

The Tangled Web: A Julie Mystery (American Girl Beforever Mysteries)

Kathryn Reiss

Julie really likes the new girl in her class, Carla Warner. Still, there's something odd about her. The things Carla says don't quite add up, and she seems to avoid answering certain questions. At first Julie is sure there's a sensible explanation, but as Carla's stories become more outlandish, Julia can't escape a disturbing fact: either her new friend is lying--or she's in real danger.

Julie really likes the new girl in her class, Carla Warner. Still, there's something odd about her. The things Carla says don't quite add up, and she seems to avoid answering certain questions. At first Julie is sure there's a sensible explanation, but as Carla's stories become more outlandish, Julia can't escape a disturbing fact: either her new friend is lying--or she's in real danger.

Puzzle of the Paper Daughter: A Julie Mystery (American Girl Beforever Mysteries)

Kathryn Reiss

Julie discovers a mysterious note written in Chinese. She brings it to her friend Ivy to translate, and learns that the note once belonged to Ivy's grandmother, from long ago when she was a girl immigrating from China to San Francisco. The note promises great treasure, but it doesn't quite make sense--it's almost as if the writer was sending a secret message in code. Soon after the discovery o... read more

Julie discovers a mysterious note written in Chinese. She brings it to her friend Ivy to translate, and learns that the note once belonged to Ivy's grandmother, from long ago when she was a girl immigrating from China to San Francisco. The note promises great treasure, but it doesn't quite make sense--it's almost as if the writer was sending a secret message in code. Soon after the discovery o... read more

Meet Julie (American Girl (Quality))

Megan Mcdonald

Julie Albright doesn't want to move, even just a few miles away. Moving means leaving her best friend, Ivy, and her pet rabbit, Nutmeg. Worst of all, it means leaving Dad, now that her parents are divorced. Then Julie finds out that her new school has a basketball team, and life starts looking up--until the coach says no girls allowed. When Julie decides to fight for her place on the team, som... read more

Julie Albright doesn't want to move, even just a few miles away. Moving means leaving her best friend, Ivy, and her pet rabbit, Nutmeg. Worst of all, it means leaving Dad, now that her parents are divorced. Then Julie finds out that her new school has a basketball team, and life starts looking up--until the coach says no girls allowed. When Julie decides to fight for her place on the team, som... read more

The One and Only: A Maryellen Classic 1 (American Girl: Beforever)

Valerie Tripp

Maryellen Larkin is nine years old and longs to stand out, but in a family with five brothers and sisters it's easy to get lost in the shuffle! A painting mishap gains her some attention, but not the kind she's been longing for. Being invited to stay in at recess and practice her handwriting earns Maryellen a new friend, but what does that mean for her old friendships? Then, Maryellen is wishi... read more

Maryellen Larkin is nine years old and longs to stand out, but in a family with five brothers and sisters it's easy to get lost in the shuffle! A painting mishap gains her some attention, but not the kind she's been longing for. Being invited to stay in at recess and practice her handwriting earns Maryellen a new friend, but what does that mean for her old friendships? Then, Maryellen is wishi... read more

Taking Off: A Maryellen Classic 2 (American Girl: Beforever)

Valerie Tripp

Turning ten is a big deal, and Maryellen Larkin wants to celebrate it in a very special way. Will she choose a western theme or decide on a superstar celebration, or will the event turn out to be something even Maryellen doesn't expect? And which party participant surprises her the most? Then, Dad comes home with a silver surprise and big plans for a family vacation. On the trip, what will Mar... read more

Turning ten is a big deal, and Maryellen Larkin wants to celebrate it in a very special way. Will she choose a western theme or decide on a superstar celebration, or will the event turn out to be something even Maryellen doesn't expect? And which party participant surprises her the most? Then, Dad comes home with a silver surprise and big plans for a family vacation. On the trip, what will Mar... read more

Jennifer has 1 review

Professionalism
Quality
Value
Communication

Hollis Sienkiewicz

Jennifer is fantastic. I truly enjoyed working with her and wish our collaboration could have lasted longer.

Hollis Sienkiewicz, October 2016

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