Jennifer Rees

Jennifer Rees - Editor

Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Award-winning Children's Editor, with a "lemons to lemonade" view of storytelling, helping writers create and publish amazing stories.

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Overview

I am a premiere Children's Book Editor of award-winning and New York Times bestselling Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Teen Fiction and Nonfiction, including Suzanne Collins' unparalleled THE HUNGER GAMES series. With 15 years' experience in the New York City book publishing industry, I made my home at Scholastic Press, a division of Scholastic, Inc., as a Senior Editor. During my time at Scholastic, I published groundbreaking novels for all ages, created highly commercial and best-selling series, and developed exceptional talent, from debut authors to seasoned veterans. Recently, I made the decision to move into the freelance side of the business and moved with my family from NYC to Pittsburgh, PA, my hometown. Here, I am still super connected to NYC publishing and continue to do the work that I love, which is create innovative books with amazing people. Every day, I collaborate extensively with a diverse group of authors and illustrators from all over the world to create powerful and memorable stories that resonate with their audiences.

The companies with which I work include Reedsy, Scholastic, National Geographic (I am the editor for their highly successful Explorer Academy series), and several top-notch literary agencies (I edit their authors' manuscripts to prepare them for the submissions process). I enjoy working with seasoned authors as well as writers who are brand new to the literary landscape. It is my privilege to work with talented and aspiring writers to create amazing stories, and I'd like to help you write yours! Most of the writers I work with on Reedsy are brand new to publishing and this is their first publishing venture, so I am quite aware of this and am happy to guide you, too. Editing and bringing stories to life are my life's passion, and if we're fortunate enough to end up working together, you'll get to share in that experience. I hope you do!

If you have any questions, please be in touch. I'm a very hands-on editor, and I'm happy to answer any questions you might have. Happy writing!
Languages
English (AUS)
English (CAN)
English (NZ)
English (SA)
English (UK)
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Children's - Non-fiction
Fiction
Middle Grade
Middle Grade Fantasy
New Adult
Picture Books
Young Adult Fantasy

Work experience

Editor, Children's and Young Adult Literature

Self-employed
September, 2011 – Present (about 9 years)

In my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, I run a boutique editorial business, focused on creating gorgeous and engaging books for readers of all ages and backgrounds. My clients include top-notch publishers, literary agencies, and seasoned authors, as well as brand new writers who are trying to break into the market. One of my most recent projects is the middle grade adventure series, Explorer Academy, (Sept. 2018), by Trudi Trueit for National Geographic’s exciting new fiction imprint Under the Stars.

Senior Editor, Children's Fiction and Non-Fiction

Scholastic Inc.
September, 1998 – September, 2011 (about 13 years)

I grew up with a love of reading and writing, but my interest in publishing really began as a Children’s bookseller at Joseph Beth Booksellers, a wonderful neighborhood independent where I gained a true education of the Children’s book market inside and out, from a customer-based handselling level. From there, I started my editing career at Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc., a top-tier commercial publishing house dedicated to Children's literature, literacy, and entertainment. I read stacks of manuscripts, learned the intricacies of production and design, worked with sales and marketing to ensure successful campaigns for our books, forged relationships with authors, agents, and industry professionals, and began acquiring and editing my own projects, from picture books, to middle grade novels, to young adult fiction. At Scholastic Press, I edited bestselling and award-winning books, such as Suzanne Collins’ unparalleled Hunger Games series, Craig Hatkoff’s powerful Owen and Mzee, Wendy Mass' hilarious and thought-provoking 11 Birthdays series, and Michael Morpurgo’s unforgettable War Horse. I also worked with such talent as Jordan Sonnenblick, Sarah Darer Littman, Sara Varon, Rachel Vail, Matthew Cordell, James Proimos, David Kirk, Carole Boston Weatherford, R. Gregory Christie, Coleen Murtagh Paratore, Brandon Sanderson, and Philip Reeve. In addition, I traveled extensively across the US, speaking to Children’s writing organizations such as SCBWI.

Portfolio (26 selected works)

Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret

Trudi Trueit

Adventure, danger, and a thrilling global mission await 12-year-old Cruz Coronado as he joins an elite school for explorers.Cruz leaves his tranquil home in Hawaii to join 23 talented kids from around the globe to train at the Explorer Academy with the world's leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers. But for Cruz, there's more at stake. No sooner has he arrived at t... read more

Adventure, danger, and a thrilling global mission await 12-year-old Cruz Coronado as he joins an elite school for explorers.Cruz leaves his tranquil home in Hawaii to join 23 talented kids from around the globe to train at the Explorer Academy with the world's leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers. But for Cruz, there's more at stake. No sooner has he arrived at t... read more

The Hunger Games Trilogy

Suzanne Collins

The stunning Hunger Games trilogy is complete!The extraordinary, ground breaking New York Times bestsellers The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, along with the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay, are available for the first time ever in e-book. Stunning, gripping, and powerful. The trilogy is now complete!

The stunning Hunger Games trilogy is complete!The extraordinary, ground breaking New York Times bestsellers The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, along with the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay, are available for the first time ever in e-book. Stunning, gripping, and powerful. The trilogy is now complete!

The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade

Jordan Sonnenblick

In sixth grade, bad things can happen to good kids. Bullies will find your weakness and jump on it. Teachers will say you did something wrong when really didn't mean to do anything wrong. The kids who joke the loudest can drown out the quieter, nicer kids.Maverick wants to change all that. One of the last things his father left him was a toy sheriff's badge, back when Maverick was little. Now ... read more

In sixth grade, bad things can happen to good kids. Bullies will find your weakness and jump on it. Teachers will say you did something wrong when really didn't mean to do anything wrong. The kids who joke the loudest can drown out the quieter, nicer kids.Maverick wants to change all that. One of the last things his father left him was a toy sheriff's badge, back when Maverick was little. Now ... read more

No Such Thing As Dragons

Philip Reeve

A thrilling new adventure from award-winning master storyteller Philip Reeve!Ansel is a mute boy whose master is a dragon-slayer. Brock has shining armor, and scars that prove his heroic stories. Ansel suspects there are no such things as dragons. So what is the man-eating monster that haunts the crags of Dragon Mountain?

A thrilling new adventure from award-winning master storyteller Philip Reeve!Ansel is a mute boy whose master is a dragon-slayer. Brock has shining armor, and scars that prove his heroic stories. Ansel suspects there are no such things as dragons. So what is the man-eating monster that haunts the crags of Dragon Mountain?

Here Lies Arthur

Philip Reeve

Arthur is the greatest hero of all time, and Myrddin is his bard - a traveller and spinner of magical tales. But it's a strange and dangerous kind of enchantment that can turn a slave-girl into a goddess, and a raggle-taggle warmonger into a warrior legend... Exploring the power of storytelling and political machination, a master writer retells the Arthur legend - with a shocking spin. Winner ... read more

Arthur is the greatest hero of all time, and Myrddin is his bard - a traveller and spinner of magical tales. But it's a strange and dangerous kind of enchantment that can turn a slave-girl into a goddess, and a raggle-taggle warmonger into a warrior legend... Exploring the power of storytelling and political machination, a master writer retells the Arthur legend - with a shocking spin. Winner ... read more

Sunny Holiday: Book 1

Coleen Paratore, Coleen Murtagh Paratore

The first book in this fantastic new series from the author of THE WEDDING PLANNER'S DAUGHTER is now available in paperback!Sunny Holiday thinks that every month should have a kid-friendly holiday. Valentine's Day, July 4th, and Christmas definitely fit the bill--but months like January and August are lacking. So Sunny takes it upon herself to make new holidays for the months that need them, g... read more

The first book in this fantastic new series from the author of THE WEDDING PLANNER'S DAUGHTER is now available in paperback!Sunny Holiday thinks that every month should have a kid-friendly holiday. Valentine's Day, July 4th, and Christmas definitely fit the bill--but months like January and August are lacking. So Sunny takes it upon herself to make new holidays for the months that need them, g... read more

Just a Drop of Water

Kerry O'Malley Cerra

A touching middle grade story about a boy trying to process the events of September 11 and how they impact his friendships Jake wants to be a soldier and wants to outsmart his school’s rival cross country team After September 11, Jake is torn between defending his best friend and standing with his parents In this story about growing up in a difficult part of America’s history, Jake Green is in... read more

A touching middle grade story about a boy trying to process the events of September 11 and how they impact his friendships Jake wants to be a soldier and wants to outsmart his school’s rival cross country team After September 11, Jake is torn between defending his best friend and standing with his parents In this story about growing up in a difficult part of America’s history, Jake Green is in... read more

Henge (Le Fay Series Book 1)

Realm Lovejoy

"Camelot meets Hogwarts meets Panem in this intriguing, well-written beginning to a planned YA series."--Kirkus Reviews_____________Inspired by one of the greatest legends of all time… Modern-day Camelot. Where knights no longer carry swords. Magic is dangerous. And those who seek control are not to be trusted. Sixteen-year-old Morgan le Fay is a fire user. An ordinary girl with an extraordina... read more

"Camelot meets Hogwarts meets Panem in this intriguing, well-written beginning to a planned YA series."--Kirkus Reviews_____________Inspired by one of the greatest legends of all time… Modern-day Camelot. Where knights no longer carry swords. Magic is dangerous. And those who seek control are not to be trusted. Sixteen-year-old Morgan le Fay is a fire user. An ordinary girl with an extraordina... read more

Survival Colony 9

Joshua David Bellin

In a future world of dust and ruin,fourteen-year-old Querry Genn struggles to recover the lost memory thatmight save the human race.Querry is a member ofSurvival Colony Nine, one of the small, roving groups of people whooutlived the wars and environmental catastrophes that destroyed the oldworld. The commander of Survival Colony Nine is his father, Laman Genn,who runs the camp with an iron wil... read more

In a future world of dust and ruin,fourteen-year-old Querry Genn struggles to recover the lost memory thatmight save the human race.Querry is a member ofSurvival Colony Nine, one of the small, roving groups of people whooutlived the wars and environmental catastrophes that destroyed the oldworld. The commander of Survival Colony Nine is his father, Laman Genn,who runs the camp with an iron wil... read more

War Horse

Michael Morpurgo

A powerful tale of war, redemption, and a hero's journey--now available in paperback!In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey's courage ... read more

A powerful tale of war, redemption, and a hero's journey--now available in paperback!In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey's courage ... read more

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie

Jordan Sonnenblick

From first-time novelist Jordan Sonnenblick, a brave and beautiful story that will make readers laugh and break their hearts at the same time. Thirteen-year-old Steven has a totally normal life: he plays drums in the All-Star Jazz band, has a crush on the hottest girl in the school, and is constantly annoyed by his five-year-old brother, Jeffrey. But when Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia, St... read more

From first-time novelist Jordan Sonnenblick, a brave and beautiful story that will make readers laugh and break their hearts at the same time. Thirteen-year-old Steven has a totally normal life: he plays drums in the All-Star Jazz band, has a crush on the hottest girl in the school, and is constantly annoyed by his five-year-old brother, Jeffrey. But when Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia, St... read more

11 Birthdays: A Wish Novel

Wendy Mass

It's Amanda's 11th birthday and she is super excited---after all, 11 is so different from 10. But from the start, everything goes wrong. The worst part of it all is that she and her best friend, Leo, with whom she's shared every birthday, are on the outs and this will be the first birthday they haven't shared together. When Amanda turns in for the night, glad to have her birthday behind her, s... read more

It's Amanda's 11th birthday and she is super excited---after all, 11 is so different from 10. But from the start, everything goes wrong. The worst part of it all is that she and her best friend, Leo, with whom she's shared every birthday, are on the outs and this will be the first birthday they haven't shared together. When Amanda turns in for the night, glad to have her birthday behind her, s... read more

Dreamsleeves

Coleen Murtagh Paratore

A powerful, radiant story about a girl who wears her dreams on her sleeve . . . Aislinn is a girl with a lot of dreams, but due to family issues (caused mostly by her hard-drinking father), there's a lot standing in her way. While she should be enjoying the summer with friends, Aislinn is kept under lock and key and put in charge of her younger siblings. The average girl might give up, but not... read more

A powerful, radiant story about a girl who wears her dreams on her sleeve . . . Aislinn is a girl with a lot of dreams, but due to family issues (caused mostly by her hard-drinking father), there's a lot standing in her way. While she should be enjoying the summer with friends, Aislinn is kept under lock and key and put in charge of her younger siblings. The average girl might give up, but not... read more

Chicken And Cat

Sara Varon

Friendship has never been sweeter with this charming picture book by emerging artist Sara Varon.Cat comes to the big city to stay with best friend, Chicken. The city is exciting (and there's so much to do!) but after a while Cat pines for the country with its trees and bright colors. Chicken takes Cat on fun adventures but Cat remains blue. How can Chicken make the city a brighter and happier ... read more

Friendship has never been sweeter with this charming picture book by emerging artist Sara Varon.Cat comes to the big city to stay with best friend, Chicken. The city is exciting (and there's so much to do!) but after a while Cat pines for the country with its trees and bright colors. Chicken takes Cat on fun adventures but Cat remains blue. How can Chicken make the city a brighter and happier ... read more

Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship

Craig Hatkoff, Isabella Hatkoff

The amazing true story of the orphaned baby hippo and 130-year-old giant turtle whose remarkable friendship touched millions around the world.The inspiring true story of two great friends, a baby hippo named Owen and a 130-yr-old giant tortoise named Mzee (Mm-ZAY). When Owen was stranded after the Dec 2004 tsunami, villagers in Kenya worked tirelessly to rescue him. Then, to everyone's amazeme... read more

The amazing true story of the orphaned baby hippo and 130-year-old giant turtle whose remarkable friendship touched millions around the world.The inspiring true story of two great friends, a baby hippo named Owen and a 130-yr-old giant tortoise named Mzee (Mm-ZAY). When Owen was stranded after the Dec 2004 tsunami, villagers in Kenya worked tirelessly to rescue him. Then, to everyone's amazeme... read more

Dear Mr. Rosenwald

Carole Boston Weatherford

Based on the true story of the Rosenwald schools built in the rural African-American South in the 1920s, award winning writer and poet Carol Boston Weatherford tells the lyrical story of third grader Ovella as her family and community help each other build a new, and much-prayed for, school. Renowned, award winning illustrator Gregory Christie joins Weatherford with provocative gouache illustr... read more

Based on the true story of the Rosenwald schools built in the rural African-American South in the 1920s, award winning writer and poet Carol Boston Weatherford tells the lyrical story of third grader Ovella as her family and community help each other build a new, and much-prayed for, school. Renowned, award winning illustrator Gregory Christie joins Weatherford with provocative gouache illustr... read more

Righty & Lefty

Rachel Vail

A charming and funny picture book about the value of irreplaceable friendships.Righty and Lefty, an adorable pair of feet, can't seem to agree on anything. Righty wakes up early, while Lefty likes to sleep in; Righty dreams of wearing fancy footwear, but Lefty swears by galoshes. This is the tale of two feet who, despite walking different walks, learn in the end how to get along without trippi... read more

A charming and funny picture book about the value of irreplaceable friendships.Righty and Lefty, an adorable pair of feet, can't seem to agree on anything. Righty wakes up early, while Lefty likes to sleep in; Righty dreams of wearing fancy footwear, but Lefty swears by galoshes. This is the tale of two feet who, despite walking different walks, learn in the end how to get along without trippi... read more

Little Miss Spider: 25th Anniversary Edition

David Kirk

New 25th Anniversary Edition: This adorable book takes us back in time to the very first day of Miss Spider's life! Little Miss Spider has just popped out of her egg and is wondering where her mother could be. The spiderling's plaintive cries are heard by a passing beetle, who offers her kind assistance. The search continues, and suddenly our heroine finds herself in harrowing danger. Will the... read more

New 25th Anniversary Edition: This adorable book takes us back in time to the very first day of Miss Spider's life! Little Miss Spider has just popped out of her egg and is wondering where her mother could be. The spiderling's plaintive cries are heard by a passing beetle, who offers her kind assistance. The search continues, and suddenly our heroine finds herself in harrowing danger. Will the... read more

Swim! Swim!

Lerch

A snazzy story about friendship and true love!Lerch is one sassy, snazzy fish who seems to have it all: good looks, charm, a great sense of humor, and a perfect smile. But he's lonely (the bubbles and the pebbles ain't talkin'!) and wants to find a friend. But where? Then, with the help of an unexpected "admirer," Lerch meets Dinah, and it's true love from first glance.

A snazzy story about friendship and true love!Lerch is one sassy, snazzy fish who seems to have it all: good looks, charm, a great sense of humor, and a perfect smile. But he's lonely (the bubbles and the pebbles ain't talkin'!) and wants to find a friend. But where? Then, with the help of an unexpected "admirer," Lerch meets Dinah, and it's true love from first glance.

Hallelujah Handel

Douglas Cowling

A stunning picture book inspired by the beloved "Hallelujah Chorus," and the remarkable story of Handel's personal mission to spread peace and joy.Somewhere in a darkened room behind London's famous Opera House there is a young, orphaned boy with a mysterious past and an extraordinary talent: he sings like an angel, but refuses to speak. Through the generosity and and kindness of George Freder... read more

A stunning picture book inspired by the beloved "Hallelujah Chorus," and the remarkable story of Handel's personal mission to spread peace and joy.Somewhere in a darkened room behind London's famous Opera House there is a young, orphaned boy with a mysterious past and an extraordinary talent: he sings like an angel, but refuses to speak. Through the generosity and and kindness of George Freder... read more

Little Miss Spider: A Christmas Wish

David Kirk

It's Christmas Eve and Little Miss Spider wishes most of all that she had a little brother or sister to help her build snowy creatures and eat Betty Beetle's fig pudding, and when she meets orphan Asparagus "Gus" Beetle, Little Miss Spider thinks her wish may have been granted.

It's Christmas Eve and Little Miss Spider wishes most of all that she had a little brother or sister to help her build snowy creatures and eat Betty Beetle's fig pudding, and when she meets orphan Asparagus "Gus" Beetle, Little Miss Spider thinks her wish may have been granted.

Split! Splat!

Amy Gibson

A delightful, rainy day celebration!I sing a little rain song, a simple song, a plain song, a pitter-patter-tip-tap-on-the-windowpane song. Drip drop, plip plop, pit pat, split splat! Put down your umbrella! Take off your galoshes! It's time to sing and dance in the rain. When one little girl and her adorable dog venture out on a rainy, spring day, the neighborhood joins her and what results i... read more

A delightful, rainy day celebration!I sing a little rain song, a simple song, a plain song, a pitter-patter-tip-tap-on-the-windowpane song. Drip drop, plip plop, pit pat, split splat! Put down your umbrella! Take off your galoshes! It's time to sing and dance in the rain. When one little girl and her adorable dog venture out on a rainy, spring day, the neighborhood joins her and what results i... read more

What's the Punctuation, Iguana?

Jennie Tammar

Alligator, Bunny, and Crabby are enjoying a day at the beach when large punctuation marks create chaos for the group. Their friend Iguana has trouble writing periods. Can the friends help Iguana? Or will these punctuation marks take over?

Alligator, Bunny, and Crabby are enjoying a day at the beach when large punctuation marks create chaos for the group. Their friend Iguana has trouble writing periods. Can the friends help Iguana? Or will these punctuation marks take over?

Jennifer has 313 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Valerie Johnson
Friendly, positive, and thorough! Willing to give additional advice and information to all questions!

Valerie Johnson, November 2020


Deirdre Roney
I was looking for guidance on query letter format and content and received good feedback on both. Clear direction and prompt responses. Good experience!

Deirdre Roney, November 2020


Tracy Partridge-Johnson
It was a JOY to work with Jennifer! Her feedback and suggestions have been invaluable in my self-publishing process. She is always prompt and professional in her responses and has become more than an editor to me; she is a trusted friend. I will absolutely use her services on the remaining books in my Jack and the Magic Hat Maker series and beyond. I highly recommend her!

Tracy Partridge-Johnson, November 2020


Dante Cipponeri
As a first-time picture book author, I had little idea of how the editing process would work or what I should expect. I cannot recommend Jennifer enough- from first contact through the end of the process, she was completely transparent and exceptionally clear about the different steps of her editing process, including timeline, the kind of edits I could expect, and what was expected from me. Re...
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Dante Cipponeri, November 2020


Roger Lam
Jennifer is fantastic! She has a lot of industry experience and leave great feedback. She reviewed my picture book manuscript and query letter and helped me significantly reduce my word count while also making the language more powerful and funny. She works quickly and is incredibly responsive; we finished my project in just under 3 weeks. Would highly recommend working with Jennifer, especiall...
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Roger Lam, November 2020

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