Jennifer Udden

Jennifer Udden - Editor

New York, NY, USA

Former literary agent with 10+ yrs of experience with NYT bestselling & award-winning authors of Scifi/Fantasy/YA/MG/Romance

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I’m a former literary agent who spent ten years representing authors in a variety of genres. My clients as an agent included authors who topped the New York Times Best Seller list and were nominated for, or won, the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, World Fantasy Award, and Dragon Award, among others.

I love lush, epic pacing, strong voices, compelling characters, innovative world building and historical detail. Fantasy of every stripe is my favorite, but I also love science fiction, thrillers, literary fiction, and romance. I enjoy working on books for young readers, especially quirky middle grade and compelling YA. When I was representing authors, I was very hands-on editorially, and worked to ensure that the best possible version of their vision was the one that made its way out into the marketplace.

As an editor, my passion is helping authors take their novels to the next level. My favorite thing is finding a line that delights me in a manuscript, and being able to write HA! in the comments next to it. I particularly enjoy working on characterization and pacing, because strong characters and attention to pacing are what take a novel from simply good to truly great! I love a challenge, and being able to take a book from early stages to query-ready is one of my strengths.


“Working with Jen Udden elevated my work. She has a keen eye for story, with an equally adept sense of the market. Her input exponentially increases a project’s chances in its publication.Having her in your corner is a treasure.”

-Maurice Broaddus, author of The Usual Suspects and the forthcoming Sweep of Stars

Jen has an insightful editorial eye and a thorough understanding of the marketplace, from commercial to literary. She brings a genuine love of story to her reading and so is able to authentically praise what’s working and identify what tweaks would make the work shine even more. She’s who I go to when I need an opinion I can trust.

-Bestselling and RITA Award winning author Jeffe Kennedy

English (CAN)
English (UK)
English (US)
Historical Fiction
Middle Grade
Mystery & Crime
Science Fiction
Thriller & Suspense
Young Adult

Work experience

Freelance Editor

November, 2020 – Present (9 months)

Specializing in editorial assessments and developmental edits for novelists looking to take their craft to the next level. As a first reader, I give feedback based on my years of experience as a literary agent, with the ultimate goal of helping an author create the best version of their book.

Literary Agent

New Leaf Literary & Media, Barry Goldblatt Literary, Donald Maass Literary Agency
July, 2010 – November, 2020 (over 10 years)

Over my ten years in the industry, I built a list of authors who specialized in fiction of all stripes. I focused on genre fiction of all stripes, from innovative scifi to historical crime to meaty thrillers to epic fantasy - and beyond. As an "editorial" agent I worked with my authors to ensure that the work they shared with their publishers was the best it could possibly be.

Portfolio (19 selected works)

First, Become Ashes

Szpara, K.M.

A Certain Hunger

Summers, Chelsea G.


Szpara, K.M.

Unnatural Magic

Waggoner, C. M.

This Is Where It Ends

Nijkamp, Marieke

The Usual Suspects

Broaddus, Maurice

A Wicked Magic

Laurens, Sasha

Six Wakes

Lafferty, Mur

The Glamorous Dead

Gates, Suzanne

Even If We Break

Nijkamp, Marieke

Before I Let Go

Nijkamp, Marieke


Zabo, Anna


Warom, Ren

Jennifer has 27 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Alina Bellchambers
It was a pleasure working with Jen. Her insights about the industry were invaluable and she was very professional and easy to communicate with.

Alina Bellchambers, July 2021

Jennifer Udden
Great working with you, Alina!

Reply from Jennifer Udden

Michelle Darnell
Jennifer's edits highlighted everything that I suspected was a problem with my manuscript, and her suggestions on how to fix it definitely helped me get pointed in the right direction. I really appreciate her knowledge, professionalism, and her attention to detail, and will definitely be using her again.

Michelle Darnell, July 2021

Ruth Vincent
I have worked with Jennifer Udden for 6 years, first in previous role as a literary agent, and now as a freelance editor. Jen has a keen editorial eye, coupled with a wealth of experience in the industry. Whether critiquing a query letter or a whole manuscript, Jen has often helped me see my own blind spots, lasering in on exactly what's not working and stretching me to become a better writer t...
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Ruth Vincent, May 2021

Chris Byess
I can't thank Jennifer enough. She provided me with the best query editing experience I've received so far. Her willingness to provide multiple rounds of edits is a godsend, as you're able to ensure your edits are trending in the correct direction, rather than be forced to assume you've made the necessary changes suggested based off a single piece of feedback with no follow-up, which seems to b...
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Chris Byess, May 2021

Kacy DeSilva
Jennifer is a gem and was very helpful.

Kacy DeSilva, April 2021

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