Jill Saginario

Jill Saginario - Editor

Brookline, MA, United States

An enthusiastic editor specializing in children's and YA books formerly of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, now an indie kidlit editor. #wndb

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Overview

Reviews (6)
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Hi. I'm an independent editor focusing on books for young readers from picture books through young adult literature. Having been a bookseller continuously since 1999, I have deep knowledge of the children's and YA marketplace and what drives people to pick up a book. (I still can't seem to stop working at bookstores. Help!)I have experience in-house editing with two medium-sized traditional publishers, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Candlewick Press. I've also worked with one of the premiere children's/YA-specific literary agencies, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. I created Pickle Ink Editorial around the time of the #weneeddiversebooks movement to help authors of all backgrounds get published. I am highly passionate about guiding authors writing for the picture book through young adult/new adult age groups, especially those with traditionally under-published voices such as people of color or LGBTQIA authors so our culture may be enriched with books that reflect the amazingly diverse world we live in.

My personal reading tastes:*cutting-edge contemporary YA*funny and/or silly MG & YA*super dark, knife-in-the-heart realism*off-the-wall bizarro sci-fi*sweet early reader stories*anything boy-centric*LGBTQIA books in any form*casual racial diversity*talking animals*will this make me cry? > YES*books entirely written in texts. Please write this for me.

**UPDATE: Please send contemporary MG and YA! My fantasy MG/YA dance card is full!**

My editorial style is direct, thorough, and no-nonsense: I will not dance around what I mean. To find out more about me and my rates, please ask. Transparency in pricing is important to me because I know it's important to you. A solid professional edit isn't going to be bargain-basement, but it will make all the difference to your work.

"When I hired Jill, I thought I was getting an editor but what I got was a partner. Someone who not only excelled at her craft but wanted to work with me to make the best possible book. From here on out there is no way I can work with anyone else. Not after witnessing what it is like to work with Jill and bring my book to the next level."-E.V. Fairfall, author of the Sleeping Tom series

"I’ve found Jill to be an invaluable reader...her work at HMH and as a bookseller has given her a true sense of what makes a book stand out and sparkle as well as what makes for literary – and commercial – legs. I can depend on her to consider all of the important micro to macro elements of a manuscript: from character development and pacing to tension, voice, and beyond."- Kate O'Sullivan, Executive Editor, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

"Jill is a smart, thoughtful reader with real insights into plot and character. Efficient, effective, and highly recommended!"- Ammi-Joan Paquette, Senior Agent, Erin Murphy Literary Agency

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

Work experience

Freelance Developmental Editor

Self-employed
December, 2015 – Present (about 3 years)

Offering developmental editing and manuscript evaluation services to those writing for young readers. I am actively taking on picture books, early readers, middle grade fiction, and young adult fiction projects.

Manuscript evaluator

Erin Murphy Literary Agency
April, 2014 – January, 2016 (almost 2 years)

As an agent assistant, I read and provided manuscript evaluations. During my tenure, I was lucky enough to work with the humorist Jacob Sager Weinstein on a manuscript that sold at auction in a three-book deal to Random House. Book one will publish Summer 2017.

Production Editor

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
March, 2012 – Present (almost 7 years)

I work on the production and manufacturing side at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where I proofread reprints and color-correct picture book art. HMH is most well-known for their commercial properties like Curious George to more literary successes like The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Editorial Intern

Candlewick Press
September, 2011 – January, 2012 (4 months)

Evaluated manuscripts, both agented and unagented, and made recommendations to senior editors. Provided developmental edits for current authors such as Pete Hautman and Wendy Delsol.

Bookseller and Children's Merchandiser

Powell's City of Books
August, 2005 – July, 2011 (almost 6 years)

Portfolio (6 selected works)

Waking Gabriel (Sleeping Tom) (Volume 2)

E.V. Fairfall

Caden thought it was over; she thought Gabriel was gone for good. It only took a letter with a single plane ticket for reality to come crashing back. Gabriel’s awake and he needs her. Caden decides to sacrifice her family’s trust for the possibility of seeing him again. But her reunion with Gabriel is short lived. Gabriel isn’t in control anymore, Tom is. Tom, the boy who only appeared at nigh... read more

Caden thought it was over; she thought Gabriel was gone for good. It only took a letter with a single plane ticket for reality to come crashing back. Gabriel’s awake and he needs her. Caden decides to sacrifice her family’s trust for the possibility of seeing him again. But her reunion with Gabriel is short lived. Gabriel isn’t in control anymore, Tom is. Tom, the boy who only appeared at nigh... read more

The Fantastic Flatulent Fart Brothers Go to the Moon!: A Spaced Out Comedy SciFi Adventure that Truly Stinks (Humorous action book for preteen kids age 9-12); US edition

M.D. Whalen

Would you trust these guys with a space ship?Willy and Peter need to get as far as possible from their sister’s dumb kindergartenpageant. But they never expected to be blasting their butts into space!There they make the grossest discovery in the universe, which could wipe out the Moon in one epic stink bomb.Do they have enough gas in their guts to repel an alien invasion from Uranus? Can farts... read more

Would you trust these guys with a space ship?Willy and Peter need to get as far as possible from their sister’s dumb kindergartenpageant. But they never expected to be blasting their butts into space!There they make the grossest discovery in the universe, which could wipe out the Moon in one epic stink bomb.Do they have enough gas in their guts to repel an alien invasion from Uranus? Can farts... read more

The Fantastic Flatulent Fart Brothers Save the World!: A Comedy Thriller Adventure that Truly Stinks (Humorous action book for preteen kids age 9-12); US edition

M.D. Whalen

Would you trust these guys to save the planet?Willy and Peter love beans, onion dip, and smelling up school buses. While searching for a birthday gift for little sis, the brothers are captured by mad fart-hating clowns, who want to use them in a putrid plot to destroy the world with Weapons of Mass Flatulation.Willy and Peter and their super-secret, super disgusting fart formula are earth's on... read more

Would you trust these guys to save the planet?Willy and Peter love beans, onion dip, and smelling up school buses. While searching for a birthday gift for little sis, the brothers are captured by mad fart-hating clowns, who want to use them in a putrid plot to destroy the world with Weapons of Mass Flatulation.Willy and Peter and their super-secret, super disgusting fart formula are earth's on... read more

Monster Sharks: Megalodon and Other Giant Prehistoric Predators of the Deep

Brenda Gurr

Monster Sharks: Megalodon and Other Giant Prehistoric Predators of the Deep brings real-life sea monsters back from extinction and up from the ocean depths with its fascinating facts and build-it-yourself Megalodon skeleton. Did you know that the prehistoric mega-shark called Megalodon was thirty times larger than a great white shark? If Megalodon were still alive, it would be able to destroy ... read more

Monster Sharks: Megalodon and Other Giant Prehistoric Predators of the Deep brings real-life sea monsters back from extinction and up from the ocean depths with its fascinating facts and build-it-yourself Megalodon skeleton. Did you know that the prehistoric mega-shark called Megalodon was thirty times larger than a great white shark? If Megalodon were still alive, it would be able to destroy ... read more

Make Your Own Toy Story Soaps: 12 suds-ational projects featuring Buzz, Woody, and more!

Patricia J. Murphy

Yee-haw! Create suds-sational soaps with Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Rex, and more. Make Your Own Toy Story Soaps has everything you need to create Toy Story-inspired soap projects in your own kitchen! The kit includes twelve original recipes, melt-and-pour soap base, soap dyes, a character face mold tray, five punch out gift boxes, and more. With more than thirty full-color photographs and... read more

Yee-haw! Create suds-sational soaps with Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Rex, and more. Make Your Own Toy Story Soaps has everything you need to create Toy Story-inspired soap projects in your own kitchen! The kit includes twelve original recipes, melt-and-pour soap base, soap dyes, a character face mold tray, five punch out gift boxes, and more. With more than thirty full-color photographs and... read more

Make Your Own Disney Princess Soaps: 12 suds-ational projects featuring your favorite princesses!

Patricia J. Murphy

Make magic with everyone’s favorite Disney princesses!Creative young princes and princesses-in-training learn how to make their own soaps featuring Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, Tiana, and more. Make Your Own Disney Princess Soaps has twelve original recipes perfect for family-friendly fun. This kit includes melt-and-pour soap base, soap dyes, character mold trays, and even glitter add-ins! With f... read more

Make magic with everyone’s favorite Disney princesses!Creative young princes and princesses-in-training learn how to make their own soaps featuring Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, Tiana, and more. Make Your Own Disney Princess Soaps has twelve original recipes perfect for family-friendly fun. This kit includes melt-and-pour soap base, soap dyes, character mold trays, and even glitter add-ins! With f... read more

Jill has 6 reviews

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Bob Cohn

Jill did an incredibly detailed and thorough critique for me. But more importantly she wasn’t afraid to call things the way she saw them. I’ll admit that I balked at first, but the truth is that she zeroed in on some key weaknesses in my MS and told it like it was. Which, bruised ego aside, is just what I needed. She has a strong grasp of the kids lit market and is a real professional. I recomm...

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Bob Cohn, August 2017


Ingo Blum

Jill is an absolute expert. She gave me a full report of suggestions on plot, emotional plot, characters, development and structure of my story and even about the book market segments for children`s literature in terms of focus group and marketing. She really knows the market very well. I will use her general suggestions for all my other work in the future. Thanks, Jill, hope we work togethe...

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Ingo Blum, June 2017


John Nichol

I found it incredibly easy to work with Jill. She's thoroughly familiar with the children's book marketplace and was able to identify right away where my work would fit in. Her appraisal of my manuscript was detailed and insightful, and identified the strengths and weaknesses of what I'd written, both in terms of my writing generally, and in terms of the requirements and expectations of the gen...

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John Nichol, April 2017


TL Sellers

Jill's feedback was thorough and professional, complete with market comparisons and solid advice to get my manuscript in good shape.

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TL Sellers, March 2017


John Pegoraro

Working with Jill could not have been any better or more positive an experience. She went above and beyond my expectations. This wasn't a "services for hire" relationship - it was a true collaboration. Her insights and feedback helped make me a better writer and gave me the confidence to more forward with writing professionally. I intend on working with Jill on all future projects.

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John Pegoraro, December 2016

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