Jillian Manning

Jillian Manning - Editor

Acme, MI, USA

I love reading and writing (but not arithmetic)! After a decade in publishing, I now freelance edit books for children and young adults.

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*AVAILABILITY NOTE: Due to a growing client list (hooray!) I will only be able to take on the following projects through JULY 31, 2021:
- Picture books (all services)
- Query letter reviews for any young adult, new adult, or middle grade novels

Hello! Jillian Manning here (she/her). I am a former YA and children's acquisitions editor now working as a freelancer. I have edited books for award-winning and bestselling authors, as well as renowned athletes and celebrities. But my favorite manuscripts are from talented, emerging writers ready to start an amazing career.

I have worked for Sourcebooks (imprints: Jabberwocky and Fire) and HarperCollins (imprints: Blink and Zonderkidz). I've had the honor to edit authors like Kwame Alexander, Zoraida Cordova, Rin Chupeco, Cory McCarthy, Miranda Kenneally, Allison Gervais, and many more.

I offer developmental (macro) editing, copyediting, and proofreading services for books geared toward readers under 18. I will occasionally take on a project for adults, especially if the book has crossover appeal for a YA audience.

When working with me on a developmental edit, you will receive two things: an edited MS and an edit letter. The manuscript will address smaller level edits in Track Changes, while the edit letter will provide context about bigger edits and suggestions for the work. I love my Chicago Manual of Style and will wield it, but I also defer to the importance of voice, especially when writing for young people.

Finally, I am also the author of five books with Sourcebooks and Sesame Workshop under the pen name Lillian Jaine, and I have also ghostwritten several other books. Being an author helps me know the publishing process inside and out to provide you with the best possible service.

Please note: I am NOT a fit for novels over 100,000 words, horror novels, or urban/paranormal fantasy.
English (US)
Children’s Non-Fiction
Middle Grade
Middle Grade Fantasy
New Adult
Picture Books
Social & Family Issues
Young Adult Fantasy


  • University of Denver Publishing Institute
  • University of Chicago Advanced Manuscript Editing Program
  • Yale Book Publishing Course

Work experience

Freelance Editor

January, 2018 – Present (over 3 years)

Acquisitions Editor

HarperCollins Publishers
September, 2014 – January, 2018 (over 3 years)

Project Editor

Sourcebooks, Inc.
September, 2012 – September, 2014 (about 2 years)

Contributing Editor

Independent Publisher Magazine
June, 2011 – Present (about 10 years)

Portfolio (10 selected works)

H2O (H2O, 1)

Bergin, Virginia

The Vicious Deep

Córdova, Zoraida

It Started with Goodbye

June, Christina

The Lost Girl of Astor Street

Morrill, Stephanie

How to Bake a Book

Burfoot, Ella

Jillian has 6 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Kathryn Primeau
Jillian was easy to work with and provided very helpful feedback and perspective. I'd definitely work with her again!

Kathryn Primeau, June 2021

Charlotte Hawkins
Jillian was a pleasure to work with. She had a reasonable price for the quality she offered. I do recommend her expertise to anyone in search of clear editing skills with a clear explanation of what she has edited.

Charlotte Hawkins, May 2021

Tim Weaver
Jillian did an excellent job with her copy edit of my book. She was thorough and went above and beyond. She added a number of comments around improvement I could make throughout the book, which I greatly appreciated. All in all, it was a great experience and Jillian is great at what she does.

Tim Weaver, February 2021

Jodi-Kay Gobay
Very skilled and professional

Jodi-Kay Gobay, February 2021

Kristen Harris
Working with Jillian was phenomenal! She was so helpful, and I'm feeling confident about my query now.

Kristen Harris, February 2021

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