MJ Johnston

MJ Johnston - Editor

Chicago, IL, USA

Experienced fiction editor with a strong eye for craft, a knack for detailed feedback, and the overall collaborative spirit of Ted Lasso.

Request a quote
Verified identity


Over five years ago I joined publishing as the adult fiction and nonfiction Editorial Assistant at Sourcebooks, working behind the scenes on projects across our expansive lists. I loved it so much, I've stayed aboard, building my own list of wonderful authors working in suspense, historical fiction, women's fiction, commercial book club fiction, and more. I'm now the Associate Editor for fiction at Sourcebooks and have had the joy of helping develop high-selling titles for our imprints. Books are my thing and I love them so!

There's nothing better than working with authors, and I've had some incredible experiences with some notable names! Working on The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by New York Times bestselling author Kim Michele Richardson (USA Today bestseller, Indie Next Pick, Okra Pick, and more!) and partnering on high-level developmental edits with her has been one of the many highs of my career. Dark Things I Adore by Katie Lattari, Must Love Books by Shauna Robinson, Up to No Gouda by Linda Reilly, Girls With Bright Futures by Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman are some other notable titles that I've had my hand in, earning multiple starred trade reviews, amazing media placements, great reader reviews, and more!

My approach to edits is very collaborative. I use my industry knowledge and years of experience to ensure my edits are clear, helpful, and in line with the category. I keep the reader in mind every step of the way, ensuring plot holes get closed, characters get fine-tuned, and pacing is kept taut. Overall my goal is to work alongside you and your story to help develop the most immersive read possible.

English (US)
Contemporary Fiction
Cozy Mysteries
Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Romantic Comedy
Thriller & Suspense
Women's Fiction

Work experience

Associate Editor, Adult Fiction & Nonfiction

August, 2019 – Present (over 2 years)

Acquire titles across categories with a focus on fiction and execute high-level developmental edits with a meticulous eye for craft, plot, and character, earning multiple starred reviews and engineering positive reader response with a high average Goodreads rating.

Assistant Editor

March, 2018 – August, 2019 (over 1 year)

Editorial Assistant

February, 2016 – March, 2018 (about 2 years)

Portfolio (10 selected works)

Must Love Books

Robinson, Shauna

Wicked River: A Novel

Milchman, Jenny

Explore the Reedsy Community

Reedsy is a community of top publishing professionals. Join Reedsy today to browse 1000+ profiles.

Sarah Murphy

A candid and deeply invested developmental editor with roots in Big 5 publishing and a freelance focus on commercial fiction and romance.

Hendersonville, NC, USA

Holly Ingraham

Former Editor at St. Martin's Press with over 12 years of industry experience, now freelancing with a focus on Romance, WF, YA and Mystery

East Rutherford, NJ, USA

To view 1,000+ more profiles, Join Reedsy