Jon Darga

Jon Darga – Editor

I'm an agent at Aevitas and a former editor at Penguin Random House who's looking forward to helping you through any stage of your book.


I'm an agent at Aevitas Creative Management and a former editor at Penguin Random House with experience editing across genres, from award-winning nonfiction (the revised and updated paperback for Sheri Fink's FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL; Holger Hoock's SCARS OF INDEPENDENCE; Damion Searls' THE INKBLOTS; Christian Di Spigna's FOUNDING MARTYR) to bestselling genre fiction (Krysten Ritter's BONFIRE) to celebrity memoir (Sarah McBride's TOMORROW WILL BE DIFFERENT) and poetry (Nico Tortorella's all of it is you.). You can find more details on the books I've edited below, and I'm happy to discuss or answer any questions about my involvement with them.

I'm here to help you develop your manuscript in any way that would be helpful, across any stage of development. I've provided longer editorial letters detailing a complete restructure and revision of a book. I've provided shorter editorial letters to accompany in-text comment bubbles about where character development or world-building could be fleshed out. I've done final passes of manuscripts making line-edits in track changes to make sure that the language is polished and sings. And everything in-between, including tweaking query letters and agent submissions. If you're unsure what stage your manuscript is in, I'd love to read it and have a conversation about what might best serve you and your manuscript.

Please note that my services as a freelance editor are separate from my day job -- that is, any project that I review or edit as a freelancer I cannot consider for representation in order to avoid any implied "pay for play." What I can do is give you an expert and insider perspective on how to optimize your manuscript or query materials to draw the attention of other agents!
Biographies & Memoirs Entertainment History LGBTQ Non-Fiction
Fantasy Literary Fiction Mystery & Crime Thriller & Suspense
English (US)
  • Penguin Random House Recognition Award (2016 & 2018)
  • Columbia Publishing Course (2014)

Work experience

Aevitas Creative Management

Jun, 2019 — Present

Penguin Random House

Feb, 2015 — May, 2019 (about 4 years)

•Acquire books for Crown, a division of Random House
•Edit manuscripts, providing feedback both macro (editorial letters) and micro (line-editing documents)
•Reach out to potential authors and collaborate to develop book ideas for publication
•Provide feedback on every stage of publication, from cover design to marketing and publicity plans
•Evaluate proposals and draft rejection letters, acquisitions materials and P&Ls
•Liaise between authors, agents and in-house departments

The Park Literary Group (now Park & Fine Literary and Media)

Sep, 2014 — Feb, 2015 (5 months)

•Evaluated submissions and manuscripts, providing rejection letters or editorial feedback as needed
• Wrote and edited pitches and copy
• Designed and compiled rights guides for book fairs


The powerful and affirming story of a father's journey with his teenage daughter to the far reaches of Alaska Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to only a handful of people, is a harsh and lonely place. So when James Campbell’s cousin Heimo Korth a... read more
An NPR Best Book of the YearA New York Post Best Book of the YearA Times Thought Book of the YearAn Irish Independent Best Book of the YearThe captivating, untold story of Hermann Rorschach and his famous inkblot test In 1917, working alone in a remote Swiss a... read more
Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink’s landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina – and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice.In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physici... read more
When celebrated neuropsychologist Paul Broks's wife died of cancer, it sparked a journey of grief and reflection that traced a lifelong attempt to understand how the brain gives rise to the soul. The result of that journey is a gorgeous, evocative meditation o... read more
“A phenomenal, haunting debut.” —GILLIAN FLYNN, bestselling author of Gone Girl"I burned through Krysten Ritter's hugely accomplished debut. Bonfire is dark, disturbing, and compulsively readable."—RUTH WARE, bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood and The ... read more
A debut poetry collection from actor Nico Tortorella exploring “all of it,” from the smallest cells in our bodies to the outer limits of our universe. Nico Tortorella's debut poetry collection presents a singular voice honed through years as an actor, podcaste... read more
"A brave, powerful memoir." —PEOPLEA captivating memoir that will change the way we look at identity and equality in this country Before she became the first transgender person to speak at a national political convention in 2016 at the age of twenty-six, Sarah... read more
A rich and illuminating biography of America’s forgotten Founding Father, the patriot physician and major general who fomented rebellion and died heroically at the battle of Bunker Hill on the brink of revolutionLittle has been known of one of the most importa... read more
From the New York Times bestselling author knighted by the President of Italy for her writing, a jubilant exploration of how Italy transformed the Western world's most vibrant passions -- from literature to art, music to movies. No country has matched Italy’s ... read more

Jon has 81 reviews





Alexandra L.

Alexandra L.

May, 2023

Great assistance and thoughtful comments on a query letter.
Chris R.

Chris R.

May, 2023

Jon's feedback & input was fantastic, exactly what I needed to hear. Working with him was a great decision and I totally recommend it!
Hugues M.

Hugues M.

Apr, 2023

I hired Jon to edit my manuscript out of seven or eight well qualified editors. Jon read the sample chapter I sent him sent back a well-written assessment of what to expect and what his fees would be. As it is my first attempt at written a book, I was quite apprehensive of what to expect from a professional editor. Jon read my entire manuscript and within the timeframe his suggested, he sen...
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Cassie O.

Cassie O.

Feb, 2023

Jon was wonderful to work with! He provided great feedback on my query letter and first ten pages. He pointed out weak spots in my query letter and provided suggestions on how to fix those areas. There was also an interaction he pointed out in the first ten pages of my manuscript that had an issue, but was an easy fix. He did a great job pointing out my strengths and providing constructive crit...
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Joe S.

Joe S.

Jan, 2023

Jon is a real pro. He gave me a line-by-line critique of my cover letter and saw me through to the finished version. The difference was night and day!