Julia Scheeres

Julia Scheeres – Editor

NYT-bestselling author and editor. I've helped dozens of clients write their books and get published. I'd love to work with you!


Julia Scheeres is the author of the memoir "Jesus Land," which was a New York Times and London Times bestseller and was named by Entertainment Weekly Magazine as one of the "Top 10 Memoirs" -- ever. Her second book, the critically acclaimed "A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Jonestown," was included in The Guardian's "Top 10 Books About the 1970s" list and was optioned by an Academy Award-winning actor for a movie. Her third book, a biography called "Listen, World!: How the Intrepid Elsie Robinson Became America’s Most-Read Woman" will be published in September 2022.

She's a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review and teaches creative writing for many venues, including Stanford University. Her private clients have successfully published books, essays, and articles.
Biographies & Memoirs Education & Reference History Humanities & Social Sciences Political Science & Current Affairs
Historical Fiction Literary Fiction
English (US)
  • New Visions Award
  • American Library Association's "Alex" Award
  • Northern California Independent Bookstores' "Book of the Year" Award

Work experience

Stanford University

Jan, 2015 — Present

I teach several writing classes through Stanford University, including memoir, proposal writing and a general craft class called "How to Grab Your Reader."

The New York Times

May, 2006 — Present

Review fiction and nonfiction for the New York Times Book Review. (I have been doing this since 2006, but the Reedsy software won't allow me to change the year, for some reason.)


Feb, 2005 — Present

I've written two critically-acclaimed narrative nonfiction books and have worked with dozens of other writers on their own projects. Some have landed contracts with major publishers, some with indie presses, and yet others have self-published.

My speciality is story development - helping authors tell their stories in the most compelling way possible. This means nailing down theme, character and narrative arcs, creating tension, and writing in a clear and concise fashion.

Wired News

Jan, 2000 — Mar, 2003 (about 3 years)

Wrote stories on Internet culture, including an applauded series on child pornography and another on a chat room for folks wanting to commit suicide.

The Los Angeles Times

Feb, 1996 — Mar, 2000 (about 4 years)

Reporter for the nation's largest daily paper, writing everything from features stories to breaking news pieces.

El Financiero de Mexico

Feb, 1994 — Feb, 1996 (about 2 years)

Reporter for Mexican daily, writing and reporting in Spanish on topics ranging from immigration to maquiladoras.


What if for just one year you let desire call the shots?The project was simple: Robin Rinaldi, a successful magazine journalist, would move into a San Francisco apartment, join a dating site, and get laid. Never mind that she already owned a beautiful flat a f... read more
The inspiration for the acclaimed OWN TV series produced by Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay, returning for season two on June 20th“Smart and heartfelt and highly recommended.” —Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book ClubReaders, booksellers, and criti... read more
How to Read an EEG

Jadeja, Neville M.

Those Who Eat Like Crocodiles is for anyone who has tried tounderstand - and be understood - in an alien environment. It is foranyone who knows what it’s like to reach a crossroads in life andrealise that, somewhere along the way, the rules of the gamechanged ... read more
Laura was ten, crouched outside her parents' bedroom, when she overheard that her father had made her oldest sister pregnant. For the next eight years, she and her four sisters struggled to survive the nightmare of sexual and emotional abuse.As an adult, she b... read more
Offering an unflinching portrait of life in Daghestan and Chechnya and focusing on its girls and women, this book presents the north Caucasus today through the eyes of two Poles, an anthropologist and a journalist, who travelled there amid a locally rooted but... read more
The Ponzi Princess

Mark Morewitz

Recently married and settling in to a new home in Brooklyn, Mark Morewitz feels something is missing from his life. He is intrigued when his neighbors introduce him to Laurie, the charismatic entrepreneur from Long Island helping them earn enough money to buy ... read more
“A gripping account of how decent people can be taken in by a charismatic and crazed tyrant” (The New York Times Book Review).In 1954, a past or named Jim Jones opened a church in Indianapolis called Peoples Temple Full Gospel Church. He was a charismatic prea... read more
Jesus Land: A Memoir

Julia Scheeres

Julia and her adopted brother, David, are sixteen-years-old. Julia is white. David is black. It is the mid-1980s and their family has just moved to rural Indiana, a landscape of cottonwood trees, trailer parks, and an all-encompassing racism. At home are a dis... read more
Good Cop, Bad Daughter’s Karen Lynch was raised by a counter-culture tribe in summer of love Haight-Ashbury, where she was taught to despise “The Man.” But when the San Francisco Police Department was court ordered to hire women, she found herself compelled to... read more

Julia has 4 reviews





Muriel A.

Muriel A.

Jan, 2021

Given Julia's impressive experience, I had high expectations of what it would be like to work with her. She far exceeded those expectations. I am so lucky to have found her! Julia gave me feedback on the sample chapter that I sent to her. I saw that she is compassionate and understood what I was hoping to convey in my book. Not only did she write a long editorial letter, give an overview of...
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Julia S.
Aw, thanks, Muriel, for a lovely review. It was a pleasure to work with you! I'm so excited about your book. Julia
Janis C.

Janis C.

Oct, 2020

Julia offered intelligent, thoughtful, and useful feedback. She is a sharp reader—she scrutinized scenes in addition to offering valuable insights as to the bigger picture of my story. I am very grateful. She’s not only an amazing writer, but editor as well. Thank you, Julia! You made my writing so much better.
Peter D.

Peter D.

May, 2019

After a lot of careful research, my father and I retained Julia to help us with our book that we have been working on for ten years, and I can say, without a doubt, that we choose the right person. Julia was always easy to contact and always responded promptly to our emailed comments and questions. Julia’s services have breathed new life into our book. All of Julia's suggestions and recomm...
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Julia S.
Dear Peter and Clarence, it was my absolute pleasure to work with you both on such an important project. Thank you for picking me. :) And please keep me updated with any new developments. Warmly, ...
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Cameron P.

Cameron P.

Nov, 2017

I chose Julia because of who she is and her track record - a writer, a memoirist, a teacher of memoir, an editor and book reviewer, and so much more. She brings perspectives that many editors just don't have. And she's published an award-winning, bestselling memoir herself! ("Jesus Land" - it's fine work, and sometimes harrowing. Also a more recent non-fiction book about Jonestown, "A Thousand ...
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