Julie Cantrell

Julie Cantrell - Editor

Houston, TX, USA

NYT & USA TODAY bestselling author/editor/ghostwriter. I love an inspiring story of hope, resilience, and triumph over trauma.

Request a quote
Verified identity

Overview

I'm a New York Times & USA TODAY bestselling author who loves to help other writers bring their story to shelves.

Yes, my work has earned literary awards as well as starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. Yes, I still write my own content. But I also offer ghostwriting, book coaching, developmental editing, and line editing across many genres. Why? Because I believe in the power of story, and I love encouraging YOU to share yours.

While I've edited works of nearly every genre, I particularly enjoy upmarket fiction (think book clubs), women's fiction, literary fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, and nonfiction. My "sweet spot" is an inspiring story of hope and resilience, so bring me your trauma and your drama!

I'm also a TEDx speaker, world traveler, and all-around happy heart who finds great joy in elevating others. So if you're looking for an honest, efficient, and positive partner, I'm your girl.

Wondering what my clients say?

“Julie Cantrell and I wrote a magazine column together for years and critiqued back-and-forth with one another on novels. She’s not only a talented writer, she’s a crackerjack editor... and fast!”
— Lisa Wingate, New York Times Bestselling Author of Before We Were Yours

“Julie Cantrell is a gifted, sensitive editor and writer who brings the highest standards of sense and sensibility to her work. When I need a second-eyes assessment on a project, I could not do any better than Julie."
–Jacquelyn Mitchard, number one NewYork Timesbestselling author of twelve novels for adults, including the Oprah Winfrey Book Club pickThe Deep End of the Ocean, as well as seven novels for young adults

“Julie Cantrell is one of the finest editors I’ve had the privilege of working with. She possesses all of the qualities one would want from a partner: talent, wisdom, kindness, patience, with an unapparelled gift for storytelling. Those character attributes, along with her astute eye and ear, have enhanced all of my writing and made it a pure joy to work with her. Julie is also one of the most encouraging people I have been around, and every writer needs encouragement and someone who can help them to produce their very best work. She is also one of finest writers in the country herself, and I am blessed to have partaken of her services, services I highly recommend to anyone wanting to take their writing to the highest level possible."
– Zoro, world-renowned drummer for Lenny Kravitz, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, author of The Big Gig: Big-Picture Thinking for Success and SOAR! 9 Proven Keys for Unlocking Your Limitless Potential

“Julie was so helpful with my book proposal during the Fall of 2019! In addition to sharing her expert advice on how to best structure the book proposal, Julie used her years of experience as a successful author to help me understand how writing a chapter for a book can be different from writing a blog post. But what I treasured most from my short time with Julie while working on my book proposal was our conversations on the phone when she offered kind words of encouragement, giving me a boost in confidence to know that my story mattered, that my writing was good, and that my voice was going to make a difference and help other women out there."
– Naomi Davis, Love Taza (NOTE: This proposal brought her book to auction where she signed the book deal of her dreams.)

After a year of collaborating alongside Julie Cantrell on the book Crescendo,I can honestly say that it has been both a pleasure and honor to work with someone so talented and personable. Julie sees the world through a unique and beautiful lens and knows it to be a truly kind, hopeful, and inspiring place even through life’s most difficult and consuming times. Through her powerful and poetic writing, she instinctually knows how to show this to others in dramatic and redemptive stories such as Crescendo. Thank you, Julie, for sharing your incredible talent with me and so many others. You were surely placed on this earth to create and share words that make it a better place."
– Allen Cheney, film producer and bestselling author of Crescendo
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Inspirational
Self-help & Self-improvement
Travel
Writing & Publishing
Fiction
Coming of Age
Literary Fiction
Women's Fiction

Certifications

  • M.A.
  • New York Times Bestselling Author
  • USA TODAY Bestselling Author
  • Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship
  • Rivendell Writer’s Colony Mary Elizabeth Nelson Fellowship

Awards

  • The Christy Award - Debut Novel of the Year
  • The Christy Award - Book of the Year
  • The Southern Book Prize - Shortlist Finalist (twice)
  • Publishers Weekly - Starred Review
  • Library Journal - Starred Review
  • The Carol Award - Historical Novel of the Year
  • The Carol Award - Contemporary Novel of the Year
  • Mississippi Library Assoc. Fiction Award - Novel of the Year

Work experience

Julie Cantrell

Self-employed
February, 2001 – Present (over 19 years)

With decades of experience working as both a writer and an editor, I've published/edited with large publishers across both the CBA and ABA (HarperCollins, Zondervan, David C Cook, etc.), as well as with smaller publishers (Mercer, Revell, WaterBooks, ClearSky, Rockhaven, University of Mississippi Press, and others). I've also helped many self-published authors polish their work for publication.

In addition to traditionally publishing four award-winning novels, a work of creative non-fiction, and two children's books (all of which have landed on bestseller lists--whether regional, national, or international), I've contributed as a writer and/or editor to more than 20 anthologies, devotionals, and non-fiction works.

I've also edited proposals that have led authors to sign six-figure publishing deals, and I've edited works across nearly every genre including book club/upmarket fiction, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, literary fiction, inspirational fiction, devotionals, memoir, romance, and creative non-fiction, and more. I've served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review, and I'm equally pleased to work with self-published versus traditionally-published authors.

By working on all sides of the publishing process--as author, editor, and reader--I understand the expectations of all involved. I encourage all writers to find their voice, and I'd love to help you share your stories.

Portfolio (21 selected works)

Perennials

Julie Cantrell

From New York Times bestselling author Julie Cantrell comes a story of family and the Southern roots that call us home.“If Julie Cantrell isn’t on your reading list, she should be.” —Lisa WingateYears ago, Lovey chose to leave her family and the South far behind. But now that she’s returned, she’s realizing things at home were not always what they seemed.Eva Sutherland—known to all as Lovey—gr... read more

From New York Times bestselling author Julie Cantrell comes a story of family and the Southern roots that call us home.“If Julie Cantrell isn’t on your reading list, she should be.” —Lisa WingateYears ago, Lovey chose to leave her family and the South far behind. But now that she’s returned, she’s realizing things at home were not always what they seemed.Eva Sutherland—known to all as Lovey—gr... read more

The Feathered Bone

Julie Cantrell

“Feathers—no matter what size or shape or color—are all the same, if you think about them. They’re soft. Delicate. But the secret thing about feathers is . . . they are very strong.” In the pre-Katrina glow of New Orleans, Amanda Salassi is anxious about chaperoning her daughter’s sixth-grade field trip to the Big Easy during Halloween. And then her worst fears come true. Her daughter’s best f... read more

“Feathers—no matter what size or shape or color—are all the same, if you think about them. They’re soft. Delicate. But the secret thing about feathers is . . . they are very strong.” In the pre-Katrina glow of New Orleans, Amanda Salassi is anxious about chaperoning her daughter’s sixth-grade field trip to the Big Easy during Halloween. And then her worst fears come true. Her daughter’s best f... read more

When Mountains Move

Julie Cantrell

In a few hours, Millie will say “I do” to Bump Anderson, a man who loves her through and through. But would he love her if he knew the secret she keeps?Millie’s mind is racing and there seems to be no clear line between right and wrong. Either path leads to pain, and she’ll do anything to protect the ones she loves. So she decides to bury the truth and begin again, helping Bump launch a ranch ... read more

In a few hours, Millie will say “I do” to Bump Anderson, a man who loves her through and through. But would he love her if he knew the secret she keeps?Millie’s mind is racing and there seems to be no clear line between right and wrong. Either path leads to pain, and she’ll do anything to protect the ones she loves. So she decides to bury the truth and begin again, helping Bump launch a ranch ... read more

Into the Free

Julie Cantrell

Millie is just a girl. But she’s the only one strong enough to break the family cycle.In Depression-era Mississippi, Millie Reynolds longs to escape the madness that marks her world. With an abusive father and a “nothing mama,” she struggles to find a place where she really belongs. For answers,Millie turns to the Gypsies who caravan through town each spring. The travelers lead Millie to a key... read more

Millie is just a girl. But she’s the only one strong enough to break the family cycle.In Depression-era Mississippi, Millie Reynolds longs to escape the madness that marks her world. With an abusive father and a “nothing mama,” she struggles to find a place where she really belongs. For answers,Millie turns to the Gypsies who caravan through town each spring. The travelers lead Millie to a key... read more

Crescendo: The Story of a Musical Genius Who Forever Changed a Southern Town

Allen Cheney

A story of mercy, miracles, and melody—and above all else: love.During the Great Depression, Fred Allen is born poor and hungry in the shadow of rural Georgia’s infamous cotton mills. By the time Fred is three years old, he can play hymns on the piano without missing a note. In kindergarten, he amazes adults with Chopin. Terrified that Fred’s genius is proof of a curse, his parents lock away t... read more

A story of mercy, miracles, and melody—and above all else: love.During the Great Depression, Fred Allen is born poor and hungry in the shadow of rural Georgia’s infamous cotton mills. By the time Fred is three years old, he can play hymns on the piano without missing a note. In kindergarten, he amazes adults with Chopin. Terrified that Fred’s genius is proof of a curse, his parents lock away t... read more

God Is with Me through the Night

Julie Cantrell

In this book, furry friends reveal that even the biggest and bravest of God’s creatures feel frightened sometimes. This comforting story allows parents to build stronger bonds with their children while reminding readers of all ages that fear, loneliness, and hopelessness can be alleviated when we put our trust in God. The story ends with an easy-to-remember Bible verse that teaches children ab... read more

In this book, furry friends reveal that even the biggest and bravest of God’s creatures feel frightened sometimes. This comforting story allows parents to build stronger bonds with their children while reminding readers of all ages that fear, loneliness, and hopelessness can be alleviated when we put our trust in God. The story ends with an easy-to-remember Bible verse that teaches children ab... read more

God Is with Me through the Day

Julie Cantrell

For a child, so many things can happen in one day. Sometimes the world outside is a scary place. There is so much to be discovered and understood and at times the adventure is simply overwhelming.This story reminds kids that God is always present. He is a protector who never stops caring for all children each day through. With comforting pictures of lovable critters that seem to have similar f... read more

For a child, so many things can happen in one day. Sometimes the world outside is a scary place. There is so much to be discovered and understood and at times the adventure is simply overwhelming.This story reminds kids that God is always present. He is a protector who never stops caring for all children each day through. With comforting pictures of lovable critters that seem to have similar f... read more

A Second Blooming: Becoming the Women We are Meant to Be

Susan Cushman

A SECOND BLOOMING is a collection of essays by twenty-one authors who are emerging from the chrysalis they built for their younger selves and transforming into the women they are meant to be. They are not all elders, but all have embraced the second half of their lives with a generative spirit.Anne Lamott writes about finding herself by rejecting her false selves. Mary Karr shares wisdom from ... read more

A SECOND BLOOMING is a collection of essays by twenty-one authors who are emerging from the chrysalis they built for their younger selves and transforming into the women they are meant to be. They are not all elders, but all have embraced the second half of their lives with a generative spirit.Anne Lamott writes about finding herself by rejecting her false selves. Mary Karr shares wisdom from ... read more

Southern Writers on Writing

Contributions by Julie Cantrell, Katherine Clark, Susan Cushman, Jim Dees, Clyde Edgerton, W. Ralph Eubanks, John M. Floyd, Joe Formichella, Patti Callahan Henry, Jennifer Horne, Ravi Howard, Suzanne Hudson, River Jordan, Harrison Scott Key, Cassandra King, Alan Lightman, Sonja Livingston, Corey Mesler, Niles Reddick, Wendy Reed, Nicole Seitz, Lee Smith, Michael Farris Smith, Sally Palmer Thom... read more

Contributions by Julie Cantrell, Katherine Clark, Susan Cushman, Jim Dees, Clyde Edgerton, W. Ralph Eubanks, John M. Floyd, Joe Formichella, Patti Callahan Henry, Jennifer Horne, Ravi Howard, Suzanne Hudson, River Jordan, Harrison Scott Key, Cassandra King, Alan Lightman, Sonja Livingston, Corey Mesler, Niles Reddick, Wendy Reed, Nicole Seitz, Lee Smith, Michael Farris Smith, Sally Palmer Thom... read more

The Pulpwood Queens Celebrate 20 Years!

Part book club meeting, part costume party, part come-as-you-are, the Pulpwood Queens annual Girlfriend Weekend is an extravaganza none who've ever attended will forget. This 20th anniversary commemorative book is like Girlfriend Weekend itself--a warm, wise, tender celebration of friends, reading, and all the ways books bring us together. --Lisa Wingate, New York Times best-selling author of ... read more

Part book club meeting, part costume party, part come-as-you-are, the Pulpwood Queens annual Girlfriend Weekend is an extravaganza none who've ever attended will forget. This 20th anniversary commemorative book is like Girlfriend Weekend itself--a warm, wise, tender celebration of friends, reading, and all the ways books bring us together. --Lisa Wingate, New York Times best-selling author of ... read more

When You Pass Through Waters: Words of Hope and Healing from Your Favorite Authors

In response to the “thousand year flood” of 2015 in South Carolina, eighteen beloved and bestselling authors graciously contributed a water-themed story, essay, novel excerpt, or poem to this heart-warming and thought-provoking anthology. Like a winding river, their words meander through memories and nostalgia or swell in a fit of faith, fear, or questioning. Some offer lessons learned by the ... read more

In response to the “thousand year flood” of 2015 in South Carolina, eighteen beloved and bestselling authors graciously contributed a water-themed story, essay, novel excerpt, or poem to this heart-warming and thought-provoking anthology. Like a winding river, their words meander through memories and nostalgia or swell in a fit of faith, fear, or questioning. Some offer lessons learned by the ... read more

NIV, Hope in the Mourning Bible, Hardcover: Finding Strength Through God's Eternal Perspective

Zondervan

WHEN A CASSEROLE OR A GREETING CARD ISN’T ENOUGH. Grief is one of life’s toughest challenges. During such times it is difficult to know where to turn. Yet in the midst of your deepest despair, God reveals Himself and His promises for a better tomorrow. The NIV Hope in the Mourning Bible works to bring a peaceful sense—in the midst of the coldest winter—that spring will one day come again. The ... read more

WHEN A CASSEROLE OR A GREETING CARD ISN’T ENOUGH. Grief is one of life’s toughest challenges. During such times it is difficult to know where to turn. Yet in the midst of your deepest despair, God reveals Himself and His promises for a better tomorrow. The NIV Hope in the Mourning Bible works to bring a peaceful sense—in the midst of the coldest winter—that spring will one day come again. The ... read more

Seven Hills Review 2014

The Seven Hills Review 2014 presents the winners of the 2013 Seven Hills Literary Contest and 2013 Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Contest. These award-winning authors hail from across the United States and some from other countries as well. The collection includes short stories, creative nonfiction, flash fiction, the text of children's picture books, poetry, and haiku. All judging in the contest i... read more

The Seven Hills Review 2014 presents the winners of the 2013 Seven Hills Literary Contest and 2013 Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Contest. These award-winning authors hail from across the United States and some from other countries as well. The collection includes short stories, creative nonfiction, flash fiction, the text of children's picture books, poetry, and haiku. All judging in the contest i... read more

Touch My Tears: Tales from the Trail of Tears

Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer

In 1830, a treaty was signed. In 1830, hearts broke. Tears fell on the long journey for twenty thousand. The Choctaw Nation was forced to leave their homelands to preserve their people. But they could not save them all.For this collection of short stories, Choctaw authors from five U.S. states come together to present a part of their ancestors’ journey, a way to honor those who walked the trai... read more

In 1830, a treaty was signed. In 1830, hearts broke. Tears fell on the long journey for twenty thousand. The Choctaw Nation was forced to leave their homelands to preserve their people. But they could not save them all.For this collection of short stories, Choctaw authors from five U.S. states come together to present a part of their ancestors’ journey, a way to honor those who walked the trai... read more

Mississippians (1st Edition)

Neil White

Mississippians is a coffee-table book featuring the most famous and notable individuals from the state of Mississippi from Elvis, Oprah and Faulkner to the little-known Mississippians living extraordinary lives. The bookfeatures more than 250 Mississippians, including work from Mississippi's top writers and photographers.

Mississippians is a coffee-table book featuring the most famous and notable individuals from the state of Mississippi from Elvis, Oprah and Faulkner to the little-known Mississippians living extraordinary lives. The bookfeatures more than 250 Mississippians, including work from Mississippi's top writers and photographers.

The Mommy Diaries: Finding Yourself in the Daily Adventure

Mothering is an adventure to be sure--from diaper changes and potty training to car pools and soccer games, a mom's life is full of adventures with her children. But it's not only about the kids. Mothering is also an adventure in personal growth. And that's what moms are invited to enjoy as they read The Mommy Diaries.With contributions from a variety of authors and speakers familiar to today'... read more

Mothering is an adventure to be sure--from diaper changes and potty training to car pools and soccer games, a mom's life is full of adventures with her children. But it's not only about the kids. Mothering is also an adventure in personal growth. And that's what moms are invited to enjoy as they read The Mommy Diaries.With contributions from a variety of authors and speakers familiar to today'... read more

Make Room for Daddy

Ms. Elisa Morgan, Carol Kuykendall

Your Husband Can Be the Best Dad Ever!Want to encourage your husband to get more involved in parenting? Let Dad be Dad. It sounds so simple--but thousands of moms struggle with entrusting their child to someone whose parenting style is different from their own, even if he is their childs father! Make Room for Daddy shows you how to lighten up and encourage the father of your child to do what h... read more

Your Husband Can Be the Best Dad Ever!Want to encourage your husband to get more involved in parenting? Let Dad be Dad. It sounds so simple--but thousands of moms struggle with entrusting their child to someone whose parenting style is different from their own, even if he is their childs father! Make Room for Daddy shows you how to lighten up and encourage the father of your child to do what h... read more

Real Moms

Elisa Morgan, Carol Kuykendall

Mom! Get Real . . . and Get Free!Are you tired of constantly trying―and failing―to be a perfect mom? Stop beating yourself up and let the truth about motherhood set you free! Real Moms debunks the “good mom” fallacies that have weighed you down by giving you some liberating “real mom” truths. This book punctures such mothering myths as: · Good moms look good all the time.· Good moms keep every... read more

Mom! Get Real . . . and Get Free!Are you tired of constantly trying―and failing―to be a perfect mom? Stop beating yourself up and let the truth about motherhood set you free! Real Moms debunks the “good mom” fallacies that have weighed you down by giving you some liberating “real mom” truths. This book punctures such mothering myths as: · Good moms look good all the time.· Good moms keep every... read more

A Mother's Prayers: Week by Week Devotional for Your Unborn Child

Joanne Sojinu

What would it look like if you hand over all your uncertainty and fears to God and, instead, proactively join Father God in the development process of your unborn child? The beautiful and powerful prayers in this devotional will guide you on that journey from conception to birth. You will:Learn how your baby is growing and developing week by week as your pregnancy progressesPray for your baby’... read more

What would it look like if you hand over all your uncertainty and fears to God and, instead, proactively join Father God in the development process of your unborn child? The beautiful and powerful prayers in this devotional will guide you on that journey from conception to birth. You will:Learn how your baby is growing and developing week by week as your pregnancy progressesPray for your baby’... read more

BIG LUCKY: Serial Entrepreneur Jim Markham's Secret Formula for Success

Jim Markham, Echo Garrett

ColorProof founder, Beauty Industry icon, former celebrity stylist and award-winning entrepreneur takes you through his gripping, authentic and personal journey outlining his 22 key ingredients for success. This page-turner gives you the tools and inspiration to seize your moment.With five successful companies to his name and over $1.2 billion in combined retail sales, serial entrepreneur Jim ... read more

ColorProof founder, Beauty Industry icon, former celebrity stylist and award-winning entrepreneur takes you through his gripping, authentic and personal journey outlining his 22 key ingredients for success. This page-turner gives you the tools and inspiration to seize your moment.With five successful companies to his name and over $1.2 billion in combined retail sales, serial entrepreneur Jim ... read more

The Good Luck Stone

Heather Bell Adams

Her desperate decision during World War II changed everything. Now, 70 years later, her secret is unraveling.At ninety years old, Audrey Thorpe still lives in a historic mansion on palm-tree-lined Victory Drive, determined to retain her independence. But when her health begins to fade, her family hires a part-time caretaker, Laurel. The two women seem to bond—until Audrey disappears. Unbeknown... read more

Her desperate decision during World War II changed everything. Now, 70 years later, her secret is unraveling.At ninety years old, Audrey Thorpe still lives in a historic mansion on palm-tree-lined Victory Drive, determined to retain her independence. But when her health begins to fade, her family hires a part-time caretaker, Laurel. The two women seem to bond—until Audrey disappears. Unbeknown... read more

Julie has 2 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Drew Ross
As a first time memoirist, I was sensitive to the personal nature of my work and Julie was the first human being to read my story. She was incredibly adept at giving me stark, valuable feedback without stepping on my delicate ego. But I was clear at the beginning of our collaboration that I wanted the bad news as much as the good. Otherwise, why bother? But I also needed someone to help me keep...
Read more

Drew Ross, July 2020


Chris Field
I cannot imagine working with anyone more professional, talented, timely, or gracious than Julie. I had very high expectations entering into the partnership, and she blew every expectation out of the water. I would recommend her 10 out of 10 times, and I anticipate working with her on every book I write in the future. Yes, that's how great she was. Thank you, Julie. I am truly grateful for lend...
Read more

Chris Field, June 2020

Explore the Reedsy Community

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

Fiona Hallowell

I am a veteran trade book editor of fiction and nonfiction, committed to helping writers find their voice and produce their best work.

New York, NY, United States

Neil Gordon

Getting feedback doesn't have to be an overwhelming experience. I work to ensure your hand is held through every step of the process.

Los Angeles, CA, United States

To view 1,000+ more profiles, Join Reedsy