Julie Holderman

Julie Holderman - Editor


Eleven years of experience as a developmental editor. Helped shape the most recent works of bestseller Tamora Pierce. Scifi/Fantasy/YA!

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I've been editing, critiquing, and picking apart the way stories work for as long as I've been writing them. I learned the basics at age fourteen, continued my education in college, honed my skills afterward at workshops like VIABLE PARADISE, and gained further practice through classes hosted by Hugo-award winning author Mary Robinette Kowal. I'm constantly reading, learning, and collecting new techniques, from story conception to submission. My current writing credits include Tortall: A Spy’s Guide, which was released in October of 2017 from Penguin Random House Children's Books. Not only did I write large portions of the manuscript, I critiqued and gave general feedback on the entire team's work, helping craft a coherent whole from a variety of different elements.

From Aristotle’s Poetics to Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, I'm obsessed with studying storytelling, its modes, its genres, and its formats. I've parlayed this into editorial experience, critiquing first my peers and now my clients as a freelance developmental editor. My specialties include soft Scifi, Fantasy of all kinds, and YA scifi and fantasy. My goal with clients is to dig deep in to what their intentions are with a given manuscript, analyzing theme, tone, and execution as well as helping develop storylines and patching plot holes along the way. I like to spend time with a manuscript, seeing how the pieces fit together and how they might be rearranged to accomplish a writer's envisioned storyline with greater clarity and power. I'm communicative and like to stay in touch with clients as I work, bringing up questions about the story, characters, et cetera, for them to think about as I get my notes together for a full critique. I welcome questions from clients during and after the process as well.


"I have worked with Julie Holderman on a number of projects, and deeply appreciate her professionalism, her ability to create and keep a schedule and to get others to do the same, her on-point creative critiques, and the sharpness of her editing. I thoroughly recommend her to anyone with a writing project that requires a keen-eyed, pleasant worker with an understanding of the limits and the rules of the trade."

– Tamora Pierce, NY Times Bestselling Writer of 30+ Books for Young Adults

"Julie Holderman is smart, insightful, and capable. A pleasure to work with."

— Chelsea Eberly, Editor, Random House Books for Young Readers

"Julie does so much more than just provide edits. She spends time with your work, understands how the pieces should fit together (even if you don’t) and gives feedback that is both a reality check and thoroughly insightful."

– K.P. Kulski, Horror Writer

"Besides her precise editing advice, Ms. Holderman brings her considerable knowledge of writing to character, motivation and plot issues. She has the ability to assess a work and outline what needs to be revised to arrive at excellence. If you want a frank and knowledgeable critique of your book, this is the person to seek out."

– Barbara Miller, Romance Writer and Seton Hill Writing Popular Fiction Mentor

"Julie Holderman delivers a critique designed to enable a writer to examine their work from a structural point of view. She understands setting, building characters, pacing, and so much more. She delivers critiques analytically and with kindness, because she is truly interested in helping writing partners achieve a deeper level of skill that will result in delighting readers."

– R. Schlumpberger, Science Fiction Writer

"I’ve been in the publishing industry for 20+ years as a genre fiction book critic and have worked with hundreds of publishers, editors, publicists, and writers. I was impressed with Julie's writing ability, but it was other attributes that really struck me, namely her overall knowledge of genre fiction and her adept and insightful ability to critique and edit others' work."

– Paul Allen, Reviewer for Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus

English (US)
Action & Adventure
Epic Fantasy
Historical Fiction
LGBTQ (Fiction)
Science Fiction
Urban Fantasy
Young Adult Fantasy


  • Admission to Viable Paradise, a competitive writing workshop, 2019
  • Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest Winner, 2017

Work experience

Personal Assistant

Tamora Pierce LLC
January, 2014 – Present (about 7 years)

•Assisted with story development and manuscript proofreading/copy edits
• Wrote professional correspondence and handled social media accounts
• Planned, scheduled, booked, and tracked travel and complex projects
• Juggled multiple and frequently changing deadlines in a variety of areas

Developmental Editor

January, 2014 – Present (about 7 years)

• Assisted with worldbuilding and character background development
• Vetted dialogue, analyzed story arcs, corrected pacing, and advised regarding
theme and tone
• Rewrote or reorganized professional presentation material

Coordinating Author

Penguin Random House Children's Books
August, 2009 – October, 2017 (about 8 years)

• Organized disparate material into a cohesive story for submission to Penguin
Random House editors
• Ensured timely delivery of material and offered initial editorial commentary

Portfolio (5 selected works)

Tortall: A Spy's Guide

Pierce, Tamora, Holderman, Julie, Liebe, Timothy, Messinger, Megan

Julie has 5 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Joshua Harris
Julie is exactly what I needed in my book writing process. She is an amazing backboard for ideas and a great set of second eyes. Without her I think my book would fall short and it is now on it's way to being a well rounded story. Professional and experienced, with a willingness to work with you. She will be my choice on every book I write.

Joshua Harris, January 2021

Sara McManus
Working with Julie has been incredibly helpful. She dug into my manuscript with honest feedback and great suggestions. I highly recommend her work.

Sara McManus, December 2020

Larry LaTourette
Julie was a total professional! Her editorial assessment was thorough and very well thought-out. She gave advice that was specific, direct, and made an immediate improvement on my project. Well worth seeking out!

Larry LaTourette, October 2020

Shelly Page
Julie is excellent and the editor you need in your corner. She provided insightful, clear feedback on my manuscript and gave suggestions on how to move forward. She has an eye for finding ways to revise and tighten while staying true to the story. She is also communicative and responsive.

Shelly Page, June 2020

Shriyaa Narayanan
Julie was amazing to work with! She gave an in-depth analysis on my story and it was great!

Shriyaa Narayanan, June 2020

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