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Kate O'Donnell

Kate O'Donnell - Editor

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

I am a freelance editor, mostly of fiction. I love everything from assessments and development work to intense revoicing copy-edits.

Overview

I've been an editor since 2006, initially for HarperCollins Publishers Australia. In 2010 I went freelance, and now edit both contracted and self-publishing authors, providing development support and structural and copy-edits. I work for HarperCollins Publishers, Random House Australia, Allen & Unwin, Simon & Schuster, Momentum Books, Magabala Books and Fremantle Press, and as a manuscript assessor for the New South Wales Writers’ Centre.


In all projects I work to maximise the reader’s engagement with a story without trespassing on the writer’s intention. Author care is a massive part of what I do: there's no point engaging in someone else's creative process unless you bring empathy and consideration to the table.

Services
Languages
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (NZ) English (UK) English (US)
Fiction
Adventure Children's Picture Books Crime & Mystery Fantasy Historical Fiction LGBTQ Literature Plays & Screenplays Romance Science Fiction Short Story Thriller Women's Fiction Young Adult & Teen

Certifications

  • MA Professional Writing UTS 
  • BA Engl Lit, Theatre/Film, Music, UNSW
  • BA Musical Theatre, WAAPA, ECU

Work experience

Freelance editor

Line Creative Services

November, 2010 – Present (about 6 years)

I run my own editorial practice, comprising work with publishing companies and authors. Most of my work is on fiction of all kinds. I offer reader's reports (manuscript assessments), structural edits, copy-edits and ongoing author mentorship or development support. In every job I do the fee includes a post-delivery debrief so that the author can ask questions about the edit or report; I think such a dialogue allows for more discovery and inspiration than a report alone.

Editor/Senior editor

HarperCollinsPublishers Australia

March, 2005 – July, 2010 (over 5 years)

After a year as fiction editorial assistant, providing administrative and editorial support to the fiction publisher, I was made editor, and then senior editor. My role then included project managing and editing both fiction and non-fiction, and since leaving I have maintained my relationships with several HCP authors, continuing to edit their fiction projects.

Portfolio (6 selected works)

To Love a Sunburnt Country (The Matilda Saga)

Jackie French

Heartfelt, powerful and unforgettable. This extraordinary novel is set during WW2 and comes from one of Australia's best-loved storytellers. As the Japanese invasion rips war-torn Malaya, Nancy dreams of Australia ... and a young man called Michael. Nancy has driven cattle a thousand miles into Queensland and laughed at the disapproval of colonial memsahibs. But even Nancy of the Overflow cann... read more

Heartfelt, powerful and unforgettable. This extraordinary novel is set during WW2 and comes from one of Australia's best-loved storytellers. As the Japanese invasion rips war-torn Malaya, Nancy dreams of Australia ... and a young man called Michael. Nancy has driven cattle a thousand miles into Queensland and laughed at the disapproval of colonial memsahibs. But even Nancy of the Overflow cann... read more

The Road to Gundagai (The Matilda Saga)

Jackie French

The third title in the Matilda saga, which began with A WALTZ FOR MATILDA and followed with THE GIRL FROM SNOWY RIVER A true cross-over, that becomes a terrific holiday read for our literary adult market A page-turning, heart-warming family saga set in the Snowy Mountains during the Depression in the 1930s. Ages:11 years+ Blue Laurence has escaped the prison of her aunt's mansion to join the M... read more

The third title in the Matilda saga, which began with A WALTZ FOR MATILDA and followed with THE GIRL FROM SNOWY RIVER A true cross-over, that becomes a terrific holiday read for our literary adult market A page-turning, heart-warming family saga set in the Snowy Mountains during the Depression in the 1930s. Ages:11 years+ Blue Laurence has escaped the prison of her aunt's mansion to join the M... read more

Assassin (Makedde Vanderwall)

Tara Moss

'A fantastic end to a truly thrilling series' Woman's Day How far would you go for revenge? For survival? Former model turned forensic psychologist and PI Makedde Vanderwall is missing, presumed dead in Paris. By hiring a hit man to kill her, the powerful and corrupt Cavanagh family aimed to silence her for good. But after narrowly escaping death, Mak has taken over her would-be killer's world... read more

'A fantastic end to a truly thrilling series' Woman's Day How far would you go for revenge? For survival? Former model turned forensic psychologist and PI Makedde Vanderwall is missing, presumed dead in Paris. By hiring a hit man to kill her, the powerful and corrupt Cavanagh family aimed to silence her for good. But after narrowly escaping death, Mak has taken over her would-be killer's world... read more

Chasing the Light: A Novel of Antarctica

Jesse Blackadder

A fictional recounting of the little-known true story of the first woman to ever set foot on Antarctica, and her extraordinary fight to get there. A fictional recounting of the little-known true story of the first woman to ever set foot on Antarctica, and her extraordinary fight to get there. It's the early 1930s. Antarctic open-sea whaling is booming and a territorial race for the mysterious ... read more

A fictional recounting of the little-known true story of the first woman to ever set foot on Antarctica, and her extraordinary fight to get there. A fictional recounting of the little-known true story of the first woman to ever set foot on Antarctica, and her extraordinary fight to get there. It's the early 1930s. Antarctic open-sea whaling is booming and a territorial race for the mysterious ... read more

Lioness

Matt Stanton

What if the only way to save your daughter was to betray her? Rachel Mara has never had a gun pointed at her before. What began as an Italian holiday with her daughter, Zoe, has turned into a hostage crisis with terrifying implications. Among the hostages is an enigmatic American named John Clay. He says he can get Rachel and Zoe out, but the three of them will have to break away from the othe... read more

What if the only way to save your daughter was to betray her? Rachel Mara has never had a gun pointed at her before. What began as an Italian holiday with her daughter, Zoe, has turned into a hostage crisis with terrifying implications. Among the hostages is an enigmatic American named John Clay. He says he can get Rachel and Zoe out, but the three of them will have to break away from the othe... read more

Gone Fishing

Susan Duncan

Bestselling Australian author Susan Duncan is famous for making a sea change from a 25-year career in media, which included being editor of two of Australia's top women's magazines, to living in her own patch of paradise in Pittwater. Gone Fishing is Susan's latest novel and is set in tranquil Cook's Basin.For bargeman Sam Scully, life in Cook's Basin is nothing short of paradise. A wonderland... read more

Bestselling Australian author Susan Duncan is famous for making a sea change from a 25-year career in media, which included being editor of two of Australia's top women's magazines, to living in her own patch of paradise in Pittwater. Gone Fishing is Susan's latest novel and is set in tranquil Cook's Basin.For bargeman Sam Scully, life in Cook's Basin is nothing short of paradise. A wonderland... read more

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