Katherine Wessbecher

Katherine Wessbecher - Editor

Groton, CT, USA

Editor of children’s, MG, and YA novels with 6 years’ experience at Penguin. I’m here to help with every stage of the writing process!

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Overview

I'm an editor of children's, middle grade, and young adult books with six years' experience at one of the Big 5 publishers in New York City.

In the course of my career, I’ve worked books that have been bestsellers, earned starred reviews, or been Junior Library Guild selections. I’ve collaborated with both veteran authors and debuts. My most recent full-time position was as the science and technology editor for an academic review journal, where I managed a team of faculty reviewers to publish over 100 book reviews each month - a role that demanded flexibility, relentless attention to detail, and a knack for working with authors of different stripes.

Being a military spouse means a life frequently on the move, but as an editorial consultant I'm able to continue my role in making books for the youngest generation. I love working with authors and publishers who are passionate about cultivating a love of reading in the youngest generation—so if that sounds like you, let’s team up!

Writing books is a collaborative process, and my job is to help you make your story the best it can be. I bring a practiced editor’s eye to your work, identifying a manuscript’s strengths and zeroing in on what needs improvement. Together we’ll find creative solutions and work through your project’s sticky spots. Wherever you are in the process, I’m excited to help you weave the threads of your story into a vibrant, polished work of art.
Languages
English (UK)
English (US)
Fiction
Children's - Middle Grade
Children's - Picture Books
Young Adult & Teen

Certifications

  • Graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course
  • Graduate certificate in copyediting and proofreading from NYU

Work experience

Freelance Editor

Self-employed
December, 2017 – Present (almost 2 years)

I provide personalized editorial consulting for rough drafts, manuscripts, and copyediting services. I specialize in children's, middle grade, and young adult fiction.

Science and Technology Editor

Choice Reviews
January, 2018 – June, 2019 (over 1 year)

As an editor for an academic review journal from the American Library Association, I was responsible Choice's science and technology section - publishing over 120 reviews each month as well as feature essays, blog content, and more.

Associate Editor

Putnam Books for Young Readers (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
March, 2013 – August, 2017 (over 4 years)

As an associate editor at Putnam, I acquired and developed a list of middle grade and young adult novels, seeking out compelling stories and new voices and managing projects from acquisition to publication. I negotiated contracts, collaborated with award-winning authors to transform first drafts into finished works, championed projects to in-house sales and marketing teams, created internal sales sheets and consumer-facing copy, and mustered resources and strategies for successful publication.

Portfolio (13 selected works)

Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue

Jeff Seymour

From debut author Jeff Seymour and bestselling illustrator Brett Helquist (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events) comes this breathtaking fantasy adventure, starring an extraordinary new heroine and set in an unforgettable world where ships can fly.It takes a very special crew to keep the cloudship Orion running, and no one knows that better than Nadya Skylung, who tends the cloud ga... read more

From debut author Jeff Seymour and bestselling illustrator Brett Helquist (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events) comes this breathtaking fantasy adventure, starring an extraordinary new heroine and set in an unforgettable world where ships can fly.It takes a very special crew to keep the cloudship Orion running, and no one knows that better than Nadya Skylung, who tends the cloud ga... read more

Nadya Skylung and the Masked Kidnapper

Jeff Seymour

In this middle-grade sequel to Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue, author Jeff Seymour and bestselling illustrator Brett Helquist deliver another breathtaking fantasy adventure.Nadya Skylung paid a high price when she defeated the pirates on the cloudship Remora: She lost her leg. But has she lost her nerve too? When Nadya and the rest of the crew of the cloudship Orion reach the port of F... read more

In this middle-grade sequel to Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue, author Jeff Seymour and bestselling illustrator Brett Helquist deliver another breathtaking fantasy adventure.Nadya Skylung paid a high price when she defeated the pirates on the cloudship Remora: She lost her leg. But has she lost her nerve too? When Nadya and the rest of the crew of the cloudship Orion reach the port of F... read more

A Problematic Paradox

Eliot Sappingfield

Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in this wild, warm-hearted, and hilarious sci-fi debut about a brainy young girl who is recruited for a very special boarding school."It's like Harry Potter, but with science instead of magic. Nikola is exactly the smart female protagonist that the sci-fi genre needs." --HelloGigglesNikola Kross has given up on living in harmon... read more

Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in this wild, warm-hearted, and hilarious sci-fi debut about a brainy young girl who is recruited for a very special boarding school."It's like Harry Potter, but with science instead of magic. Nikola is exactly the smart female protagonist that the sci-fi genre needs." --HelloGigglesNikola Kross has given up on living in harmon... read more

The Conspiracy of Us

Maggie Hall

A fast-paced international escapade, laced with adrenaline, glamour, and romance--perfect for fans of Ally CarterAvery West's newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want ... read more

A fast-paced international escapade, laced with adrenaline, glamour, and romance--perfect for fans of Ally CarterAvery West's newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want ... read more

Map of Fates (CONSPIRACY OF US Book 2)

Maggie Hall

“A Da Vinci Code–style thriller for teens? Yes please.”—TeenVogue.comTwo weeks. That’s how long it took for Avery West’s ordinary life to change forever. In two weeks, she discovered she was heiress to a powerful secret society known as the Circle, learned her mother was taken hostage by the Circle’s enemies, and fell for a boy she's not allowed to love, just as she found out another was her u... read more

“A Da Vinci Code–style thriller for teens? Yes please.”—TeenVogue.comTwo weeks. That’s how long it took for Avery West’s ordinary life to change forever. In two weeks, she discovered she was heiress to a powerful secret society known as the Circle, learned her mother was taken hostage by the Circle’s enemies, and fell for a boy she's not allowed to love, just as she found out another was her u... read more

The Ends of the World (CONSPIRACY OF US Book 3)

Maggie Hall

The thrilling conclusion to the romantic adventure series that TeenVogue.com calls, a "Da Vinci Code-style thriller for teens."Power balances on a knife's edge. Destiny is uncertain. And love is the most terrifying thing of all. The Circle of Twelve is not who Avery though they were. Neither is Avery.Her mother is dead. Betrayal and attraction and history have tangled the strings that bind her... read more

The thrilling conclusion to the romantic adventure series that TeenVogue.com calls, a "Da Vinci Code-style thriller for teens."Power balances on a knife's edge. Destiny is uncertain. And love is the most terrifying thing of all. The Circle of Twelve is not who Avery though they were. Neither is Avery.Her mother is dead. Betrayal and attraction and history have tangled the strings that bind her... read more

The Legend of Greg (An Epic Series of Failures Book 1)

Chris Rylander

A boy discovers his destiny could totally stink in this riotously funny fantasy-adventureRisk-averse Greg Belmont is content with being ordinary. He's got a friend--that's right, just one--at his fancy prep school, and a pretty cool dad (even if he is obsessed with organic soaps that smell like a mix of salted pork and Icelandic bog). The problem is, Greg isn't ordinary . . . he's actually an ... read more

A boy discovers his destiny could totally stink in this riotously funny fantasy-adventureRisk-averse Greg Belmont is content with being ordinary. He's got a friend--that's right, just one--at his fancy prep school, and a pretty cool dad (even if he is obsessed with organic soaps that smell like a mix of salted pork and Icelandic bog). The problem is, Greg isn't ordinary . . . he's actually an ... read more

The Matchstick Castle

Keir Graff

A wild and whimsical adventure story, perfect for fans of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s LibraryBrian can think of a few places he'd rather spend his summer than with his aunt and uncle in Boring, Illinois. Jail, for example. Or an earplug factory. Anything would be better than doing summer school on a computer while his scientist dad is stationed at the South Pole. Boring lives up to its name u... read more

A wild and whimsical adventure story, perfect for fans of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s LibraryBrian can think of a few places he'd rather spend his summer than with his aunt and uncle in Boring, Illinois. Jail, for example. Or an earplug factory. Anything would be better than doing summer school on a computer while his scientist dad is stationed at the South Pole. Boring lives up to its name u... read more

The Phantom Tower

Keir Graff

Twin brothers discover their new home is also a portal--for an hour a day--to a parallel dimension in this rollicking middle-grade adventure, perfect for fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society Colm and Mal are twins so identical their own mom can't tell them apart, but they're different in just about every other way. Mal's a pragmatist while Colm's a dreamer, and they bicker and battle consta... read more

Twin brothers discover their new home is also a portal--for an hour a day--to a parallel dimension in this rollicking middle-grade adventure, perfect for fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society Colm and Mal are twins so identical their own mom can't tell them apart, but they're different in just about every other way. Mal's a pragmatist while Colm's a dreamer, and they bicker and battle consta... read more

Blood and Salt (A Blood and Salt Novel Book 1)

Kim Liggett

The last words Ash hears her mother say are, “When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.” Determined to find her mother when she disappears, Ash follows her to Quivara, Kansas, the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost t... read more

The last words Ash hears her mother say are, “When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.” Determined to find her mother when she disappears, Ash follows her to Quivara, Kansas, the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost t... read more

Rebel Belle

Rachel Hawkins

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts. Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds... read more

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts. Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds... read more

Lady Renegades: A Rebel Belle Novel

Rachel Hawkins

From the New York Times bestselling author of Hex Hall comes the sparkling finale in the beloved Rebel Belle series. Just as Harper Price starts coming to terms with her role as David Stark's battle-ready Paladin, protector, and girlfriend—her world goes crazy all over again. Overwhelmed by his Oracle powers, David flees Pine Grove and starts turning teenaged girls into Paladins—and these youn... read more

From the New York Times bestselling author of Hex Hall comes the sparkling finale in the beloved Rebel Belle series. Just as Harper Price starts coming to terms with her role as David Stark's battle-ready Paladin, protector, and girlfriend—her world goes crazy all over again. Overwhelmed by his Oracle powers, David flees Pine Grove and starts turning teenaged girls into Paladins—and these youn... read more

Miss Mayhem: A Rebel Belle Novel

Rachel Hawkins

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins is sassier than ever in this page-turning follow up to Rebel Belle, perfect for fans of Buffy and Veronica Mars. Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the i... read more

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins is sassier than ever in this page-turning follow up to Rebel Belle, perfect for fans of Buffy and Veronica Mars. Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the i... read more

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Liz Kossnar

I currently acquire and edit picture books, middle grade, and teen novels and non-fiction at Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Ellen Dreyer

Award-winning children's book editor helps you develop your ideas and voice into a finished book. Effective query letters and proposals too.

Maplewood, NJ, USA

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