Larissa Melo Pienkowski

Larissa Melo Pienkowski – Editor

Kind, experienced queer Latina editor, sensitivity reader, literary agent. Passionate about adult genre fiction, MG/YA, New Adult, and more!


Hi, authors! As a literary agent,* book editor, and sensitivity reader, I'm thrilled to bring creative insight, an encouraging attitude, and years of expertise to the craft of writing and the overall publishing industry. My experience as a former social worker has informed much of my approach to editing, as I focus on preserving the author's voice and illuminating diverse experiences with compassion, reverence, self-determination, and integrity.

After earning my MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College, I began my publishing career by working with Beacon Press, Barefoot Books, and Dottir Press. I developed years of experience in acquisitions, editorial, production, publicity, and marketing before becoming a literary agent at Jill Grinberg Literary Management.*

For nearly a decade now, I've edited for traditionally published and self-published authors, as well as publishers like Macmillan; St. Martin’s Press; Tor Books; Soho Press; Sourcebooks; Little, Brown; Hub City Press; And Other Stories; Dottir Press; Barefoot Books; and others. I'm passionate about editing across genres and themes, though I do have a soft spot for:

• literary fiction,

• commercial/upmarket/book club fiction,

• romance and rom-coms,

• new adult/coming-of-age fiction,

• light fantasy and magical realism,

• women's fiction,

• horror/cozy mysteries/dark academia,

• and middle-grade and YA fiction.

As the daughter of Brazilian and Polish immigrants, a proud member of #LatinxinPub, and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I am especially excited about working with BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabled, neurodivergent, and other historically marginalized authors to make their writing shine.

Across genres: I offer authors and publishers:

• editorial assessments

• developmental editing

• copyediting

• sensitivity reading for certain identities and experiences

• character assessments

• proofreading

• query letter and synopsis reviews

• narrative nonfiction book proposal reviews

• fully customizable editorial packages designed for your manuscript's particular needs

After I receive your query, I will work with you to learn more about your editorial needs and establish whether I would be a good fit for your work. I offer discounted package rates if you'd like to bundle together more than one editorial service (e.g., booking a developmental edit and copyedit in the same agreement), and I offer all returning clients a 15% discount on future editorial services. I prioritize flexibility when meeting authors’ needs, so please don't hesitate to ask about your options!

*Please note: For ethical reasons, I cannot offer literary representation to anyone with whom I work in a freelance editorial capacity.

Coming of Age Contemporary Fiction Cultural & Ethnic LGBTQ Fiction Literary Fiction Romance Women's Fiction Young Adult
English (US)
  • Bookbuilders of Boston Scholarship Recipient, 2019
  • MA in Publishing and Writing, Emerson College
  • BSW in Social Work and Sociology, Simmons University

Work experience

Jill Grinberg Literary Management

Apr, 2020 — Present


May, 2015 — Present

Hub City Press

Dec, 2020 — Present

Tessera Editorial

Jan, 2020 — Present

Dottir Press

Aug, 2018 — May, 2023 (almost 5 years)




In this funny, lyrical, and piercingly insightful collection of essays and poems, trans writer, artist, and activist Cooper Lee Bombardier explores his experiences of gender and sexuality against the backdrop of early '90s, punk-fueled San Francisco queer culture.
After his separation from his childhood sweetheart Mahi, the headstrong but heartbroken Indo, gets involved with Jasleen, the free-spirited daughter of a wealthy, domineering family. But just as their relationship begins to blossom, an unexpected turn of event... read more
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Lauren M.

At first glance, the sleepy suburb of Jonesville, Massachusetts doesn't seem to have much going on. The teens at Jonesville High are itching for more, ready to escape the confines of suburbia and the cliché of classroom cliques⁠...but there's more to the story... read more

Rachel D.

In Banshee, Samantha Baxter―wife, mother, poetry professor―learns she has breast cancer and then ruins her own life. Tumbling through a catastrophic midlife crisis, she gives herself permission to partake in behaviors she’s observed in her male colleagues, inc... read more
The brainchild of three women-of-color sociologists, IntersectionAllies is a smooth, gleeful entry into intersectional feminism. The nine interconnected characters proudly describe themselves and their backgrounds, involving topics that range from a physical d... read more
Nicole Skibola was 32 and a lawyer working in the New York start-up world when she received a diagnosis for a rare endometrial cancer. That surreal moment marked the beginning of a race to save eggs, to operate, and to mourn the loss of her reproductive organs... read more
Readers who have entertained existential questions about their pets will appreciate the absurd brainstorm. —PUBLISHERS WEEKLYLaugh out loud with Emmy-winning illustrator and author Mike Perry in this silly, whimsical children’s book that will send imaginations... read more
Following up Slut, her explosive 2015 play and guidebook for combating sexism and sexual violence, Katie Cappiello turns her perceptive eyes and ears to the lived experiences of young men as they try on sexuality and masculinity. Compassionate and piercingly i... read more
Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness is a a picture book that invites white children and parents to become curious about racism, accept that it's real, and cultivate justice. “Quite frankly, the first book I’ve seen that provides an honest explanation for kids ... read more

Larissa has 38 reviews





Ashley A.

Ashley A.

Sep, 2023

Larissa was wonderful to work with. Her knowledge, advice, and guidance were exactly what I was looking for. She worked with me to help make my manuscript better, and I am so thankful we worked together.
Larissa M.
Thanks so much, Ashley! It was a pleasure working with you and I hope to do so again in the future.
Marjanna B.

Marjanna B.

Jul, 2023

Larissa did an amazing job with my manuscript. I had always thought of myself as a decent [amateur] editor, and I was amazed at everything she picked up. Her comments were extremely helpful and solidified details, and helped me find loose ends and a couple inconsistencies. She took my work to a whole new level, and I could not be more pleased or grateful.
Larissa M.
Thank you so much, Marjanna! I'm thrilled to hear this. I look forward to hopefully working together again in the future!
rachel I.

rachel I.

Jun, 2023

I'm so impressed by Larissa's literary insight and professionalism. I had not had a developmental edit before, and was simply blown away by her ability to cut right to the heart of both large structural and smaller issues in my novel. It took me a while to get up the nerve to spend the money on having a stranger read my work, but I am so glad I did!
Larissa M.
Thanks so much for your kind words, Rachel! It's been such a pleasure working with you and I hope to do so again soon.
Valerie K.

Valerie K.

Apr, 2023

Larissa provides valuable feedback. She stays on target with deadlines. I value her assistance.
Larissa M.
Thanks, Valerie! I always appreciate working with you and look forward to hopefully doing so again in the future.
Marianela D.

Marianela D.

Apr, 2023

Larissa was a pleasure to work with. Her expertise took my manuscript to the next level. I was pleased to work with her and will continue to do so on this and future projects.
Larissa M.
Thank you so much, Mari! It's been such a pleasure to work with you and I'm so excited to continue doing so.

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