Larissa Melo Pienkowski

Larissa Melo Pienkowski - Editor

Boston, MA, USA

Professional book editor and sensitivity reader specializing in #OwnVoices literary fiction, YA, middle-grade, romance, and memoir.

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Overview

Hello and welcome! I am a freelance editor specializing in literary, new adult, young adult, and middle-grade fiction and nonfiction. As the daughter of Brazilian and Polish immigrants, a proud member of #LatinxinPub, and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I am especially passionate about editing books that feature diverse characters and experiences authentically. My experience as a former social worker informs much of my outlook on illuminating different experiences with compassion, reverence, and integrity.

Across all genres, I offer authors editorial assessments, developmental editing, line editing, copy editing, and proofreading. I can also provide sensitivity reading for certain identities and experiences. After I receive your query, I will work with you to learn more about your editorial needs and establish whether I will be a good fit for your work.

I have years of experience acquiring, editing, proofreading, project managing, and even publicizing titles across various genres. I hold a Master's in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College and a Bachelor's in Social Work and Sociology from Simmons University. I speak Portuguese and Spanish, and anytime I don't have a book in hand, it's usually because I'm learning a new language, traveling the world, or making pottery in my ceramics studio!
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
LGBTQ (non fiction)
Fiction
Coming of Age
Cultural & Ethnic
LGBTQ (Fiction)
Literary Fiction
Middle Grade
Young Adult

Certifications

  • MA in Publishing and Writing, Emerson College
  • BSW in Social Work and Sociology, Simmons University

Awards

  • Bookbuilders of Boston Scholarship Recipient, 2019

Work experience

Assistant Publisher

Dottir Press
August, 2018 – Present (almost 2 years)

Freelance Editor

Salt & Sage Books
May, 2020 – Present (2 months)

Freelance Editor

Tessera Editorial
January, 2020 – Present (6 months)

Freelance Editor

Self-employed
May, 2015 – Present (about 5 years)

Portfolio (18 selected works)

Pass with Care

Cooper Lee Bombardier

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.

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.

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Lauren McLaughlin

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 behind closed doors. Town darling and star athlete Tarkin Shaw reveals himself to be a predator who has used his privilege to prey upon... read more

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 behind closed doors. Town darling and star athlete Tarkin Shaw reveals himself to be a predator who has used his privilege to prey upon... read more

The Hill

Bryan, Ali

Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness (Ordinary Terrible Things)

Anastasia Higginbotham

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 about the state of race in America today.” ―Elizabeth Bird, librarian NAMED ONE OF SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL'S BEST BOOKS OF 2018 “A much-n... 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 about the state of race in America today.” ―Elizabeth Bird, librarian NAMED ONE OF SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL'S BEST BOOKS OF 2018 “A much-n... read more

Astro Baby

Michelle Tea

ASTRO BABY is for newborns who like to gaze at bright colors, toddlers who are fascinated by images of babies and animals, older children able to comprehend the concepts put forth by astrology, and grown-ups who are obsessed with their star signs. Ridiculously charming, Astro Baby depicts a world where everyone has special things that make them happy and unique. Actual astrological references ... read more

ASTRO BABY is for newborns who like to gaze at bright colors, toddlers who are fascinated by images of babies and animals, older children able to comprehend the concepts put forth by astrology, and grown-ups who are obsessed with their star signs. Ridiculously charming, Astro Baby depicts a world where everyone has special things that make them happy and unique. Actual astrological references ... read more

The Nightlife of Jacuzzi Gaskett

Brontez Purnell

The first children’s book from multi-genre artist Brontez Purnell, a 2018 winner of the Whiting Award, sweetly portrays a common but rarely narrated childhood experience―having a single parent and taking care of a younger sibling. With illustrations by Brooklyn artist Elise R. Peterson, The Nightlife of Jacuzzi Gaskett recounts 11-year-old Jacuzzi’s evening activities while he cares for his ba... read more

The first children’s book from multi-genre artist Brontez Purnell, a 2018 winner of the Whiting Award, sweetly portrays a common but rarely narrated childhood experience―having a single parent and taking care of a younger sibling. With illustrations by Brooklyn artist Elise R. Peterson, The Nightlife of Jacuzzi Gaskett recounts 11-year-old Jacuzzi’s evening activities while he cares for his ba... read more

Now That We're Men: A Play and True Life Accounts of Boys, Sex & Power

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 insightful, this play and guidebook razes rape culture, interrogates traditional notions of masculinity, and breeds accountability―withou... 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 insightful, this play and guidebook razes rape culture, interrogates traditional notions of masculinity, and breeds accountability―withou... read more

Scorpio: Berry Intense (Astro Pals)

Michelle Tea

Dealing with jealousy and competitiveness plays out in a funny and perceptive Astro Pals take on being a Scorpio.Scorpio’s been holding a grudge ever since Aquarius called them “too intense.” Now, not only are they competing in the same Annual Autumn Schmoogleberry Pie Baking Contest, it looks like they’re competing for the same best friend, too! Will Scorpio defeat this best friend-stealer, o... read more

Dealing with jealousy and competitiveness plays out in a funny and perceptive Astro Pals take on being a Scorpio.Scorpio’s been holding a grudge ever since Aquarius called them “too intense.” Now, not only are they competing in the same Annual Autumn Schmoogleberry Pie Baking Contest, it looks like they’re competing for the same best friend, too! Will Scorpio defeat this best friend-stealer, o... read more

What If My Dog Had Thumbs?

Mike Perry

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 soaring.What would it be like if our narrator’s dog had thumbs? Would she still be lots of fun, or would she sometimes feel glum? Writt... 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 soaring.What would it be like if our narrator’s dog had thumbs? Would she still be lots of fun, or would she sometimes feel glum? Writt... read more

Wakeful Night: A Structured Reflection On Loss and Illumination

Nicole Skibola

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. Echoing the urgency of diagnosis and treatment were the messages from everyone to move on, be grateful, resettle into the person she w... 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. Echoing the urgency of diagnosis and treatment were the messages from everyone to move on, be grateful, resettle into the person she w... read more

Ready, Set, Go!: Sports of All Sorts

Cortright, Celeste, Engel, Christiane

Dance Like a Leaf

Irving, A. J., Navarro, Claudia

A Place to Stay: A Shelter Story

Gunti, Erin, Meza, Esteli

Winter's Orbit

Maxwell, Everina

IntersectionAllies: We Make Room for All

Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, Carolyn Choi

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 disability to language brokering, offering an opportunity to take pride in a personal story and connect to collective struggle for justic... 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 disability to language brokering, offering an opportunity to take pride in a personal story and connect to collective struggle for justic... read more

Banshee

Rachel DeWoskin

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, including having an affair with a student her daughter’s age, ranting at board meetings, and telling her poetry students what she really th... read more

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, including having an affair with a student her daughter’s age, ranting at board meetings, and telling her poetry students what she really th... read more

Larissa has 6 reviews

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

AMANDA MALONEY
I enjoyed working with Larissa, she is a good editor

AMANDA MALONEY, June 2020

Larissa Melo Pienkowski
Thanks for entrusting me with your work, Amanda!

Reply from Larissa Melo Pienkowski


Jennifer Yeakey
Larissa gave a very clear explanation of how my work would be interpreted by the reader. I already knew I had weak points in my work but needed direction. She gave that direction and suggested some writing exercises to hone my skills. As a writer, our work is very clear to us and personal. Larissa explained what needed to be worked on in a way that made me feel inspired to keep working.

Jennifer Yeakey, April 2020

Larissa Melo Pienkowski
Thank you so much for your lovely words, Jennifer! I really enjoyed working with you and hope to do so again in the future.

Reply from Larissa Melo Pienkowski


Cara Cilento
Larissa was nothing short of exceptional. The guidance and input was spot on. I will be using her again!

Cara Cilento, April 2020

Larissa Melo Pienkowski
Thank you so much for the lovely words, Cara! I so appreciate working with you and can't wait to do so again.

Reply from Larissa Melo Pienkowski


Ulysses Garcia
I really enjoyed working with you on making a great query letter for my debut novel! I'm also really glad that you are very passionate about the LGBTQIA+ community and those with disabilities as much as I am! :-)

Ulysses Garcia, March 2020

Larissa Melo Pienkowski
Thank you so much for this lovely review and for entrusting me with your work, Ulysses! I really enjoyed working with you as well!

Reply from Larissa Melo Pienkowski


Sammie Knight
Larissa has really helped me to expand my story and opened my eyes to stylistic and elemental approaches that will help me improve as a writer. I'm grateful for her help and I will continue to work with her on more projects.

Sammie Knight, February 2020

Larissa Melo Pienkowski
Thank you so much, Sam! I appreciate you trusting me with your work.

Reply from Larissa Melo Pienkowski

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