Laura Cifelli

Laura Cifelli - Editor

Metuchen, NJ, USA

With years of experience editing commercial fiction at NYC publishing houses I now focus on the best parts the job: authors and their books!

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I spent many years working in New York as an acquiring editor specializing in commercial women's fiction. My main focus was always Romance in all its varied forms.

I came to publishing as an ardent fan of romance novels and was absolutely the luckiest person alive when I was hired as an editor. I earned a Masters degree in publishing studies from NYU and got my first job with Richard Curtis Associates, a literary agency that specialized in commercial fiction and where I worked with authors of fantasy and romance. Then I moved to Dell Books where I edited romances by such wonderful authors as Joan Johnston, Marsha Canham, and Stephanie Mittman and I established a debut romance program (Dell Diamond Debuts) that launched the careers of Pamela Britton and Elizabeth Boyle. I went to HarperCollins' paperback division where I published books from Kinley MacGregor (AKA Sherrilyn Kenyon), Pamela Morsi and Kathleen Gilles Seidel (to name just a few!). And then I joined NAL/Penguin where I spent 10 years editing every kind of romance novel. I ran the Signet Regency program for several years (with authors such as Sophia Nash and Barbara Metzger) and I published 2 to 3 other romances a month including books from Katie MacAlister, JoAnn Ross, Karen Rose, Carla Cassidy, Virginia Henley and Bertrice Small. I have worked on every kind of romance and women's fiction imaginable: straight contemporary romance, romantic suspense, romantic comedies, historical romance (and straight historical fiction without romance), historical romantic suspense, and all kinds of paranormal and fantasy romances--vampires, dragons, urban fantasy, steam-punk, fairies, witches, and more...

As a freelance editor (LCS Editorial Services) I have enjoyed the real luxury of being able to do just the most fun part of an editor's job: working with authors on their novels. Editing final manuscripts, collaborating with an author to help map out a new series, or helping an author who is struggling with a story that seems to have taken a wrong turn. Freelance editing is the most rewarding work I've done as an editor.

Here's what some authors have said about working with me:

"An astonishingly gifted editor, I loved every minute I worked with her." -- Sherrilyn Kenyon, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Laura Cifelli is a wonderful editor who tackles projects with insight, knowledge of the genre, wit, and an unerring eye. She has been instrumental in making me a better writer, and I consider her work on my books not a luxury, but a necessity. She is, hands down, the best editor I've ever had, and I am always thrilled to work with her." -- Katie MacAlister, New York Times bestselling author

"I’ve had quite a few editors in my writing career, both with publishing houses and freelance, and Laura is unquestionably the best of them. I can’t recommend her highly enough. She has a keen editorial eye, her reports are thorough, and her suggestions are spot on. I don’t ever want to publish a book without her! She’s outstanding." -- Emily Larkin, USA Today bestselling author

English (US)
Contemporary Romance
Historical Fiction
Historical Romance
Paranormal Romance
Romantic Comedy
Romantic Suspense
Time Travel Romance


  • M.A. in publishing studies from NYU


  • Multiple RITA awards for editing

Work experience


April, 2014 – Present (about 8 years)

Freelance editor offering a range of editorial services to help authors and their novels.

Senior Editor

New American Library/Signet, Penguin Group USA
August, 2001 – January, 2011 (over 9 years)

Acquisitions editor for women’s fiction and romance. I ran the Signet Regency romance line for several years and was also responsible for 2-3 books per month, from acquisition to publication including working with art, sales, publicity, and marketing departments.

Senior editor

iPublish (Time Warner Book Group)
January, 2000 – December, 2001 (almost 2 years)

Responsible for the Romance community section of the iPublish website and for helping mine the submissions for ebook publication.

Senior Editor

July, 1997 – September, 1999 (about 2 years)

Acquisitions editor for romance and women's commercial fiction.

Associate editor

Bantam Doubleday Dell
September, 1994 – June, 1997 (over 2 years)

Edited historical and contemporary romance and developed the Dell Diamond Debut program to launch new romance writers.

Associate Agent

Richard Curtis Associates
February, 1992 – September, 1994 (over 2 years)

Associate agent and general office assistant, I spent 2 years learning everything Richard Curtis would teach me—which was a lot!

Portfolio (10 selected works)

The Baltimore

Rose, Karen

Take it Like a Mom: A Novel

Stiles, Stephanie

Laura has 7 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Dee G
This was the first time hiring a developmental editor and Laura surpassed my already high expectations. Her expertise and background really shows through in her comments, and her feedback was thorough and extensive. She also offers a phone call which was crucial in allowing me to ask further questions and work through some issues with the MS. I could not recommend her highly enough!

Dee G, November 2021

Leanne Bilous
All of Laura's notes were well thought out and direct. I loved being able to go through my story with her feed back as a guideline. For a novice like me, this has been invaluable.

Leanne Bilous, October 2021

Val N
Laura was great to work with. She was very detailed and went above and beyond to help me take my book to the next level. Her feedback was incredibly valuable. She was very professional and quick at responding. I would highly recommend her.

Val N, August 2021

Jolie Swisher
Laura is a wonderful editor and person! Her edits were extremely helpful and she offered suggestions that helped bring my book to the next level. And, she was kind and supportive of my work. I absolutely loved working with her.

Jolie Swisher, August 2021

Leanne Bilous
Laura was super helpful to a new author like myself. She provided comprehensive feedback, and a step by step process for me to follow as I revised.

Leanne Bilous, July 2021

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