Laura Cifelli

Laura Cifelli – Editor

After 20 years editing romance for NYC publishing houses I now focus on the best part of the job: authors and their books!


I came to publishing as an ardent fan of romance novels and felt like the luckiest person alive when I was hired as an editor. I spent many years working in New York as an acquiring editor specializing in romance in all its varied forms. I have received awards (National Readers Choice, RITA) for editing and countless of the books I acquired and edited went on to become bestsellers on the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists.

I earned an MS 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. I moved to Dell Books where I edited romances by such wonderful authors as Joan Johnston, Marsha Canham, and Stephanie Mittman and I established the “Dell Diamond Debut” program that launched the careers of Pamela Britton and Elizabeth Boyle. I went to HarperCollins where I published books from Kinley MacGregor (AKA Sherrilyn Kenyon), Pamela Morsi, and Kathleen Gilles Seidel (to name a few!). I spent 10 years at NAL/Penguin where for several years I ran the Signet Regency program and also published 2 to 3 romances a month including books from Katie MacAlister, JoAnn Ross, Karen Rose, Virginia Henley and Bertrice Small. I have worked on every kind of romance and women's fiction: straight contemporary romance, romantic suspense, romantic comedies, historical romance, historical romantic suspense, and all kinds of paranormal and fantasy romances--vampires, dragons, urban fantasy, steam-punk, fairies, witches, and more...

As a freelancer I have enjoyed the luxury of being able to focus on the most fun part of an editor's job: working with authors on their novels. From 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.

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

"Laura 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

Contemporary Romance Fantasy Historical Fiction Historical Romance Paranormal Romance Romantic Comedy Romantic Suspense Time Travel Romance
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (UK) English (US)
  • Multiple RITA awards for editing
  • M.A. in publishing studies from NYU

Work experience


Apr, 2014 — Present

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

New American Library/Signet, Penguin Group USA

Aug, 2001 — Jan, 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.

iPublish (Time Warner Book Group)

Jan, 2000 — Dec, 2001 (almost 2 years)

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


Jul, 1997 — Sep, 1999 (about 2 years)

Acquisitions editor for romance and women's commercial fiction.

Bantam Doubleday Dell

Sep, 1994 — Jun, 1997 (over 2 years)

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

Richard Curtis Associates

Feb, 1992 — Sep, 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!


White Heat

Jill Shalvis


MacAlister, Katie

Bridge to Yesterday

Mittman, Stephanie

If Only in My Dreams

Markham, Wendy

The Baltimore

Rose, Karen

Laura has 13 reviews





Charlet W.

Charlet W.

Feb, 2024

I feel so lucky that I have found Laura when I thought I should just give up this novel writing endeavor. She got back to me on time and with thoughtful feedbacks which I needed and was hoping for. Her work has surpassed my expectation for certain, highly recommend.
elizabeth M.

elizabeth M.

Oct, 2023

Choosing an editor is always nerve-racking. I am so pleased with Laura! She was so incredibly helpful with everything!
Neil C.

Neil C.

Jul, 2023

Laura was an outstanding help. Her skills are obvious, her experience and knowledge of the field were helpful and her work was timely. I enjoyed working together with her and would do so again without hesitation.
Laurel G.

Laurel G.

Feb, 2023

I used Laura for an Editorial Assessment and I really enjoyed working with her. She gave me quality feedback about my characters and story line and she helped me work through some changes that will make my novel better. I am so excited to utilize her comments and suggestions to help take my story to the next level. I look forward to working with her again and would highly recommend her services.
Deanna D.

Deanna D.

Sep, 2022

Working with Laura was lovely! She had amazing notes for my story and brought a fresh perspective to my fantasy romance. I'm much more confident in the direction the book is taking now, and she has been nothing but helpful throughout the entire process. I would definitely recommend working with her to shape up your story!

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