Laurie Chittenden

Laurie Chittenden – Editor

Editor of National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalists and bestselling authors at Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Macmillan.


I see working together as much about teaching as I do editing. I work closely with my authors, just as I would in-house at one of the big five publishers or if you were taking my graduate course in manuscript editing at NYU (New York University), providing concise, clear direction so you can revise your manuscript and take your next steps armed with the knowledge to succeed in a highly competitive industry. As a former Executive Acquisitions Editor and Agent with over 25 years experience editing and positioning award-winning and bestselling fiction and nonfiction for Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, and Macmillan I will use my insider knowledge to help you develop your manuscript, identify the market, and create an effective pitch that will help your book stand out. If you have a story to tell I can provide the direction that will help you revise and market your manuscript whether to literary agents, publishers, or book buyers.

I have edited and acquired authors who have been winners or finalists of the National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize, Good Reads Best Fiction, Independent Booksellers Association Benjamin Franklin Award, Hurston Wright Legacy Award, The American Book Award, NAACP Image Award, National Outdoor Book Award, Gold Medal Florida Book Award, Colorado Book Award, as well as Historical Novel Society, Washington Post and New York Times best-of lists, Reese Witherspoon Book Club picks, Oprah Bookclub picks, Good Morning America Bookclub picks, Richard and Judy Bookclub picks, and multiple New York Times and international bestsellers

Areas of expertise include literary fiction, commercial fiction, historical fiction, African-American fiction, romance, young adult and middle grade fiction, memoir, narrative nonfiction, history, general science, diet, exercise, how-to, spirituality, pet books and parenting.

Biographies & Memoirs Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Historical Fiction Literary Fiction Middle Grade Romance Women's Fiction Young Adult
English (US)
  • New York University Adjunct Professor Manuscript Editing
  • Radcliffe Publishing Course
  • BA in English and History, College of William & Mary
  • Women's Media Group member

Work experience


Nov, 2017 — Present

St. Martin’s Press a division of Macmillan, USA

May, 2014 — Nov, 2017 (over 3 years)

Hyperion, a division of ABC/Disney

Sep, 2011 — Oct, 2012 (about 1 year)

HarperCollins, a division of Newscorp

May, 2006 — Sep, 2011 (over 5 years)

Dutton, a division of Penguin Group USA, Pearson

Feb, 2000 — May, 2006 (about 6 years)

Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS

Sep, 1994 — Feb, 2000 (over 5 years)

Hyperion, a division of the Walt Disney Comapny

Aug, 1993 — Sep, 1994 (about 1 year)

Rizzoli Books

May, 1989 — May, 1993 (about 4 years)


A beautiful and provocative love story between two unlikely people and the hard-won relationship that elevates them above the Midwestern meth lab backdrop of their lives.As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents... read more
"[The Summer I Met Jack] offers an alternate Kennedy family history that will leave readers wondering whether America knew the real JFK at all." --Kirkus ReviewsNew York Times bestselling author imagines the affair between John F. Kennedy and Alicia Corning Cl... read more
“Funny, touching, tragic….A remarkable tale of corruption, child trafficking and civil war in a far away land—and one man’s extraordinary quest to reunite lost Nepalese children with their parents.”—Neil White, author of In the Sanctuary of OutcastsLittle Prin... read more
"Splendid—a distinctive clear-eyed perspective on a fresh corner of the Civil War." —Charles Frazier, New York Times bestselling author of Cold Mountain"A wise and timely book." —Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of SerenaRooted in the history of the... read more
The year is 1527. The great portraitist Hans Holbein, who has fled the reformation in Europe, is making his first trip to England under commission to Sir Thomas More. In the course of six years, Holbein will become a close friend to the More family and paint t... read more
"A remarkable story of a young man's loss of everything he deemed important, and his ultimate discovery that redemption can be taught by society's most dreaded outcasts." —John Grisham "Hilarious, astonishing, and deeply moving." —John Berendt, author of Midni... read more
Every gift has a price . . . every piece of lace has a secret.Towner Whitney, the self-confessed unreliable narrator, hails from a family of Salem women who can read the future in the patterns in lace, and who have guarded a history of secrets going back gener... read more
Belong to Me: A Novel

Marisa de los Santos

“Marisa de los Santos’s Belong to Me is my favorite discovery of the past years: a terrific page-turner that’s also poignant, funny, surprising and deeply heartfelt.”—Harlan Coben “Complex, engaging, and surprisingly moving.”—Boston GlobeThe sensational New Yo... read more

Johnson, Diane

Rush: A Novel

Lisa Patton

“There’s not a better Southern author writing today than Lisa Patton. Funny, touching, and full of twists and turns. I couldn’t have loved it more.” – Fannie Flagg, New York Times bestselling author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop CaféRush is recom... read more
America's Boy

Wade Rouse

A journalist remembers his childhood struggles to gain acceptance from the jeans-wearing set, his envy of his admired older brother, his parent's atypical personalities, his struggle with his sexual identity, and the Fourth of July accident that ended his brot... read more
“Amy Wilson’s hilarious, tender memoir…had me laughing out loud with recognition. She captures the small moments of motherhood in a way that is both funny and thought-provoking.”—Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project From the creator and star of the ... read more
"A captivating tale to savor about a woman whose buried past threatens her picture perfect family life. Felicia is a wonderfully flawed, compelling main character, one who has stayed with me long after I finished the book. A winning novel from a writer to watc... read more
Sugar: A Novel

Bernice L. McFadden

"Strong and folksy storytelling...think Zora Neale Hurston...Sugar speaks of what is real." --The Dallas Morning NewsFrom an exciting new voice in African-American contemporary fiction comes a novel Ebony praised for its "unforgettable images, unique character... read more
Jennifer Chiaverini’s bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series starts with The Quilter’s Apprentice, a timeless tale of family, friendship, and forgiveness as two women weave the disparate pieces of their lives into a bountiful and harmonious whole, and begin the l... read more
A Girl's Life Online

Katherine Tarbox

Katherine Tarbox was thirteen when she met twenty-three-year-old "Mark" in an online chat room. A top student and nationally ranked swimmer attending an elite school in an affluent Connecticut town, Katie was also a lonely and self-conscious eighth-grader who ... read more
New York Times bestsellerJenny McCarthy’s hilarious, no-holds-barred personality has made her an instantly recognizable TV personality and a bestselling author. In Baby Laughs she examines the full range of challenges that new mothers face, including:* The hum... read more
"Here's The Story" book signed by Maureen McCormick on November 1, 2008 in Chino Hills, CA. Maureen was as nice as could be and really enjoyed meeting her many fans. Book is hardcover, 1st edition with minor handling from the signing process. Maureen signed wi... read more
The former Texas governor shares her personal battle with osteoporosis in an inspirational memoir that also provides valuable guidelines on how to combat the devastating impact of the disease, with tips on diet, exercise, medication, and other therapeutic opti... read more
When Mitt and Ann Romney met in their late teens, a great American love story began. And their life together would be blessed: five healthy sons, financial security, and a home filled with joy. Despite the typical ups and downs, they had a storybook life.Then,... read more
Based on the author's childhood journals, “a smart, funny, compassionate journal of the author’s bout with anorexia at age eleven" (Entertainment Weekly) ."I wish to be the thinnest girl at school, or maybe even the thinnest eleven-year-old on the entire plane... read more
Many childhood summers, Mark Woods piled into a station wagon with his parents and two sisters and headed to America's national parks. Mark's most vivid childhood memories are set against a backdrop of mountains, woods, and fireflies in places like Redwood, Yo... read more
National Bestseller and Honorable Mention Award Winner in the Outdoor Literature category of the 2017 National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA) — “A beautiful book about family and finding a way to achieve more than you ever thought possible.” —Brad Meltzer, NYT bes... read more
...But now she has a million questions about the Pink Carnation's deadly French nemesis, the Black Tulip. And she's pretty sure that her handsome onagain, off-again crush, Colin Selwick, has the answers somewhere in his archives. But what she discovers in an o... read more
Lose yourself to the magic of The Charm Bracelet.Through an heirloom charm bracelet, three women will rediscover the importance of family and a passion for living as each charm changes their lives.On her birthday each year, Lolly’s mother gave her a charm, alo... read more
The ocean, the wild roses on the dunes and the stunning Cliff House, perched atop a bluff in Sconset, Nantucket. Inside the faded pages of the Cliff House guest book live the spellbinding stories of its female inhabitants: from Ruby, a bright-eyed newlywed on ... read more

Laurie has 132 reviews





Jennifer B.

Jennifer B.

Jun, 2024

Laurie was just what I needed to get my manuscript to the finish line. She provided constructive and insightful feedback through a one page note as well as within my manuscript. She also hopped on a call with me and spent time brainstorming how I could fix a problematic area with my story. As an added bonus, Laurie was very knowledgeable about the publishing industry and also provided guidance ...
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Maureen F.

Maureen F.

Jun, 2024

Laurie Chittenden's services as a manuscript editor were everything I hoped for. Laurie affirmed for me the strengths in my writing and my project, and offered clear suggestions on how to make the book more compelling to readers and marketable to agents and publishers. She helped me with character, story, and with structure - an area where I'm the most challenged. Her comments were both genera...
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Raul R.

Raul R.

May, 2024

Laurie is a fantastic editor. Not only does she provide good and extensive feedback, she is great to brainstorm with. During my virtual sessions with her, she and I were able to come up with some wonderful new ideas that I believe will really enrich my story. She makes the collaboration feel like a team effort rather than a lesson. And while she will point out the weaker points of your manuscri...
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Suki R.

Suki R.

May, 2024

Laurie is a gem- simply the best person to hire for content editing. She is smart, has a sense of humor and is completely relatable. She understands how to reach the writer where he/she is and give them the encouragement, feedback and knowledge necessary to take their material to the next level. She is highly skilled in her craft and possesses the ability to bridge the gap between the writer an...
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norah B.

norah B.

May, 2024

excellent advice. good observations and plenty of help to make the narrative more cohesive.

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