Madeline Smoot

Madeline Smoot – Editor

I have been editing books for kids and teens for over 15 years. I'd love to look at yours next. Tell me all about your book!


I am not someone who grew up wanting to be a writer. My great love was reading. I read it all: Agatha Christie, Dianna Wynne Jones, Robin McKinley, Bunnicula, Sweet Valley Twins (not Sweet Valley High), Nancy Drew, and later Harry Potter, Asimov, Heinlein, Tolkein, and series like the Hunger Games and Percy Jackson.

All this reading led to writing and then to editing and eventually to publishing others at my small press. My passion has always been bringing the best out of my author's work.

I provide my authors with a comprehensive (and I do mean comprehensive) analysis of each book that looks not just at the whole, but all the moving parts that go into great writing. After the analysis, I either provide a written report, or I do a one hour phone (or video) call with each author to discuss in detail the analysis I've created. The report or phone call is absolutely key. The report synthesizes all that I've found during the analysis. The call does the same, but it can also provide a give and take discussion where epiphanies can occur.

When one of my author's has an awe-inspiring insight into their work, that's when the magic happens.

As the publisher of a small, traditional royalty based press (CBAY Books), I have edited, designed, and published high quality fantasy and science fiction middle grade and young adult books for 13 years including:

HOMER'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE— "An origin story for the ages takes readers on an epically hilarious adventure … snappy, anachronistic humor make this an entertaining laugh-out-loud adventure … Recommend to fans of Percy Jackson, epic stories, and mythology looking for new fodder with a twist." —School Library Journal (Middle Grade Fantasy/Mythology)

SHORTCUTS— "The story feels like a blend of Willo Davis Roberts' nerdy-psychic classic The Girl with the Silver Eyes (1980) and the Stephen King novel Carrie (1980)." — Kirkus Reviews (Middle Grade Science Fiction)

UNCERTAIN SUMMER— "Kids on the cusp fumble toward coming-of-age with the odd cryptid and charging boar for thrills." — Kirkus Reviews (Middle Grade Adventure)

I have been privileged to work with a wide range of authors—from those completing their first novel to authors with decades of experience. Here are some of their comments:

"I had the great privilege and even greater learning experience working with Madeline on my first two novels. When my newest project was ready to submit, I was smart enough to first go to Madeline. As always, she didn't simply find the errors in grammar, logic, pacing ... the usual suspects, but after we talked, no, while we talked, she fired up my muse with much deeper considerations.”— Kath Boyd Marsh

"Madeline's editorial advice was encouraging, specific, and helped take my novel to the next level. Her background in publishing is extensive, and I particularly appreciated her expertise in children's literature in particular." — Jessica Lee Anderson

I cannot wait to work with you on your project.

Action & Adventure Fantasy Middle Grade Middle Grade Fantasy Picture Books Romance Science Fiction Young Adult Fantasy
English (US)

Work experience

CBAY Books

Jan, 2008 — Mar, 2021 (about 13 years)

As the publisher of a small, traditional royalty based press, I have edited, designed, and published high quality fantasy and science fiction middle grade and young adult books for the past 13 years. As the publisher, I took novels through the entire editorial process including acquisitions, developmental and comprehensive edits, and multiple rounds of revision, copy editing, and proofing. I have also compiled and edited numerous anthologies, including a few listed in the portfolio below.


Jul, 2017 — Present

In my spare time between publishing projects for my small press, I have occasionally taken on editing clients. In the past I have worked mainly through referral or with authors I met at the conferences where I would speak and critique. Usually, my most common service has been a critique of the first ten pages of a manuscript, but I prefer to work on entire books.

St. Edward's University

Jun, 2013 — May, 2014 (11 months)

At St. Edward's University, I taught several graduate level writing courses with a focus on children’s literature and publishing. Classes covered basic writing of everything from board books to young adult novels as well as more advanced classes in middle grade novels and overall publishing in the children's market. I provided editorial feedback on every writing assignment and on master thesis projects.

Blooming Tree Press

Oct, 2003 — May, 2010 (over 6 years)

At Blooming Tree Press, I started as an intern and worked my way up until I ran the children's division, which produced the bulk of the books published each year. I personally edited a majority of the titles in our division, only leaving with the successful launch of my own small press. As the Editorial Director, I took a wide range of books from picture books through YA through the entire editorial process including acquisitions, developmental and comprehensive edits with multiple rounds of revision, copy editing, and proofing.

Madeline has 9 reviews





Jean L.

Jean L.

Sep, 2023

Madeline was very helpful!
Martin K.

Martin K.

Jun, 2023

Madeline assistance has been incredibly valuable, and I truly appreciate the help she provided me in developing my story. The ideas she shared have given me a clearer direction and made the process much easier. Working with her has been a pleasure, and I look forward to collaborating with her again in the future.
Mary T.

Mary T.

Mar, 2023

Madeline was a joy to work with. She was clear in her suggestions and comments. She held to the schedule and delivered the edited manuscript on time. I enjoyed with working with her and would recommend her.
Jennifer E.

Jennifer E.

Jan, 2023

I went into a writing mentorship with Madeline full of doubts regarding my ability to write the story I imagined in my mind. She steered me down the right path resulting in a beautiful manuscript I am proud of. The process was educational, motivating, and supportive. I highly recommend Madeline. She was wonderful to work with!
Gaz A.

Gaz A.

Nov, 2022

Madeline provided excellent feedback. Her suggestions will definitely make the book a whole lot better.

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