Maggie Riggs

Maggie Riggs – Editor

Former Big 5 editor + agent with over a decade of experience supporting authors, from debut novelists to seasoned NYT bestsellers

Overview

One of the most important things I have learned in my decade-plus of working with authors is how important support during the writing process can be. My goal for every project I have the privilege of working on is to give writers the tools they need to find their voice and to tell the best possible version of their story--and to be that support they need.


At Viking (Penguin Random House,) I worked closely with debut novelists and seasoned historians, comedians and ballerinas, journalists and scientists, and helped authors at all stages of their careers transform their work from solid drafts to publication-ready projects. As a literary agent, I honed and identified ideas and stories that were working and guided writers toward producing polished, submission-ready work from the very earliest stages of a manuscript's development.


As an independent editor, it is very exciting to put all of these skills and experiences to work with authors at all stages of their careers, and especially those who are just beginning their journeys. From a manuscript assessment to a full developmental edit or advisement on the query letter process, I am happy to work with you on developing a plan together that best meets your specific needs and goals.


In short, I am passionate about getting great stories out into the world, and I would love to help you tell yours!


"Working with Maggie on my novel was a joy. Her notes and edits were thoughtful, precise, and full of insight, and I appreciated that she showed a deep understanding of the story and where it needed to go. She has the rare ability to see where editorial changes are needed while also knowing when to let the story breathe, and her warm and supportive approach ensures the writer-editor relationship is a productive and enjoyable one."

--Emma Sloley; Macdowell Fellow, Pushcart Nominee, and author of DISASTER'S CHILDREN

Services
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs History
Fiction
Coming of Age Contemporary Fiction Cultural & Ethnic Magical Realism Short Story Women's Fiction
Languages
English (CAN) English (UK) English (US)

Work experience

Self-employed

Jan, 2013 — Present

Self-employed

Nov, 2015 — Dec, 2018 (about 3 years)

The Friedrich Agency

Feb, 2014 — Sep, 2014 (7 months)

Viking, Penguin Random House

Feb, 2009 — Jan, 2014 (almost 5 years)

Portfolio

As the world dies, a woman must choose between her own survival and that of humankind.Raised in a privileged community of wealthy survivalists on an idyllic, self-sustaining Oregon ranch, Marlo has always been insulated. The outside world, which the ranchers c... read more
“Harun is heir apparent to Louise Erdrich and Harry Crews.... Readers will be swept away by this breathless, absorbing novel.” —Claire Vaye Watkins, The New York Times Book ReviewIn this mysterious and chilling novel, girls, mostly Native, are vanishing from t... read more
Set in Cuba, largely after the fall of the Soviet Union, these eleven stories explore themes of isolation and preservation in the face of widespread poverty and sociopolitical oppression. From a chronically ill santero refusing medical care to a female-fronted... read more
In this unflinching and inspiring autobiography, the boxing legend faces his single greatest competitor: himself. Sugar Ray Leonard's brutally honest and uplifting memoir reveals in intimate detail for the first time the complex man behind the boxer. The Olymp... read more
The compelling and insightful account of a New York Times reporter's abduction by the Taliban, and his wife's struggle to free him.
A lively microbiography of Chaucer that tells the story of the tumultuous year that led to the creation of The Canterbury TalesIn 1386, Geoffrey Chaucer endured his worst year, but began his best poem. The father of English literature did not enjoy in his life... read more
In celebration of the Girl Scouts' centennial, a lively salute to its maverick founder. Born at the start of the Civil War, Juliette Gordon Low grew up in Georgia, where she struggled to reconcile being a good Southern belle with her desire to run barefoot thr... read more
One of America's most original and biting comic satirists, Denis Leary turns his irreverent eye and scathing humor on everything you love and cherish-and now he does it with a hilarious, illustrated collection of Tweets! Like a quiver full of arrows, Suck On T... read more
A behind-the-curtains look at the rarefied world of classical ballet from a principal dancer at the New York City BalletIn her charming and self-effacing voice, Jenifer Ringer covers the highs and lows of what it?s like to make it to the top in the exclusive, ... read more
A majestic history of the summer of '64, which forever changed race relations in America In the summer of 1964, with the civil rights movement stalled, seven hundred college students descended on Mississippi to register black voters, teach in Freedom Schools, ... read more
An incisive and candid look at how America got lost on the way to Dr. King’s Promised LandAlmost fifty years after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech, equality is the law of the land, but actual integration is still hard to find. Mammoth battles... read more
As the Great War rages, an independent young woman struggles to sustain love—and life—through the power of words. It’s 1917 and America is on the brink of World War I. After Hensley Dench’s father is forced to resign from the New York Times for his anti-war wr... read more
A spirited debut of a rising basketball star wrestling with his town’s outsized expectations and his family’s complicated legacyJimmy “Kamikaze” Kirkus is a basketball star, destined for a legendary future in the NBA. At the age of five, he can make nine shots... read more
"This guy can write!" --Ray BradburyLoory's collection of wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables is populated by people- and monsters and trees and jocular octopi- who are united by twin motivations: fear and desire. In his singular universe, tel... read more
From the author of Last Night at the Lobster, a moving vision of love and family. A sequel to the bestselling, much-beloved Wish You Were Here, Stewart O'Nan's intimate new novel follows Emily Maxwell, a widow whose grown children have long moved away. She dre... read more
From a widely admired author, a poignant novel about homecoming, friendship, growing up, and growing old for fans of Richard Ford and Richard RussoIn this finely wrought portrait of western American life, Ron Carlson takes us to the small town of Oakpine, Wyom... read more
"F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Wes Anderson" (The Village Voice) in this inventive and witty debut about a young man’s quest to become a writer and the misadventures in life and love that take him around the globeFrom as early as he can remember, the hopelessly un... read more
Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is the story—told entirely in hilarious emails—of fraternal twins Harry and Matilda Goodman as they fumble into adulthood, telling lies and keeping secrets, and finally confronting their complicated twinship. Matilda Goodman is an undere... read more

Maggie has 15 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

J.D. L.

J.D. L.

Feb, 2020

Pinned
Working with Maggie is like working with sunshine on crappy days. She's that last bit of hope during a dark storm - you know the kind I'm talking about. Buried in your room creating a passionate story that no one has read, you haven't seen family or friends in weeks, people start to wonder if you're alive, but you can't stop because you want to get your project done. You take your work of art ...
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Colleen W.

Colleen W.

Oct, 2019

Pinned
Maggie made the daunting process of preparing to publish not only palatable, but delightful! I really appreciated her experience, insights, responsiveness, and kindness. She was thoughtful and serious with her work, yet also kind and approachable in our communications, a combination that felt pretty magical. I would absolutely work with her again.
Laura C.

Laura C.

May, 2019

Pinned
I couldn't have been paired up with a better person for my project. Maggie was so helpful and encouraging. She really helped me see what I was doing well and what could be improved, and most importantly she gave me a road map of how to get there. It's always difficult when you are so immersed in your project, so having Maggie was great to get that feedback. Her comments were insightful and...
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Ryan H.

Ryan H.

Apr, 2020

Maggie was absolutely fantastic to work with!
Poppy K.

Poppy K.

Apr, 2020

I contacted Maggie to help me figure out why I was getting full manuscript requests but no offers of representation. She helped pinpoint some structural changes I needed to make to build more tension, and she also gave me a targeted list of agents she thought would be interested in my work. She's awesome!

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