Marissa Graff

Marissa Graff - Editor

Washington D.C., DC, USA

Children's book editor who has worked with a top literary agent for 7+ years to make middle grade and young adult stories shine and sell.

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Overview

***Project start dates available in mid-February***

I have been a freelance editor and reader for former literary agent Sarah Davies (ranked #2 in middle-grade fiction sales) at Greenhouse Literary Agency for over seven years.
My editorial work is with chapter books, middle-grade, and young-adult fiction. It is my goal to work with clients in a way that teaches them the whys and hows of revision. What excites me most is helping writers understand the reasoning behind what’s working and what may need attention so that they're brave enough to delve into revision. I will be a champion of your story and your ability as a writer to make it shine. I offer approaches to revision but am never prescriptive, always respecting the writer’s creative genius and ability to employ changes. I feel if I've done my job well, a client should probably never need my help again because I've given them a crash-course MFA via deep editorial support and/or coaching. I hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Please note: I am a thorough editor who dedicates a lot of time and attention to your story. I am not going to be the least expensive option, so if you're looking for the cheapest quote, please don't inquire.

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Marissa has been an invaluable freelance editor and second reader for me on a number of occasions, and I value her input highly. She has a very sound grounding in writing craft, but what really stands out is her ability to get straight to the heart of a manuscript’s problems and create a clear and comprehensive set of diagnoses, questions and suggestions for the author. Her notes are always very accessible and incisive, but also wonderfully kind and encouraging. She has a real talent for explaining points in an understandable way, while also making you feel that she’s a friend who is totally on your side. I’ve been an editor, publisher and agent for several decades, but I have great respect and admiration for Marissa’s abilities. Any author who finds themselves in her generous editorial hands, should feel themselves to be very fortunate.

-- Sarah Davies, literary agent, Greenhouse Literary Agency

Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Coming of Age
Contemporary Fiction
Contemporary Romance
Magical Realism
Middle Grade
Middle Grade Fantasy
Young Adult Fantasy

Certifications

  • MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, Vermont College of Fine Arts

Work experience

Freelance Editor

Greenhouse Literary Agency
January, 2015 – Present (about 7 years)

For over seven years, I have read and edited manuscripts for one of the top selling literary agents, Sarah Davies. Not only have I been able to collaborate with her on what makes manuscripts strong, but also in how and why they sell.

Resident Writing Coach

Writers Helping Writers website (Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi)
August, 2020 – Present (over 1 year)

I serve as a resident writing coach for the website Writers Helping Writers. Not only do I post craft-based articles, but I also do critique giveaways for its followers. The website's creators, Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, are behind the Writers Helping Writers thesaurus series (The Emotion Thesaurus, The Emotional Wound Thesaurus, and many more) and One Stop For Writers.

Freelance Editor

Angelella Editorial
November, 2018 – Present (about 3 years)

I have worked for three years now as a freelance editor with an extremely talented and diverse editor collective to support writers through comprehensive editorial feedback. I do everything possible to give writers both the why in suggesting revisions, but also the how.

Portfolio (5 selected works)

Lupe Wong Won't Dance

Higuera, Donna Barba

I Am Fartacus (MAX)

Mark Maciejewski

It’s jocks vs. nerds as a tween and his cadre of misfits go to hilarious lengths to bring down their enemies in this laugh-out-loud MAX novel.Chub is a short, accidentally bald, middle school outcast with no chance of ever becoming one of the popular kids. With help from his personal band of like-minded misfits (not to mention tactics gleaned from the Colonel, a US military vet with toenail is... read more

It’s jocks vs. nerds as a tween and his cadre of misfits go to hilarious lengths to bring down their enemies in this laugh-out-loud MAX novel.Chub is a short, accidentally bald, middle school outcast with no chance of ever becoming one of the popular kids. With help from his personal band of like-minded misfits (not to mention tactics gleaned from the Colonel, a US military vet with toenail is... read more

From Where I Watch You

Grogan, Shannon

Astrid and Apollo and the Starry Campout

Bidania, V.T., Lee, Dara Lashia

Marissa has 7 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Heid White
Amazing, amazing, amazing! Marissa is warm, thorough, enthusiastic and professional. She was a joy to work with. I highly recommend her.

Heid White, January 2022


Nancy Johnson
Marissa is a phenomenal editor. In any industry, it is difficult to find someone who will go above and beyond in effort, encouragement and time spent with your project. Marissa is one of those rare professionals who does it all. She delved deep into my manuscript and provided smart, insightful and thoughtful feedback. On top of all the professional endorsement I have for her, I found her to ...
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Nancy Johnson, January 2022


Soma Kar
I want to describe my collaboration with Marissa in one sentence - I was looking for an editor, instead, I got a friend in Marissa. I would have given her countless stars if there was an option and would use her services again and again. You'll be extremely lucky if your project lands in her hands! She is a gem of an editor.

Soma Kar, December 2021


Erin Petti
I wish there were more stars available. I would give Marissa all of the stars. Her insight and caring editorial voice has helped my story beyond measure. I would work with her again in a heartbeat.

Erin Petti, October 2021


KC Jazwa
Marissa is wonderful!! She was always quick to respond even though she's on the other side of the world! She's very professional, extremely knowledgeable, and gives a ton of insight. Marissa gave me some honest feedback, ways to improve my MS and lots of food for thought. She is funny and fun, kind and witty and she gets how much work and thought goes into a book. She's also very aware of how...
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KC Jazwa, October 2021

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