Matt Belford

Matt Belford – Editor

Literary agent with over a decade of experience in science fiction, fantasy, nonfiction, and graphic novels.


Hey there! I'm Matt and I'm a literary agent, having previously an editor at Penguin Random House. I've been fortunate enough to work on books in just about every genre: from illustrated titles and graphic novels to sci-fi/fantasy and even nonfiction! I'm available for editing projects, no matter where you may be in your process: from helping to edit your query letter to working on developmental edits or even just another set of eyes to help copyedit.

While a lot of the work that I do daily is in nonfiction or illustrated works, I have quite a bit of experience working in sci-fi & fantasy as well, so if you need help putting a proposal together or you're having a tough time getting those last couple of comp titles, I'm more than happy to help there as well!

Here what other satisfied writers have to say about my work:

"I must say Matt is one of the best editors I have worked with. He is very transparent with what he thinks regarding authors work. His editing comments are detailed which makes my writing process a lot easier. He is quick to respond to my questions too. I look forward to work with him in future projects."


"I've had Matt critique two query letters now, and it's been so worth it! I used his feedback from my first to completely revise and resubmit for another critique. (He seemed happy to answer all of my follow-up questions without me resubmitting, but really, I just wanted him to see the whole redo and let me know if I applied his feedback successfully.) His response time is quick, and his feedback is succinct and relevant. I'd absolutely seek out feedback from him again!"

-Kristin C.

"Matt's feedback was extremely thoughtful and very specific. His guidance urged me to reflect on what the most compelling force of my story was, and pull it straight to the top. And his industry experience helped me identify poor phrasing that might become red flags to veteran agents. I believe my query letter — and even my book — are radically better for having Matt's help!"

-Patrick P.

"Fantastic feedback. Great insight and suggested changes that I couldn't personally see, being so close to the project. I'm excited to get to work and bring more clarity to my blurb. Matt is also very encouraging on the aspects I got right, so I'd highly recommend his services. Thank you very much, Matt."


Biographies & Memoirs Business & Management Comics Non-Fiction Cooking, Food, Wine, & Spirits Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Comics & Graphic Novels Fantasy Science Fiction
English (US)

Work experience

New Leaf Literary & Media

Aug, 2023 — Present

Penguin Random House

Apr, 2022 — Sep, 2023 (over 1 year)

Conceptualize and ideate more than 12 projects with current and potential license holders.
Manage up to 15 titles yearly, develop and hone written concepts and larger client facing proposals.
Responsible for hiring designers and writers.
Edit and project manage the book creation process and the various phases of publication including contract negotiating, financial projections, P&L and assuring appropriate milestones.

Tobias Literary Agency

Jan, 2020 — Mar, 2022 (about 2 years)

Managing a roster of clients, I am responsible for editing, preparing, and sending out client works to sell to publishers, and entice other interested parties in subsidiary rights (i.e. Film/TV rights, merchandising rights, etc.). I specialize in representing science fiction and fantasy, and graphic novels. In January of 2021, I was promoted to Senior Literary Agent, responsible for managing junior agents. I’ve negotiated and sold projects to a wide variety of publishers, including Macmillan, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, IDW, and Wiley.

David Black Agency

Mar, 2017 — Jan, 2020 (almost 3 years)

Working as David Black’s personal assistant, I managed his schedule, while also facilitating client needs and preparing works for submission. These duties naturally transferred to my own work as a literary agent under the David Black Agency, where I represented my clients: acting as a fiduciary, preparing and editing works before submission, selling the proposals or manuscripts to publishers, and negotiating deals and contracts. These clients included legendary comic book writer Chris Claremont, interviewer Shanna Farrell, and several cartoonists in Rob Rogers, Nate Fakes, and Jeff Danziger, in addition to negotiating deals for David Black’s existing clients: Claire Saffitz, Erik Larson, and the Lorraine Hansberry Estate.

Aaron Priest Agency

Sep, 2016 — Mar, 2017 (6 months)

As office manager, I was responsible for all general office administration duties including answering the phone, taking detailed messages, managing contract mailings between both authors and publishers and general filing. As an assistant, I recorded author deals in BAITS and Publisher’s Marketplace, and I also read and reviewed author queries and manuscripts.

Charles River Labs

Feb, 2015 — Aug, 2016 (over 1 year)

My responsibilities included proofreading and editing all articles, posters, PDFs, and web pages posted to the Charles River website. In addition to growing organic web traffic by 30% year to date, I also was in charge of SEO, HTML5 coding, and integrating content from several website acquisitions.

Matt has 16 reviews





Amanda K.

Amanda K.

May, 2024

Matt was so friendly, timely, and professional. His feedback was amazing and I feel like it will really help elevate my pages. I definitely recommend Matt and will work with him again in the future!
Beverly D.

Beverly D.

May, 2024

There was very little response to my story. I received a letter that included a minimal response. Additionally, Matt used an incorrect word, the sniper was laying rather than lying. That is a common enough mistake that I would expect a pro to be aware. If he missed that in his own writing, what did he miss in mine.
Matt B.
Beverly, I'm sorry that you felt my work was not up to the level of detail that you were looking for. I find that this can happen with Editorial Assessments, which only include an edit letter from ...
Read more
Alexander R.

Alexander R.

May, 2024

Great notes. Matt reduced the text to the key elements that make it work and identified the extraneous elements that slowed things down.
Carleton D.

Carleton D.

May, 2024

The advice and feedback I received from Matt allowed me to craft a query letter I can be confident sending to agents.
P. L. R.

P. L. R.

Apr, 2024

Amazing editor. Offers helpful and insightful feedback, while being clear and supportive. A++++

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