Melissa Frain

Melissa Frain – Editor

Editor of award-winning, bestselling YA, romance, and genre fiction, with 13+ years experience at Macmillan


I am a voracious reader and lover of books with more than 15 years of experience editing with New York’s biggest publishers. I have taught writing at a variety of universities and writers’ conferences, including the Highlights Foundation, SCBWI, and San Diego State University, and have served as speaker at many conferences and conventions, including New York Comic Con, the American Library Association Annual Conference, Romance Writers of America Annual Conference, and the World Fantasy Convention.

For over a decade I worked at Macmillan for Tor Books, the world’s leading publisher of science fiction and fantasy. I am also a trained copyeditor and proofreader (NYU) with a portfolio of well over 100 novels, including as a final line editor of romance at Samhain Publishing.

As an independent editor, I now edit on a per-project basis for most of the largest publishers and directly with authors of all experience levels. Books I've edited have been:

#1 New York Times, USA Today, and international bestsellers;

featured on NPR, Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, and Entertainment Weekly;

winners of major awards including RWA’s RITA Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the ITW Thriller Award;

finalists for the Andre Norton Award, the Edgar Award, the Nebula Award, the Hugo Award, the Anthony Award, and others;

Indie Next and Best of the Year selections in a variety of venues, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Goodreads, NPR, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, New York Public Library, and others.

I have extensive editorial experience in a variety of genres, but am best known for my work in romance, fantasy, and young adult. I love commercial fiction of all kinds.

“Melissa is a creative and thorough editor. Her feedback is invaluable, always allowing me to take a step back and look at the novel with fresh eyes and perspective. I trust my novels in her hands."

— Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author

“Melissa is one of the best editors I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with—and I’ve worked with many!"

— Danielle L. Jensen, USA Today bestselling author of DARK SHORES and THE BRIDGE KINGDOM

“Editorially, Mel has an expert sense of story and character; I can’t recall any of her notes that didn’t resonate, or advice I didn’t take. Professionally, she is timely and communicative. And personally, I will always consider her a friend. I really can’t recommend her highly enough.”

— Kendare Blake, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“I like my books when I turn them in to Melissa. I love them after we work on them together.”

— Kristen Simmons, author of the Edgar Award and Anthony Award finalist THE DECEIVERS

“With tons of experience and a fun, compassionate personality, Melissa is a perfect editor for authors in any stage of their career.”

— Cora Carmack, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

Read about Reedsy author Tanya Lee's experience with me here!:

Contemporary Romance Dystopian Fantasy New Adult Paranormal Romance Psychological Thriller Romantic Comedy Young Adult Fantasy
English (US)
  • New York University SCPS: Fundamentals of Copyediting and Proofreading

Work experience


May, 2020 — Present

Tor Books (Macmillan)

Jun, 2007 — May, 2020 (almost 13 years)

I acquired and edited for multiple lines at Tor Publishing, the world's leading publisher of science fiction and fantasy. As a senior editor, I partnered in spearheading the Tor Teen line, which grew to include many New York Times bestsellers and award winners.

Among the many talented authors I worked with, many of whom I still work with today as an independent editor, are Jennifer L. Armentrout, Kendare Blake, Rachel Caine, Cora Carmack, Sylvia Day, Sarah Henning, Gregg Hurwitz, Danielle L. Jensen, Sara B. Larson, Kim Liggett, Veronica Rossi, and Kristen Simmons.

Samhain Publishing

Jul, 2011 — Mar, 2016 (over 4 years)

Served as line editor, copyeditor, and proofreader for a large quantity of titles in every subgenre of romance: contemporary, paranormal, historical, fantasy, and urban fantasy, as well as horror.


All of Us Villains

Foody, Amanda

Dark Shores

Danielle L. Jensen

High seas adventure, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in Dark Shores, a thrilling first novel in a fast-paced new YA fantasy series by USA Today bestselling author Danielle L. Jensen.In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maari... read more

Cora Carmack

New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack's young adult debut: Roar. In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungi... read more
The Darkest Star

Jennifer L. Armentrout

In the world of the Lux, secrets thrive, lies shatter, and love is undeniable. #1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout brings her trademark drama and intrigue to a new romantic YA science fiction series with ... read more
From Sylvia Day, the #1 New York Times and international bestselling author of the Crossfire® series comes this steamy series starting with Eve of DarknessYears ago, Evangeline Hollis spent a blistering night with a darkly seductive man she can’t forget. But t... read more
From Kendare Blake, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Three Dark Crowns, a beautiful and haunting ghost storyCas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he... read more
The Rains

Gregg Hurwitz

The first young adult page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz. In one terrifying night, the peaceful community of Creek's Cause turns into a war zone. No one under the age of eighteen is safe. Chance Rain and his older brother, Patrick... read more
The Unfortunates

Kim Liggett

Kim Liggett's The Unfortunates, a haunting tale of privilege, guilt, and redemption from the author of the Bram Stoker Award winner, The Last HarvestWhen seventeen-year-old senator's son Grant Tavish is involved in a fatal accident, all he wants to do is face ... read more
The Good Luck Girls

Charlotte Nicole Davis

A Kirkus Reviews 2019 Best of the Year Selection.Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this stunning fantasy adventure from debut author Charlotte Nicole Davis.Aster, the protectorViolet, the favoriteTansy, the medicMallow, the fighterClementine, the catalyst... read more

Veronica Rossi

Riders. A new fantasy adventure from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Veronica Rossi.For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.Recovering f... read more
Article 5

Kristen Simmons

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests... read more
Unbreak My Heart

Lorelei James

The right love is worth the wait. Sierra Seven years have passed since I fell for Boone West. The brooding bad boy. We were friends, even when I secretly wanted more, but I settled for what he offered. After he left Wyoming—and me—I grew up. Moved on. Or so I ... read more
To Catch a Killer

Sheryl Scarborough

“A twisty, cold-case mystery custom made for fans of Sara Shepard, PLL and Veronica Mars! The edge-of-your-seat plot, sinister backstory and smart, brave and irreverent main character made this whodunit unputdownable.”—Justine Magazine Erin Blake has one of th... read more
Dark Skies

Danielle L. Jensen

Unwanted betrothals, assassination attempts, and a battle for the crown converge in Danielle L. Jensen's Dark Skies, a new series starter set in the universe of the YA fantasy Sarah J. Maas called "everything I look for in a fantasy novel."A RUNAWAY WITH A HID... read more
From the acclaimed author of Defy, Sara B. Larson, Sisters of Shadow and Light is a timeless and fantastical tale of sisterly love and powerful magicThe night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes....Zuhra and Inara have grown up in th... read more
Alexis Bass' Happily and Madly is a mature, twisty, compulsively readable YA suspense novel about a young girl who embraces a fate bound in love and mystery. Maris Brown has been told two things about her destiny:1. She will fall happily and madly in love.2. S... read more
The Princess Will Save You is a YA fantasy adventure inspired by The Princess Bride, in which a princess must rescue her stable boy true love, from the acclaimed author of Sea Witch, Sarah Henning.When a princess’s commoner true love is kidnapped to coerce her... read more
Gone Country

Lorelei James

She’s a little bit country, and he’s…not. Arizona businessman and long-lost McKay love child Gavin Daniels has been awarded sole custody of his teenage daughter, Sierra. In order to steer her back on track after a brush with the law, he heads to Wyoming...even... read more

Kelly Jamieson

SLAMMED San Amaro Singles Book 3 Love’s a wave. And they’re about to get slammed. Brooke Lowry has a mission: fly to Tahiti, pluck PR nightmare Dylan Schell out of whatever party he’s in, bring him home and clean up his image. It was her idea for Jackson Cole ... read more
Personal Demons

Lisa Desrochers

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance---even her closest friends---and it seems as if her senior year is going to be more of the same . . . until Luc Cain enrolls in her clas... read more

Tina Connolly

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.It's the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin.When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate si... read more
Lauren Robbins is the one that got away. Lured by the promise of fame, Nick Blackthorne turned his back on the possibility of a regular life and love to focus on his career. But years down the line, still unable to erase Lauren from his heart, Nick realizes he... read more
Cowboy Take Me Away

Lorelei James

A love story that spans fifty years… The moment Carson McKay saw the sexy blonde at the dance hall he wanted to throw her over his saddle and gallop hell-for-leather to the closest church. Given his reputation as a lover and a fighter—not necessarily in that o... read more

Melissa has 30 reviews





Jacki P.

Jacki P.

Sep, 2022

Melissa's editing is absolutely amazing! It's such a boon for authors that she entered the freelance market, and I recommend you seek her out while you can. First, her professional experience and insight into the Big 5 publishing market is priceless. Second, for the editorial assessment, she gave my MS thoughtful and thorough reflection. I saw zero red flags in terms of potentially cliche o...
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Joy S.

Joy S.

Jun, 2021

I received my first editorial assessment on Reedsy for my children's novel. Melissa's notes were thoughtful and thorough and well-explained. They all made perfect sense and helped me to see my story from a fresh perspective which was exactly what I was looking for. I can't recommend her enough!
Jenny W.

Jenny W.

May, 2021

I considered several offers before my agent and I agreed that Melissa was the right choice to assess my SFF YA novel. This is a new genre for both me and my agent, hence the need for outside help! Now that I've received Melissa's editorial letter, I can wholeheartedly attest that we couldn't have chosen better. Her insights were sharp and wise, and she struck exactly the right balance between c...
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Lisa M.

Lisa M.

Mar, 2021

Melissa was very professional, completed the project on time, and gave valuable feedback on the manuscript. As a copy editor, she is very attentive to detail and not too heavy handed. She caught some continuity / logic issues that I would never had noticed on my own. I hope we have the opportunity to work together again soon.
Kaylin S.

Kaylin S.

Mar, 2021

Melissa was a pleasure to work with for my copy edit of my first novel. I appreciated her enthusiasm and professionalism. She was able to catch continuity errors that other readers didn't and had insightful feedback to help me take my work to the next level. I would work with Melissa again!

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