A friendly, meticulous and conscientious editor with over a decade of experience in children's publishing.
I spent ten years working in a London publishing house, focusing on supporting and creating fantastic children's novels. Five years ago I moved to working part-time and freelance, and these days I work on a purely freelance basis with a selection of publishers, and directly with authors who wish to self-publish. I typeset text (laying out a tailor-made interior design ready for print) and provide a range of editorial services:
– manuscript critiques, to help point authors in the right direction as they build their books.
– developmental editing, to provide an in-depth look at how to make the story tighter and work better.
– copy-editing, to polish language, tidy spelling, punctuation and grammar, as well as catch any glaring plot issues.
– proofreading, to check for typos, repetition and any final problems on a set of text-designed pages.
My speciality and passion is for working on children's books, especially fiction for 8-12 and YA. I think there is nothing more exciting and resonant than a great story, especially one that inspires and excites young minds, and I enjoy supporting authors in making their tale the very best it can be.
Julia Wills, author of Fleeced! and Rampage!:
I was lucky enough to have Melissa as my editor for my debut novel Fleeced! Creative, insightful and brimming with good sense and suggestions, she has a solid grasp of story structure, coupled with the imagination and skill to help make the storytelling work. More than that, she possesses a great emotional literacy that brings characters fully to life, making them real to the reader, so that readers are genuinely invested in them, and remember them long after the book is closed. Add to all this the fact that she’s a real pleasure to work with, always supportive and optimistic, and it will come as no surprise that I asked if she could be my editor on the sequel, Rampage! too. I cannot recommend her highly enough. She’s great!
Rachel Burge, author of The Twisted Tree
I sent my manuscript to Melissa at the stage where I was basically happy with the plot, but wanted help to take it to the "next level". Not having worked with an editor before, I wasn’t sure what to expect – but the feedback I received from her was incredibly insightful and helpful.
Not only did she help me improve story flow and tension (particularly at the end of chapters), she helped me think more carefully about character arc, which I feel added a depth to the story that was missing before.
I was impressed with the length and detail of the report – and the thought and time that had gone into it – as well as the useful copy-edits on the manuscript.
Melissa really "got” what I was trying to achieve with it. As well as helping me to improve this story, I feel I’ve learnt a few tricks which I can use when writing the next!
I provide developmental editing, proofreading, copy-editing and interior text design directly to authors and major publishers such as Hachette, Simon and Schuster, Hot Key Books and Usborne.
Developmental editing with debut and bestselling authors, as well as copy-editing and proofreading. Copywriting for covers, websites and marketing material. Project management to deadlines and budget. Supporting marketing and sales teams. Evaluating submissions. Invaluable experience for finding out what publishers look for in books, and how to make them successful.
Madcap, modern yet mythological adventure! Aries, the ghost of the ram of Golden Fleece fame, is feeling slighted that no one sees him as a real hero, even though on his first quest to Earth he thwarted wicked sorceress Medea. But Medea is plotting again, in the rainforests of the fabled land of El Dorado, and goddess Athena wants Aries and his best friend Alex, zookeeper of the Underworld, to... read more
The highly anticipated prequel to Garth Nix's astonishingly successful old Kingdom series - now available in paperback! Sixteen-year-old Clariel is not adjusting well to her new life in the city of Belisaere, the capital of the Old Kingdom. She misses roaming freely within the forests of Estwael, and she feels trapped within the stone city walls. It seems, too, that the city itself is descendi... read more
The children are back! - but a air-crash and an unsteerable raft quickly land them in deep waters. Rescued by a mad librarian, they're soon off on a dangerous quest across the wilds of Ribblemoor, exploring haunted flare-paths. Can they uncover the ancient mysteries of a secret tribe? Can they survive the dangers of Lightning Tor? Inspector Cuthbertson is right behind them, determined to destr... read more
Nesta’s life is thrown into upheaval when she gets involved in charity work, thinking that it might be a cool way to meet people (i.e. boys). But as her eyes are opened to the plight of the world, she begins to genuinely want to help others.On top of this, Nesta meets William, who questions her motives. She’s convinced he hates her and the feeling is mutual. But Izzie, Lucy and TJ think it i... read more
Joe and Sam put their spy skills to the test against a new villain, in a new mission and in ...tutus?! The only way to find out who is scheming to steal the World Cup memorabilia exhibition at the local leisure centre is to sign up for ballet lessons there. Joe and Sam land the lead roles in the end-of-term show - but Sam's playing the male lead, and Joe's the prima donna! Can Joe hold it toge... read more
Meet Molly Sue. Once she's under your skin there's no getting rid of her...Seventeen-year-old Sally Feathers is not exactly a rebel. Her super-conservative parents and her treatment at the hands of high school bullies means that Sally's about as shy and retiring as they come - but all that's about to change. Accidentally ending up in the seedier side of town one day, Sally finds herself myster... read more
This is a startling coming-of-age novel set in a contemporary Nazi England. Jessika Keller is a good girl: she obeys her father, does her best to impress Herr Fisher at the Bund Deutscher Madel meetings and is set to be a world champion ice skater. Her neighbour Clementine is not so submissive. Outspoken and radical, Clem is delectably dangerous and rebellious. And the regime has noticed. Jess... read more
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Accomplished editor of picture books, middle grade and YA novels who helps authors polish their work and raise the quality of their writing.
Editorial consultant with 17 years’ publishing experience. I can help you shape your book, grow as a writer and create a great proposal.