Melissa Richeson

Melissa Richeson - Editor

Cocoa Beach, FL, USA

Experienced freelance editor and assistant literary agent. I'll assess your work with an agent's eye and get your book positioned to sell!

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Like most people in publishing, I grew up surrounded by stacks of library books and buried in notebooks full of stories and doodles. After doing stints in the marketing, non-profit, and education sectors, I finally settled back into what I've always loved--books!--and became a literary agent representing children's books. That experience led me to my current role as a freelance editor.

As an agent, I've helped my clients polish their manuscripts and establish deals with Big Five publishers and high-quality independent publishers alike (Hachette, Macmillan, PageStreet, etc.). I love working on both fiction and non-fiction manuscripts, and I use my unique background in marketing and literature to help authors find their niche in the business of children's books.

I usually take a hybrid approach to editing, where I correct line items while also reading for big picture elements of plot, characterization, voice, and theme. Specifically, I like to focus authors on the elements that are most likely to increase salability, including:

* Concept and hook (Grab your readers' attention!)
* First pages (Those make-it-or-break-it first 50)
* Voice (Nail the author + character + audience equation)
* Pacing (Don't get stuck in a TBR pile!)
* Ending (Not necessarily a HEA, but always a satisfied reader)
* Market placement (Comps and positioning)

Overall, my goal in editing is to help bring a bit of objectivity into a very subjective business.

When not reading or working, you can probably find me swimming, paddle boarding, jogging, or biking. My two favorite spots on earth are my backyard (we have dolphin and manatee visitors!) and Walt Disney World (magic never gets old!). I live in Florida with my husband and four school-aged sons (who are also growing up surrounded by stacks of library books and notebooks).

Disclaimer: Though I currently represent select projects as an assistant literary agent, my work as an agent is separate from my work as a freelance editor. I do not charge my agency clients for editing services. As an assistant agent, I'm accepting new queries by referral only at this time.

English (UK)
English (US)
Children’s Non-Fiction
Picture Books


  • Bachelor of Arts, Marketing


  • Highlights Foundation Scholarship
  • Loyd Boldman Writing Scholarship

Work experience

Freelance Editor

June, 2021 – Present (almost 2 years)

Editorial work, including query letter and manuscript feedback.

Associate Literary Agent

Storm Literary
January, 2020 – August, 2021 (over 1 year)

Evaluate 300-500 queries per month. Edit client manuscripts--picture books through young adult--for ultimate salability. Submit manuscripts to publishers; maintain shared submission spreadsheet for transparency. Negotiate contracts; explain contract language to clients. Advocate for client rights post-contract.

Associate Literary Agent

Apokedak Literary
February, 2019 – July, 2020 (over 1 year)

Evaluate 350-500 queries per month. Edit client manuscripts for ultimate salability. Submit manuscripts to publishers; maintain shared submission spreadsheet for transparency. Negotiate contracts; explain contract language to clients. Advocate for client rights post-contract.

Freelance Writer

March, 2015 – Present (about 8 years)

Long form and short form magazine and web content. Articles, listicles, research pieces, profiles, ebooks, etc.

Portfolio (5 selected works)

The Book of Rules: A Picture Book

Gehrlein, Brian, Knight, Tom

God Made You Too

Tornetto, Chelsea, Barnes, Kimberley

Gardens Are for Growing

Tornetto, Chelsea, Pang, Hsulynn

A Penny's Worth

Wilson, Kimberly, Hoffmann, Mark

Melissa has 52 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Silvia Piccinotti
Melissa was a wonderful editor for my STEM children's picture book. I lucked out with her, because she had actually experienced the phenomenon that I am writing about and so captured the perspective of familiar readers. Her critique was constructive, encouraging and timely, and gave me a lot of confidence in my project and approach. If I ever decide to write another children's book, I would cer...
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Silvia Piccinotti, March 2023

Blake Fisher
Melissa was an absolute delight to work with! Very punctual and professional, cannot recommend her highly enough

Blake Fisher, February 2023

ann Colucci
Melissa was awesome! Her edits were on point and didn't take away meaning from the original text. I would definitely use Melissa again. Her suggestions and advice were extremely helpful. All her work was done on time as promised. Thanks Melissa! I will be reaching out again in the future.

ann Colucci, February 2023

Patrick Geraghty
Melissa was great. She edited two books for me and provided fantastic feedback. The text flowed nicely and the punctuation was clean. I would highly recommend Melissa for any editorial needs.

Patrick Geraghty, February 2023

Whitney Kaupke
Melissa is fantastic! I cannot say enough how much I value her assistance!! Working with her has been amazing.

Whitney Kaupke, February 2023

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