I cover the waterfront. Many years ago, my first project was to edit a workbook (along with a record, a board game, and a newspaper) to help kids with asthma. The author was an artist—not a writer. I worked with the author daily to mine her head for ideas and, for the most part, turned them into award-winning prose and poetry. That led me to a long career as a medical writer and editor, but that wasn’t my ultimate goal. About 25 years ago, I landed a job as an editor of children’s nonfiction with Enslow Publishers. That led to a job as a senior editor, and then editorial director and publisher, of nonfiction children’s books at Marshall Cavendish. Finally, at Capstone, I was able to add fiction editing to my list of credits. I specialized in middle-grade fiction, but also worked on picture books. I also wrote an award-winning picture book, Hedy’s Journey.
My authors have followed me from job to job. I provide honest, in-depth feedback, but my goal is to bring out the author’s voice. I prefer that you do the rewriting with my input rather than having me redo your work. (SuperStuff—see above—was one thing, but most authors are actual authors and want to write.) Many of my authors have become friends. I value the relationship above all else.
“There’s no person on the planet whose editorial eye I trust more than Michelle’s. Her feedback is incisive, direct, and actionable. Michelle isn’t afraid to let you know when something doesn’t work, and that’s why you can trust her when she tells you something does. As a debut author, I was truly flying blind, and Michelle soared to my rescue! She demystified the publishing world for me and simplified the process in such a way that it no longer felt unwieldy. If I’m looking for an editor, Michelle will always be my first call.” —Asher P, debut picture book author and staff writer on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”
Michelle is a talented, patient, and insightful editor who didn’t just hold my hand through the publication process of four recent titles (Hidden Women; TV Displays Disaster: Challenger Disaster; Audrey and Apollo 11; and TV Brings the Moon Landing to Earth), she made them shine. With Michelle’s help, Hidden Women was named a 2019 Mathical Book Prize Honor Book and Moon Landing earned a Booklist starred review.
I have such faith in Michelle’s ability to shape a manuscript that she was my first choice for my latest middle grade fiction project. Her feedback has been incredibly helpful and I look forward to many future collaborations”—Rebecca Rissman