Nicole Cunningham

Nicole Cunningham – Editor

Agent at a Manhattan literary agency with a passion for collaboration and a love of fiction. Always thoughtful, engaged, and optimistic.


Hi there!

I am an agent at a Manhattan literary agency with a passion for working closely and collaboratively with authors. I specialize in developmental/conceptual editing, line editing, and evaluating query letters and submissions.

In my current role, I edit for a wide range of authors in fiction and nonfiction. In the fiction space, I love to work with literary and upmarket fiction, historical fiction, book club, and short story collections. In the realm of nonfiction, I particularly enjoy editing memoir and essay collections. I also evaluate query letters and submissions of all genres. I began my publishing career at a large full-service literary agency and have also worked at a book discovery website as a Manager of Author Relations.

I'm friendly, compassionate, and candid, and I strive to get to know the authors I work with personally. I find it helps me better understand an author's needs and communication style, plus it sets us up for a trusting, open, and collaborative working relationship. The stronger the author/editor relationship, the better the book!

Projects I have worked on have gone on to be published by Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, W.W. Norton, HarperCollins, Bloomsbury, Holt, Melville House, Sourcebooks, and more.

Bring me your weird, wild, worldly projects. I love working on books that surprise me, and I love picking the brilliant brains that created them. I aspire to make your book the best it can be, and to leave you feeling seen, understood, and empowered.

I grew up in snowy Syracuse, NY. I received my B.A. in English and American Literature at New York University with a minor in Social and Cultural Analysis (with a focus in Gender and Sexuality Studies). I also received a certification in Publishing from NYU’s School of Professional Studies. In my free time, I love to dance, do embroidery, and hike.
Biographies & Memoirs Sex & Relationships
Historical Fiction Literary Fiction Short Story Women's Fiction
English (US)
  • Certificate in Book Publishing, New York University
  • BA in English and American Literature, New York University
  • Minor in Social and Cultural Analysis with a focus in Gender and Sexuality Studies, New York University

Work experience

The Book Group

Apr, 2016 — Present

I read, evaluate, and provide insightful and appropriate developmental edits, structural edits, and copyedits to manuscripts to prepare them for sale and eventual publication. I write thorough, detailed editorial letters for clients and guide them through multiple rounds of revisions. I manage our submission inbox, evaluating hundreds of queries and determining whether or not to recommend them for representation. I also craft successful and effective submission letters and sales pitches for manuscripts and proposals.

The Reading Room

Feb, 2015 — Apr, 2016 (about 1 year)

As the Manager of Community and Author Relations, I acted as the main point of contact for authors and publishers who were interested in promoting their books, establishing an online presence, and reaching their readers. I developed the site's strategy for connecting with and supporting authors, both internally (i.e. site development) and externally.

ICM Partners

Mar, 2014 — Feb, 2015 (11 months)

ICM Partners

Jun, 2013 — Feb, 2014 (8 months)

Nicole has 38 reviews





Alex B.

Alex B.

May, 2023

Nicole pruned and cared for my fledging query letter, instructing me on what agents want to read when receiving one. I'd like her in my corner overseeing every nip and tuck. Superb!
Brooke M.

Brooke M.

Apr, 2023

Nicole was amazing. She delivered on everything she said she would and even went the extra mile making sure I was set up for success. Would definitely collab again!
Langdon V.

Langdon V.

Mar, 2023

Nicole communicates beautifully and delivers insightful improvement advice/instruction with experience-based rationales. I appreciated her encouragement toward targeted writing in the query; she posed the questions I'll sometimes slide out from under left on my own, and I received more valuable input than I expected from this, my first edit request.
Kimberly C.

Kimberly C.

Mar, 2023

This is the third time I have hired Nicole. This manuscript I sent her is one that I had a hard time getting on paper. Do I think it is a story that needs to be told? Yes. Am I the only person that can tell it? Yes. It is my memoir. Even before I sent it to my family, mother or sisters, I decided to send it to Nicole. I needed someone who could read it without emotion (though I hope my story ...
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Brandy S.

Brandy S.

Mar, 2023

Nicole gave detailed, thoughtful feedback that was encouraging and helped me improve my query letter. She's professional, punctual, and thorough. Working with her was a great experience and I highly recommend it!