Nicole Cunningham

Nicole Cunningham - Editor

New York, NY, United States

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

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Hi there!

I am an associate 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, W.W. Norton, HarperCollins, Bloomsbury, Holt, Little, Brown, 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.
English (US)
Biographies & Memoirs
Sex & Relationships
Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Short Story
Women's Fiction


  • 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
April, 2016 – Present (almost 5 years)

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.

Manager of Community and Author Relations

The Reading Room
February, 2015 – April, 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.

Assistant to Literary Agent/Partner

ICM Partners
March, 2014 – February, 2015 (11 months)

Contracts Administration Assistant

ICM Partners
June, 2013 – February, 2014 (8 months)

Portfolio (10 selected works)

Patsy: A Novel

Dennis-Benn, Nicole

Nothing to See Here

Wilson, Kevin


Nesbit, TaraShea

The Age of Light: A Novel

Scharer, Whitney

How to Be Safe: A Novel

McAllister, Tom

Nicole has 9 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

claire arbogast
Nicole worked with me on my fifth draft of an upmarket novel, providing a much needed overview developmental edit after so many ms revisions and an edit to my query letter. Notably, she asked several good questions in advance of our collaboration to be sure we were clear about what was needed. Her work was extremely helpful and specific in both strengths and weakness. I have a clear understand...
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claire arbogast, February 2021

Jill B
Nicole was highly professional and provided me with excellent guidance on how to improve my collection of short fiction. She was slightly ahead of schedule. I recommend her without any hesiation.

Jill B, February 2021

Libby Marshall
Nicole was a dream to work with! She developmentally edited 40,000 words of short stories for me, delivering a thorough and insightful edit before the deadline. Before she began her edit she asked me questions about my project and what I needed from her edit. Her letter gave me a great sense of the strengths and weaknesses of my stories. The edits in my stories gave great suggestions about par...
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Libby Marshall, December 2020

James Schwartz
Nicole did an excellent job assessing a short story. She helped me see the piece in a new light and offered valuable suggestions for revision.

James Schwartz, December 2020

Jami Witherspoon
Nicole's editorial assessment exceeded my expectations. She was professional, responsive, and thorough in her evaluation. She provided an excellent value, and was both encouraging about what I've done well and realistic about the work to be done. I would recommend her to anyone, especially new writers. I look forward to working with her again on my next draft.

Jami Witherspoon, November 2020

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