Rachel Stout

Rachel Stout – Editor

Literary agent turned editor of fiction & select memoir where narratives and protagonists have distinct, identifiable voices.


As a former literary agent with over 10 years' experience in the New York trade publishing world, I not only offer editorial services on manuscripts and book proposals, but am also a great resource for strategy and research tips for authors to find the right literary agents for their work.

I am available to edit query letters or research and put together a list of recommended agents along with suggested notes of personalization for each query letter.

I am also available for offering feedback, guidance, and edits on non-fiction book proposals using my unique perspective from the other side of the desk. No need to have a completed proposal at this stage--I'll walk you through the process and be there for support and feedback along the way.

My editing style is very hands-on, and so any work received back from me will be heavy on comments and notes with a lengthy editorial letter alongside it. No suggested change goes unexplained, and any issue I'm addressing in your work will come along with several suggestions for how to fix it. I'm big on followup questions and comments from my authors, so am always open well after the fact to brainstorm solutions and other avenues for any manuscript, as well as to give feedback on brief passages you've reworked since my edit.

I'm also happy to provide a sample edit of five double-spaced pages for a nominal fee (which would be deducted from the total cost of the full edit that follows).

Any and all question are welcome, so don't hesitate to ask!

Biographies & Memoirs
Historical Fiction Humor & Comedy Literary Fiction Middle Grade Romance Women's Fiction Young Adult
English (UK) English (US)

Work experience


Nov, 2015 — Present

Since leaving the life of a literary agent, I've been really excited to take on all types of editorial projects. I have extensive experience working mainly with fiction and memoir, including YA and Middle Grade titles. If you have a manuscript or book proposal that needs an editorial eye, I'm a very detail-oriented, attentive editor.

In this time, I have also ghostwritten book proposals for authors of my former agency and have become a consultant for all things querying. Whether it's just working on your query letter and writing sample, tightening up your synopsis, researching agents to query or everything at once, I have worked with dozens of authors on their projects.

Dystel & Goderich Literary Management

Oct, 2010 — Oct, 2015 (about 5 years)


Rochelle Bilow, a classically trained cook and aspiring food writer, was nursing a broken heart and frustrated with her yet-to-take-off career when she set out to write a short profile of a small, sustainable CSA farm in central New York. At most, she expected... read more
Kate's Whisper

Carrie Wiegman

Special Agent Kate Jacobson finds herself, yet again, on the cusp of another intense FBI investigation. Drawing upon her in-depth training at Quantico, Kate quickly dives into the perpetrator’s method of killing and immediately sees a gruesome trend as more vi... read more
Deep Down Things

Linse, Tamara

Idiots and Robots

Hooker, Kristin

The Sisterhood

Helen Bryan

Menina Walker was a child of fortune. Rescued after a hurricane in South America, doomed to a life of poverty with a swallow medal as her only legacy, the orphaned toddler was adopted by an American family and taken to a new life. As a beautiful, intelligent w... read more
Waking in Time

Angie Stanton

Still mourning the loss of her beloved grandmother and shaken by her mysterious, dying request, Abbi has just arrived at UW Madison for her freshman year. But on her second day, she wakes up to a different world: 1983. That is just the first stop on Abbis jour... read more
The founders of Brooklyn Grange, the world’s largest green rooftop farm, share their inspirational story of changing the world through entrepreneurship. In their effort to build the world’s first and largest commercial green rooftop farm, the founders of Brook... read more
To the world, Best Lightburn is a talented writer rising up the masthead at international style magazine James, girlfriend of a gorgeous up-and-coming actor, and friend to New York City’s fabulous. Then there’s the other Best, the one who has chosen to recast ... read more
A call from the police telling single mom Wendy Gaynor that her 18-year old daughter, Ruby, had been in an extremely serious car accident changed October 5, 1995 from an ordinary fall day to an extraordinary one. On the sixty minute drive through torrential ra... read more
From the author of the Lucinda Pierce series, comes a thrilling new mystery, set during the Second World War . . .Oak Ridge, Tennessee, otherwise known as the Secret City, rose seemingly overnight in 1942, built by the US Government. No one was quite sure what... read more
“An amazing first novel.” –Sydney Landon, New York Times bestselling authorIn this sparkling debut novel, Mary Ann Marlowe introduces a hapless scientist who’s swept off her feet by a rock star—but is it love or just a chemical reaction?...Biochemist Eden Sinc... read more

Rachel has 78 reviews





Gloria H.

Gloria H.

May, 2024

Rachel challenged me to view my manuscript from other perspectives and to restructure my query letter to more effectively capture and keep someone's interest. Plus, her frank commentary was invaluable. I have queries out now, and I feel a lot more confident with my chances thanks to Rachel's help. Thank you again!
Ed R.

Ed R.

Apr, 2023

Her communication was lear and useful. Rachel was meticulous in her critique and spotted issues which other reviewers identified as real problems to be solved; like going deeper about my own (the narrator's) reactions in the scenes of this memoir; trimming out repetitions. She also highlighted things that worked, supporting those ideas and encouraging me to seek other, similar approaches elsew...
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Jo H.

Jo H.

Sep, 2022

I thought Rachel was amazing and I would highly recommend her. She gives you so much of her time and is willing to answer all your questions, which, in my case, were many. She is also willing to review more than one draft of your QL and makes suggestions each time. With regards to the beginning chapters of my MS, she made really valuable suggestions that have made a huge difference. I’m truly ...
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Mark E.

Mark E.

Jun, 2022

Pro all the way around. Extremely helpful editing of my query letter and actionable insights into working with agents.
Tonya R.

Tonya R.

Jun, 2022

I have been struggling for months to get my query letter just right and Rachel immediately pinpointed the issue and offered great suggestions to fix it. A lot of query services just look at your letter once and don't take into account your first 25 pages. Rachel was able to make sure my query was more reflective of the pages I'll be sending with it and incorporates multiple rounds of feedback ...
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