Rachel Stout

Rachel Stout - Editor

New York, United States

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

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Overview

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!

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

Work experience

Editor, Query Letter Master, Writer & Ghostwriter

Self-employed
November, 2015 – Present (over 6 years)

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.

Literary Agent

Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
October, 2010 – October, 2015 (about 5 years)

Portfolio (13 selected works)

Some Kind of Magic (Flirting with Fame)

Mary Ann Marlowe

“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 Sinclair has no idea that the scent she spritzed on herself before leaving the lab is designed to enhance pheromones. Or that the cute, grun... 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 Sinclair has no idea that the scent she spritzed on herself before leaving the lab is designed to enhance pheromones. Or that the cute, grun... read more

The Call of the Farm: An Unexpected Year of Getting Dirty, Home Cooking, and Finding Myself

Rochelle Bilow

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 to come away with a cute city-girl-in-the-country piece. But after just one day of moving hay bales, feeding pigs, and tapping maple sa... read more

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 to come away with a cute city-girl-in-the-country piece. But after just one day of moving hay bales, feeding pigs, and tapping maple sa... read more

Scandal in the Secret City: A World War Two mystery set in Tennessee (A Libby Clark Mystery)

Diane Fanning

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 its purpose was or where it came from, but there was certainly something going on . . . Libby Clark, a gutsy Bryn Mawr graduate, is det... 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 its purpose was or where it came from, but there was certainly something going on . . . Libby Clark, a gutsy Bryn Mawr graduate, is det... read more

Mom, I Want to Speak to Marie Antoinette: A Story About Traumatic Brain Injury, Abuse, Death, Divorce, Love & Laughter

Wendy Gaynor

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 rain and gusting winds to get to the hospital, Wendy didn’t know if Ruby was dead or alive. The grim diagnosis: Ruby was in a coma, on a r... 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 rain and gusting winds to get to the hospital, Wendy didn’t know if Ruby was dead or alive. The grim diagnosis: Ruby was in a coma, on a r... read more

The Thunder Beneath Us

Nicole Blades

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 herself as an only child rather than confront the truth. Ten years ago, on Christmas Eve, Best and her two older brothers took a shortcu... 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 herself as an only child rather than confront the truth. Ten years ago, on Christmas Eve, Best and her two older brothers took a shortcu... read more

The Farm on the Roof: What Brooklyn Grange Taught Us About Entrepreneurship, Community, and Growing a Sustainable Business

Anastasia Cole Plakias

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 Brooklyn Grange learned a lot about building and sustaining a business while never losing sight of their mission—to serve their community by ... 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 Brooklyn Grange learned a lot about building and sustaining a business while never losing sight of their mission—to serve their community by ... 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 journey backward through time. Will is a charming college freshman from 1927 who travels forward through time. When Abbi and Will meet in th... read more

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 journey backward through time. Will is a charming college freshman from 1927 who travels forward through time. When Abbi and Will meet in th... read more

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 woman of nineteen, she is in love, engaged, and excited about the future—until another traumatic event shatters her dreams. Menina flees ... read more

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 woman of nineteen, she is in love, engaged, and excited about the future—until another traumatic event shatters her dreams. Menina flees ... read more

Idiots and Robots

Hooker, Kristin

Deep Down Things

Linse, Tamara

Rachel has 74 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Tonya Riley
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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Tonya Riley, June 2022


Paula Houseman
It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Rachel. She’s a generous spirit with a positive energy and a keen eye. I’d spent a lot of time extensively researching how to write a query letter, and then crafting mine. But I still felt I could do with some help. And who better than a literary agent turned editor? As an Australian, though, I had reservations about hiring a US editor because of th...
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Paula Houseman, June 2022


Richard Engling
I decided to wait to see the results before reviewing Rachel's work. I really liked her. I thought her guidance seemed sound. She was clear and articulate. She helped me revise my query letter and the first three chapters of my novel. We both thought the revised query package looked good, but after sending it out over 50 times, it did not result in a single request from an agent. I'd selected ...
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Richard Engling, March 2022


Brett S
Essential guidance.

Brett S, February 2022


Myriana Merkovic
Rachel was wonderful to work with. She provided brilliant edits of my synopsis and query letter with detailed footnotes and explanations, helping me craft lean, clean, exciting documents. She also delivered a list of literary agents and personalized pointers explaining why she believed these would be a good fit for my novel, which truly was priceless information. She did it all promptly and kin...
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Myriana Merkovic, February 2022

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