Rebecca Behrens

Rebecca Behrens - Editor

New York, NY, United States

With 10+ years of experience working at NYC publishers, I've edited 100s of books across genres. Thorough, candid, and easy to work with!

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Overview

I have over a decade of in-house experience working as a production editor, copy editor, and developmental editor at major trade and educational publishing houses in New York City, including McGraw-Hill, Penguin Random House, and Disney Publishing Worldwide. As a freelancer, I’ve copyedited, proofread, fact-checked, researched, and Americanized projects for:
  • Penguin Random House
  • Egmont USA
  • Adaptive Books
  • Weldon Owen Publishing
  • Scholastic
  • DK
  • Page Street Publishing
  • Abrams
  • Audible (Amazon)
With both an author’s and editor’s background, I have a deep knowledge of language, grammar, and style–and great respect for preserving an author’s voice. (In fact, I wrote my master’s thesis on the unique challenges present in the working relationship between writer and editor.) I've worked on books by New York Times best-selling and Newbery Award-winning authors, as well as many titles that have received starred reviews. Books for young readers (picture books, chapter books/early readers, middle grade, and YA) are my specialty, but my editorial experience includes adult fiction and nonfiction as well.

If you hire me as a developmental editor for your book, I will provide an in-depth edit of your entire manuscript, addressing the structure, style, plotting, and characterization. I'll look for big-picture issues (such as a character's arc) as well as sentence-level edits (such as overuse of a particular phrase). I'll look for sections where your work might benefit from cuts as well as opportunities to flesh out your story or characters by adding content. I'll also prepare a detailed edit letter to summarize my thoughts about the strengths of your work as well as areas that could be further developed or improved.

The editorial assessments I provide are insightful overviews of a work. While this does not include sentence-level comments and suggestions (as a developmental edit does), I will thoroughly read your manuscript and prepare a detailed and thoughtful edit letter that shares your work's strengths and weaknesses, as well as my suggestions for what can be improved. I'll also address changes you could make to help your work stand out in its marketplace.

If you hire me to copyedit your book, I will meticulously read the text, using Track Changes to correct any issues with grammar, style, punctuation, and spelling. I'll also suggest places where you might want to "recast" a sentence for clarity or to avoid repetition. I'll do a bit of fact-checking, as needed, and watch for continuity and sensitivity issues throughout. My goal is always to polish your work to enhance your unique voice--never to impose a style on an author.

I’ve always loved this wisdom from Ursula K. LeGuin: “A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it.” The same is true of a good editor. It’s a privilege and a joy to work with words, and to help writers find the perfect ones to tell their stories. As an author myself, I know it can be daunting to share your writing and face revisions. I hope our collaboration will give you guidance and creative inspiration for your work, and that I can help make your story shine.

If you'd like to discuss the editorial services I offer, please reach out! I look forward to hearing about your work.

Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Calendars
Children's - Non-fiction
Education & Reference
Fiction
Children's - Middle Grade
Children's - Picture Books
Women's Fiction
Young Adult & Teen

Work experience

Freelance Editor

Self-employed
July, 2014 – Present (about 5 years)

Copy Editor

Disney Publishing Worldwide
August, 2016 – April, 2017 (8 months)

Senior Editor

McGraw-Hill Education
August, 2014 – July, 2016 (almost 2 years)

Production Editor

Penguin Random House
January, 2013 – July, 2014 (over 1 year)

Editor

Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Education
August, 2008 – December, 2012 (over 4 years)

Portfolio (16 selected works)

From Percy Jackson: Camp Half-Blood Confidential (An Official Rick Riordan Companion Book): Your Real Guide to the Demigod Training Camp (Trials of Apollo)

Rick Riordan

In response to an awful camp orientation video created by the god Apollo, Percy Jackson and other residents of Camp Half-Blood answer such questions as "What is this place?" and "Do I get to keep the T-shirt?" Newbies can check out the section on the Divine Cabins, read up on Magical Landmarks, and consult the chapter of Training Arenas. But Camp Half-Blood Confidential explores much more than... read more

In response to an awful camp orientation video created by the god Apollo, Percy Jackson and other residents of Camp Half-Blood answer such questions as "What is this place?" and "Do I get to keep the T-shirt?" Newbies can check out the section on the Divine Cabins, read up on Magical Landmarks, and consult the chapter of Training Arenas. But Camp Half-Blood Confidential explores much more than... read more

Who Is Ruth Bader Ginsburg? (Who Was?)

Patricia Brennan Demuth, Who HQ

You've probably seen her on t-shirts, mugs, and even tattoos, well, now that famous face graces the cover of our latest Who Is? title.Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is famous for her stylish collars (called jabots) and her commanding dissents. This opera-loving New Yorker has always spoken her mind; as a young lawyer, RBG advocated for gender equality and women's rights when few others did. She g... read more

You've probably seen her on t-shirts, mugs, and even tattoos, well, now that famous face graces the cover of our latest Who Is? title.Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is famous for her stylish collars (called jabots) and her commanding dissents. This opera-loving New Yorker has always spoken her mind; as a young lawyer, RBG advocated for gender equality and women's rights when few others did. She g... read more

The Spies That Bind: A Gallagher Girls Prequel

Ally Carter

An original novella and prequel to Ally Carter's New York Times best-selling Gallagher Girls series, exclusively on Audible. The first day at a new school is tough for any kid, but it's especially scary when you're going to a school for spies. Cammie Morgan has spent her whole life dreaming of becoming a Gallagher Girl, but she has no idea what she'll face when she arrives at The Gallagher Aca... read more

An original novella and prequel to Ally Carter's New York Times best-selling Gallagher Girls series, exclusively on Audible. The first day at a new school is tough for any kid, but it's especially scary when you're going to a school for spies. Cammie Morgan has spent her whole life dreaming of becoming a Gallagher Girl, but she has no idea what she'll face when she arrives at The Gallagher Aca... read more

A Pain in the Pigza

Jack Gantos

Joey Pigza is a boy with big ideas and a heart bigger than his best friend in the whole world-Pablo, his loving chihuahua. Joey returns in a second Audible Original, this time to help rescue all the local dogs that need good homes and to help the animal shelter get the word out about their "PETS MAKE PEOPLE BETTER" adoption event. But in a twist of fate, his own beloved chihuahua, Pablo, has b... read more

Joey Pigza is a boy with big ideas and a heart bigger than his best friend in the whole world-Pablo, his loving chihuahua. Joey returns in a second Audible Original, this time to help rescue all the local dogs that need good homes and to help the animal shelter get the word out about their "PETS MAKE PEOPLE BETTER" adoption event. But in a twist of fate, his own beloved chihuahua, Pablo, has b... read more

No Way . . . Way!: USA (Smithsonian)

Tracey West

This land is your land . . . check it out!It's a big country—with all kinds of wonderful, weird, and wild facts, faces, and places to discover in each and every state. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! This fun, funky fact book is as packed full of stuff as the Smithsonian. It's a must-have for readers of the No Way . . . Way series: Road Trip, Are You My Dinner? and Stinky, Sticky, Sneaky Stuff.

This land is your land . . . check it out!It's a big country—with all kinds of wonderful, weird, and wild facts, faces, and places to discover in each and every state. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! This fun, funky fact book is as packed full of stuff as the Smithsonian. It's a must-have for readers of the No Way . . . Way series: Road Trip, Are You My Dinner? and Stinky, Sticky, Sneaky Stuff.

Everybody Is Somebody #12 (Here's Hank)

Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver

In the final book of this bestselling easy-to-read series, Hank begins a new chapter!When a well-known author of a beloved book series visits Hank's school, he and his two best friends get the chance to be her guide for the day and introduce her at an assembly. But Hank, embarrassed by his struggles with reading, tries to hide the fact that he's never actually finished reading the author's boo... read more

In the final book of this bestselling easy-to-read series, Hank begins a new chapter!When a well-known author of a beloved book series visits Hank's school, he and his two best friends get the chance to be her guide for the day and introduce her at an assembly. But Hank, embarrassed by his struggles with reading, tries to hide the fact that he's never actually finished reading the author's boo... read more

Riley Mack and the Other Known Troublemakers

Chris Grabenstein

In this middle grade Audible Original that's full of both humor and heart, a madcap gang of bold kid crusaders set off on an unforgettable adventure to thwart wrongdoers in their neighborhood. What do you get when you add up one middle school bully, two bank robbers, 57 puppy-mill dogs, 4,000 missing dollars, and five daring troublemakers led by the incomparable Riley Mack? One crazy caper! In... read more

In this middle grade Audible Original that's full of both humor and heart, a madcap gang of bold kid crusaders set off on an unforgettable adventure to thwart wrongdoers in their neighborhood. What do you get when you add up one middle school bully, two bank robbers, 57 puppy-mill dogs, 4,000 missing dollars, and five daring troublemakers led by the incomparable Riley Mack? One crazy caper! In... read more

Lights, Music, Code! #3 (Girls Who Code)

Jo Whittemore

Perfect for fans of The Babysitters Club and anyone interested in computer science, this series is published in partnership with the organization Girls Who Code!Maya and her friends from coding club have an exciting new project: they're coding lights and music for the winter dance! But when Maya's old troublemaking friend Maddie moves to town, Maya starts spending a lot of time with her, and l... read more

Perfect for fans of The Babysitters Club and anyone interested in computer science, this series is published in partnership with the organization Girls Who Code!Maya and her friends from coding club have an exciting new project: they're coding lights and music for the winter dance! But when Maya's old troublemaking friend Maddie moves to town, Maya starts spending a lot of time with her, and l... read more

Graveyard Slot #2 (The Kat Sinclair Files)

Michelle Schusterman

Kat didn’t believe in ghosts—until she became a teenage ghostbuster. . .After a couple months at home dealing with her mother's upcoming wedding and trying on itchy bridesmaid dresses, Kat is more than happy to head off on another ghost-hunting and ghostbusting adventure with her dad—especially since the cast and crew of Passport to Paranormal are headed to Brazil and Argentina, and her new fr... read more

Kat didn’t believe in ghosts—until she became a teenage ghostbuster. . .After a couple months at home dealing with her mother's upcoming wedding and trying on itchy bridesmaid dresses, Kat is more than happy to head off on another ghost-hunting and ghostbusting adventure with her dad—especially since the cast and crew of Passport to Paranormal are headed to Brazil and Argentina, and her new fr... read more

Pretty

Justin Sayre

"Coming-of-age never looked so beautiful." - Kirkus (Starred Review)"[A] powerful story of growth and change, brimming with honesty and hope." - Publishers Weekly"Students who might not yet be ready for Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give will find an equally compelling narrator and story in Pretty." - VOYA ReviewsSophie's perspective on what being pretty really means changes drastically in the sec... read more

"Coming-of-age never looked so beautiful." - Kirkus (Starred Review)"[A] powerful story of growth and change, brimming with honesty and hope." - Publishers Weekly"Students who might not yet be ready for Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give will find an equally compelling narrator and story in Pretty." - VOYA ReviewsSophie's perspective on what being pretty really means changes drastically in the sec... read more

By Any Means Necessary

Candice Montgomery

Heart-wrenchingly honest, fans of Brandy Colbert and Nicola Yoon will anticiapte this poignant reflection on what it means to choose yourself.On the day Torrey officially becomes a college freshman, he gets a call that might force him to drop out before he’s even made it through orientation: the bank is foreclosing on the bee farm his Uncle Miles left him.Torrey would love to leave behind the ... read more

Heart-wrenchingly honest, fans of Brandy Colbert and Nicola Yoon will anticiapte this poignant reflection on what it means to choose yourself.On the day Torrey officially becomes a college freshman, he gets a call that might force him to drop out before he’s even made it through orientation: the bank is foreclosing on the bee farm his Uncle Miles left him.Torrey would love to leave behind the ... read more

Heartwood Hotel, Book 1 A True Home

Kallie George

When Mona the Mouse stumbles across the wondrous world of the Heartwood Hotel in the middle of a storm, she desperately hopes they'll let her stay. As it turns out, Mona is precisely the maid they need at the grandest hotel in Fernwood Forest, where animals come from far and wide for safety, luxury, and comfort. But the Heartwood Hotel is not all acorn soufflé and soft moss-lined beds. Danger ... read more

When Mona the Mouse stumbles across the wondrous world of the Heartwood Hotel in the middle of a storm, she desperately hopes they'll let her stay. As it turns out, Mona is precisely the maid they need at the grandest hotel in Fernwood Forest, where animals come from far and wide for safety, luxury, and comfort. But the Heartwood Hotel is not all acorn soufflé and soft moss-lined beds. Danger ... read more

Strange Skies (Burn Out)

Kristi Helvig

Action, adventure, and romance are heating up in this sequel to the futuristic science fiction thriller Burn Out. Perfect for fans of Across the Universe and The Memory of After. Caelia is the new Earth. That's what the Consulate told everyone and, against all odds, Tora finally has made it there. She can't see the ocean from her cell in the Consulate's containment center, and she doesn't know... read more

Action, adventure, and romance are heating up in this sequel to the futuristic science fiction thriller Burn Out. Perfect for fans of Across the Universe and The Memory of After. Caelia is the new Earth. That's what the Consulate told everyone and, against all odds, Tora finally has made it there. She can't see the ocean from her cell in the Consulate's containment center, and she doesn't know... read more

What Is Climate Change? (What Was?)

Gail Herman, Who HQ

Learn more about what climate change means and how it's affecting our planet.The earth is definitely getting warmer. There's no argument about that, but who or what is the cause? And why has climate change become a political issue? Are humans at fault? Is this just a natural development? While the vast majority of scientists who study the environment agree that humans play a large part in clim... read more

Learn more about what climate change means and how it's affecting our planet.The earth is definitely getting warmer. There's no argument about that, but who or what is the cause? And why has climate change become a political issue? Are humans at fault? Is this just a natural development? While the vast majority of scientists who study the environment agree that humans play a large part in clim... read more

Who Was Alexander Hamilton?

Pam Pollack, Meg Belviso, Who HQ

Read the story of the Founding Father who inspired the smash Broadway musical.Born in the British West Indies and orphaned as a child, Alexander Hamilton made his way to the American Colonies and studied to become a lawyer. He joined a local militia during the American Revolution, rose to the rank of Major General, and became the chief aide to General George Washington. After the war, he becam... read more

Read the story of the Founding Father who inspired the smash Broadway musical.Born in the British West Indies and orphaned as a child, Alexander Hamilton made his way to the American Colonies and studied to become a lawyer. He joined a local militia during the American Revolution, rose to the rank of Major General, and became the chief aide to General George Washington. After the war, he becam... read more

Deposing Nathan

Zack Smedley

"A superb story, told in an original and masterly way. Smedley navigates the novel's refreshing ideas about sexuality and religion with grace and intelligence." ―The New York Times "A heartbreaking and important read." ―Caleb Roehrig, author of Last Seen Leaving "[A] layered, complex depiction of questioning (bi)sexuality... A heartbreaking case worth revisiting again and again." ―Kirkus Revie... read more

"A superb story, told in an original and masterly way. Smedley navigates the novel's refreshing ideas about sexuality and religion with grace and intelligence." ―The New York Times "A heartbreaking and important read." ―Caleb Roehrig, author of Last Seen Leaving "[A] layered, complex depiction of questioning (bi)sexuality... A heartbreaking case worth revisiting again and again." ―Kirkus Revie... read more

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