Rebecca Heyman

Rebecca Heyman – Editor

Creative, compassionate, precision-based developmental editing from the creator of First Line Frenzy.


"Becca has been my dream editor through two novels, one of which has already landed in the top 100 on Amazon. She was so much more insightful and deft than the editor I was assigned for my traditionally published book that it was difficult to think of them as being part of the same profession." -David Vinjamuri, OPERATOR and BINDER

"Working with Becca was a dream. She’s super efficient and balances the right amount of constructive criticism with praise. She edited two of my manuscripts, which have both since been acquired by Penguin Destiny. I would definitely recommend her editing services for anyone who is looking to have their manuscript whipped into the best possible shape before self-publishing or submitting to agents or editors in traditional publishing." -Georgina Penney, IRREPRESSIBLE YOU and UNFORGETTABLE YOU

Rebecca holds a BA and MA in English and American Literature (min. Creative Writing) from New York University. She’s the founder and director of The Work Conference, an annual, weekend-long writers' workshop in NYC; the creator of #firstlinefrenzy, a monthly community learning project on Twitter that invites authors to submit the first line of their novels for live, educational critique*; and an advisor to the board of Reedsy. Rebecca Heyman believes that honesty and keen discernment are the foundations of collaborative, creative editorial work, and has allowed these principles to guide her editing practice since 2009. She lives outside of Boston with her husband, two kids, and Siberian cat.

Areas of specialty include: YA contemporary, YA/A fantasy, YA/A light or literary science fiction, women’s fiction, contemporary and historical romance, YA/A LGBTQIA+, Jewish fiction, historical fiction (Ancient Greece/Rome, Regency, Victorian, Elizabethan, 1980s, 1990s), and contemporary commercial fiction for all audiences.

For YA and adult manuscripts, I am particularly interested in the compassionate representation of mental illness and underrepresented identities/cultures that reflect an author's reality. At this time, I am unable to collaborate on nonfiction, novellas, partial manuscripts, short story collections or MG/picture books. I'm open to most genres, but kindly find a more appropriate editor for your space opera, procedural mystery, or horror work.

*Check out Reedsy's YouTube channel for replays of live-streaming First Line Frenzy broadcasts!
Fantasy Historical Fiction Literary Fiction Romance Women's Fiction Young Adult
English (UK) English (US)
  • BA, English and American Literature/min. Creative Writing (NYU, 2007)
  • MA, English Literature (NYU, 2008) 

Work experience


Nov, 2009 — Present

Rebecca started editing in 2007, while completing her Masters in English and American Literature at NYU. Her no-nonsense editing style is precise, spacious, honest, and compassionate, and has fostered countless collaborations with indie and traditionally published authors alike. Rebecca serves as an advisor to the board of Reedsy, a curated marketplace for book industry professionals and winner of the 2015 Futurebook award for BookTech Company of the Year, and is the founder/director of The Work Conference, an annual writers’ event in NYC.


Husband Material

Belden, Emily

Wardens of Eternity (Blink)

Moulton, Courtney Allison

Outside In

Doug Cooper

Hot Mess

Belden, Emily

In this genre-bending novel, there is no such thing as chance and every action is carefully executed by highly trained agents. You’ll never looks at coincidences the same way again.What if the drink you just spilled, the train you just missed, or the lottery t... read more
A heartfelt debut about a spunky girl determined to save her family and find her way home.Twelve-year-old Ruby Clyde Henderson’s life changes the day her mother’s boyfriend holds up a convenience store, and her mother is wrongly jailed for assisting with the c... read more
Written in the Ashes

K. Hollan Van Zandt

"Written in the Ashes is one of those rare novels that sets 'history' afire, to bathe readers in the glow of a greater, hotter truth. Fans of The Mists of Avalon will find this romantic/alchemical/feminist/spiritual epic equally captivating."—Tom Robbins, best... read more
A brave and unusual girl named Serafina lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate amidst the splendor of the Gilded Age. Serafina's pa, the estate's maintenance man, has warned her to keep herself hidden from the fancy folk who live on the fl... read more
For fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak and Judy Gregerson’s Bad Girls Club, this is a deeply moving and exquisite novel about a girl traumatized by her mother’s serious mental illness, and the steps she takes to save her from destruction.Bright lights, big ... read more
Annie Cooper is fed up with Washington. More importantly, she’s done with being Senator George Cooper’s daughter and all the expectations that come with it. She changes her name and tries to start fresh after quitting her job, but the only position she can fin... read more
The Barbershop Girl

Georgina Penney Penney

You don't become a notorious British celebrity without rubbing a few people the wrong way, which is why writer and comedian Ben Martindale has decamped to Australia until the latest media frenzy dies down.When he meets Amy Blaine, a perky blonde who dresses li... read more
After months working on an oil rig in the Atlantic Ocean, engineer Jo Blaine can't wait to get home. Her job is tough, and she is desperate for some long overdue girl time. The last thing Jo needs when she walks through her front door is to find a strange man ... read more

Rebecca has 30 reviews





Carli R.

Carli R.

Oct, 2023

Rebecca is an amazing editor. Writing is deeply personal to me. Rebecca is the first professional I have shown my work to, and I experienced powerful emotions through the process. Though I invested in Rebecca as a professional, I didn’t expect her to invest in me. Having a mentor in my corner is the greatest gift.
Helen R.

Helen R.

Mar, 2022

I was unsure how to improve my manuscript and hired Rebecca to do a developmental edit. She provided creative and insightful feedback in writing, following which we had a great call where we dove deeper into the problem areas. She is clever, well-read, and creative and I hope to have the opportunity to work with her again!
Hilary H.

Hilary H.

Aug, 2021

For the first phase of a project we're working on together, Rebecca provided me with an editorial report. Her input addressed everything from big-picture plot issues to nuanced grammatical problems. Her suggestions were thoughtful and precise, and a crucial driving force to moving my project forward in the direction I wanted it to go. Through our dialog, I was not only able to see what issues ...
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Claire D.

Claire D.

Aug, 2021

Jon B.

Jon B.

Jul, 2021

Rebecca’s reader’s report and line commentary have given me perspective, insight, direction, and usable creative ideas. Our post-report phone call was a richly stimulating conversation in which we explored and played with alternate strategies. I am delighted to have found an experienced, knowledgeable and supportive teacher and coach who understands in a dispassionate but caring way what I’m tr...
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