Rebecca Petruck

Rebecca Petruck – Editor

Developmental editor + published author / 20 years experience / I love to mentor writers in both early and later-stage planning and revision

Overview

As a published author, successful mentor, long-time member of critique groups, and with an MFA in Creative Writing, I’ve read literally tens of thousands of manuscript pages and learned how to:

- See the big picture

- Spot issues in plot or character arc, especially the emotional development of the MC

- Articulate why elements need work

- Brainstorm how to improve the manuscript


Books I’ve worked on have received starred reviews, been on many Best Of lists, and even a couple Newbery Award prediction lists! My own books also have received starred reviews as well as: named an Indies Introduce New Voice and a Kids Indie Next pick; nominated for Readers Choice state lists in LA and MN; and included in several Best Of lists.


I’m a very interactive editor and prefer to discuss your idea or manuscript via online chat or phone. I follow up with emailed notes, but I first like to talk about things IRL to be sure we’re on the same page, the changes I suggest make sense, and are in line with your vision for your book. My goal is to draw out the very best of what you want for your book.


My experience primarily is with middle grade and young adult fiction, kidlit memoir, and graphic novels though I do read adult fiction in romance, thriller, and sci-fi.


I’m excited for you and your journey as a writer, and I would love to help you take steps ahead to reach the next level. Happy writing!

Services
Fiction
Comics & Graphic Novels Coming of Age Cultural & Ethnic Humor & Comedy LGBTQ Fiction Middle Grade Romance Young Adult
Languages
English (US)
Awards
  • Indies Introduce New Voices (American Booksellers Association)
  • Kids Indie Next List (American Booksellers Association)
  • Starred reviews from Booklist and BCCB
  • Louisiana Young Readers Choice nominee
  • Minnesota Youth Reading Awards nominee
  • Blue Ribbon winner as a Best Book of the Year (Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books)
Certifications
  • MFA, UNC Wilmington
  • Certificate in Applied Mythology, Pacifica Graduate Institute
  • Advanced Master Program on the Treatment of Trauma, National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine
  • Close Encounters: Tracing the History of UFOs With Greg Eghigian, Atlas Obscura
  • The Trauma of Racism, NICABM
  • The Trevor Project, Volunteer Crisis Counselor
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences and Trauma-Informed Care, Zero Abuse Project
  • Masters of Social Work, University of Louisville (expected 2026)

Work experience

Self-employed

May, 2013 — Present

In 2013, upon the sale of my debut novel, I began working with ABRAMS/Amulet, publisher of my follow-up novel as well. During this time I also taught numerous workshops on plotting one's novel, coached authors in developing projects and planning revisions, and extended my manuscript services to a wide variety of genres for assessment and editing.

UNC Asheville

Oct, 2020 — Nov, 2021 (about 1 year)

As part of the Great Smokies Writing Program, I co-teach a 5- and 10-week workshop, Heart of the Story: Writing for Children and Young Adults. In this course, we review the fundamentals of good storytelling and workshop student pages.

Writing in the Margins

May, 2017 — May, 2019 (about 2 years)

Writing in the Margins was a mentoring opportunity organized by Justina Ireland to support writers of color and others from marginalized communities. I worked with two mentees, one of whom has two novels published that we worked on during our time together.

Pitch Wars

Sep, 2015 — Feb, 2022 (over 6 years)

Pitch Wars was a mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns chose one writer each to spend three months revising their manuscript. It ended with an Agent Showcase, where agents read a pitch/first page and requested to read more. I mentored eight writers, with several published and forthcoming novels as a result.

SCBWI Carolinas

Jan, 2015 — Jul, 2019 (over 4 years)

SCBWI Carolinas hosted a four-month mentoring program which focused on developing fundamentals of writing and storytelling. I worked with six writers in four years, in a system of monthly packets due, including reading and writing assignments.

Portfolio

Steering Toward Normal

Petruck, Rebecca

Boy Bites Bug

Petruck, Rebecca

Coyote Queen

Vitalis, Jessica

Developmental Editing
Tagging Freedom

Roumani, Rhonda

Developmental Editing
Free Period

Terese, Ali

Developmental Editing
The Rabbit's Gift

Vitalis, Jessica

Developmental Editing
Monsters in the Mist

Brandt, Juliana

Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
A Wilder Magic

Brandt, Juliana

Developmental Editing
The Wolf of Cape Fen

Brandt, Juliana

Developmental Editing
The Wolf's Curse

Vitalis, Jessica

Developmental Editing
While I Was Away

Brown, Waka T.

Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
Dog Star

Shepherd, Megan

Developmental Editing

Rebecca has 10 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Jessica M.

Jessica M.

Oct, 2022

Rebecca gave such great, critical feedback on my novel as part of an editorial assessment. She clearly read it closely and zeroed in on the areas that needed improvement. Our chat after her reading was energizing and kind of put the wind back in my sails after I had resigned myself to the idea that it was as good as I was capable of making it. She communicated clearly throughout the process, an...
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Ben H.

Ben H.

Oct, 2022

From the outset Rebecca was professional and tailored her approach to my specific needs. A Zoom call after reading the manuscript was a nice touch and enabled Rebecca to address my concerns and aspirations in her report. Along with her final report, she also shared links to useful resources and a section of my manuscript marked up to illustrate a point she was making – all really valuable add...
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Tessa T.

Tessa T.

Oct, 2022

Rebecca zeroed in on the main problems I had with my rough draft and helped me solve them through her letter AND a FaceTime call. She hung in there with multiple offer changes until I was finally able to afford the full service! She gave me all of the tools to coach myself through my revision and really helped catapult my work to the next level. Her incredible insight and feedback gave my stor...
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Peter D.

Peter D.

Aug, 2022

Rebecca has a great sense for plot and storytelling. She found the problems with my story and put me on a path to creating a much better book.
Vanessa K.

Vanessa K.

Aug, 2022

The value of Rebecca's developmental editing skills cannot be understated. As someone less experienced in the storywriting process, I felt like Rebecca's help up-leveled my entire understanding of how to think about story structure. With ease and grace, she swept through the drafts and storyboards and cut to the core. Her creative ideas caused me a-ha moments, helped prioritize characters and t...
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