Ruth Austin

Ruth Austin – Editor

Developmental editor specializing in children's picture books, board books, and activity books. Editor of a #1 New York Times Best Seller.


I got my start in the UK before exchanging rainy London skies for … erm … rainy Seattle skies. I was lucky enough to begin my career working in-house at Macmillan Children's Books UK. My daily life featured Dear Zoo, The Gruffalo, Alice in Wonderland and so many other classic books and brilliant author/illustrators!

Since coming to the US, I've edited many non-fiction books for Scholastic Fairs and best-selling books with the folks at Compendium Inc, including the #1 NYT Best Seller "Because I Had a Teacher."

Short version: I've spent the past 16+ years having fun with words, and helping to craft the kinds of beautiful children's books that are read over and over again.

Via Reedsy, I only work with clients on:

* picture books

* board books

* young children's activity/sticker books.

If you're an author or an author-illustrator who needs a little support ... I've got you.

I'm also a published writer, so I fully understand what it feels like to be on the other side of editorial feedback. My goal is always to celebrate your ideas and help you bring them to life in the strongest way you can.

I believe in being honest, constructive, and kind.

I also believe life and work is better with a little levity in the mix.

Children’s Non-Fiction
Picture Books
English (UK) English (US)
  • Moonbeam Children's Book Awards
  • IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award
  • Creative Child Award
  • Foreword Indies
  • ALA Amelia Bloomer List
  • Independent Publisher Book Awards
  • Nautilus Awards

Work experience


Aug, 2022 — Present

I help clients figure out what their stories are, and tell them well.

Compendium, Inc

Nov, 2015 — Dec, 2019 (about 4 years)

I developed books and gift products that were sold in stores across America and around the world.

Just a few highlights: adapting Compendium’s best-selling ThoughtFulls cards for a family audience with the sub-brand ThoughtFulls for Kids; the New York Times best-selling title Because I Had a Teacher; and award-winning picture book The Girl Who Ran, which made the prestigious Amelia Bloomer list.


Nov, 2014 — Nov, 2015 (about 1 year)

In my role as a development editor I created innovative full-color books and craft kits for a leading packager and worked with big-name brands including Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Scholastic, and Time Life.

Macmillan Children's Books

May, 2007 — Oct, 2013 (over 6 years)

I’m proud to have started my career developing preschool, picture, and gift books for UK’s foremost publisher of children’s illustrated books. I had the opportunity to edit renowned and best-selling authors and illustrators, including Julia Donaldson and Rod Campbell, as well as the UK editions of Puff, the Magic Dragon and Goodnight Moon.

I also ghostwrote and edited content for notable UK children’s characters, including the Gruffalo brand and heritage editions of Alice in Wonderland.

Ruth has 5 reviews





Kelly D.

Kelly D.

Dec, 2023

Ruth was wonderful to partner with as I began my writing journey! She held my hand through this process yet allowed me the flexibility to tell my story while remaining true to my vision. I loved her feedback as it gave me a lot of new things to think about and consider. Thank you, Ruth!
Jill D.

Jill D.

Mar, 2024

Ruth provided fantastic developmental editing. I really appreciated the broad, global nature of her feedback paired with specific suggestions where appropriate. Ruth is incredibly talented and professional and showed flexibility in working with me as a first time writer.
Lauren F.

Lauren F.

Nov, 2023

Second time working with Ruth, and again an all around pleasure. Professional, courteous, candid and all around lovely person who’s been an enormous help to me while working on my MS. Highly recommend and I hope to work with her again in the future :)
Lauren F.

Lauren F.

Oct, 2023

Ruth is a wonderful partner for the editing process. Her thoughts and feedback are specific, constructive and balanced. I highly recommend her to anyone on this platform :)
Jen P.

Jen P.

Sep, 2023

Ruth gave extremely valuable advice on my picture book manuscript and was lovely to work with - thank you!
Ruth A.
Thanks for these kind words, Jen. I'm excited to see where you take your picture book. Stay in touch!

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