Sarah LaPolla

Sarah LaPolla – Editor

Full Manuscript Assessments and Developmental Editing for YA and Adult Fiction ***Currently scheduling for Spring/Summer 2024***

Overview

WHO I AM

I am an editor, writer, former literary agent, and overall bookish person. I began my career in publishing over fifteen years ago at Curtis Brown, Ltd. while working toward my own MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. Studying craft not only made me a better writer, but a better collaborator and editor, and I have carried those skills with me throughout my career. In 2013, I became an agent with Bradford Literary Agency where I continued to work with amazing authors whose works went on to become bestsellers, multi-star reviewed, and regionally and internationally awarded.


In January 2020, I made the switch to freelance editing, where I focus on Big Picture and Developmental edits for writers at all stages. My approach to editing is to work within the writer's vision and publishing goals. No two books or authors are alike, and there is no "one edit letter fits all." Every writer - at every level - benefits from revision, and I aim to offer a collaborative experience with the goal of teaching skills an author can take with them after our work together is finished.


WHAT I EDIT

My areas of expertise are in Young Adult and Adult fiction in the following genres:

- Contemporary/Realistic (Literary Fiction, Upmarket/“Book Club” Fiction, Coming-of-Age)

- Science Fiction

- Horror

- Literary Suspense/Mystery

- Speculative Fiction (Magical Realism, Paranormal, Urban/”Low” Fantasy, anything you can’t neatly label!)


I'm drawn to books with unforgettable characters who stay with me even after their story ends. Regardless of market or genre, I love stories that offer readers a full emotional experience. For example, finding humor in darkness and understanding pain behind a joke are equally important to me. I like stories that surprise me, characters who surprise themselves, and getting immersed in a setting, whether it's in a faraway land or my own backyard. I'm also a strong advocate for books by and about marginalized, underrepresented voices and characters who challenge the status quo. I would not be the right fit for books that villainize or exploit those voices.


Genres that would not be right for me: category romance or erotica; high/epic fantasy; non-fiction (excluding memoir); inspirational or spiritual fiction; graphic novels; or children’s books.


FULL MANUSCRIPT SERVICES

EDITORIAL ASSESSMENT - Detailed editorial letter; recommended for writers with a completed 1st or 2nd draft looking for Big Picture feedback on readability and direction.

DEVELOPMENTAL EDIT - Detailed editorial letter + one-round of in-line manuscript edits; recommended for writers at a more advanced revision stage (including deciphering an R&R from an agent, polishing a manuscript to self-publish, agented authors with new projects, etc.).

Services
Fiction
Contemporary Fiction Horror Literary Fiction Psychological Thriller Science Fiction Urban Fantasy Women's Fiction Young Adult
Languages
English (US)

Work experience

Self-employed

Jan, 2020 — Present

I provide Developmental and Big Picture edits for YA and Adult fiction at all stages, and offer query critiques and consulting for writers starting their publishing journeys.

Bradford Literary Agency

May, 2013 — Dec, 2019 (over 6 years)

Represented award-winning and bestselling authors of YA fiction, with select MG and Adult projects. I've sold books to Big 5 Publishers, acclaimed mid-sized houses, and small presses, depending on the goals and needs of my clients.

Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Feb, 2008 — May, 2013 (about 5 years)

Assisted in foreign rights/translation sales of the agency's extensive catalogue, and worked directly with the agency's co-agents abroad from submission stage to receipt of payments to publication. I began building my own client list as an agent in 2010.

Portfolio

Made with Reedsy
A Shift in Shadows: Lost Legacies Book 1

Grey, Maddox

Developmental Editing
When You Look Like Us

Harris, Pamela N.

Cass Weatherfield's powers come with a deadly price.Cass knows it was her telekinetic gift that killed a college classmate five years back, even if no one else believes her. She's lived in hiding from her fellow shadowminds ever since, plagued by guilt and sup... read more
Gray Wolf Island

Tracey Neithercott

Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of wh... read more
Witchtown

Cory Putman Oakes

Enter the gates of Witchtown to find a mischievous coming-of-age story for fans of Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic and the Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die series. When sixteen-year-old Macie O’Sullivan and her masterfully manipulative mother Aubra arrive at ... read more
Alterations

Stephanie Scott

In this YA retelling of Sabrina set in the glam fashion world, Amelia is whisked off to an amazing New York City fashion internship that changes her life--and quickly finds herself caught between two brothers.A RITA finalist for Best First BookIf anyone saw th... read more
The Last 8

Laura Pohl

Extinction was just the beginning...Clover Martinez has always been a survivor, which is the reason she isn't among the dead when aliens invade and destroy Earth as she knows it. Clover is convinced she's the only one left until she hears a voice on the radio ... read more
* Amazon Best Book of the Month August 2018 * New York Public Library Best Books 2018 * Put an atheist in a strict Catholic school? Expect comedy, chaos, and an Inquisition. The Breakfast Club meets Saved! in debut author Katie Henry’s hilarious novel about a ... read more
From the author of the acclaimed novels Girl in a Bad Place and Where She Fell comes a pulse-pounding novel about love, betrayal, and a serial killer.Ever since Amelia woke up in the hospital, recovering from a near-death fall she has no memory of, she's been ... read more

Sarah has 31 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Len V.

Len V.

Sep, 2023

Sarah did a great job reviewing my manuscript. This had been reviewed by both my agent and beta readers, and Sarah brought new insight to the novel. She was very professional and her communication was excellent. I would highly recommend her.
Stephanie A.

Stephanie A.

May, 2023

Sarah's manuscript feedback was next level. A perfect blend of praise and critical revision suggestions. She worked to match my vision with what she thought the story needed. Absolutely enjoyed working with her.
Maddox G.

Maddox G.

Jun, 2022

I've worked with Sarah twice now, both times for developmental edits, and I fully plan to use her for every single one of my manuscripts in the future. She has great attention to detail and provides strong, well thought out feedback. Her suggestions never go against a character's history/personality nor do they drastically change my vision of the story. Instead they build on what I've created a...
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Kiara A.

Kiara A.

Mar, 2022

I am very lucky to have Sarah as my first editor! I worked with Sarah for developmental help and she provided wonderful insight and developmental critiques that have helped me understand my story from another perspective. She is honest with what she believes works and doesn't, and she provides wonderful tips on what can help make your story better. Sarah was also very understanding that I was a...
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Joannie V.

Joannie V.

Feb, 2022

Sarah is a professional and thorough editor. I have used her on two different projects and plan to continue working with her on all future writing projects.

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