Shari Last

Shari Last - Editor

London, UK

Editor and author of children's books and non-fiction, with 15+ years' experience editing for Penguin Random House, DK, T&H, and Puffin.

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I am a freelance editor and author with more than 15 years' experience worth of experience at Penguin Random House, where I primarily worked on children's non-fiction. As a freelancer, I write and edit books across all genres for traditional publishing houses, and I consult with self-publishing authors on their manuscripts and Amazon's KDP self-publishing platform.

During my career, I have worked on a number of wonderful books, including official guides to the latest Star Wars movies, a supernatural horror series, groundbreaking LEGO build and play books, superhero encyclopedias, a Jewish self-help book, a Disney-themed craft book, a guide to selling your start-up, contemporary YA fiction, and even some great British classics, such as Oliver Twist and Gulliver's Travels.

I co-wrote the New York Times bestselling LEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia and was the editor of the groundbreaking The LEGO Ideas Book, which spent more than 60 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has sold more than two million copies worldwide. I was part of a team of authors who re-imagined the classic levelled reading books, Keywords with Peter and Jane, for a modern readership.

As an editor, I pride myself on being thorough, accurate and decisive. I am a line/copy editor and an editorial problem-solver – able to rework problematic text for maximum readability, sense and pace, while retaining the author's voice. I provide honest, detailed feedback in the form of notes on the manuscript, as well as a document with general points, comments, questions and advice.

As an author, I am creative and versatile. I can write to many different styles and for many types of reader. I love to write preschool poetry just as much as I love crafting page-turning prose for a thriller. I am equally capable of following a brief or coming up with ideas myself. I am a good communicator and am happy to work as collaboratively or independently as the projects, or clients, require.
English (UK)
English (US)
Action & Adventure
Thriller & Suspense
Biographies & Memoirs
Business & Management
Children’s Non-Fiction

Work experience

Children's Book Author

August, 2020 – Present (over 2 years)

I am a children's book and non-fiction author, writing for traditional publishing houses as well as smaller indie and digital publishers. Recently, I have written books about children's mental health, kindness, inclusivity, the history of Halloween, Star Wars, Disney Pixar, Jewish holidays, dinosaurs, the human body, and Pokemon.

Book Editor

August, 2020 – Present (over 2 years)

I am a professional editor with more than 15 years of experience working for traditional publishing houses. I edit a range of genres, but specialize in children's books and non-fiction. I have edited hundreds of picture books, in both rhyme and prose, children's chapter books, middle grade, and non-fiction books for kids. I've copy edited books about birds, dinosaurs, religion, penguins, and outer space, as well as several long-form narrative non-fiction memoirs and adult thriller novels.

Project Editor

Penguin Random House
December, 2009 – August, 2020 (over 10 years)

I wrote and edited a range of licensed, illustrated books. I developed books right from the concept stage, through planning and layout, to writing and/or editing the text. Books include The LEGO Ideas Book, LEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia, LEGO Star Wars in 100 Scenes, Star Wars Year By Year, Star Wars Maker Lab, Star Wars: Be More Leia, Star Wars: Solo The Official Guide, Marvel Studios: Character Encyclopedia.

Portfolio (30 selected works)

Batman Character Encyclopedia

Manning, Matthew K.

Pokemon Ash's Atlas

Dakin, Glenn, Last, Shari, Beecroft, Simon

Shari has 30 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Agnieszka Szklaruk
I am very happy how the collaboration went overally. Shari is very responsive. Every step was really straightforward. All the aspects were great, but most importantly- the final outcome exceeded my expectations! I requested an editorial assessment. The project came back merked considerably with thorough and extremely helpful comments and recommendations. I am more than happy as now I know (fi...
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Agnieszka Szklaruk, March 2023

golan vaknin
Shari is a real professional and pleasure to work with. She too my book to the next level!

golan vaknin, February 2023

Mark Loader
Shari submerged herself in the story, providing clear, helpful comment on improving the readers experience. My experience has been wholly positive, the collaboration continues as thankfully, Shari has left the door open for any future questions. As a novice writer, the developmental edit has provided me with skills that I can implement with all my writing. If you are lucky enough to have Shari...
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Mark Loader, January 2023

Kathryn Ennis
Working with Shari was a pleasure. She provided story editing and copy editing for my manuscript.

Kathryn Ennis, December 2022

Brent Bluth
Very much appreciate Shari's editing expertise and professionalism, including advice on story organization and recommendations to improve its logic and flow. What hadn't "felt quite right" to me was resolved successfully with her help.

Brent Bluth, December 2022

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