Shelby Newsom

Shelby Newsom – Editor

Experienced literary book editor with a penchant for literary fiction, poetry, short stories, and memoirs.


Hello and welcome! I'm a writer and editor that specializes in indie/self-publishing and small-press literary book publishing. Formerly, I was the Associate Editor at Autumn House Press, a small independent publishing house where I shaped manuscripts into books and help foster new, original, and underrepresented voices in the literary arts. I now run my own business working collaboratively with indie authors, publishers, publications, and content platforms on a variety of editorial projects. I want your voice to be heard and represented too, which is why I am devoted to offering supportive critique, empathetic editing, and the creative exchange of ideas. All writers are welcome here!

I'm an enthusiastic and detail-oriented professional editor and writer with an MFA degree in creative writing and a concentration/certification in literary publishing. I started my career at Front Porch Journal as a Copyeditor before moving to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From there, I worked as an Associate Editor and Copyeditor at The Fourth River editing print and online editions of nature and place-based writing. I soon became a Fact Checker at
Creative Nonfiction Foundation where I continue to determine the veracity of well-told, true stories. While working as the Associate Editor at Autumn House Press, I discovered that there's nothing I find quite as exciting as working with emerging authors on their debut books. During my time at Autumn House Press, I was the production editor for Michael X. Wang's debut short story collection Further News of Defeat, which won the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, a PEN America literary award, and for speculation, n. by Shayla Lawz, a debut poetry collection nominated for the National Book Award.

I've sharpened many pencils in my decade of professional editorial experience—every scratch, proofreader's mark, and careful critique increasing the range of knowledge and expertise that I am able to bring to each project—with the aim of now helping you make your mark as a writer. I've helped writers with a range of work across multiple genres from start to finish and enjoy working on poetry, short stories and flash fiction, literary fiction, memoirs, and experimental/cross-genre especially.

I've worked closely with writers to carefully consider themes including LGBTQ+, coming of age, loss/grief, addiction, incarceration, personal/familial crisis, parenthood, marriage/intimate relationships, personal/cultural identity, nature and place (as near as Midwestern cornfields and as far-flung as the imperial roots of China). I'm here for the struggles and defeats, the transformations and triumphs that you have labored over and are ready to share.

Whether it's a short story in need of some developmental editing or a memoir that needs a final proofread, I'd love to take a look. I'm here for every step of the process, from the nuts and bolts of copyediting to substantive developmental editing. Let's get started!
Biographies & Memoirs Health & Wellbeing LGBTQ Non-Fiction Self-Help & Self-Improvement
LGBTQ Fiction Literary Fiction Poetry Short Story
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (UK) English (US)
  • Certificate in Literary Publishing, Chatham University
  • Master of Fine Arts, Chatham University

Work experience

Autumn House Press

Aug, 2021 — Present

Over the years, I've continued to work with Autumn House Press as an independent consultant. I copyedit full-length manuscripts for publication and read and evaluate submissions for the press's full-length contests in all genres.

Autumn House Press

Aug, 2018 — Aug, 2021 (about 3 years)

Autumn House Press is an independent publisher of literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry founded in 1998. The mission is to publish authors who will become the important voices of their generation as well as the prominent writers of our age. In this role, I instructed staff and board members, authors, designers, and printers to publish and promote a seasonal catalog of 12-16 book titles per year, independently managing the production of 4-6 full-length manuscripts.

Creative Nonfiction Foundation

Dec, 2017 — Present

The Creative Nonfiction Foundation inspires and supports writers of true stories through publication and education opportunities.


Aug, 2017 — Present

For several years, I've worked collaboratively with indie authors and publishers on a variety of editorial projects. I enjoy every aspect of this work, from editorial assessment to developmental editing, from copy/line edits to proofreading. I take pride in providing thoughtful and exceptional thorough work that aligns with the author's project goals and vision.

The Fourth River Literary Journal

Aug, 2016 — May, 2018 (over 1 year)

The Fourth River is a literary journal of nature and place-based writing that was founded in 2015 by the Chatham University MFA program.

Front Porch Literary Magazine

May, 2015 — May, 2016 (about 1 year)

In this role, I advised genre editors and writers on content and corrected punctuation, grammar, and text formatting issues for publication.


Full of wit and humor, readers will find themselves immersed in big worlds contained in short narratives. From a woman who gets more than what she bargained for to a cowboy down on his luck, these complex stories serve up love and loss, longing and heartbreak,... read more
The Animal Indoors

Inghram, Carly


Honold, Kevin

speculation, n.

Lawz, Shayla

Under the Broom Tree

Homer, Natalie

American Home

Cho A., Sean

Creep Love

Walsh, Michael

In The Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer, Eric Tran contends with the aftermath of a close friend’s suicide while he simultaneously explores the complexities of being a gay man of color. Grief opens into unraveling circles of inquiry as Tran reflects on the loss o... read more
Voice Message

Katherine Barrett Swett

Through the poems of Voice Message, Katherine Barrett Swett reflects on her personal tragedy and the fragility of human lives and bodies with a tender care. Her debut collection explores the powers of art and poetry to participate in the processing of catastro... read more
Praise Song for My Children celebrates twenty-one years of poetry by one of the most significant African poets of this century. Patricia Jabbeh Wesley guides us through the complex and intertwined highs and lows of motherhood and all the roles that it encompas... read more
Heartland Calamitous

Michael Credico

Emerging from deep in America’s hinterland, Michael Credico’s flash fiction portrays an absurdist, exaggerated, and bizarre vision of the Midwest known as the heartland. The stories are clipped views into a land filled with slippery confusion and chaos, mythic... read more
In the Antarctic Circle

Sweeney, Dennis James

Circle / Square

McLemore, T.J.


Sherrard, Cherene

After her adoptive mother’s death, Lori Jakiela, at the age of forty, begins to seek the identity of her birth parents. In the midst of this loss, Jakiela also finds herself with a need to uncover her family’s medical history to gather answers for her daughter... read more
Heavy Metal

Andrew Bourelle

Andrew Bourelle’s novel, Heavy Metal, gives us a glimpse into the life of Danny, a teenager who seeks peace and stability after the suicide of his mother.
Chana Bloch’s newest poetry collection, The Moon is Almost Full, focuses frankly and tenderly on the themes of aging and death. Bloch doesn’t shy away from the dark places, but she was a trustworthy guide. These remarkable poems remind the reader to take joy w... read more

Cherene Sherrard

Cherene Sherrard’s poetry collection Vixen takes to task the historical narratives and artistic mediums that have shaped racial and gender identity. She asks her readers to closely examine the hand that guides the pen, the photographer behind the lens, and the... read more
Anxious Attachments

Beth Alvarado

The stunning, intimate essays in Anxious Attachments take us through the life stages of a woman living in the American Southwest from the 1970s to the present. As she moves from adolescence into adulthood, the narrator grapples with attachments that develop th... read more
The Last Visit

Chad Abushanab

In Chad Abushanab’s debut poetry collection, The Last Visit, he carefully and compassionately explores a family broken by alcoholism and abuse. These poems trace the trajectory of an adolescent living with a violent father struggling with addiction, and recoun... read more
Cage of Lit Glass

Charles Kell

The debut poetry collection of Charles Kell, Cage of Lit Glass engages themes of death, incarceration, and family through a range of physical, emotional, and philosophical spaces. In startling images of beauty and violence, Kell creates a haunting world that m... read more
Not Dead Yet studies the uncertainties of loss, turning a gaze toward the often-silenced voices of the infirm, elderly, and adolescent. Rich in humor and honesty, Hadley Moore’s debut collection of short stories presents a contemporary set of narratives from a... read more

Erinn Batykefer

Inhabiting the claustrophobia of marriage and domestic life, Erinn Batykefer’s poems use the deeply personal as the lens through which she investigates larger cultural ideas. She reckons with feeling simultaneously large and small, finding ways to face herself... read more
Jennifer Renee Blevins’s debut memoir, Limited by Body Habitus: An American Fat Story, sheds light on her experiences living with the emotional and psychological struggles of taking up space in a fat-phobic world. Bringing together experiences of personal and ... read more

Shelby has 60 reviews





Richard E.

Richard E.

Jul, 2023

Shelby was a wonderful person to work with throughout the editing process for my first project. Coming into Reedsy as a new author to this overwhelming world, she was exactly the kind of professional I needed to assist me in making collaboration a stress free and educational experience. Her insights gave me what I needed to try and focus my manuscript in the ways I would like, and her prompt ...
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Raven S.

Raven S.

Jun, 2023

Shelby was great to work with. She was professional, direct, concise and knowledgeable. I found her feedback giving me a new perspective on my own work and allowed me to approach my revision in a new way.
Shawna L.

Shawna L.

Apr, 2023

Working with Shelby was a great experience. I felt that with her notes that I can make my stories even better and stronger.
Rebecca L.

Rebecca L.

Mar, 2023

Shelby's developmental and copy editing were instrumental in the revision process for my essays. She was encouraging, responsive, insightful, and timely with her notes and feedback. It was a joy to work with Shelby and I wouldn't hesitate to hire her again.
Patrick B.

Patrick B.

Feb, 2023

Working with Shelby was fantastic. Short stories are very difficult for me to write so I reached out looking for editors who have experience with them, and Shelby definitely has the experience. She was prompt with communication, and provided detailed explanations of what I did right, but more importantly (and what I was looking for) all the ways I can improve my short story to really bring it...
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