Shelby Newsom

Shelby Newsom - Editor

Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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

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Overview

Hello and welcome! I'm a writer and editor that specializes in indie/self-publishing and small-press literary book publishing. I'm the Associate Editor at Autumn House Press, a small independent publishing house where I shape manuscripts into books and help foster new, original, and underrepresented voices in the literary arts. 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. As the Associate Editor at Autumn House Press, there's nothing I find quite as exciting as working with emerging authors on their debut books. Most recently, I was the production editor for Further News of Defeat by Michael X. Wang, which won the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, a PEN America literary 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 manuscript evaluation to the nuts and bolts of proofreading, fact-checking, and substantive developmental editing. Let's get started!
Languages
English (AUS)
English (CAN)
English (UK)
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Fiction
Literary Fiction
Poetry
Short Story

Certifications

  • Certificate in Literary Publishing, Chatham University
  • Master of Fine Arts, Chatham University

Work experience

Associate Editor

Autumn House Press
August, 2018 – Present (over 2 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.

Fact Checker

Creative Nonfiction Foundation
December, 2017 – Present (over 3 years)

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

Manuscript Consultant

Self-employed
August, 2017 – Present (over 3 years)

For several years, I've been working 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.

Copy Editor & Associate Editor

The Fourth River Literary Journal
August, 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.

Copy Editor

Front Porch Literary Magazine
May, 2015 – May, 2016 (about 1 year)

• Advised genre editors and writers on content and corrected punctuation, grammar, and text formatting issues for publication.

Portfolio (26 selected works)

Thank Your Lucky Stars

Sherrie Flick

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, and cruelty and tenderness in poetic images and the most satisfying of moments.

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, and cruelty and tenderness in poetic images and the most satisfying of moments.

Limited by Body Habitus: An American Fat Story

Jennifer Renee Blevins

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 national trauma, Blevins adeptly weaves the tale of her father’s gastric bypass surgery and subsequent prolonged health crisis with the ... 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 national trauma, Blevins adeptly weaves the tale of her father’s gastric bypass surgery and subsequent prolonged health crisis with the ... read more

Epithalamia

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, and the need to be seen while within the confines of intimate relationships. Honest and explorative, these poems lead us through momen... read more

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, and the need to be seen while within the confines of intimate relationships. Honest and explorative, these poems lead us through momen... read more

Not Dead Yet and Other Stories

Hadley Moore

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 lush cast of characters. We find the protagonists of her stories tenderly revealing their pain after the loss of loved ones and coping ... 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 lush cast of characters. We find the protagonists of her stories tenderly revealing their pain after the loss of loved ones and coping ... 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 mirrors our individual and cultural fears. Boldly engaging with the absurdity, strain, and horrors of life, Kell’s poems expand upon the ... read more

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 mirrors our individual and cultural fears. Boldly engaging with the absurdity, strain, and horrors of life, Kell’s poems expand upon the ... 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 recount both the abused child’s perspective and his attempts to reckon with his past as he reaches adulthood, chronicling his own struggles wi... read more

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 recount both the abused child’s perspective and his attempts to reckon with his past as he reaches adulthood, chronicling his own struggles wi... 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 through her family and her ties to the wider world around her while she works as a teacher, writer, and caregiver. Though written from a s... read more

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 through her family and her ties to the wider world around her while she works as a teacher, writer, and caregiver. Though written from a s... read more

Vixen

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 star on stage. In powerful, finely crafted lines, Sherrard’s poems interrupt and redirect the conversation. Sherrard’s voice-driven poe... read more

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 star on stage. In powerful, finely crafted lines, Sherrard’s poems interrupt and redirect the conversation. Sherrard’s voice-driven poe... read more

The Moon is Almost Full

Chana Bloch

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 where we can find it and relish the everyday. Bloch’s clear and direct voice makes her poems accessible favorites for all readers. Anyone... read more

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 where we can find it and relish the everyday. Bloch’s clear and direct voice makes her poems accessible favorites for all readers. Anyone... 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.

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.

Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe

Lori Jakiela

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’s newly revealed medical ailments. This memoir brings together these parallel searches while chronicling intergenerational questions of... read more

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’s newly revealed medical ailments. This memoir brings together these parallel searches while chronicling intergenerational questions of... read more

Grimoire

Sherrard, Cherene

Circle / Square

McLemore, T.J.

In the Antarctic Circle

Sweeney, Dennis James

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, mythical creatures, zombies, comic violence, shapeshifters, and startling quantities of fish. The characters of Heartland Calamitous are tryin... read more

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, mythical creatures, zombies, comic violence, shapeshifters, and startling quantities of fish. The characters of Heartland Calamitous are tryin... read more

Praise Song for My Children: New and Selected Poems

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

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 encompasses: parent, woman, wife, sister, friend. Her work is deeply personal, drawing from her own life and surroundings to convey grief, the b... 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 encompasses: parent, woman, wife, sister, friend. Her work is deeply personal, drawing from her own life and surroundings to convey grief, the b... 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 catastrophic grief, speaking through both the consolation and devastation these creative works can offer. Swett’s formal verse provides a lens t... read more

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 catastrophic grief, speaking through both the consolation and devastation these creative works can offer. Swett’s formal verse provides a lens t... read more

The Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer (Autumn House Rising Writer Prize)

Eric Tran

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 of his friend and of their shared identity as gay Asian American men. Through mourning and acute observations, these poems consider how t... read more

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 of his friend and of their shared identity as gay Asian American men. Through mourning and acute observations, these poems consider how t... read more

Creep Love

Walsh, Michael

Shelby has 16 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Casey Nabavi
Unfortunately, my collaboration with Ms. Newsom was a dreadful experience. Here’s the gist of what transpired with respect to my project. The project started on November 25, 2020, and it was expected to be completed by January 10, 2021. I expected to receive periodic updates in the form of actual edited sections. During the period that Ms. Newsom supposedly worked on my project not one sentence...
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Casey Nabavi, January 2021

Shelby Newsom
Dear Casey, I'm very sorry to hear that you had such a dreadful experience working with me. I did my best to go out of the way to meet your needs and took two phone calls where you had the opportu...
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Reply from Shelby Newsom


Tom Brown
Shelby showed me where changes could work

Tom Brown, January 2021


Scott Burdick
I was extremely pleased with the editing and grammatical corrections Shelby did on my short story. Not only was she prompt in her replies to my questions, but she met every deadline. I will definitely be hiring her again in the future and can’t recommend her highly enough.

Scott Burdick, December 2020


Emilio Botts
Great to work with. Warm and friendly. Really cares about your work, and making sure she gives her best.

Emilio Botts, October 2020


Michael Centrone
Shelby was an absolute blast to work with! Her insights were extremely helpful in making my poetry & prose book flow, and communicate its themes clearly. She was a complete professional; met the deadlines, explained her services, and thoroughly examined the material. I'm grateful to have collaborated with her on my debut release!

Michael Centrone, September 2020

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