Shelley Routledge

Shelley Routledge – Editor

Experienced commercially focused developmental editor (14+ years). Proven track record/success in YA, Women's Fiction, Thrillers/Suspense.


Hi, I'm Shelley, and over my 14-year journey of being a developmental fiction editor, I've had the pleasure of turning rough drafts into polished novels by internationally successful authors such as Sarah Naughton, June Taylor, Ruth Ware, Emma Haughton, Kim Slater, Rupert Wallis, Lara Williamson and many more. I am particularly passionate about working with YA, Women's fiction, literary fiction and all genre thrillers. Before going freelance, I worked for a top literary agent, and as a result know all the insider tips and tricks that can gain first time authors publishing deals.

I take a holistic approach to developmental editing, so that the bigger picture elements are considered alongside the nuance of each and every word and line. I focus on the commercial potential and saleability of a manuscript whilst maintaining and respecting the authorial voice. I am a friendly, warm professional, who will edit your novel with the utmost care and sensitivity. I can guarantee that it will be in a safe and very creative pair of hands.

Here's a quick glimpse of what I'll be diving into:

📖 First fifty pages or three chapters – Do they hook the reader? Is there rust on the hook?

🗣️ Voice – Does it captivate the reader and keep them engaged? Is it authentic and believable?

📚 Pacing and plot – Is it consistent? How does it ebb and flow?

🛤️ Protagonist’s journey and rite of passage – How has it been defined?

🎉 Denouement – Is it satisfying? How does it connect to the beginning?

📈 Market Placement – Lit agent or self-publishing? Are there new disruptive platforms to explore?

Overall, my aim is to assist you in your creative writing journey by bringing out all the strengths in your novel, whilst objectively showing you how to address the weaknesses.

Beyond my experience in developmental fiction editing, I hold an array of qualifications, including a BA in Classics, an MA in Literature and a Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Journalism.

I'm a perpetual learner, constantly training with editorial organisations worldwide, such as PEN, ACES, EFA, and CIEP. This means I've got much insight and knowledge in narrative structure, voice, POV, plot, character, tone, and all those nitty-gritty literary techniques.

So, if you're ready to improve your manuscript into something you can be proud of, let's chat.

Biographies & Memoirs
Contemporary Fiction Espionage Mystery & Crime Psychological Thriller Technothriller Women's Fiction Young Adult
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (NZ) English (UK) English (US)
  • Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award. The Leeds Book Award and the Anderson prize: The Dark Inside by Rupert Wallis.
  • Shortlisted for the Waterstones Prize, and the Carnegie medal: Smart by Kim Slater
  • Shortlisted for the Waterstones book prize and the Independent Bookseller's Week Award: A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson
  • Shortlisted for the Costa Book Prize: The Hanged Man Rises by Sarah Naughton
  • Longlisted for the UKLA book awards: A Witch In Winter by Ruth Warburton
  • Winner of the Lancashire Fantastic Book Award: Boys in Tights, Spies in Disguise by Kate Scott
  • Second place in the Chicken House Competition (2011), Lovely Me, Lovely You by June Taylor
  • Classics BA (UCL)
  • English Literature MA (Roehampton)
  • Digital Journalism PG (Birkbeck)
  • Copyediting Fiction (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Advanced Developmental Editing of Fiction (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Editing Digital Content (Chartered Institute of Editors and Proofreaders)
  • Intermediate Line Editing for Fiction (Editorial Freelancers Association)

Work experience


Oct, 2015 — Present

I offer a range of editorial packages catering for all levels of writing and budgets, and have twelve years experience in creating world-class award-winning novels alongside book PR and an agent submission service. I have worked with some of the finest and successful authors in the UK who have gone onto global success. If you want stand out from the crowd with your manuscript, contact me today.


Jul, 2011 — Oct, 2015 (over 4 years)

From manuscript project conception to completion, I worked tirelessly with authors to perfect their novels. These included, Sarah Naughton, Kim Slater, Lara Williamson, Emma Haughton, Rupert Wallis and June Taylor. I also worked with the godfather of young adult fiction, Melvin Burgess on his novel, Hunger. It takes tenacity, creativity and an in-depth understanding of narratives to ensure a novel reaches perfection.

The Eve White Agency

Oct, 2010 — Apr, 2011 (6 months)

I built and managed Eve White's children's list. Successful project delivery included authors such as; Ruth Warburton, Kate Scott and June Taylor.


Made with Reedsy
Cut All Ties

Dunn, James

Developmental Editing Proofreading
A twisty psychological drama about a friendship gone bad. Perfect for fans of The Girl Who Lied and Behind Closed Doors You can’t escape the past... Juliet and Chrissy were best friends until ... read more
Developmental Editing Editorial Assessment Proofreading Query Letter Review
Made with Reedsy
The Fields Defense

Johnson, Rebekah

Developmental Editing Editorial Assessment Proofreading
Developmental Editing Editorial Assessment Proofreading
Developmental Editing Copy Editing Editorial Assessment
A Witch in Winter

Ruth Warburton

Anna Winterson doesn't know she's a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted... read more
Developmental Editing Proofreading
Now You See Me

Emma Haughton

Three years ago, Hannah's best friend Danny Geller vanished without trace. Not knowing if he's alive or dead, she struggles to move on with a life shrouded in secrets and suspicions... But as ... read more
Developmental Editing Copy Editing Proofreading Query Letter Review
The Hanged Man Rises

Sarah Naughton

Shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Children's Book Award!"A thoroughly enjoyable page-turner." We Love This Book "A fast-paced gothic horror for children... educational as well as entertaining" Fa... read more
Developmental Editing Proofreading Query Letter Review
The Dark Inside

Rupert Wallis

The House on the Hill has been abandoned for as long as James can remember. So when he discovers Webster, a drifter, hiding there, he's instantly curious about the story behind the homeless ma... read more
Developmental Editing Proofreading Query Letter Review
Made with Reedsy
Paws in Paris: The Adventures of Tenny and Bella

Grieco, Elizabeth

Developmental Editing Proofreading Query Letter Review
A Boy Called Hope

Lara Williamson

Since his dad ran off with the lady from the chip shop, Dan Hope's life has gone a bit strange, what with his sister acting mean and Mum's new boyfriend keeping secrets. And now – even strange... read more
Developmental Editing Copy Editing Query Letter Review
Bring Me Sunshine

Storer, Wendy

Developmental Editing Proofreading
The Spirit Trap

Veryan Williams-Wynn

When her grandmother's ashes along with a family portrait arrive at her home in England, fourteen-year-old Tatiana finds herself being tormented by supernatural forces. To free herself from th... read more
Developmental Editing Proofreading

Melvin Burgess

When Beth wakes up one morning covered in dirt, she puts it down to an extreme case of sleep-walking. But when reports of a desecrated grave start to circulate, her night-time wanderings take on a sinister air.Soon the city is being plagued by strange sighting... read more
Boy in Tights

Kate Scott

Joe comes home from school one day to discover that his apparently ordinary parents are actually spies! What's more, baddies are after them! They need to leave their home immediately and disgu... read more
Developmental Editing Proofreading

Kim Slater

Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, the Federation of Children's Book Groups Prize and longlisted for the 2015 Carnegie Medal, Kim Slater's outstanding debut, Smart, is movi... read more
Developmental Editing Proofreading Query Letter Review

Shelley has 37 reviews





Dominique P.

Dominique P.

Oct, 2023

Working with Shelley has been game changing for me. She gave me exactly the feedback and guidance I needed to move forward in my project. Super clear, and honest feedback that was much needed. The report she gave me was spot on. And communication and timing were perfect. I really highly recommend working with Shelley.
Shelley R.
Thank you so much for this lovely review! It was such a pleasure to work on your manuscript, and I cannot wait to see where your writing journey takes you.
Nancy E.

Nancy E.

Sep, 2023

I immediately felt comfortable working with Shelley. We exchanged a little personal information making me feel like I was making a friend. She has been honest in both criticism (constructive!) and praise. She suggests changes, additions and deletions while continuing to let the manuscript be my own. While we have a great deal of collaboration yet to complete, I am confident that Shelley is goin...
Read more
Shelley R.
Thank you for such a heartwarming review. Much appreciated! Looking forward to future collaborations with you.
Nicole R.

Nicole R.

Jul, 2023

As a first-timer, I was nervous about what the process would be like. Shelley made it seamless and was extremely professional and kind. Her feedback was constructive and detailed, and her suggestions included a reading list to strengthen my weaker areas. I would absolutely recommend her services to anyone wishing to really pull apart and examine their work. She was a pleasure to work with!
Shelley R.
Thank you so much for your generous review. It was a pleasure to work with you.
Lisa M.

Lisa M.

Jun, 2023

Shelley's edit was just what I needed. As promised, she provided a detailed summary of my project, and in the document that she sent back, she left clear and detailed examples and ideas on how to make my writing better. She completed the edit on time. She also recommended other resources to help with my rewrite and suggestions that I found super helpful that I'm using now. She was extremely enc...
Read more
Monica W.

Monica W.

May, 2023

Shelley is a brilliant editor who has meticulous attention to detail, and treats your work with respect. She is honest, yet sensitive and takes the time to explain any changes in detail. Working with her has helped me hone my craft, and shape my manuscript into something I'm incredibly proud of. Shelley analyses and improves your work from a big picture standpoint and at macro level, all while ...
Read more
Shelley R.
Wow! Thank you. You’ve grown into such a brilliant writer, and it’s been a privilege to be a part of your journey.

Sign up to read more reviews

Create a free Reedsy account to connect with Shelley and thousands of other publishing professionals on Reedsy.

Professionals similar to Shelley

Get a range of offers by requesting quotes from multiple professionals.

Kate Moening

Kate M.

Experienced children’s literature editor and writer, specializing in science, history, and biography

St Paul, MN, USA

100% reply rate

View profile
Philip Gwyn Jones

Philip Gwyn J.

I can guide you to publishing success, having delivered it for Allende, Ballard, Boo, Catton, Coupland, Hankinson, Klein, Lahiri, Roy et al


96% reply rate

View profile
Sorrel Pitts

Sorrel P.

I am a reliable and consiencious development and content editor, with twenty-five years' experience of working in the publishing industry.

Devizes, UK

100% reply rate

View profile