***please take note*** I am currently booked through the end of July 2018, but am booking for August onward on a limited basis. ***please take note***
Hello! My name is Sylvia Cottrell, and I am an enthusiastic, results-focused fiction and nonfiction editor living and working in the beautiful Napa Valley, California. I am committed to helping authors every step of the way through the editorial life of a project. In service of this commitment, I offer manuscript evaluations, developmental editing, copyediting, proofreading, and query letter evaluation/editing. I have been involved in the professional editorial sphere for over six years and am experienced with many types and levels of editing. Some of my current and previous clients include Beyond Words Publishing (a division of Simon & Schuster), HarperOne, IT Revolution, Parragon Books, Carlton Publishing, Lincoln Learning Solutions, Nike, Jager Di Paula Kemp (JDK) Design, and Portland State University. My primary passions are developmental edits and copyedits for middle grade, YA, and adult fantasy + sci-fi as well as for self-help, inspirational, and narrative nonfiction. Should you decide to work with me, I guarantee you professionalism, enthusiasm, timeliness, and open-hearted listening paired with educated constructive criticism. Together, we can make sure your work reaches its full potential.
I began working as a freelance editor shortly after earning my masters degree in writing and book publishing in 2011. Since then, I have worked on a variety of projects for a number of both small and large publishing entities, marketing and design firms, and individual and/or self-published authors. Some of my current and previous clients include Beyond Words Publishing (a division of Simon and Schuster), HarperOne, IT Revolution, Parragon Books, Carlton Publishing, Lincoln Learning Solutions, Nike, Jager Di Paula Kemp (JDK) Design, and Portland State University.
“Every writer—aspiring or accomplished—would do well to have an editor like Sylvia Cottrell. Sylvia has an eye for both detail and the broader perspective. She knows how to polish a manuscript. In a writing career that includes eleven books and scores of magazine articles, I’ve had more than a dozen editors. I’d count Sylvia among those few at the very top.”
―Ruth Tenzer Feldman, author of Blue Thread, winner of the 2013 Oregon Book Award Leslie Bradshaw Award for Young Adult Literature
“I couldn’t ask for a better editor. You’ve taught me so much and I know I’ll miss you, Sylvia!”
―Elisa Medhus, M.D., author of My Son and the Afterlife
“Sylvia is a meticulous and enthusiastic editor. She has the ability to connect with her authors and colleagues, engendering mutual respect and an easy working relationship. Sylvia is experienced with all levels of editing, including line editing and content editing. As a colleague, Sylvia is especially adept at supporting and advising other members of her team. I highly recommend her for all of your freelance editing needs.”
―Leah Brown, freelance editor, formerly of Beyond Words Publishing
An atmospheric and romantic debut fantasy perfect for fans of Ash and The Winner’s Curse.Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile kingdoms. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift... read more
Paladin, Traitor, Outcast, Mercenary…Dain Gladstone has been all of these. From childhood he’s been groomed for battle and trained in the Light. When war came he was branded a traitor and exiled for a treasonous act of mercy. To make his way in the world Dain has sold his skills to the highest bidder. But now he’s grown tired of war, tired of fighting for causes not his own, and he’s got a pla... read more
All Nate Devlin wants is a ranch to call home. A quiet spot to settle down. He's found the perfect place on the edge of Eastern Oregon's high desert. At the base of the rolling Ochoco Mountains there's a canyon with a steady spring called the Clearwater. Clearwater offers rich grazing for Nate's herd and room to grow.But perfection comes at a cost. Nate isn't the only one who has plans for the... read more
From aromatherapy and numerology to healing crystals and meditation, this fun and sassy guide to everything body-mind-spirit defines New Age practices for a new generation.What type of crystal should I put in my car for a road trip? Should I Feng Shui my smart phone screen? In this illuminating introduction for the modern-day soul searcher, Emma Mildon shines light on everything your mom didn’... read more
In his bestselling book Emergence, Derek Rydall helps you throw aside the self-help books and recognize one simple, radical truth: the answer is already in you.The harder we try to change, the deeper in the hole we get. We find a new partner but have the same old fights. We strive for an ever-bigger paycheck but end up broke at a higher income bracket. This is what happens when the basic princ... read more
Based on years of research and 121 real-life first dates, relationship expert Wendy Newman dishes up practical wisdom for navigating the online dating trenches with grace, efficiency, and a strong dose of humor.Wendy Newman has made every imaginable dating mistake so you don’t have to. Part guidebook, part personal tell-all, 121 First Dates chronicles Wendy’s funny, real-life misadventures and... read more
The half-tree, half-human beings lived a secret existence deep in the old growth forest. Until now. When 11-year old Daisy Castillo discovers a plot to destroy the forest, she tries to halt the approaching evil while keeping these magical creatures from being discovered. But danger waits in every shadow. For if these corrupt men succeed, the Forest People will die. A few surprises are in store... read more
A power passed down through generations. A people hungry for freedom. The time for change has come.Since its founding, the matriarchal society of Corinas has existed under the oppressive rule of the Masters of the Conclave, who use powerful child Adepts to aid in their governance. Rebellions have come and gone, but none have managed to displace the Conclave's iron-fisted control.Now, a new gro... read more
Deep in the Oakwood, a boy is born without magic. In a land where powers flow through one's veins as naturally as water down a mountain stream, Micah is an aberration detested by everyone-everyone except Alekka, a gifted but solitary mage who understands the price of isolation. Her sensitivity to the thoughts of others drives her to seek solace in the forests surrounding Aclay, a small village... read more
An emotional journey through grief to healing and skepticism to belief—discover the answers that will change your life forever.LOVE KNOWS NO BOUNDARIES—NOT EVEN DEATH Dr. Elisa Medhus never believed in life after death. As an accomplished physician, she placed her faith in science. All of that changed after her son Erik took his own life and then reached out from the other side. Intimate, hea... read more
Technology is not the answer. It is also not the problem. What matters instead? Awareness, Engagement, and Wisdom.Wisdom 2.0 addresses the challenge of our age:to not only live connected to one another through technology,but to do so in ways that are beneficial, effective, and useful.
Max and Tallulah is a fascinating love story for children to enjoy. Max the Zebra is too shy to tell Tallulah how much he loves her. He tries a variety of ways to get her attention, but each time, something goes wrong! Finally, Max has the best idea of all. This heartwarming tale of love, friendship, and just being yourself is perfect for children to connect with and learn from.
Glitterbelle is a glittery, sparkly, EXTRAORDINARY princess. But she has one not-so-sparkly, very ordinary problem… she will not eat her peas! When the queen reminds her that every princess in the family should LOVE peas because of that famous one that was hidden under the mattresses, Glitterbelle worries that she isn't a true princess at all. How can her friends and family convince her that s... read more
Tackle activities on the terrible T. Rex, the stout stegosaurus, the giant brachiosaurus, and other prehistoric creatures in Ultimate Factivity Collection: Dinosaurs. Packed with fun activities including games, doodle and coloring pages, puzzles, and crafts, plus more than 500 stickers, each book in the Ultimate Factivity Collection contains amazing facts and educational information that encou... read more
Step outside your door and reconnect with nature. From the author of Writing and the Spiritual Life comes a guide that will replenish your connection to the earth and inspire you to develop and strengthen your imagination.The natural world has inspired artists, seekers, and thinkers for millennia, but in recent times, as the pace of life has sped up, its demands have moved us indoors. Yet natu... read more
The women’s suffrage movement is in full swing in 1912 Portland, Oregon—the last holdout state on the West Coast. Miriam desperately wants to work at her father’s printing shop, but when he refuses she decides to dedicate herself to the suffrage movement, demanding rights for women and a different life for herself. Amidst the uncertainty of her future, Miriam’s attention is diverted by the mys... read more
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Dedicated full-time and freelance editor, copy editor and proofreader with professional, creative publishing experience in numerous genres.
I'm an editor with over 15 years of experience in publishing, most recently at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.