William Boggess

William Boggess - Editor

Durham, NC, USA

I am a freelance editor with over a decade of experience working with major publishers, top literary agencies, and independent authors.

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Overview

After getting my start in publishing at Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, I worked in New York publishing for 8 years, on both the editorial and agency side of the business. In editorial at Little, Brown and Company I was lucky to work on high quality fiction and nonfiction by authors such as Daniel Woodrell, Sam Kean, and Paul Lynch. As a literary agent at Barer Literary (now part of The Book Group), I managed my own client list, including Garrard Conley's bestselling memoir Boy Erased, along with providing editorial services for nearly all of the agency’s clients, including novels by Paula McLain, Lily King, Celeste Ng, and Madeline Miller.

I went freelance in early 2015, and have since enjoyed the flexibility to work on many different kinds of books in different editorial capacities. As a freelancer, I split my time roughly 50/50 between editing for Big Five publishers and working with independent authors at all different stages of their writing careers.

My strength is rolling up my sleeves with a manuscript and doing close, in-depth editorial work, whether that means full-on line editing or broader developmental editing. I am also happy to use my publishing expertise to consult on how best to pursue publication.

I'm comfortable with both fiction and nonfiction. Literary fiction is my main focus, though I'm always happy to dip into genre-crossover work as well. In nonfiction, I work with memoir, science, history, health, and various kinds of narrative and practical nonfiction. It's very rare that I work on romance, YA, or inspirational fiction and nonfiction.

I’m based in Durham, NC, where I live with my girlfriend Lara and my dog Buff.


"William helped me shape Boy Erased into a book that would catch the attention of a Riverhead editor I continue to work with today. He helped me examine the scope of my memoir's vision, all the while helping to shape the tone and grammar of the story. He was absolutely essential to every step of the writing process."--Garrard Conley, author of
Boy Erased
"Adept and insightful, William is an editor any writer would be lucky to have on their side. His precise and surgical edits elevate my novel to a level I wouldn't have been able to achieve on my own. He is thorough and perceptive. The depth of his understanding of my work and goals is astonishing. Having worked with William, my novel found its perfect home at Europa Editions. This year, I returned to his expertise for my second novel. With any luck, I will be back with a third. William has me as a lifelong client." - Abbigail Rosewood, author of
If I Had Two Lives.

Languages
English (CAN)
English (UK)
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
History
Sports & Outdoors
Fiction
Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction

Work experience

Freelance Editor

Self-employed
January, 2015 – Present (about 6 years)

As a freelancer, I've worked with several Big Five publishers to get books ready for market, including editing multiple New York Times bestsellers. I've also worked with countless authors who are on the road to publication, whether that means seeking an agent and pursuing traditional publishing options, or publishing independently.

Literary Agent

Barer Literary, LLC (now part of The Book Group)
January, 2013 – January, 2015 (about 2 years)

As an agent at Barer Literary, I managed my own client list as well as providing editorial support for all of the agency's clients. Authors I worked with included Garrard Conley, Emma Rathbone, Megan Mayhew Bergman, Paula McLain, Lily King, Luis Urrea, and Celeste Ng.

Editorial Assistant

Little, Brown and Company
October, 2010 – December, 2012 (about 2 years)

At Little, Brown I worked under two outstanding editors who taught me immeasurable amounts about how to improve both fiction and nonfiction on the page. I was also lucky that they valued my input and gave me space to do real editorial work alongside them. I was also acquiring my own list, including Paul Lynch's Red Sky in Morning. I worked with authors such as Daniel Woodrell, Edna O'Brien, Sam Kean, Annie Jacobsen, and Tom Wolfe.

Agency Assistant

Barer Literary, LLC
September, 2008 – October, 2010 (about 2 years)

At Barer Literary I was engaged in every step of the publishing process from start to finish. I provided editorial support for clients like Lauren Grodstein, Madeline Miller, Joshua Ferris, Helen Simonson, and Kathleen Kent.

Editorial Intern

Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
January, 2006 – August, 2008 (over 2 years)

At Algonquin, I learned my way around the query pile and started forming an idea of how the book industry works (and doesn't work!). It's where my passion for literature started to collide with my professional interests.

Portfolio (25 selected works)

Boy Erased: A Memoir

Garrard Conley

The New York Times bestselling memoir about identity, love and understanding. Now a major motion picture starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Lucas Hedges, directed by Joel Edgerton. "Every sentence of the story will stir your soul" (O Magazine). The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflict... read more

The New York Times bestselling memoir about identity, love and understanding. Now a major motion picture starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Lucas Hedges, directed by Joel Edgerton. "Every sentence of the story will stir your soul" (O Magazine). The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflict... read more

Losing It: A Novel

Emma Rathbone

"Wise and witty... Losing It is cringingly insightful about sex and dating and all the ways we tie ourselves into knots over both." --The New York Times Book ReviewA hilarious novel that Maggie Shipstead calls "charming... witty and insightful," about a woman who still has her virginity at the age of twenty-six, and the summer she's determined to lose it—and find herself.Julia Greenfield has a... read more

"Wise and witty... Losing It is cringingly insightful about sex and dating and all the ways we tie ourselves into knots over both." --The New York Times Book ReviewA hilarious novel that Maggie Shipstead calls "charming... witty and insightful," about a woman who still has her virginity at the age of twenty-six, and the summer she's determined to lose it—and find herself.Julia Greenfield has a... read more

Red Sky in Morning: A Novel

Paul Lynch

A tense, thrilling debut novel that spans two continents, from "a writer to watch out for" (Colum McCann).It's 1832 and Coll Coyle has killed the wrong man. The dead man's father is an expert tracker and ruthless killer with a single-minded focus on vengeance. The hunt leads from the windswept bogs of County Donegal, across the Atlantic to the choleric work camps of the Pennsylvania railroad, ... read more

A tense, thrilling debut novel that spans two continents, from "a writer to watch out for" (Colum McCann).It's 1832 and Coll Coyle has killed the wrong man. The dead man's father is an expert tracker and ruthless killer with a single-minded focus on vengeance. The hunt leads from the windswept bogs of County Donegal, across the Atlantic to the choleric work camps of the Pennsylvania railroad, ... read more

If I Had Two Lives

Abbigail N. Rosewood

This luminous debut novel follows a young woman from her childhood in Vietnam to her life as an immigrant in the United States – and her necessary return to her homeland.As a child, isolated from the world in a secretive military encampment with her distant mother, she turns for affection to a sympathetic soldier and to the only other girl in the camp, forming two friendships that will shape t... read more

This luminous debut novel follows a young woman from her childhood in Vietnam to her life as an immigrant in the United States – and her necessary return to her homeland.As a child, isolated from the world in a secretive military encampment with her distant mother, she turns for affection to a sympathetic soldier and to the only other girl in the camp, forming two friendships that will shape t... read more

Everything I Never Told You

Celeste Ng

The acclaimed debut novel by the author of Little Fires Everywhere. “A deep, heartfelt portrait of a family." — Alexander Chee, The New York Times Book Review“Wonderfully moving…A beautifully crafted study of dysfunction and grief." — The Boston Globe “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. L... read more

The acclaimed debut novel by the author of Little Fires Everywhere. “A deep, heartfelt portrait of a family." — Alexander Chee, The New York Times Book Review“Wonderfully moving…A beautifully crafted study of dysfunction and grief." — The Boston Globe “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. L... read more

Euphoria

Lily King

A New York Times BestsellerWinner of the 2014 Kirkus PrizeWinner of the 2014 New England Book Award for FictionA Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle AwardA Best Book of the Year for:New York Times Book Review, Time, NPR, Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Newsday, Vogue, New York Magazine, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, The Guardian, Ki... read more

A New York Times BestsellerWinner of the 2014 Kirkus PrizeWinner of the 2014 New England Book Award for FictionA Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle AwardA Best Book of the Year for:New York Times Book Review, Time, NPR, Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Newsday, Vogue, New York Magazine, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, The Guardian, Ki... read more

The Paris Wife (Random House Reader's Circle Deluxe Reading Group Edition): A Novel

Paula McLain

This new deluxe eBook edition features more than ninety additional pages of exclusive, author-approved annotations throughout the text, which contain new illustrations and photographs, to enrich your reading experience. You can access the eBook annotations with a simple click or tap on your eReader via the convenient links. Access them as you read the novel or as supplemental material after fi... read more

This new deluxe eBook edition features more than ninety additional pages of exclusive, author-approved annotations throughout the text, which contain new illustrations and photographs, to enrich your reading experience. You can access the eBook annotations with a simple click or tap on your eReader via the convenient links. Access them as you read the novel or as supplemental material after fi... read more

The Song of Achilles: A Novel

Madeline Miller

“At once a scholar’s homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist….A book I could not put down.”—Ann Patchett“Mary Renault lives again!” declares Emma Donoghue, author of Room, referring to The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller’s thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of ... read more

“At once a scholar’s homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist….A book I could not put down.”—Ann Patchett“Mary Renault lives again!” declares Emma Donoghue, author of Room, referring to The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller’s thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of ... read more

Hellfire Boys: The Birth of the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service and the Race for the World's Deadliest Weapons

Theo Emery

An explosive look into the dawn of chemical warfare during World War I "A terrifying piece of history that almost no one knows." - Hampton Sides In 1915, when German forces executed the first successful gas attack of World War I, the world watched in horror as the boundaries of warfare were forever changed. Cries of barbarianism rang throughout Europe, yet Allied nations immediately jumped int... read more

An explosive look into the dawn of chemical warfare during World War I "A terrifying piece of history that almost no one knows." - Hampton Sides In 1915, when German forces executed the first successful gas attack of World War I, the world watched in horror as the boundaries of warfare were forever changed. Cries of barbarianism rang throughout Europe, yet Allied nations immediately jumped int... read more

Mr. Dickens and His Carol: A Novel

Samantha Silva

“A charming, comic, and ultimately poignant story about the creation of the most famous Christmas tale ever written. It’s as foggy and haunted and redemptive as the original; it’s all heart, and I read it in a couple of ebullient, Christmassy gulps.” —Anthony Doerr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of All The Light We Cannot SeeLaced with humor, rich historical detail from Charles Dickens’... read more

“A charming, comic, and ultimately poignant story about the creation of the most famous Christmas tale ever written. It’s as foggy and haunted and redemptive as the original; it’s all heart, and I read it in a couple of ebullient, Christmassy gulps.” —Anthony Doerr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of All The Light We Cannot SeeLaced with humor, rich historical detail from Charles Dickens’... read more

The Life You Can Save: How to Do Your Part to End World Poverty

Peter Singer

For the first time in history, eradicating world poverty is within our reach. Yet around the world, a billion people struggle to live each day on less than many of us pay for bottled water. In The Life You Can Save, Peter Singer uses ethical arguments, illuminating examples, and case studies of charitable giving to show that our current response to world poverty is not only insufficient but mo... read more

For the first time in history, eradicating world poverty is within our reach. Yet around the world, a billion people struggle to live each day on less than many of us pay for bottled water. In The Life You Can Save, Peter Singer uses ethical arguments, illuminating examples, and case studies of charitable giving to show that our current response to world poverty is not only insufficient but mo... read more

The Family Fang: A Novel

Kevin Wilson

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME, PEOPLE, SALON, AND ESQUIRE“The Family Fang is a comedy, a tragedy, and a tour-de-force examination of what it means to make art and survive your family….The best single word description would be brilliant.” —Ann Patchett, author of Bel CantoA funny, poignant, laugh-and-cry-out-loud (sometimes at the same time) nov... read more

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME, PEOPLE, SALON, AND ESQUIRE“The Family Fang is a comedy, a tragedy, and a tour-de-force examination of what it means to make art and survive your family….The best single word description would be brilliant.” —Ann Patchett, author of Bel CantoA funny, poignant, laugh-and-cry-out-loud (sometimes at the same time) nov... read more

Son of a Gun: A Memoir

Justin St. Germain

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY PUBLISHERS WEEKLYIn the tradition of Tobias Wolff, James Ellroy, and Mary Karr, a stunning memoir of a mother-son relationship that is also the searing, unflinching account of a murder and its aftermathTombstone, Arizona, September 2001. Debbie St. Germain’s death, apparently at the hands of her fifth husband, is a passing curiosity. “A real-life old ... read more

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY PUBLISHERS WEEKLYIn the tradition of Tobias Wolff, James Ellroy, and Mary Karr, a stunning memoir of a mother-son relationship that is also the searing, unflinching account of a murder and its aftermathTombstone, Arizona, September 2001. Debbie St. Germain’s death, apparently at the hands of her fifth husband, is a passing curiosity. “A real-life old ... read more

The House That Ruth Built: A New Stadium, the First Yankees Championship, and the Redemption of 1923

Robert Weintraub

The untold story of Babe Ruth's Yankees, John McGraw's Giants, and the extraordinary baseball season of 1923. Before the 27 World Series titles -- before Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Derek Jeter -- the Yankees were New York's shadow franchise. They hadn't won a championship, and they didn't even have their own field, renting the Polo Grounds from their cross-town rivals the New York Giants... read more

The untold story of Babe Ruth's Yankees, John McGraw's Giants, and the extraordinary baseball season of 1923. Before the 27 World Series titles -- before Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Derek Jeter -- the Yankees were New York's shadow franchise. They hadn't won a championship, and they didn't even have their own field, renting the Polo Grounds from their cross-town rivals the New York Giants... read more

The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King--The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea

Walter R. Borneman

How history's only five-star admirals triumphed in World War II and made the United States the world's dominant sea power. Only four men in American history have been promoted to the five-star rank of Admiral of the Fleet: William Leahy, Ernest King, Chester Nimitz, and William Halsey. These four men were the best and the brightest the navy produced, and together they led the U.S. navy to vict... read more

How history's only five-star admirals triumphed in World War II and made the United States the world's dominant sea power. Only four men in American history have been promoted to the five-star rank of Admiral of the Fleet: William Leahy, Ernest King, Chester Nimitz, and William Halsey. These four men were the best and the brightest the navy produced, and together they led the U.S. navy to vict... read more

Hunt the Wolf: A SEAL Team Six Novel

Don Mann

Navy SEAL Team Six commando Don Mann infuses his debut military thriller with the real-life details only a true insider can reveal. In the midst of a grueling training exercise, Thomas Crocker, USN, unearths a pocket of terrorism that leads straight from the slopes of K2 to the cities of Europe and the Middle East. Crocker and his team, who are trained for the most intense kinds of combat in t... read more

Navy SEAL Team Six commando Don Mann infuses his debut military thriller with the real-life details only a true insider can reveal. In the midst of a grueling training exercise, Thomas Crocker, USN, unearths a pocket of terrorism that leads straight from the slopes of K2 to the cities of Europe and the Middle East. Crocker and his team, who are trained for the most intense kinds of combat in t... read more

In the Country: Stories

Mia Alvar

These nine globe-trotting, unforgettable stories from Mia Alvar, a remarkable new literary talent, vividly give voice to the women and men of the Filipino diaspora. Here are exiles, emigrants, and wanderers uprooting their families from the Philippines to begin new lives in the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere—and, sometimes, turning back again. A pharmacist living in New York smu... read more

These nine globe-trotting, unforgettable stories from Mia Alvar, a remarkable new literary talent, vividly give voice to the women and men of the Filipino diaspora. Here are exiles, emigrants, and wanderers uprooting their families from the Philippines to begin new lives in the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere—and, sometimes, turning back again. A pharmacist living in New York smu... read more

The Hidden Letters of Velta B.: A Novel

Gina Ochsner

“A beautifully spun tale” set in a tiny town in Latvia—“an astonishing alchemy of history, romance, and fable” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). Maris was born knowing things: His very large, very special ears enable him to hear the secrets of the dead, as well as the memories that haunt his Latvian hometown. As a boy, he finds himself heir to an odd assortment of hidden letters, from which he... read more

“A beautifully spun tale” set in a tiny town in Latvia—“an astonishing alchemy of history, romance, and fable” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). Maris was born knowing things: His very large, very special ears enable him to hear the secrets of the dead, as well as the memories that haunt his Latvian hometown. As a boy, he finds himself heir to an odd assortment of hidden letters, from which he... read more

Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant

Roland Lazenby

Seventeen-time all-star; scorer of 81 points in a game; MVP; and a shooting guard second only to Jordan in league history: Kobe Bryant is one of basketball's absolute greatest players, a fascinating and complicated character who knew when he was a mere boy that he would be better than Jordan on the court. The debate about whether he achieved that is a furious one - but Kobe has surpassed Jorda... read more

Seventeen-time all-star; scorer of 81 points in a game; MVP; and a shooting guard second only to Jordan in league history: Kobe Bryant is one of basketball's absolute greatest players, a fascinating and complicated character who knew when he was a mere boy that he would be better than Jordan on the court. The debate about whether he achieved that is a furious one - but Kobe has surpassed Jorda... read more

Michael Jordan: The Life

Roland Lazenby

The definitive biography of a legendary athlete. The Shrug. The Shot. The Flu Game. Michael Jordan is responsible for sublime moments so ingrained in sports history that they have their own names. When most people think of him, they think of his beautiful shots with the game on the line, his body totally in sync with the ball -- hitting nothing but net. But for all his greatness, this scion of... read more

The definitive biography of a legendary athlete. The Shrug. The Shot. The Flu Game. Michael Jordan is responsible for sublime moments so ingrained in sports history that they have their own names. When most people think of him, they think of his beautiful shots with the game on the line, his body totally in sync with the ball -- hitting nothing but net. But for all his greatness, this scion of... read more

A Friend of the Family

Lauren Grodstein

“Unfolds with suspense worthy of Hitchcock . . . Grodstein is a terrific storyteller.” —The New York Times Book Review Pete Dizinoff, a skilled and successful New Jersey internist, has a loving and devoted wife, a network of close friends, an impressive house, and, most of all, a son, Alec, now nineteen, on whom he has pinned all his hopes. But Pete hadn’t expected his best friend’s troubled d... read more

“Unfolds with suspense worthy of Hitchcock . . . Grodstein is a terrific storyteller.” —The New York Times Book Review Pete Dizinoff, a skilled and successful New Jersey internist, has a loving and devoted wife, a network of close friends, an impressive house, and, most of all, a son, Alec, now nineteen, on whom he has pinned all his hopes. But Pete hadn’t expected his best friend’s troubled d... read more

Circling the Sun: A Novel

Paula McLain

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR, BOOKPAGE, AND SHELF AWARENESS • “Paula McLain is considered the new star of historical fiction, and for good reason. Fans of The Paris Wife will be captivated by Circling the Sun, which . . . is both beautifully written and utterly engrossing.”—Ann Patchett, Country LivingThis powerful novel transports readers to the b... read more

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR, BOOKPAGE, AND SHELF AWARENESS • “Paula McLain is considered the new star of historical fiction, and for good reason. Fans of The Paris Wife will be captivated by Circling the Sun, which . . . is both beautifully written and utterly engrossing.”—Ann Patchett, Country LivingThis powerful novel transports readers to the b... read more

Our Team: Satchel Paige, Larry Doby, and the World Series That Changed Baseball

Luke Epplin

An exciting and too-little-known baseball story, the tale of the first team with African American players to win the World Series The integration of baseball is justly remembered through the prism of Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Yet there is a triumphant, and pivotal, narrative from those fraught years that has long been overlooked: the story of the 1948 Cleveland Indians. This te... read more

An exciting and too-little-known baseball story, the tale of the first team with African American players to win the World Series The integration of baseball is justly remembered through the prism of Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Yet there is a triumphant, and pivotal, narrative from those fraught years that has long been overlooked: the story of the 1948 Cleveland Indians. This te... read more

The Water Museum: Stories

Luis Alberto Urrea

From one of America's preeminent literary voices comes a story collection that proves once again why the writing of Luis Alberto Urrea has been called "wickedly good" (Kansas City Star), "cinematic and charged" (Cleveland Plain Dealer), and "studded with delights" (Chicago Tribune). Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Urrea reveals his mastery ... read more

From one of America's preeminent literary voices comes a story collection that proves once again why the writing of Luis Alberto Urrea has been called "wickedly good" (Kansas City Star), "cinematic and charged" (Cleveland Plain Dealer), and "studded with delights" (Chicago Tribune). Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Urrea reveals his mastery ... read more

This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More

Uma Naidoo

Did you know that blueberries can help you cope with the aftereffects of trauma? That salami can cause depression, or that boosting Vitamin D intake can help treat anxiety? When it comes to diet, most people's concerns involve weight loss, fitness, cardiac health, and longevity. But what we eat affects more than our bodies; it also affects our brains. And recent studies have shown that diet ca... read more

Did you know that blueberries can help you cope with the aftereffects of trauma? That salami can cause depression, or that boosting Vitamin D intake can help treat anxiety? When it comes to diet, most people's concerns involve weight loss, fitness, cardiac health, and longevity. But what we eat affects more than our bodies; it also affects our brains. And recent studies have shown that diet ca... read more

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