Jeni Chappelle is a freelance editor with nine years of editing experience and a lifetime of word nerdiness. She lives in an itty-bitty town a few miles from Charlotte, NC with her family and a menagerie. Jeni loves working with authors of all levels to polish their writing and bring their books out into the world. She has worked on #P2P16, #ShoreIndie, and is a founding editor for #RevPit.
What I’m really looking for is impeccable voice, characters I immediately connect to, and strong plot.
- I have eclectic tastes, so any genre works for me.
- YA, NA, and Adult
- Strong, natural voice and compelling characters are a must.
- Fresh plot or a new twist on old favorites
- I am not accepting military-based plots, Christian fiction (especially apocalyptic or biblical), love triangles, or slasher-style horror.
- If you have a prologue, don’t send it to me. Send me the first 5 pages of Chapter 1 instead.
How can a manuscript’s first five pages make you sit up and take notice?
I want to be excited about your plot and main character. In your query, I mostly want a strong idea of your overall plot, character arc, and stakes, stakes, stakes! In the pages, I’m looking for five elements to be handled well in a sub: voice (I know y’all hate reading that, but it’s true), starting with a scene already in progress, emotional connection to the main character, conflict, and orientation to the MC’s world and story (including characters introductions, world building, backstory, exposition, etc). I need to see that the author knows how to craft a scene and has a good grasp of the basics of storytelling.
What can writers expect from working with you during #RevPit, including communication?
What’s most important to me is that we work together to create your best manuscript possible and maintain your vision for your book. My main focus for this contest will be big-picture storytelling—plot, characterization, pacing, structure, etc. So first I’ll provide comprehensive feedback on the big picture. We’ll plan at least one phone call to address any questions or concerns so you’ll have a clear direction on how to approach revisions. I’m all about collaboration, so I’ll touch base frequently and be available via email for brainstorming and troubleshooting throughout the process.
What do you expect from writers during the #RevPit revision process, including communication?
Musts: availability for frequent communication, commitment to hard work, and willingness to make difficult changes. Plan at least 40 hours for revisions over the course of the editing round. I am open to more than one round of edits if we have time and the author works hard on revisions. I want this thing to be sparkling!
What hobbies do you have outside of writing and editing?
During the week, I love to play with my puppy, ten-year-old Lab, six cats, my kids’ eight fancy rats, and our turtle (just kidding; he’s an aquatic turtle who lives in an aquarium, and he’s way too grumpy to play). I recently started gaming a little (it really helps after a long day of wording) and took up knitting, although I don’t practice as much as I need to be any good at it. On the weekends, I love live entertainment: theater, dance, music, comedy, burlesque…you name it. And I’m a huge Disney World fan! I’d go there on every vacation if I could (that’s not an exaggeration).
What was your favorite childhood book and what did you love about it?
Do I really have to pick just one? A Wrinkle in Time is definitely among my favorites. When I was a kid, there weren't many girls like Meg in books. Shy, anxious, nerdy girls weren't a thing. She was the first character I ever really identified with. Oh, and Calvin O'Keefe was my first book boyfriend.