Jeni Chappelle is a freelance editor with eight 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. You can visit her blog and learn more about her editing at

What kind of entries are you looking for in this contest?

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.
  • MG, YA, and Adult
  • Strong, natural voice and compelling characters are a must.
  • Fresh plot or a fresh twist on old favorites

What is your background in editing?

I’m a freelance editor and writing coach with eight years of experience in all genres and age ranges. Before that I owned and ran an independent bookstore with my husband, so I have a well-rounded perspective on publishing.

What can writers expect from working with you during the contest?

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 constructive, comprehensive feedback on the big picture, along with lots of suggestions about how to implement the necessary changes. 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. After that, we will focus heavily on your first pages and query to get them agent-ready for the showcase. I’m all about collaboration, so I’ll be available for brainstorming and troubleshooting throughout the process.

What do you expect from writers during the contest revision process?

Availability for 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.

What hobbies do you have outside of writing and editing?

I love live entertainment—theater, dance, music…you name it!

What three books would you save in a dystopian future where libraries are banned?

Only three? Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Jane Eyre, and How to Survive a Dystopian Future with Only Two Books. Someone may need to get on writing that last one.

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