Facebook: Jeni Chappelle
2020 Annual Contest Editor ✓
2019 Annual Contest Editor ✓
Mini-Event Editor ✓
Jeni Chappelle is a freelance novel editor with ten years’ experience, cofounding editor and board member for Revise & Resub (#RevPit), and EFA and SCBWI member. Jeni loves working with authors of all levels to shape their stories and bring their books out into the world. She considers herself a hobbit (minus the big, hairy feet) and lives in a tiny town near Charlotte, NC with her family and way too many pets.
Upper MG, YA, and Adult
This year I am accepting historical, fantasy (including contemporary/urban), and soft science fiction; mystery/thrillers that blend with those genres (gothic, historical mystery, paranormal mystery, etc.); and mashups of those genres (including gaslamp fantasy, steampunk, science fantasy, etc.).
- OwnVoices, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabilities, neurodiverse, mental illness, and other underrepresented groups
- Stories based on myths, folklore, fables, and legends
- Intentionally unexpected use of tropes
- Stories that work real-world concerns into fictional settings
- I love a strong romance subplot, but I also want stories that focus more on family (found family is family, period) and friendships.
- New twists on old favorites (includes retellings and re-imaginings)
- For the contest, I am NOT accepting space opera, epic fantasy, military-based plots, Christian fiction, cute mermaids/fairies (but I’ll take scary ones!), love triangles or princesses, stories where book characters come to life or characters go into books, romance genre (no historical, sci-fi, or fantasy/paranormal romance either), straight-up contemporary genre, experimental structures, or slasher-style horror.
How can a manuscript’s first five pages make you sit up and take notice?
Premise is the first thing that will grab me so send me your big concepts and mashups of cool ideas. 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 and DM 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’ll bring a lot of energy to this process, and I want an author who will do the same.
What hobbies do you have outside of writing and editing?
I love to spend time with my family and my pets. I also like video games like Skyrim, Horizon Zero Dawn, The Legend of Zelda series, and every LEGO game ever. I’m a big fan of live entertainment: theater, dance, music, comedy, burlesque…you name it. And I could never get enough of Disney World.
What is your favorite book to reread, and why?
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern because it appeals so much to my own tastes—the speculative and historical elements, character-driven plot, incredible weaving together of subplots—and gets my word nerd side super excited with mastery of techniques that are hard to pull off, like second person POV and multiple timelines. It also started as a NaNoWriMo book. How cool is that!