Instagram: Jeni Chappelle
Podcast: Story Chat Radio
2023 Annual Contest Editor ✓
2022 Annual Contest Editor ✓
2021 Annual Contest Editor ✓
2020 Annual Contest Editor ✓
2019 Annual Contest Editor ✓
Mini-Event Editor ✓
Jeni Chappelle an independent book editor with more than twelve years of editing experience and a lifetime of word nerdiness. In her editing, she uses her own internal conflict between logic and creativity to help authors shape their stories and bring their books out into the world. She has edited a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction in all age groups and worked with thousands of authors from all over the world, including bestselling and award-winning authors.
She is a member of Editorial Freelancers Association and ACES, a co-founder and editor for Twitter pitch event Revise & Resub (#RevPit), and co-host of the Indie Chicks and Story Chat Radio podcasts.
Jeni 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: two dogs, six cats, a rabbit, and an aquatic turtle.
While I am open to MG, YA and Adult fiction in all genres, please only send stories with elements of fantasy or soft science fiction (soft sci fi = focused more on character than tech)
OTHER ELEMENTS I LOVE
- Stories based on mythology, legends, folklore, and fairy tales
- Stories in non-US-based settings
- BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabilities, neurodivergence, mental illness, and other historically underrepresented groups
- Body/fat positivity
- Complex family (found family IS family) and friendships
- Thoughtful, modern approaches to real-world concerns in fictional settings
- Thieves, assassins, antiheroes, and other morally gray characters
- Underdogs and ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances
DO NOT SEND ME
- Novels in verse
- Military-based or political fantasy. It's okay as a subplot, just not the main plot.
- Toxic relationships (romantic or otherwise) you want me to root for
- Biblical retellings, biblical dystopian, or other Christianity-based stories
MY 5-STAR READS IN 2022
- The Extraordinaries series by TJ Klune
- Skyhunter by Marie Lu
- This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
- Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz
- Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
- A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark
- A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske
- The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
- Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
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. I'll be looking at voice (I know y’all hate reading that, but it’s true), 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 hope to see that the author knows how to craft a scene and has a good grasp of the basics of storytelling. And remember, I'm not looking for something that's perfect, just something that sparks my interest and that I have a strong editorial vision for.
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. We will also definitely discuss any problematic content I see, including lack of diverse representation or any potentially harmful representation. So first I’ll provide comprehensive feedback on the big picture. We’ll plan at least one call (probably phone or Zoom, but I'm also open to other kinds of communication if you're not a phone/Zoom person) to address any questions or concerns so you’ll have a clear direction on how to approach revisions. I am typically pretty quiet while I'm editing (during which you will have homework!), but the rest of the time, I will check in frequently and encourage questions. A lot of authors are used to working alone on their writing, so I'll try to move us into a more collaborative space. You can also expect lots of aggressive encouragement and a heavy dose of (sometimes sarcastic, often inappropriate) humor.
What do you expect from writers during the #RevPit revision process, including communication?
I will guide the process but let my author set the pace and adjust where necessary to make sure we're working together as smoothly as possible. Ultimately, what makes that happen is openness on both sides. If you've never worked with an editor before, getting an edit back can be daunting to say the least. I ask my author to keep an open mind and come to me with their questions and concerns. In return, I try to be as transparent as possible, really listen to my author, and guide our work together so we bridge any gaps in understanding. I am here to help you and want you to get as much from this opportunity as you can, but I never want anyone to feel stuck or overwhelmed.
What hobbies do you have outside of writing and editing?
I love audiobooks and video games—usually on PlayStation or Switch, sometimes on PC, and usually open world games are my favorite. Some of my favorites: Stardew Valley, Breath of the Wild, Skyrim, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Horizon: Zero Dawn/Forbidden West, ACNH, and this year, I've really gotten into Pokémon games on my Switch. I'm always looking for recs! Beyond that, I love hanging out with my family, including our pets (because, yes, they are part of the family)