Meet the Editor

Deborah Halverson
was an editor at Harcourt Children’s Books for 10 years before becoming the award-winning author of Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies,  Writing New Adult Fiction, two teen novels (Honk If You Hate Me and Big Mouth), the picture book Letters to Santa, and three books in Remix series for struggling readers. She has been working with authors—bestsellers, veterans, debut, and aspiring—for over twenty years. The books she’s edited have garnered awards and rave reviews, and many of the aspiring writers she’s coached have landed agent representation and lucrative book deals.

Deborah is now a freelance editor specializing in Young Adult/Middle Grade fiction and nonfiction, New Adult fiction, and picture books.

In addition to founding, Deborah serves on the advisory board for the UC San Diego Extension “Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating” certificate program. She speaks extensively at workshops and conferences for writers. For more about Deborah, visit
Twitter: @Dear_Editor, @DeborahHalversn
Instagram: deareditordotcom, deborahhalversonbooks
Facebook: DearEditorcom, DeborahHalverson

What writers say about Deborah:

“Deborah’s feedback is smart and focused. She makes the kind of comments you can really do something with. My manuscript was sold at auction for a 2-book deal.”–Jeff Hirschbestseller, The Eleventh Plague & other YAs

“Deborah’s expertise helped me fine-tune my debut novel Written in the Stars and was the smartest decision I made for my writing career. The lessons I gained from her advice stay with me to this day.”–Aisha Saeed, bestseller, Amal Unbound and Written Under the Stars, YA

“Deborah’s perceptive editorial remarks helped me look at my manuscript in a whole new way and gently pushed me and my book to a higher level. After implementing Deborah’s suggestions, I received a 2-book publication deal. Her concise, discerning suggestions taught me many skills I have carried over in the crafting of other novels.”–Kristen Landon, award-winning, Life in the Pit, The Limit, & other YAs

“Deborah has her finger on the pulse of YA fiction and can diagnose even the most elusive problems in a manuscript. Her suggestions have proven to be spot on time and time again. She can take a book from good to great; a rare skill that requires a keen eye and nuance. Working through an edit with Deborah is educational and fun, not fear-inducing and depressing, because she also won’t hesitate to tell you what you’re doing well. My manuscript quickly landed a 3-book deal after her edit. I highly recommend her.”– Chris Babu, The Initiation series, YA

“My manuscript received two offers and both publishers agreed to have a two-book offer…. Your touch brought the book to a higher level. I couldn’t thank you enough for that.”–Ji-li Jiang, award-winning, Red Scarf Girl & other YAs & picture books

“Deborah is an insightful editor who goes above and beyond what I expected. She has a way of communicating her thoughts in a gently constructive way that makes sense. I incorporated her comments into the revision of my manuscript, DANCE WITH BORZOIS, and landed a contract with Knopf.”–Annemarie O’Brien, award-winning, Dance with Borzois, YA

“Deborah is not only an excellent, discerning, and responsive editor, she is also a great pleasure to work with. She has a fine command of language and a great sense of story.”–Jean Ferris, award-winning, Once Upon a Marigold & other YAs

“Deborah is a crackerjack editor–creative, caring, and clever–and those are just the C’s.”–Kathleen Krull, award-winning, Harvesting Hope & other nonfiction picture books

“Deborah was a big reason I was able to sell my novel to a publisher. She has a keen eye, she works quickly and efficiently, her guidance is right on, and she sees the big picture.”–Sarah Scheerger, Operation Frog Effect & other MGs, YAs, young readers, and picture books

“I worked on my first manuscript for years and wasn’t getting anywhere. I was stuck. Until, I sent a draft to Deborah. She was able to look at it through the lens of an editor and make suggestions I hadn’t thought about. Every one of them made my manuscript stronger. She pointed me in the right direction. It’s the manuscript that got me an agent and my first book sale.”–Kim Turrisi, Just A Normal Tuesday, YA

“The best person who ever happened to my novel, Tiger Drive, is Deborah Halverson. She was the first editor to see it. Thanks to her manuscript evaluation and her advice to ‘give us a reason to care about these characters,’ my debut novel went on to win Best New Fiction at the American Fiction Awards.”–Teri Case, award-winning, Tiger Drive and other fiction/nonfiction for adults

“Deborah did much more than line-editing. She suggested a completely new ending to my Christmas novelty book. It helped me avoid predictability and layered the revised work with much more complexity and depth. She’s awesome!”–Kimball Fisher, bestseller, Finding Baby Jesus & other fiction/nonfiction for kids and adults

“In addition to being a keen editor with discerning tastes and inspired vision, Deborah is also an enormously talented writer who is tuned in to the interests and issues that engage young readers. Her energy, experience, enthusiasm, and knowledge make her an extraordinary teacher. She is a clear and engaging communicator, and her sly sense of humor sparkles.”–Robin Cruise, publisher, author

“Deborah is not only extremely knowledgeable but also capable of sharing that knowledge productively. And her critiques provide valuable insight for our writers. She is an excellent instructor with a keen sense of what each writer needs to hear to improve their work and the sensibility to provide critiques in a manner in which they are well-received.”–Antoinette Kuritz, Literary Publicist, Strategies Public Relations Consulting; Founder/Director of the La Jolla Writers Conference

For more about Deborah and her books, visit her author site





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