Mollie Traver


There is nothing more satisfying to me than working with the written word. After a childhood spent writing chapter books and circling typos in the newspaper, I graduated from Stanford University with a degree in creative writing. That’s where I discovered editing and the power of a good critique to turn around an entire piece of writing. 

I went on to spend four years at St. Martin’s Press, a wonderful company in the Macmillan family. There, I was deeply involved in each stage of book publication, from reading submissions, to acquisition, editing, production, cover design, and developing effective marketing plans. I started specializing in young adult fiction and had the pleasure and honor of working with a host of fantastic authors, including Catherine Linka (A Girl Called Fearless), Jana Oliver (The Demon Trappers Series), and Amy Kathleen Ryan (The Sky Chasers Series), among many others.

Although I loved my job, I realized that by venturing out on my own, I could spend more time focusing on my two passions: editing and writing. And that brings me here. When I’m not at my desk or teaching a writers’ workshop, I am usually somewhere outside in beautiful Southern California, refueling my brain with running, hiking, and nature photography. Or in my other happy place: the kitchen, experimenting with new ingredients and listening to some podcast or another.

Editorial Approach

My areas include young adult fiction; literary and commercial adult fiction; narrative nonfiction; and select genre fiction (fantasy, romance, and thrillers). I also offer agent query editing and college/job applications editing. If your work doesn’t sound like any of these, run it past me anyway! I love learning about new subjects and working in a wide breadth of categories.

I live for the process of unfolding and rebuilding that's inherent in every edit and am known by my clients for my long, deep-tissue editorial letters, unrelenting attention to detail, and empathetic communication style. I like to imagine I'm approaching any edit as a surgeon—the careful analysis, diagnosis, and treatment plan to help the book's best self shine. I will start by identifying what is unique and important about your story and your writing, so that I can focus on editing without sacrificing those strengths. No sentence is too small for my attention, and I read with a sharp eye for weak or flagging language, while also making sure the pages are turning quickly and the characters are sticking with me. Whether it's a villain who could be more villainous, a story line that trails off, or a murky middle, I will do my best to be your objective eyes and suggest a clear path forward, so that your job on the other end of the edit is simpler. 

There are a few different services I can offer you, depending on where your project is now and where you would like to take it; please visit my Editorial Services section for a description of each. I know that working with an editor is an investment of your hard-earned resources and time, so it’s important to me that we are a good fit, that I believe your project is at the right stage for a professional editor, and that I have full confidence I am the right one for your project before accepting it. If I'm not sure of these things for any reason, I will be completely honest and suggest a different editor or an appropriate next step for the manuscript.

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