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 major 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), Adi Rule (Strange Sweet Song), 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 going 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, nature photography, and painting. 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 (sci-fi, 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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