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editorial services, editor :
Marlene Adelstein

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I'm a professional book and screenplay editor with over twenty years experience in publishing and feature film/television development. As a patient, understanding and thoughtful editor, I'll work closely with you to get your novel, non-fiction book proposal or screenplay into its best shape before you submit to agents or editors. I offer thorough, constructive critiques, advice on the material's commercial potential as well as agent referrals when appropriate. Call for a free phone consultation to discuss your particular project and needs.

Novels (literary, commercial, mystery, thrillers, women's), memoirs, and screenplays.

Numerous contacts in publishing and film. Selective agent referrals when appropriate.

years experience: 20 plus
Developmental editing, Proposal writing/editing, Book Doctor, Line-editing, Writing, Fiction writing
General fiction, Mystery, Romance, Suspense/thriller, Memoir, Commercial & literary fiction, Historical fiction, Thrillers, Mysteries, Y/A, Graphic novels, Non-fiction proposals, Screenplays
"Marlene has a remarkable eye. She can cut to the heart of your manuscript and not only intuit what it needs to reach the next level, but clearly explain how to get it there. I couldn't have brought my novel together without her."

Cameron MacKenzie, "The Beginning of His Excellent & Eventful Career" (MadHat Press, 2018)


"Think of Marlene as the writer's friend. She is blessed with the gift of entering into your story and making it the story you hoped to write."

Peter Golden, “Nothing Is Forgotten” (Atria Books, 2018), "Wherever There Is Light" (Atria Books, 2015) and "Comeback Love" (Atria Books, 2012)


"Working with Marlene was both personally enjoyable and creatively invaluable. She is smart, funny, honest and encouraging. Her notes, questions and structural suggestions helped turn fifty pages of memory fragments into one hundred and fifty pages of a coherent manuscript that I was able to pitch confidently and sell quickly."

Violet Stiel, "Ghostbusters Daughter" (Blue Rider Press, 2018)


"I was looking for an editor with a keen sense of both the craft and the business. Marlene was a perfect fit. She is one of those rare editors who takes a work on its own terms instead of simply imposing an outside structure. This was especially important to me, as I was working on a complicated multi-viewpoint novel. She has a strong sense of the big picture--what's working and what's not--and is also a terrific line-editor. She helped me make tremendous strides in my work, and even introduced me to several wonderful agents. She's always a pleasure to work with--honest, detail-oriented, and patient. She's a true partner in the writing process."

Michael Barsa, author of "The Garden of Blue Roses" (Underland Press, 2018)


"Marlene's editing was invaluable in making my novel the best version it could be. She's easy to work with, extremely professional, and gifted with a good sense for what's working in a manuscript and what isn't. I highly recommend her and look forward to working with her again in the future."

Hillary Adrienne Stern, "The Garment Maker's Daughter", (Hillary A. Stern, 2016)


"Marlene is an exceptionally gifted editor with a rare knack for providing deep insights in a kind, thoughtful manner. In just a short time, she helped me figure out the deepest motivations of my character which weren't obvious to me despite having spent years with the book. Without her sage advice, I would not have received a publishing offer from Penguin-Random House. I highly recommend her and wish I had used her for my previous novels."

Karan Bajaj, "The Yoga of Max's Discontent", (Riverhead,2016) #1 Bestselling Indian novelist


"Marlene is wonderful to work with. First - and this is much more rare than you might imagine -- she starts with the good news. She gives you that boost of confidence you need to keep going. You never doubt her firm and experienced hand in the background. And she's a populist: not a literary snob, but ready to dig in on many different genres. I know she helped my book - ultimately called Dig Two Graves - really improve."

Kim Powers, "Dig Two Graves" (Tyrus Books, 2015)


"Working with Marlene Adelstein was a first-time novelist’s dream come true. Along with her skilled and experienced eye, she brought a sensitive and encouraging touch to the work of editing, as well as a keen understanding of the choices I made as a writer. Her spot-on suggestions, attention to detail, and gentle guidance helped me bring my vision to life with clarity and polish. Reliable, fast, and a consummate professional, Marlene is a five star editor in every way. It was a privilege to share my literary journey with her and I look forward to the next one."

Jeanne Bogino, "Rock Angel" (Prashanti Press, 2014)


"I have so many positive things to say about working with Marlene Adelstein. She navigates so well the delicate relationship between editor and author. She is professional, insightful and spot on with her suggestions. She was able to view my manuscript from both afar and close up and honed in on exactly what was needed to organize it in the best way possible. Beyond Marlene's superb skills as an editor, she also has an astute marketing sensibility. Marlene is a joy to work with and I feel fortunate to have her as both an editor and a friend."

Anne Serling, author of "As I Knew Him: My Dad Rod Serling" (Kensington Press, 2013)


"Marlene always provided honest and thoughtful feedback. Every interaction I had with her, from the official editing phase to helping me with my query letter, felt sincere and personal."

Dan Cardinal, author of "Will" (2013)

"Marlene is at the top of her game. I’ll forever save her assessments of my novel The Better Club. They function as a personalized tutorial on writing compelling fiction. Priceless!"

Paul Damien, author of "The Better Club"

"Thorough. Thoughtful. Caring. Careful. That's what Marlene's partnership feels like. It's a heck of a commitment: diving into another writer's writing, attuning to it, articulating its current state, projecting its possibilities. Marlene balances analysis with encouragement. With her insights, I jumped into a spot-on final edit of my debut novel.

Amanda McTigue, author of "Going to Solace" (Harper Davis, 2012)


"Marlene is an invaluable asset. Her editing is top-notch and so is her wisdom and expertise. She is not only my editor, but a true mentor. She has literally pushed me to become the best writer I can be."

Tama Ryder, "Where's the Watch?! And Other Tales From Seinfeld's Uncle Leo" by Len Lesser and Tama Ryder, (Staff Pick Press, 2011)


"When I started working with Marlene, I knew right away she was an exceptional editor. Not only did she help me make my novel sing, she also buoyed me with her enthusiasm and expertise -- she even helped me find the right agent. I would heartily recommend Marlene to any writer and look forward to working with her again on many future projects."

Kristen Wolf, Author of "The Way" (Crown Books, 2011)

"Since there were three people working on our book, it was sometimes difficult to reach a consensus. There was no difficulty when it came to Marlene. We all agreed her contribution was immeasurable. She contributed to every aspect of our book; the overall structure, the subject matter, the accuracy of our research and the consistency of the main character's motivation and follow through. All done with a light touch and a great sense of humor."

Dal LaMagna, Wally Carbone, Carla S. Reuben, authors of "Raising Eyebrows, A Failed Entrepreneur Finally Gets It Right" (Wiley, Oct. 2010)


"As a first-time novelist, working with Marlene was an invaluable experience. She came highly recommended and I would recommend her to others in a heartbeat. Marlene has a terrific commercial sensibility and a sense of humor, and was key in terms of giving clear, concise feedback, not only to structure and form, but also to character, story development and pacing. Clear, objective feedback – so important when you spend so much time in your own head!"

Jodi Wing, author of "The Art of Social War: A Novel" (Harper Paperbacks; Film rights optioned with Jennifer Lopez slated to star).


"Marlene took what was a roughly formed manuscript and shaped it into a well formed book. She was incredibly patient, understanding, and thoughtful. I learned more about writing during my edits with Marlene than at any other time in my career. I am eternally grateful."

Amanda Brown, author of "Legally Blonde" and "Family Trust"


"If you've been working by yourself for years and need a fresh, super sharp eye to take your work to the next level, then I highly recommend you contact Marlene."

Jennifer Lehr, Author of "Ill-Equipped for a Life of Sex" (ReganBooks an imprint of Harpercollins)


"For an honest and insightful read from a true pro who knows the industry well, I'd recommend Marlene Adelstein. She's prompt, imaginative, and her broad background in publishing comes through in edits and suggestions."

Antoinette May, Author of "The Determined Heart: The Tale of Mary Shelley and her Frankenstein" (Lake Union Publishing, 2015), "Pilate's Wife" (Wm. Morrow)


"Marlene Adelstein is an inspired editor. Not only is she thorough and meticulous, but she always has a full arsenal of creative solutions at hand — all delivered with kindness and patience".

Susan Golomb, Susan Golomb Literary Agency


"I've known Marlene Adelstein for many years. I have always admired and trusted her eye for a great story. In the time that she's been working as a consultant and editor I've referred many writers to her, all of whom have called to say how grateful they've been, how invaluable Marlene has been to the process of completing their work."

Judy Clain, Sr. Editor, Little/Brown & Co.


"I've known and worked with Marlene for many years and am continually impressed by her keen eye, acute critical judgement and plain good sense. I consider her a valuable resource as well as a boon to writers."

Deborah Schneider, Gelfman/Schneider Literary Agents, Inc.


"Marlene Adelstein is an invaluable asset to a writer. She worked with my client, Anne Serling on her memoir, AS I KNEW HIM, Kensington 2013. Working with an author on a memoir is tricky and difficult….and Marlene navigated the waters with a combination of respect, grace, and a straight ahead vision of purpose. I can’t recommend highly enough."

Erica Spellman-Silverman, Literary agent, Trident Media Group


"With her expert advice, Marlene helped me with my memoir, Finding Angela Shelton. She helped it flow like a dream - including the dream journal within the book. Even though I was assigned an editor through the publishing house, I am so grateful I also hired Marlene. The book would not have been as good without her help. Marlene really did fix my book."

Angela Shelton, author, actor, orator


"Marlene's editorial eye has been a wonderful tool for me in the revision process. My goal is to present my editor with the cleanest, most evolved manuscript possible. Marlene's specific, detailed comments have helped me take a closer look and dig a little deeper."

Inglath Cooper, author of "Unfinished Business" and "The Lost Daughter of Pigeon Hollow", Harlequin Superromance


"A big thank you to my editor, Marlene Adelstein, who reviewed my manuscript and provided her expert advice on honing in on my reader. She was honest, insightful,and genuinely provided a thorough constructive critique of my work and the push I needed in completing my book."

Beatriz Garcia Nin, author of "Think Twice Before Crossing: a Memoir" (LifeReloaded)


work directly with authors, referred by literary agents, editors, film agents, other writers.
women's commercial fiction, thrillers, historical fiction, literary fiction, mystery, memoir, graphic novels.
*The Beginning of his Excellent & Eventful Career - Cameron MacKenzie - Madhat Press
*Moctu and the Mammoth People" - Neil Bockoven -Waldorf Publishing
*Nothing Is Forgotten - Peter Golden - Atria Books
*The Garden of Blue Roses - Michael Barsa - Underland Press
*Ghostbuster's Daughter - Violet Stiel - Blue Rider Press
*The Yoga of Max's Discontent - Karan Bajaj - Riverhead
*Wherever There Is Light - Peter Golden - Atria Books
*The Garment Maker's Daughter - Hillary Adrienne Stern
*Dig Two Graves - Kim Powers - Tyrus Books
*Anchored - Brigitte Quinn - Curtis Brown Unlimited
*Rock Angel - Jeanne Bogino - Prashanti Press
*Sword and the Butterfly - graphic novel - Matthias Wolf - Razor Wolf Entertainment
*The Third Muse - Dana Micucci - New Paradigm Multimedia
*As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling - Anne Serling - Kensington Press
*Comeback Love - Peter Golden - Atria Books
*The Invasion of Heaven - Michael B. Koep - WillDreamlyArts
*Absolute Bearing - John Barell - CreateSpace
*Will - Dan Cardinal
*The Grace of Crows - Tracy Shawn - Cherokee McGhee
*My Lady of the Bog - Peter Hayes - Permanent Press, April 2014
*The Kings of Charleston - Kat H. Clayton
*Going to Solace - Amanda McTigue - Harper Davis Books
*Empty Arms - Erika Liodice - Dreamsphere Books
*Where's the Watch?! And Other Tales From Seinfeld's Uncle Leo by Len Lesser and Tama Ryder - Staff Pick Press
*The Way - Kristen Wolf - Crown Books
*Raising Eyebrows: A Failed Entrepreneur Finally Gets It Right - Dal LaMagna, in collaboration with Wally Carbone, Carla S. Reuben -Wiley Books
*Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman - Pamela Dorman Books
*Drowning in the Mainstream: Confessions of a Sister - Nahall Nikoo Fells - iUniverse
*The Art of Social War - Jodi Wing - Harper Books
*Finding Angela Shelton - Angela Shelton - Meredith Books
*The Lost Diary of Don Juan - Douglas Carlton Abrams - Atria Books
*The Last Tobacco shop in the World - Bjorn Turmann - Konstrukt Books
*Think Twice Before Crossing: a Memoir - Beatriz Garcia Nin -LifeReloaded
*Pilate's Wife - Antoinette May - Wm. Morrow
*Ill-Equipped For A Life of Sex - Jennifer Lehr - Regan Books
*Losing Julia -Delecorte, Johnathan Hull
*Legally Blonde, *Family Trust - Dutton, Amanda Brown
*He Walked Through Walls: A 20th Century tale of Survival - Myriam Miedzian - Lantern Books
*The Immaculate Complexion - Edie Bloom - Leisure Books
*The Reunion - Curt Autry
20 years experience as feature film and television development executive for major Hollywood producers:
Wind Dancer Films
Richard and Lili Zanuck
Samuel Goldwyn Company
Fine Line Features
Worked on such films as: Mystic Pizza,
Driving Miss Daisy, Rich in Love, Rush, Love Valour Compassion and numerous others.
Fellowships for writing to: Yaddo, MacDowell Colony, Robert MacNamara Foundation, Millay, Wurlitzer Foundation, Fundacion Valpairiso.
Stories and essays published in:,,Talking,, Upstate House Magazine, Mars Hill Review, The Madison Review, Fine Print.

Marlene’s debut novel, Sophie Last Seen, coming Winter 2018 from Red Adept Publishing.
Author website:

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