Christine Heppermann, Upstate Editorial
Christine Heppermann, founder of Upstate Editorial


I understand how much your stories mean to you. I know what it’s like to work for years on a manuscript, doing all you can think of to get it “right.” It’s true writing can be a lonely business, but the reassuring part is, you aren’t alone! I’m here to give your project—be it fiction or nonfiction, for teens or emerging readers—the personalized attention it needs to advance along the road toward publication.

About Me

My name is Christine Heppermann. I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and have spent parts of my life in Texas, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, and New York. You can visit my personal website here.

It’s no exaggeration to say that I’ve devoted my life to children’s literature. Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of sitting beside my grandmother on the couch while she read me picture books for hours. Since receiving a masters degree in 1992 from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College, I’ve immersed myself in the field in a variety of roles:

  • I’ve reviewed thousands of children’s and young adult titles—both fiction and nonfiction—for major publications such as The Horn Book Magazine, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the Chicago Tribune.
  • I worked as a bookseller and backlist buyer at Wild Rumpus, an award-winning children’s bookstore in Minneapolis.
  • For the past ten years, I’ve advised writers and facilitated critique groups at the Highlights Foundation’s popular Writing the Unreal: The Whole Novel Workshop in Fantasy and Science Fiction. Beginning this year I’ll be teaching a new workshop at Highlights called Pushing the Limits: Writing Experimental Fiction for YA and Middle Grade Readers.
  • When I decided it was time to get serious about writing books of my own, I enrolled in Hamline University’s prestigious MFA program in writing for children and young adults, and not long after graduating I was offered a contract from Houghton Mifflin for a manuscript I worked on at Hamline. City Chickens, a nonfiction picture book about a unique inner-city animal shelter, came out in 2012.
  • I’ve published two acclaimed books for teens, Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty and the novel-in-verse Ask Me How I Got Here; and, with my friend Ron Koertge, the “Backyard Witch” series of chapter books for young readers (all with Greenwillow/HarperCollins). My novel-in-verse What Goes Up is forthcoming from Greenwillow/HarperCollins in August 2020.

My Services

I will work with you to create a comprehensive revision plan that allows you to bring your book to its full potential. While no two projects are exactly the same, most include some common components:

  • We will have an introductory conversation via email or phone where we discuss your vision for the project and the desired outcome.
  • You will submit your manuscript to me in its current form. I will carefully read the manuscript and add marginal comments throughout. These comments will range from suggestions on alternate wording and sentence construction to broader questions about plot, character, theme, and point of view.
  • I will draft a detailed editorial letter where I will address issues of writing craft, the manuscript’s marketability, and suggestions for revisions that I think would make the manuscript stronger.
  • We will have a follow-up conversation via email or phone where you can ask any questions about the marginal comments and editorial letter. In this conversation I will recommend next steps to take in the journey towards publication.


Every project I take on is different and my fees vary based on factors such as genre, manuscript length, and project timeline. In general, projects will fall within these ranges:

  • Picture books: $500 to $1000
  • Chapter books (for newly fluent readers): $750 to $1500
  • Middle grade novels: $1000 to $2000
  • Young adult novels: $1500 and up

Let’s Get Started!

If you would like to discuss a project, please email me at