Instagram: Jeni Chappelle
2021 Annual Contest Editor ✓
2020 Annual Contest Editor ✓
2019 Annual Contest Editor ✓
Mini-Event Editor ✓
Jeni Chappelle is a freelance novel editor with twelve years’ experience, cofounding editor and board member for Revise & Resub (#RevPit), and EFA and ACES member. Jeni loves working with authors of all levels to shape their stories and bring their books out into the world. She considers herself a hobbit (minus the big, hairy feet) and lives in a tiny town near Charlotte, NC with her family and way too many pets.
Upper MG, YA, and Adult
This year I am accepting historical, fantasy (including contemporary/urban), and soft science fiction; mystery/thrillers or horror that blend with those genres (gothic, dark fantasy, historical mystery, paranormal mystery/horror, etc.); and mashups of those genres (including gaslamp fantasy, steampunk, science fantasy, etc.).
Some elements that really excite me:
- OwnVoices, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabilities, neurodiverse, mental illness, and other historically underrepresented groups
- Stories based on underrepresented or lesser-known myths, folklore, fables, and legends
- Intentionally unexpected use of tropes
- Stories that work real-world concerns into fictional settings
- I love a strong romance subplot, but I also want stories that focus on family (found family is family, period) and complex friendships.
- New twists on old favorites (includes retellings and re-imaginings)
- For the contest, I am NOT accepting chapter books, lower MG, space opera, epic fantasy, military-based plots, Christian fiction, cute mermaids/fairies/princesses (but I’ll take badass/scary ones!), stories where book characters come to life or characters go into books, romance genre (no historical, sci-fi, or fantasy/paranormal romance either), straight-up contemporary genre, experimental structures, or slasher-style horror.
How can a manuscript’s first five pages make you sit up and take notice?
Premise is the first thing that will grab me so send me your big concepts and mashups of cool ideas. I want to be excited about your plot and main character. In your query, I mostly want a strong idea of your overall plot, character arc, and stakes, stakes, stakes! In the pages, I’m looking for five elements to be handled well in a sub: voice (I know y’all hate reading that, but it’s true), starting with a scene already in progress, emotional connection to the main character, conflict, and orientation to the MC’s world and story (including characters introductions, world building, backstory, exposition, etc). I need to see that the author knows how to craft a scene and has a good grasp of the basics of storytelling.
What can writers expect from working with you during #RevPit, including communication?
What’s most important to me is that we work together to create your best manuscript possible and maintain your vision for your book. My main focus for this contest will be big-picture storytelling—plot, characterization, pacing, structure, etc. So first I’ll provide comprehensive feedback on the big picture. We’ll plan at least one call (probably phone or Zoom, but I'm also open to other kinds of communication if you're not a phone/Zoom person) to address any questions or concerns so you’ll have a clear direction on how to approach revisions. I’m all about collaboration, so I’ll touch base frequently and be available via email for brainstorming and troubleshooting throughout the process.
What do you expect from writers during the #RevPit revision process, including communication?
Musts: frequent communication, commitment to hard work, and willingness to talk through suggestions you feel reluctant to implement. I am open to more than one round of edits if we have time and the author works hard on revisions. I’ll bring a lot of energy to this process, and I want an author who will do the same.
What hobbies do you have outside of writing and editing?
I love to spend time with my family and my pets. I also like video games like Skyrim, Horizon Zero Dawn, The Legend of Zelda series, and every LEGO game ever. I’m a big fan of live entertainment (if I ever get to see it again): theater, dance, music, comedy, burlesque…you name it. And I could never get enough of Disney World.
What was your favorite show to binge watch in the last year?
Schitt's Creek! Highly recommend if you haven't seen it yet. It has the best character development I've ever seen on any sitcom, it subverts so many tropes, and there are some really clever, subtle elements that make it really genius. Plus, it's worth it just so you know the context of all the gifs!