Diane Telgen

Diane Telgen is a writer for young people and a former editor and freelance writer of reference books and articles. She served as Managing Editor for FORESHADOW: A YA Serial Anthology, and published the short story “Hellmuffin” in the 2017 anthology 13 CANDLES


Her own works-in-progress include middle-grade and YA novels, nonfiction, and picture books. She earned her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Diane's pronouns: she/her/hers

Preferred age level & genre of expertise:

Diane is open to all genres and all age groups. She is very comfortable working on speculative fiction, having explored world-building in science fiction and fantasy in her critical thesis and graduate lecture. For those writing picture books in poem form, Diane brings her musician’s ear to critiquing not just rhyme but rhythm.



Services offered:

  • Editorial Assessment

  • Developmental editing

  • Substantive Editing

  • Line Editing

  • Copyediting

  • Proofreading

  • Query Critiques (Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult)


Favorite books:

Adult Fiction/Nonfiction

  • The Vorkosigan Saga (SF) and Five Gods series (fantasy) by Lois McMaster Bujold

  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

  • Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor

  • The City and the City by China Miéville

  • Galileo's Daughter (nonfiction) by Dava Sobel


  • I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

  • How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon

  • The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein



  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

  • Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

  • Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

  • Any of the biographies/histories in verse by Margarita Engle


Picture Books

  • That Is NOT a Good Idea! by Mo Willems

  • Boats for Papa by Jessica Bagley 



Favorite TV Shows /movies:

Diane was a comic-book fiend as a child and believes Marvel makes the best movies and DC the best TV shows (Wonder Woman being the exception that proves the rule). Otherwise, she loves to consume a wide variety of stories in whatever medium she finds them.



"She's Discerning--pinpoints strengths and weaknesses

            Imaginative--offers up helpful what if's

            Affable--at ease with her editorial technique and her client

            Nimble--navigates all waters irrespective of the picture book subject

            Encouraging--but tempers her enthusiasm with thought-provoking advice

She's Diane--Diane Telgen. And I urge you to hire her!"

--Lynda Graham-Barber, author of Cookie's Fortune, Say Boo!


"Diane Telgen is a talented and knowledgeable editor who has given me excellent feedback when it comes to story. Diane is not only the best editor I have worked with, she is a person I wholeheartedly trust to edit my work. Whether it is a MG or YA novel, picture book or poetry, her insight is thoughtful and exact. Because of Diane's suggestions and observations, my writing is more focused, polished, and stronger.

I am a member of SCBWI and have submitted work to editors and agents who were guest speakers. I've received excellent feedback from most, but Diane's feedback regarding story-line, character development, scene, conflict, language, and
is always constructive (both positive and negative), well-thought-out, useful, and intelligent. In addition to all of her talents, Diane is an excellent copy/line editor. I never send anything out without Diane checking copy.

Diane's critiques guide me as I make the needed revisions. Diane doesn't just tell me this works/that doesn't work, she shows me why it doesn't work and makes suggestions, i.e., "plants the seeds" so I am able to further grow and develop my story. Diane is the best. I am forever grateful for her encouragement and support.”

--Katena Lafkas