Marissa Graff

Marissa has been a freelance editor and reader for literary agent Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary Agency for five years. She has her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She also holds an M.S. in Elementary Literacy from Walden University and a B.S. in Childhood Education from Boston University.


Marissa strives to work with clients in a way that teaches them the whys and hows of revision. What excites her most is helping writers understand the reasoning behind what’s working and what may need attention so that they're brave enough to delve into revision. She will be a champion of your story and your ability as a writer to make it shine. She offers approaches to revision but is never prescriptive, always respecting the writer’s creative genius and ability to employ changes. She feels if she’s done her job well, a client should probably never need her help again because she’s given them a crash-course MFA via deep editorial support and/or coaching.

Marissa's pronouns: she/her/hers

Preferred age level & genre of expertise:

Open to all genres in both middle grade and young adult.

 

 

Services offered:

Editorial Assessment

Developmental Editing

Substantive Editing

Line Editing

Author Coaching 

 

 

Favorite Picture books:

  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

  • Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems

  • George and Martha books by James Marshall

  • Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold

  • The Empty Pot by Demi

  • Those Darn Squirrels! By Adam Rubin

 

Favorite Middle-Grade Books:

  • Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

  • Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt

  • Wolf Hollow and Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

  • The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

  • Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

  • Skellig by David Almond

  • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

  • The Truth About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

 

Favorite YA Books:

  • Anything by Ruta Sepeyts

  • Scorpio Races and Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

  • I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

 

Favorite TV Shows:

The Americans, The Man in the High Castle, Broadchurch, Stranger Things, Gilmore Girls, Seinfeld

 

Favorite Movies:

Rear Window, Gaslight, Rebecca, Shadow of a Doubt, The Thin Man, Harvey

 

Testimonials:

 

Marissa has been an invaluable freelance editor and second reader for me on a number of occasions, and I value her input highly. She has a very sound grounding in writing craft, but what really stands out is her ability to get straight to the heart of a manuscript’s problems and create a clear and comprehensive set of diagnoses, questions and suggestions for the author. Her notes are always very accessible and incisive, but also wonderfully kind and encouraging. She has a real talent for explaining points in an understandable way, while also making you feel that she’s a friend who is totally on your side.  I’ve been an editor, publisher and agent for several decades, but I have great respect and admiration for Marissa’s abilities. Any author who finds themselves in her generous editorial hands, should feel themselves to be very fortunate.

-- Sarah Davies