I'm Jestine Ware, former editor at the company behind "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls" and a freelance writer, editor, and writing coach.
I have worked as a freelance editor for eight years and a full-time editor for five years at small publishers and Timbuktu Labs, Cricket Media, and Open Letter Books. I am a lifelong creative writer with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing and a Master of Arts degree in Rhetoric and Composition. I have worked in academic writing centers and taught both creative writing and composition classes.
At Timbuktu Labs Inc., I worked as developmental editor, copyeditor, proofreader, writer, and acquisitions editor. I also wrote sales sheets, activities, book jacket copy, calendar text, the 2020 Rebel Girls school planner comic "Grace O'Malley: Pirate Queen" (Fall 2019), and articles for Rebel Girls Boundless, the company blog.
During all my years of experience, I've put my skills to work gathering contacts in the publishing industry with editors, literary agents, authors, illustrators, and other publishing professionals. I have given numerous presentations on multiculturalism in the children's book industry, submitting to publishers, and careers in publishing.
See below for a list of conferences I have frequented during my career:
Bologna Children's Book Fair, Bologna, Italy
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Comic Con, Los Angeles, CA
Chicago Women in Publishing, Chicago, IL
Highlights Children's Magazine Editors' Retreat, Boyds Mills, PA
Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, North Chicago Chapter
Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Diversity Network
Editorial Freelancers Association, Chicago, IL
PubWest Publisher's Roundtable, Los Angeles, CA
While at Cricket Media, I wrote for 8 of Cricket Media’s 11 magazines and sat on many creative teams creating content for children from babies to young adult. Then I was promoted to editor of the award-winning children’s magazine Spider for children ages 6 to 9. The magazine has received the Parent’s Choice Award, the International Reading Association Paul Witty Short Story Award, Educational Press Association of America Gold Lamp Award, and the Parent's Guide Children's Media Award. At Spider, I edited the work of children’s book authors such as Tololwa M. Mollel, Tim J. Myers, Neal Levin, Michael Chesworth, Debbie Urbanski, Charles Ghigna, Tori Telfer, Pamela Dell, and Rhonda Telfer. I also work with a number of unpublished authors to hone their craft and polish their manuscripts to bring out the best in each.
At Spider, I edited and curated content for Spider magazine, publishing content that introduced children to a blend of classic and contemporary literature, to new cultures and ideas, and to children just like them. As editor at Spider, I published the first ever LGBTQ story, and you can read more about that groundbreaking project in Bay Windows, Mombian, and Advocate.
As a freelance editor, I edit manuscripts from unpublished children's book authors and illustrators to help them put their best feet forward when submitting work to publishers. I provide manuscript evaluations, developmental edits, critique, copyediting, or proofreading, depending on the stage of each manuscript. I have worked on picture books, middle grade chapter books, young adult novels, and magazine articles. I have also copyedited the adult medical books Zika Virus Disease From Origin to Outbreak and Ebola Virus Disease From Origin to Outbreak.
A Kenyan folktale for Spider magazine Art by Mariona Cabassa
A Brazilian folktale comic for Muse magazine Art by Jesse Tise