Skip to main content

Jenny Q

Executive Editor

I depend on Jenny Q’s attention to detail and nuanced feedback of my work during both the planning and the early-draft stages of writing. She’s able to point out the deficiencies/contradictions in characterization, lags in pacing, or inadvertently gaping plot holes in an encouraging, thoughtful way that ultimately leads to a series of “aha” moments of inspiration. I can’t recommend her more highly. ~Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace and The Spectacular

If you're interested in working with Jenny, send an inquiry with a brief synopsis to: or submit this form.

I'm Jenny Quinlan, but everybody calls me Jenny Q, and I hope you will too! I am an editor and book coach specializing in historical fiction and romance.

I founded Historical Editorial in 2011, and since then I've edited nearly 400 manuscripts and designed over 200 book covers. (Please note that I am not currently scheduling new cover design projects.)

I love historical fiction! I edit across all of its subgenres, including romance, mystery, dual timeline, inspirational, fantasy, supernatural, LGBT, and young adult. 

I hold a BA in history from Virginia Tech and a copyediting certification from UCSD. I am a voracious reader with an analytical mind, an eye for detail, and a passion for historical fiction and good books in general.

I am very active in the historical fiction community. I’m reading the new releases you’re reading. (And I may have edited a few of them ;) I’m crushing on the authors you’re crushing on. I’m reading their newsletters, attending the conferences, following market news, chatting in the same groups, celebrating successes, commiserating over setbacks. This in-depth knowledge of the historical fiction community allows me to help my clients position their work for success in the marketplace.

That's me with the fabulous Diana Gabaldon and my friend Lyn Rae.

I am a contributing member of the Historical Novel Society, having written features for their website and print magazine, presented at conferences, and served as Volunteer Coordinator for the Portland and Maryland conferences.  I had the honor of serving as Conference Chair for the 2021 HNS North America Virtual Conference, and I am currently serving as Conference Chair for 2023 in San Antonio. 

I love connecting with fellow book lovers, so feel free to friend me on Facebook and Goodreads and follow my twitter feeds, @JennyQinVA and @HistFicCoach, for more book talk.

Check out my interview with indieBRAG!

That's me and Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks!

When I'm not working, I love to travel, visiting historic sites, having some fun in the sun, and eating good food! My hobbies include photography, gardening, observing nature and wildlife, and of course, reading. I am a farmer's daughtermy dad raises Black Angus beef cattleand I was raised with goats and pigs and chickens too. I am a country girl at heart, but I love a big-city getaway, and I'm determined to see as much of Europe as possible! In addition to history and reading, I love dogs, music, craft beer, and football. I live on a farm in Virginia with my family and a spoiled-rotten German Shepherd.

If you'd like to chat with me about coaching or editing, send an inquiry with a brief synopsis to: or submit this form.

I love speaking to writing groups! Have questions about the intricacies of editing historical fiction? How the editorial process works? Which publishing path is right for you? Email me to inquire about speaking to your group!

Don't wait to contact me! My schedule is typically filled 4-6 months in advance.



Bachelor of Arts, History
Minor in English
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

Copyediting Certification
(120 hours)
University of California, San Diego

Professional Organizations:

Historical Novel Society
Historical Writers of America
Editorial Freelancers Association

A Selection of Testimonials from Jenny's clients:

I depend on Jenny Q’s attention to detail and nuanced feedback of my work during both the planning and the early-draft stages of writing. She’s able to point out the deficiencies/contradictions in characterization, lags in pacing, or inadvertently gaping plot holes in an encouraging, thoughtful way that ultimately leads to a series of “aha” moments of inspiration. I can’t recommend her more highly.

~Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace and The Spectacular


Special thanks to Jenny Q for being the first to read this manuscript and for sharing her expertise and insight. Historical Editorial is all that and more! I look forward to working with Jenny again.

~Laura Frantz, author of A Moonbow Night


I feel Jenny’s help was instrumental in helping me finally get a literary agent with this book. I’d had some interest before the edit, but the first agent that read it after the edit signed me in less than a week!

~Laura Purcell, author of Queen of Bedlam


Jenny Q is a brilliant editor and coach. She has worked with me on all four of my books, providing developmental and editing services, as well as ongoing coaching and plot brainstorming. Jenny has also encouraged, supported, and always been incredibly sensitive to and responsive to all kinds of writing challenges, large and small. She is insightful, incisive, kind, and funny. I completely trust Jenny with my work, and together (for I do consider her a partner in my writing) we have won numerous national and international awards, and reached best-seller status on Amazon for all of my novels.

~Elizabeth St. John, author of The Godmother's Secret


The exceptional Jenny Q of Historical Editorial brought her knowledge base and amazing, intuitive plot analysis to the completed manuscript.

~Sandra Byrd, author of Heirlooms and The Daughters of Hampshire Trilogy


Jenny Q has eagle eyes, spotting every glitch and stumble in your manuscript. She has an incredible ear for historical language, switching deftly from one period to another to catch those anachronistic terms that might jangle in your reader’s ear. Jenny reads your work with exquisite sensitivity. She will find every character inconsistency, plot hole, and pacing swamp, but she will never attempt to alter your voice. I’m just hoping she stays happy and contented with her work for at least as long as I keep writing novels!

~Anna Castle, author of The Francis Bacon Mysteries and The Professor & Mrs. Moriarty Mysteries


Jenny Quinlan has an innate understanding of what makes a great story. She has helped take my historical novels to a new level, and she's a true pleasure to work with. Whether you're struggling with character development and plotlines, or you need expert copyediting to polish your novel for publication, Jenny will take care of all your editing needs.

~Amy Maroney, Author of The Queen's Scribe


Jenny’s professionalism, reliability, and sharp editing skills are a great asset to my business. She understands the historical fiction field so well that I know I can trust her to spot potential errors and jarring notes in my drafts. She’s enthusiastic about her clients’ projects and a great communicator. We’ve worked on two novels together, and I hope we’ll work on a lot more.

~Jane Steen, author of The the Scott-De Quincy Mysteries


It is an absolute joy working with Jenny Quinlan of Historical Editorial. She's wonderfully supportive and is enthusiastic about helping her authors. Her feedback is specific and constructive, and she helps me craft the story that I want to tell.

~Cryssa Bazos, author of the Quest for the Three Kingdoms series


Every author needs a Jenny in their life, a dedicated editor that will add those final layers of polish to your precious manuscript. Not sure how I would manage without her!

~Anna Belfrage, author of The King's Greatest Enemy series and The Castilian Saga


Jenny Quinlan at Historical Editorial has been an invaluable part of the success I’ve experienced as an Indie author. Her editing services are excellent, providing me with a clean, error free manuscript while keeping track of the many character details found in a multi-book series. I know Jenny cares about her clients because she offers suggestions meant to raise my work to its highest. She challenges me in the best way possible!

~Holly Bush, author of The Captain's Woman


Jenny’s support is invaluable to me in shaping and polishing my work, and when I was starting on this path, she gave me the encouragement and confidence to carry on. Jenny's support has made all the difference in my writing career.

~Kelly Clayton, author of The Jack Le Claire Mystery series


Jenny and I have worked together on thirteen books now, and I’m planning on many more collaborations with her. She has been my developmental editor and copy editor on all those novels, and I can’t imagine trusting anyone but Jenny. She has spoiled me! Jenny’s not only a dynamite editor who knows her stuff, but she’s a mentor and an amazing collaborator.  Her feedback is invaluable to me. I know that when she points out a defect, she’s just helped me craft a better story. She’s professional, timely, honest, and direct in her evaluations but never unkind. If I hit a stumbling block, she’s always available to brainstorm solutions with me. I absolutely love that! In fact, I love everything about working with Jenny Q, and I can’t sing her praises enough.

~G.K. Brady, author of The Playmakers Series and The Winged Warriors Series (writing as Griffin Brady)


As I have written the three novels, Jenny Quinlan has been my editor, guide, and muse. She patiently taught me correct form, and story dynamics, and helped me develop the characters and stories that became the stars of my books. Jenny has an unerring sense of story, and a no-nonsense approach to developmental editing that keeps you on track, while still letting it be your story. Her copyediting is on target and rarely misses. My first book was an Amazon three-category number 1 bestseller, published by Harper Collins, and that never would have happened without Jenny. All three books have won major awards under her guidance. Her work is worth every penny. You’ll not go wrong selecting Jenny Quinlan as your editor or coach.

~Michael Ross, author of the Across the Great Divide trilogy


Jenny has a gift for respecting authors and their ideas. She absolutely goes the extra mile, coaching me, problem-solving with me, and assuring that my plot is sound, and that speaks volumes because, to her, I’m not merely a client, but a person whose skills she means to hone and challenge. She is an invaluable iron hand in a velvet glove telling me the truth and seeing me through.

~Brook Allen, author of Son of Rome


Jenny Quinlan has done a wonderful job editing four of my manuscripts. Jenny's developmental edits identified flaws in my stories and her copyedits have been thorough and very effective. She's a superb professional whose help has made such a difference to my novels and my writing skills. Highly recommended!

~M.K. Tod, author of Time and Regret


Jenny Q is a joy to work with. I appreciate her straightforward style and valuable feedback. When I originally sent her my manuscript, I thought it was almost in its final form. However, based on her critiques, I made some changes that ultimately made the plot better and stronger. The finished product is a work I am very proud of and am happy to be working with her on my second novel.

~C.V. Lee, author of Token of Betrayal


Jenny Quinlan's editing and coaching abilities are exceptional. She is knowledgeable about the indie and traditional publishing paths and finds just the right approach to help authors succeed. Jenny is straightforward, but kind in giving feedback. She is thorough with anything related to history, but does not try to alter the author's voice or change the thrust of the work. Though, she won't let anything important slide by. Jenny knows exactly what readers and publishers expect from stories that bloom from factual grounds or out of the lives of people who lived long ago. Jenny has a gift for understanding what the author is trying to accomplish and then highlighting the gaps in achieving those goals. There is no one better to work with if your goal is to not only move forward with a stronger manuscript, but to strengthen your entire career. She does it all but in a deeply personal and nuanced way. Don't miss your chance to work with her!

~Kathleen Shoop, author of The Last Letter


Jenny Q is a superb editor, accurate, timely, and reasonable. As an independent author, I needed a reliable, objective editor who would catch all those glitches, with whom I could easily discuss details, and who would help make the book the professional product it should be. I found all that in Jenny. She is a treasure!

~Priscilla Royal, author of Elegy to Murder


As a career speechwriter, I have many years of experience writing speeches, talking points, articles, op-eds and congressional testimony. I had no experience writing fiction. Enter Jenny Quinlan (Jenny Q) of Through Jenny's thorough editing and patient coaching, she taught me the rudiments of historical fiction. My debut novel is now for sale and receiving wonderful reader reviews. Jenny distinguishes herself by her patience, talent, and willingness to go above and beyond for her clients. The value per dollar spent on Jenny's services is enormous. Worth every penny!

~Paul D. Burgess, author of Doolittle's Men