Jenny Q

Executive Editor

Jenny is currently scheduling editing projects and cover designs in May 2022 and beyond.

Have questions about the intricacies of editing historical fiction? How the editorial process works? Which publishing path is right for you? How to design the perfect cover? Jenny is available to speak to your writing group via remote video!

If you'd like to chat with Jenny about your project or event, send an inquiry with a brief synopsis to:

I'm Jennifer Quinlan, but everybody calls me Jenny Q, and I hope you will too! I am an editor and cover designer 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.

If you're looking for an editor or cover designer, please browse through this page for a snapshot of who I am and what I do. I love connecting with fellow book lovers, so feel free to friend me on Facebook and Goodreads, and check out my review blog, Let Them Read Books, and my twitter feeds, @JennyQinVA and @HistFicEditing, for more book talk.

Check out my interview with indieBRAG!

That's me on the left with the
fabulous Diana Gabaldon
and my friend Lyn Rae.
I love historical fiction! I edit across all of its subgenres, including romance, mystery, inspirational, fantasy, supernatural, time travel, steampunk, gay/lesbian, 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 review new releases for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and TLC Book Tours, and I'm an Amazon Vine Voice. I moderate the American Historical Fiction Group on Goodreads, and I closely follow news and trends in the industry. I am a contributing member of the Historical Novel Society, having written features for their website, presented at conferences, and served as Volunteer Coordinator for the Portland and Maryland conferences. I recently had the honor of serving as Conference Chair for the 2021 HNS North American Virtual Conference.

That's me and Pulitzer Prize
winner Geraldine Brooks!
Design has long been a hobby of mine. In recent years, I have been able to pursue it professionally, collaborating on award-winning print and online advertising campaigns for my hometown daily newspaper and creating promotional materials for the fastest-growing real estate company in Virginia. Now I've combined my years of advertising and marketing experience with my love of visual art and my love of books to offer my services to independent authors. (Check out my portfolio and my presentation on historical fiction book covers at the Historical Novel Society conference.)

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 daughter--my dad raises Black Angus beef cattle--and I was raised with goats and pigs and chickens too. I like to visit a city from time to time, but my heart belongs to the country. In addition to history and reading, I love dogs, comfort food, music, craft beer, football, and hockey. I live on a farm in Virginia with my family and a spoiled rotten German Shepherd.

Contact me anytime to chat about your project:



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

Historical Societies:

Central Virginia Heritage Center
Civil War Trust
55th VA Co. I Infantry Reenacting Unit
Colonial Williamsburg Duke of Gloucester Society
Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Rochambeau Club

View Jenny Q's Cover Design Portfolio

Testimonials from Jenny's clients:

The exceptional Jenny Q of Historical Editorial brought her knowledge base and amazing, intuitive plot analysis to the completed manuscript. ~Sandra Byrd, author of Roses Have Thorns and the Daughters of Hampshire Trilogy


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


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! ~Mary Tod, author of Time and Regret


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


I met Jenny at the HNS Conference and was really impressed with her presentations and knowledge. I approached her to work with me on a copyedit of my debut novel, and from the very start, the experience was fantastic. Jenny came alongside me with tender toughness, worked with me to identify plot holes, was available to discuss specific issues, and gave great counsel on character development. Jenny loves historical fiction, and it shows in the depth of her knowledge, her analysis of plot, and her incredibly detailed editing. ~Elizabeth St. John, author of The Lady of the Tower


It was an absolute joy working with Jenny Quinlan of Historical Editorial. She's wonderfully supportive and is enthusiastic about helping her authors. Her feedback was specific and constructive, and she helped me craft the story that I wanted to tell. ~Cryssa Bazos, author of Traitor's Knot


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 House of Closed Doors Series


Jenny is an incredibly thorough and thoughtful editor. She's done concept and copy edits for me and in each case, her work illuminates the problems and helps me to nail down solutions. Her extensive historic knowledge and willingness to identify factual errors down to the historic word level has ensured that the books I publish are well done and engaging. You can't go wrong with Jenny by your side! ~Kathleen Shoop, author of The Last Letter Series


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


Jenny Quinlan of Historical Editorial came in around draft three and pushed me to bring each of these characters more fully to life. She talked me through some rough plot points and gave me priceless insights toward what the final product has become. ~Serena Chase, author of Intermission and the Eyes of E'veria Series


Jenny was recommended to me by my friend, best-selling author Laura Frantz. Jenny has now done the copyedits and cover design for all three of my novels. My writing wouldn't be the same without the amazing Jenny Q. I trust Jenny to keep me straight historically, guide me well in character development, and make sure my plots have no holes for readers to fall into and flounder. My books are far better because of Jenny. She is prompt, professional, and has become a dear friend who doesn't pull any punches. I can't imagine working with anyone else, and consider Jenny a crucial part of my publishing team. On top of all this, she creates beautiful book covers. I'm so grateful I get to work with Jenny. She's the best! ~Paula Scott, author of the California Rising Series and The Mother Keeper


Jenny Q has done developmental edits on two of my novels, one that is now traditionally published, and the other I hope soon will be. She has been spot on in her story arc comments, with excellent feedback on how to sharpen the conflict, deepen characters, and clarify the hero’s goals. She also encourages follow-up to her initial remarks. I would highly recommend her as a professional way to tighten your manuscript and put the best possible face on it for agents and editors. ~Mike Torreano, author of The Reckoning


I couldn't imagine working with anyone else. Jenny puts her heart and soul into helping you make your book the very best it can be. I truly value how Jenny's attention to detail and maintaining sight of the bigger picture develops, refines and enhances my work. I feel very blessed to have Jenny in my life. ~Kelly Clayton, author of the Jack Le Claire Mystery Series


Jenny Quinlan is a gift to all authors. She was such a pleasure to work with, and I’m very appreciative to have found her. From start to finish, I was blown away by her highly professional yet warm work ethic, profound editing knowledge, and amazing responsiveness. She raised the quality of my manuscript to a whole new level with her meticulous copyedits, astute historical insights, and spot-on story suggestions. Even after the edit was completed, she was always an email away, and she answered every one of my inquiries with patience, genuine interest, and indispensable knowledge. ~Rachel L. Demeter, author of The Frost of Springtime and Finding Gabriel


I am so happy that I found Jenny Q. I have written in the worlds of TV, film, and theater, and now publishing, and the caliber of Jenny’s work is top quality, and her dedication to helping writers achieve their vision every step of the way is amazing. She truly gets writers! I highly recommend Jenny Q. You will not be disappointed! ~K. Willow, author of Hidden Hills: Ice Whispers


Let me say it's been such a pleasure to work with Jenny, and I feel so much better about the book because of it. Emerson famously said, "Our chief want in life is someone who shall make us do what we can." That's Jenny. ~George Steger, author of Sebastian's Way


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 Quinlan came to my rescue and kept me from having a nervous breakdown. She loves historicals and it showed in the way she handled my story. She was a consummate professional, keeping her edits to a minimum and making suggestions that forced me to look at my story in a different way. Her fresh take was wonderful! ~Gayle Mullen Pace, author of A Rose Beneath the Snow


Jenny Quinlan has been a Godsend. After following her advice on issues of story flow and grammatical tweaks, my historical novel, The Thirty-Ninth Man, was acquired by the first publisher to receive the edited manuscript. Her work is impeccable. ~Dale Swanson, author of The Thirty-Ninth Man


Jenny is thorough, polite, and professional. Her advice on connecting plot elements, characters, and maintaining point of view was unfailingly accurate. My novel is significantly better for her input. I’m submitting to traditional publishing outlets and have already had some interest. If I decide to go indie, I’ll be back to Jenny for covers and more. ~Michael Ross, author of Across the Great Divide


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