Hello and welcome! I’m Jo Thompson.

I’m a developmental editor of fantasy and other speculative fiction.

Bio Pic - Jo Thompson - The Unread Story - Developmental Editor of Fantasy
EFA Member Profile - Jo Thompson - The Unread Story - Developmental Editor of Fantasy


I’ve been thinking about the inner workings of stories since I was a kid reading The Lord of the Rings to my younger brothers. I fell in love with the fantasy genre followed by speculative fiction in general and went on to study literature and writing at University of Iowa. As an editor, my interest is in helping writers craft stories that live, stories that transport the reader. Learn more about me.

Developmental editing is a conversation and collaboration that can take your story to the next level, so it’s best to choose an editor who gets your work and with whom you can develop a good rapport. We’ll start off with a phone or Zoom call to determine if working together is the right fit. I want to hear your vision for your story so I can compare the reality of the manuscript and help you see how to get there. During the edit, I’ll provide encouraging and actionable suggestions that stay true to your vision, whether you’re stuck in mid-novel doubt or just wrote the last word of a complete draft.

Contact me to start a conversation!

… spot-on, encouraging, and constructive(Jo) helped spark my motivation to continue and finish by deftly pulling out the diamond I was hoping was hidden there somewhere. She knows her writing craft—and she knows writers and how to bring out the best in them.”

— Ellen Cordery

The Unread Story - Developmental Editor of Fantasy - Ellen Cordery Testimonial

“I struggled for several years trying to figure out why my story wasn’t working. Jo quickly identified the problem and gave valuable advice on how to fix it. Her feedback was prompt and clear. I highly recommend her services.”

— Carrie Schweiger

Carrie Schweiger Headshot - Testimonials - The Unread Story - Developmental Editor of Fantasy

Put Your Story Out There

I love working with first-time authors! Whether you’re planning to query agents, self publish, or go with a small/indie press, it’s helpful to have someone in your corner who has been there. Here are some authors I’ve worked with who made the leap to publication.

Ophelia Wells Langley

The Moon and the Hunt - Published Authors - The Unread Story - Developmental Editing of Fantasy
Of Smoke and Shadows - Published Authors - The Unread Story - Developmental Editing of Fantasy

Mike McKinnon

The Bandor Child - Published Authors - The Unread Story - Developmental Editing of Fantasy

River Bennet

Heroines of Olympus - Published Authors - The Unread Story - Developmental Editing of Fantasy
The Magnolia and the Bleeding Heart - Published Authors - The Unread Story - Developmental Editing of Fantasy

“The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.”

— Ursula K. Le Guin

Services ↗

Find out more about how we can work together and pricing.

Contact ↗

Have a question? Or want to set up a chat about your story? Send me a message!

Testimonials ↗

Read what previous clients have said about working with me.