I’ve worked with hundreds of authors, illustrators, publishers, agents, and children’s book specialists. Please read testimonials of my work below or browse the  book cover gallery to see many of the books I’ve edited. 

“Emma Dryden is a person of faith.  She puts her faith in the power of story. Thanks to Emma Dryden, there are stories in the world, and stories yet to come, that are life-changing and life-affirming. Working with Emma is a way to find our deepest, funniest, and most profound stories. She’s the story maven.”—Kathi Appelt, author, THE UNDERNEATH

“Emma Dryden is immensely knowledgeable, supportive, and wise. She is a passionate advocate for her books and for her authors.”—Holly Black, author, TITHE; VALIENT; IRONSIDE

“Emma Dryden has been one of my editors for fifteen years. Any book that Emma works on shines with unquestionable integrity, experience, and innovation. I consider it a privilege to work with her.”—Louise Borden, author, AMERICA IS…; THE GREATEST SKATING RACE; BIG BROTHERS DON’T TAKE NAPS

“Emma asked me to work for Simon & Schuster and I haven’t looked back. Her approach to my art has always been to just let me get on with it without interference, which I really appreciate. I count the Bear stories (written by Karma Wilson) as some of my best work, so thank you, Emma!”—Jane Chapman, illustrator, BEAR SNORES ON series

“Emma Dryden is a delight to work with – she is supportive of the creativity of her authors and a tireless advocate for their careers. If I got the chance to work with her again, I would jump at it!”—Cassandra Clare, author, THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS

“During the time our lives overlapped at Atheneum, Emma was an advocate and a supporter of my work. As a publisher, she made decisions that helped both me and my editor, and she kept the trains running on time. I can’t say enough in praise of her kindness and professionalism.”—Andrew Clements, author, LOST & FOUND; EXTRA CREDIT

“I’ve been writing books for a very long time, and as far as I’m concerned Emma is the ideal editor: literate, intuitive, keen-eyed, with a great sense of narrative and character, and just the right mixture of firmness and tact for dealing with wayward authors. I suppose we’ve had arguments, but I don’t remember them. I trust her judgment completely; my books and I owe her a great deal.”—Susan Cooper, author, THE DARK IS RISING; KING OF SHADOWS; VICTORY

“Emma was the first editor who saw and shared my vision for a series of adventure picture books, an avenue totally different from my professional past. Her guidance, suggestions, as well as her ability to question and push helped me to create the best books of my career to date.”—Chris L. Demarest, author & illustrator, FIREFIGHTERS A TO Z; ALPHA BRAVO CHARLIE

“One of the very great joys in my life is working with Emma Dryden as editor and publisher!  Her vision, energy and marvelous spirit have produced so many award-winning books–many that I was fortunate to work on. I give her my thanks and appreciation for our incredible relationship and the spectacular books we forged together, which have meant the world to me!”—Demi, author & illustrator, GANDHI;  MUHAMMAD; THE HUNGRY COAT

“Emma Dryden’s good taste, commitment to bookmaking, and respect for authors and illustrators helped make Atheneum the right house for LightshipMoonshot, and my other books. She understands how to create an environment in which authors and illustrators can do their best work.”—Brian Floca, author & illustrator, MOONSHOT

“Emma Dryden is the quintessential editor. She spotted my gift, pointed me to a form for my voice, and then nurtured my story. While I reached inward, she stood alongside me as a guide and friend. With her hand, I brought forth my very best work.”—Lorie Ann Grover, author, LOOSE THREADS; ON POINTE; HOLD ME TIGHT

“When it comes to my relationship with Emma Dryden, none of the usual sentiments—“pleasure to work with,” “honor to work with”—quite fits. I suppose it would be closer to say it is a joy to work with Emma, whose insight and encouragement are quite honestly invaluable to me.”—Ellen Hopkins, author, CRANK; GLASS; IDENTICAL; TRICKS; FALLOUT

“I consider Emma Dryden among the best editors I have worked with during my forty-plus years career.  She is creative, insightful, and a joy to work with.”—Lee Bennett Hopkins, author & anthologist, AMERICA AT WAR; SHARING THE SEASONS

“Emma’s special blend of creativity, compassion, and integrity are unparalleled in the publishing industry. And perhaps in any industry. There are no words to properly convey the joy I’ve felt working with her over the past decade – or the excitement I feel when I think about the years and projects to come.”—Alan Katz, author, TAKE ME OUT OF THE BATHTUB: Silly Dilly Songs series; OOPS! ; STALLING

“Emma is one of the great influences in my career. Her creativity and vision for COUNTING KISSES were definitely the strongest forces that helped me to create the unique body of work I have today. She has such a talent for finding the voice and vision in my art and did what a great editor and publisher does…she gave me confidence and nurtured my work along until it was born into something wonderful. She’s also so much fun to work with!”—Karen Katz, author & illustrator, COUNTING KISSES; MOMMY HUGS

“Working with Emma is a breath of fresh air. I doubt very seriously if I would have been a National Book Award finalist without her input and hard work on THE LEGEND OF BUDDY BUSH.”—Shelia P. Moses, author, THE LEGEND OF BUDDY BUSH; I, DRED SCOTT; JOSEPH

“Emma redefines generosity in her work as a publisher: she gives mightily to her projects, and her kindness is legendary.”—Susan Patron, author, THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY

“Emma makes books better. Her questions zip through to *thunk* right at the heart of the matter and she is a safe space to show a characters’ ugliest truths. She makes books better, and she made me better, too.”—Adrienne Maria Vrettos, author, SKIN; SIGHT

“Emma Dryden saw promise in my book BULL RIDER and guided me through the editing process with insight and clear vision. And the process was fun.  Her editorial decisions about possible audiences for my book have proven invaluable and I would be honored and extremely happy to work with her again.”—Suzanne Morgan Williams, author, BULL RIDER

“Emma Dryden is not just my editor, she is my mentor. She offers insightful observations that spur the artist toward excellence, while always maintaining sensitivity. And most importantly for me as an author—she trusts my instincts and allows my voice to shine.”—Karma Wilson, author, BEAR SNORES ON series;  A FROG IN THE BOG; SLEEPYHEAD

“Working with Emma Dryden as my mentor during the 2010-2011 SCBWI-NV Mentor Program on the revision of a middle grade novel was an incredible experience and taught me so many great things about my craft and my career in the world of children’s literature. From editorial letter to line edits, Emma’s comments were brilliant and incisive, and I completed the mentorship with a stronger-than-ever manuscript ready to submit to agents. And I’ll tell you, the confidence I now have about my writing is pure gold! Career-wise, as a counselor on my journey, Emma has been both a sage and a cheerleader, offering me perspective, advice and encouragement at just the right times. Having Emma Dryden on my team has been a life- and career-changer, and I cannot recommend her highly enough.”—Lee Wind, blogger & founder, “I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell do I Read?”; debut novelist

“I worked for a long time on a picture book project, during which numerous editors came and went. Having Emma Dryden as editor stood out for me because of her clear commitment to the values that the author and I shared in putting the integrity and quality of the picture book above other considerations. She is an editor such as editors are supposed to be.”—Paul Zelinsky, illustrator, DUST DEVIL

“I wholeheartedly recommend Emma Dryden.  Her insight, analysis, expertise, and recommendations are right on target and have absolutely contributed to breathing new life into my writing.  It is amazing that she is able to do this while remaining positive and reminding you to “have fun with it.””—Karen F. Arnold, Founder, Achieve! Children’s Diagnostic & Assessment Services; debut  author

“Emma has been a mentor and zesty voice of encouragement for my developing picture book writing and illustration career. Her razor-sharp, yet encouraging, editorial and business advice have helped me evolve my craft. Emma was never shy to tell me what worked and what didn’t in my manuscripts and helped me to identify my personal strengths and weaknesses as both an artist and a writer. Emma’s professional advice undoubtedly contributed to my landing a wonderful literary agent and I recommend her highly.”—Tracey Berglund, author/illustrator

“Emma has the rare ability to combine insightful overviews of the broad picture, combined with detailed suggestions regarding even the most minor points of a manuscript. Her sensitivity towards authors and her vast knowledge of the marketplace are just what are needed to maximize a book’s potential.”—Brett Brubaker & David Ford, Brubaker ,Ford & Friends

“Emma has been indispensable to our agency. The types of insights and assistance she offers only come from decades of experience. Whether providing contacts, editorial guidance or negotiation advice, Emma has helped us establish our business. We couldn’t have done it without her.”—Carl Pritzkat & Tony Travostino, CP&TT LLC

“Emma’s editorial advice has been the single most important influence on my manuscript. I had struggled with voice for some time, and conference critiques by editors and agents confirmed this as an area of need. But it wasn’t until Emma reviewed my work that I began to truly understand this particular element of writing. Because of her detailed and supportive feedback, I was finally able to make the important and necessary changes my story needed. And when my protagonist finally found his true voice, a much better and more authentic story began emerging. Thank you, Emma!”—Tim Crow, RA SCBWI Austin, debut novelist

“I’d submitted my first manuscript and received a variety of rejections, but mostly no response at all.  I found the process disheartening and confusing and needed answers. I turned to Emma Dryden for a professional assessment and she provided me with a broad-stroke review that allowed me to see my manuscript through the eyes of the industry. Her critique enabled me to revise my work, thinning out weak spots and building on its strengths. I’m delighted with the results and believe I have a leaner, sharper story. Emma understands how passionately an author can be attached to their story. She was firm but gentle, asserting all the while that any changes I made were up to me. Emma also offered advice on selecting conferences to attend, how to pitch my work, and how to best use my ‘down time.’ It takes a lot of faith to hand over years of hard work to someone for critique.  Emma Dryden is a goldmine of industry experience, knowledge and ability, and someone you can trust with your manuscript.”—Rosemary Danielis, debut novelist

“It’s impossible to overstate how much Emma Dryden helped me as I sought to fulfill my dream of publishing a picture book.  Not only did she provide an honest critique, insightful ideas on the storyline, and detailed editing for my manuscript, she also offered unwavering encouragement from the moment I first spoke to her at an SCBWI National Conference.  Since then, with Emma’s help, I have successfully self-published my debut picture book, signed a contract with an independent publisher to release a second picture book, and begun work on a MG novel (which I know I can do—because I have a world class editor and coach in my corner). Thanks, Emma.”—Blanche R. Dudley, Ed.D., picture book author

“I came to Emma Dryden as a published author looking to reinvent myself as a YA novelist. Emma provided editing expertise that cut to the heart of what I was doing right and wrong, a supportive atmosphere that allowed me to grow as a writer, and advice about the industry that is priceless. When I decided to self-publish, Emma supported my decision. And when, after developing my platform, readership, and gaining notice for my book, Pandora’s Key, I wanted to return to the world of agents and traditional publishing, Emma guided me through the process. I was soon signed by an incredible agent and couldn’t have done this without Emma’s help. She’s not only invaluable as an editor, she’s an author’s best friend. If you’re willing to do the hard work and are lucky enough to have Emma Dryden in your corner, there are endless possibilities in store”—Nancy Richardson Fischer, THE KEY TRILOGY

“With her warm, open demeanor and reassuring yet honest feedback, Emma makes every writer feel like a star. Her critiques are in-depth, insightful, and delivered with care, giving any writer the helping hand they need to hone their craft. Emma provided valuable information for navigating the industry and gave me the confidence to get my work out there. As a direct result, I found representation with a literary agent within months.”—Jennifer Frantz Fox, editor, debut author

“Not only did Emma help me understand what I needed to do to develop more emotional depth in my characters, she spent time with me on the phone coaching me to the emotional place I needed to go as a writer to get it done. That made all the difference.”—Karen Gideon, debut novelist

“Emma agreed to do a detailed line-by-line edit of my YA novel, and to write an editorial letter about my skills in creating the story. Her letter was so comprehensive and instructive that I was left with no questions when I read it for the first time, yet I learn more each time I re-read it. When I make the changes Emma so kindly suggests, a page comes to life; Emma’s assistance has given me the confidence to learn what I need to know be a good writer now.”—Gail Goetz, debut novelist

“The decision to have Emma line-edit my 400 page novel wasn’t because I wanted someone to hold my hand and tell me, “There, there, Kitty. Very nice.” I chose Emma because of her not-so-subtle knife. I needed her uncanny ability to push the story forward, while slicing off the over-used or unnecessary words and helping dump the ‘what wereyou thinking here?’ sections. 400 pages of Emma’s line-edits aren’t pretty, but when you do the work, you’ll have what every acquiring editor longs for—a clean manuscript. And that’s something beautiful.”—Kitty Griffin, THE RIDE, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman; debut novelist

“I debated whether to hire a consultant editor, and I couldn’t be more thrilled since working with Emma. In a short amount of time she was able to pinpoint the problem areas in my manuscript, explain in detail why certain parts do not work, make suggestions, while the whole time keeping herself available for future questions. In the past I’ve taken part in countless workshops and have two degrees in Creative Writing, yet until now I’ve never had such a personal and professional experience with editing. Thanks to Emma I now feel confident taking this work back to agents and publishers.”—Lorien Hallama, debut novelist

“Even though I’m a children’s book author as well as an editor, it’s impossible to edit onesself. Emma Dryden’s wisdom and feedback are invaluable!”—Emma Walton Hamilton, bestselling author; arts & literacy advovate; founder, Children’s Book Hub

“If you need professional guidance in the children’s book world, run-don’t-walk to Emma Dryden. Whether it’s nailing a story problem or helping you launch your career to the next level, she is unsurpassed. Emma is that rare breed with the uncanny ability to zero in on exactly what you need and help you get there. There is nothing better you can do for your career than to have Emma on your team.”—Claudia Harrington, author

“Emma’s advice and encouragement have been indispensable to me in finding and honing my voice as a debut novelist. Always professional and supportive, Emma was a pleasure to work with. She expertly identified the obstacles in my manuscript and provided insightful consultation for problem solving everything from craft to pacing to character development. Working with Emma was like studying in a Master’s level college course with one-on-one access to a brilliant professor with real world experience. I highly recommend her services.” —Jane Alvey Harris, RIVEN

“When Relium Media hired Emma Dryden to edit my novel, I got my dream editor. Her analysis of my manuscript was razor-sharp and highly-detailed but also delivered with great care. Her insights made the book stronger and made me a better writer. I wish she could edit all my books!  Beyond her brilliant editing, Emma’s breadth and depth of knowledge in the publishing industry is invaluable. She is one of the rare people who understands how traditional publishing has functioned historically but is also both open to and on top of the rapid changes in the industry. Emma was willing to mentor me through some major professional decision points and even introduced me to the woman who is my current literary agent. At every turn, Emma offered her expertise in a way that would further my career. I am grateful to have her as a colleague and friend.”—Amber Keyser, ANGEL PUNK

“I have been extremely happy with Emma Dryden’s advice on both short and long-term career strategies. She knows how to evaluate the big picture of the children’s publishing industry and brings a unique blend of editorial, business, and personal experience to bear in support of a client’s specific needs—whether that advice concerns specific projects or broad career choices. Emma delivers, and in a thoughtful and honest way that makes a difference.”—Janet Lawler, TYRANNOCLAUS and SNOWZILLA

“Working with Emma on my middle grade novel was an incredible experience. She was able to quickly guide me to the heart of my story which resulted in a much tighter and richer narrative. Through her compassionate feedback, she gave me the most spot-on advice I’ve ever received! I feel truly lucky to have had the opportunity to work with her.”—Debbie Leaman, debut novelist

“The best thing I have done for my writing career is hire Emma D Dryden. She balances professionalism with a very personal and flexible approach, whereby that essential trust necessary for great editorial exchange is created very early on in the relationship. Emma is a dedicated, passionate and detailed editor, who loves both the story and the storyteller. She manages with finesse and humor to take both to new levels. Her insights have not only helped polish each manuscript, but have given me confidence to attempt new things as a writer. Her up-to-date knowledge of the publishing marketplace, both digitally and in print, and advice on possible audiences for my work, has also been an important part of my consultations. Emma has a huge and generous heart. She is not only my editor, but also my cheerleader and mentor, and I cannot recommend her services highly enough.”—Joanna Marple, debut author

“Emma is not merely an expert in this field. And to label her a legend in children’s literature somehow reduces her significance. She has this magical, uncanny ability to see straight to the very heart of a question, even hard questions, and show you—with the meticulous dexterity and caring heart of a Dumbledore—how to come to a new understanding—of your story, of your career, of your place in the field of children’s literature. Emma is a person of heart and faith, one who believes in the power of Story. More importantly, she imbues that same belief in her clients. I came to Emma with some agonizing questions about how I might move forward in my career, if in fact I could. I came away with a profound and new sense of direction, re-energized, myself believing in the power of My Story. And my story.”—Bobbi Miller, BIG RIVER’S DAUGHTER

“Emma Dryden’s guidance and insight helped my small dog Mirabelle and her stories find an audience. Emma’s knowledge and advice about what is going on in the publishing world brought focus to my creative vision. She was enormously helpful in my journey and her guidance in connecting me with a literary agent is continuing to help us move forward.” —Michael Muller, THE ADVENTURES OF MIRABELLE

“I was thrilled when I got back Emma’s meticulous and obviously very well thought out edits on my picture book dummy. What Emma does is this:  Imagine your book is a dusty piece of glass. She takes it, cleans it off, polishes it and makes it gleam and shine in the light. It is the exact same piece of glass, same size, same weight, same everything, that you created. After Emma, it is clear, shiny and sparkling. Her edits start with you, but she helps you discover the very best ‘you’ there is.”—Michelle Nelson-Schmidt,  JONATHAN JAMES AND THE WHAT-IF MONSTER

“I have known Emma since working with her when she was an editor with McElderry books. I treasure the time she spent on books with me; she brought tremendous knowledge and skill to our work together. A superb editor, she knows exactly how to contribute her own ideas in a way that meshes and then inspires. She remains true to each author’s individual voice, which is the best way to bring out the best work possible. I am so happy to be able to continue working with Emma at drydenbks. Not only is she an outstanding editor, but she is an outstanding, warm and lovely person as well.”—Miriam Nerlove, FLOWERS ON THE WALL; I MEANT TO CLEAN MY ROOM TODAY

“When I kept hitting the same wall, I turned to Emma Dryden. She offered an insider’s translation of the “almost-but-not-quite” responses I was consistently receiving. Her critique was specific and smart, making me better able to approach a rewrite with clear eyes and a fresh voice. She knows this business inside and out, and her advice helped turn my “almost-but-not-quite” manuscript​s​ into ​work that an ​agent loved and an ​editor wanted to work with and publish.”  — Sara Nickerson, BROTHERS, MOOSE & ME

“Emma Dryden is an exceptionally talented and professional editor to work with. Emma gave me amazing clear guidance with fine tuning my manuscript, which has improved considerably because of it. She is thorough in her assessment and is a pleasure to work with. I’m looking forward to working with her on other books.”—Sabbithry Persad, author

“Not only has Emma helped me become a better writer, she’s helped me become a stronger woman. Thank you for all your lessons.”—K. D. Rausin, MYSTIC and ELLE & BUDDY

“If the writing world could vote on choosing a consummate fairy godmother, on the count of three you’d hear a resounding chorus of, “Emma Dryden!” echoing across the halls. There’s precious little pixie dust involved, but it’s purely magical how she will help you change your pumpkin prose into a carriage ferrying a well-crafted chronicle. It usually begins with, Once upon a time, I met Emma Dryden, and ends with an agent, a publisher and a multi-book deal. And we’re all living happily ever after.—Shelley Sackier, DEAR OPL

“Emma Dryden embodies that rare combination of creative intelligence, tremendous experience, and true wisdom that authors can search an entire lifetime to find in an editor.  She is both inspired and inspirational; knowledgeable, yet down-to-earth; gentle but insistent on following the truth that lies, sometimes buried, within the work. Working with such a talented mind and caring heart is an utter joy.”—Fran Cannon Slayton, WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS

“Emma’s critiques are inspired and inspiring. Her edits brought out so many possibilities for my story. She showed me how to push and pull words so they stretch and can shine—like taffy!—so readers will eat it up.”—Kate St. Vincent Vogl, LOST & FOUND: A Memoir of Mothers; debut picture book author

When the student is ready—the teacher will appear! I was at a crossroads in my literary career. Emma Dryden steered me in the right direction. If you need help sailing your ship, you’ll want Emma Dryden at your helm! She is a terrific teacher and avid sailor! Within three days of finishing our work together, a respected agent offered me representation, and my ship is now sailing on the right course. I’m looking forward to my travels as I navigate the waters of the children’s literary world, and will continue to check in with Emma to make sure we’re reading the same map.”—Brenda Reeves Sturgis, 10 TURKEYS IN THE ROAD

“Hiring Emma Dryden is like looking into one of those mirrors that magnifies your pores! She shows you all the blemishes affecting your manuscript, but then she explains how to fix them. Emma’s detailed, incisive, and thoughtful notes created a path towards improvement, not only for a specific manuscript but also for my overall writing style. It was an immense relief to stop wondering what was detracting from my work and start addressing the issues raised.”—Juliet White, debut novelist

“I had confidence in my manuscript, but I knew it needed that extra something to make it the best it could be to compete in today’s market.  What it needed was Emma Dryden. Her editorial assessment not only identified the weak points of the manuscript and gave insight on how to correct them; it also gave me confidence that I was on the right path and to trust my instincts. Throughout the entire process, Emma was gracious with my questions and a true professional in every sense of the word.  I am proud to say that I know her.  Any writer looking to improve their work should definitely take advantage of all the services drydenbks offers.  They won’t be sorry.”—Tom Wright, debut novelist

“Emma Dryden is a fabulous editor. Her insights are spot on and clearly communicated, and my book is much stronger as a result of her input. Emma’s editorial gifts are equaled only by her talent as a career advisor. She’s smart, strategic, and supportive, and with her guidance I found a wonderful agent who’s a perfect fit for me. Working with Emma is a joy. I hope to do so for many years to come and enthusiastically recommend her services to any writer at any stage of his or her career.”—Eve Yohalem, ESCAPE UNDER THE FOREVER SKY

“Emma Dryden is simply incredible. She is the best in the business hands down and we’re so lucky she’s brought her years of experience, credibility, and professionalism to Feeding Minds Press. She had not only helped us create award-winning picture books through her editorial and art direction skills, but she’s also been invaluable guiding us through the ins and outs of the children’s publishing world. I cannot recommend Emma enough.” — Julia Recko, American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Education Outreach Director and Publisher, Feeding Minds Press

“Emma Dryden’s commitment to her clients, to her craft—and to children’s literature—is unparalleled in my experience.  I have worked with Emma—as both a publisher and an author — for many years on many different projects. She is a brilliant editor, writer and creator—and a consummate professional. I recommend her as highly as possible.”—Judy NewmanEVP, President and Reader in Chief, Scholastic Book Clubs

“Emma is the consummate professional. She is a gifted editor, a talented writer, a delightful team member, and a creative solution provider. I can recommend her strongly.”—Rana DiOrio, Founder & CEO, Creative Mint  

“Emma Dryden is an extraordinary editor, but she is much more: a mentor, leader, and inspiration to those who come in contact with her. She is a role model to many in our profession, and she is also an agile entrepreneur who has done a magnificent job of fashioning a crucial role in this newest phase of her career. Those who work with her will grow professionally and also in self-confidence.”—Deborah Kovacs, SVP Editorial Director, Walden Pond Press

“Emma has it all—managerial finesse, editorial vision, appreciation for the creative process, and a delightful sense of humor. She can enhance a writer’s reputation, grow an imprint, and build a business with remarkable confidence and grace.”—Rubin Pfeffer, former SVP, Publisher, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing 

“Every book created under Emma’s careful watch has been of the highest quality…. Emma is organized, disciplined, and a fierce advocate for her authors. Let me add my voice to Margaret McElderry’s; if quality and integrity is what you desire, you desire Emma.”—Rick Richter, former President, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing 

“I have worked with Emma for fifteen years. As a young editor at Margaret K. McElderry Books, I was lucky enough to learn important skills from Emma: professionalism, grace under pressure, keeping a sense of humor, the rewards of hard work, and the wonderful business and personal relationships which result. Working together in our publisher/editor/agent relationship has been a great joy of my career—she is always honest, straightforward, and fair. My authors and I enjoy and appreciate the book-making process with Emma. The evidence is in the amazing books Emma has published.”—Tracey Adams, Adams Literary

“I’ve worked with Emma Dryden on several books and have found her to be unfailingly enthusiastic, helpful, and supportive. A top professional, a first-rate editor, and a class act.” —Stephen Barbara, InkWell Management

“I have known Emma Dryden for almost twenty years and her reputation for working well with both authors and illustrators has become legendary during that time. She instills a quiet confidence and brings both infinite patience and sly good humor to every project. And perhaps above all…she asks the right questions.”—Dilys Evans, Dilys Evans Fine Illustration

“Emma is worth her weight in gold! I’ve consulted with her to help me brainstorm ways that the business of agenting can better suit my personality and whenever I’ve had a protocol question about the publishing industry, or any questions at all about the best way to approach any subject or problem within the children’s book business. She is creative and innovative and even offers ways to help me keep a balanced life in the midst of this somewhat overwhelming industry. Emma is priceless!”—Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary

“Emma is one of the best! She brings an amazing understanding of children’s literature and years of experience to any project she touches. She has a deep appreciation and care for the work she does and brings clarity, creativity and honesty to the manuscripts she edits. She is highly professional and an absolute joy to work with.”—Ellen Jacob, jacob packaged goods

“Emma is the kind of editor that defines our profession. Highly respected, thoughtful, and nurturing, her taste is impeccable. I am very proud to have shared writers with her as a publisher and when I set up my business, she was generous with her wisdom and advice. I’m glad to know her and look forward to more years working with her.”—Fiona Kenshole, Transatlantic Agency

“Emma Dryden has an eagle eye, loads of energy, and discriminating taste. But it’s her sense of wonder, her sense of joy in publishing a great book, that I love most of all.”—Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties, Inc.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Emma Dryden on many different projects over the last ten years, and I’ve always found her to be efficient, easy to work with, and a true champion for her books. Emma is very sensitive to the authors and illustrators she works with, and she knows how to bring out the very best in them, time and time again. I’m eager to work with her as she starts a new phase of her career.”—Steven Malk, Writers House

“Emma was always at the top of my list of editors because she is simply a pleasure to work with. Besides being an incredibly insightful editor who can coax the best out of writers, Emma is a real author’s advocate. She truly understands writers and their needs.”—Kendra Marcus, BookStop Literary Agency

“Emma Dryden has an elegant yet subconscious firmness with her authors to help them draw out the best of their talents. As an agent, working with Emma has always been a joy, as she understands that the agent’s role is that of advocate and not apologist and she tempers that fact by expressing the realities of today’s tight marketplace.”—Edward Narcarsulmer IV, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency 

“In all my interactions with Emma, I’ve been struck, repeatedly, by how insightful, careful, and adept an editor she is and by the remarkable caliber of the books she worked on and oversaw as publisher. She has always had a grasp of both the bigger picture and the smaller details of each book of my clients’ that she has edited. She has been an amazing champion and in-house advocate for my clients, and my authors who have worked with her have enjoyed the process, felt pushed to deliver their very best work, and continue to hold her in high esteem—as do I.” —Laura Rennert, Andrea  Brown Literary Agency

“I worked very closely with Emma as my client, Ian Falconer’s publisher with respect to all aspects of OLIVIA. Emma unfailingly provided me with clear direction and invaluable insight into whatever matter was at hand, delivered with unfailing good cheer. Emma is a frank, straight-talking and agreeable guide through the sometimes murky pathways of publishing, and has been a priceless asset to my client and to me.”—Conrad Rippy, Levine Plotkin & Menin, LLP

“I have known Emma Dryden since she began in her career in publishing. Over the years I have watched her learn about the needs of children, teachers, librarians, and authors, and incorporate those understandings into the work she does in creating books.  Emma provides a calm and purposeful presence in a world where the fads in education and marketing can dominate publishing. Her books are of the highest quality and take on important subjects and issues.”—Barbara Chatton, Professor, Department of Elementary/Early Childhood Education, Univ of Wyoming

“Dryden has the experience, the know-how, and the moxie.  Not only is she known for having a fantastic eye for material, but her bedside manner with the talent is unparalleled.”—Eddie Gamarra, VP Studio Business Development, Nickelodeon

“I had the pleasure of working with Emma Dryden at Simon & Schuster, and was consistently impressed by her genuine enthusiasm and affection for the book she edited and published. It was infectious. With a thoughtful nature and warm personality, Emma was one of my favorite colleagues, and someone to whom I often turned for insight on the editorial and publishing process. Most of all, I appreciate Emma’s willingness to always do what was right for the book.”—Victor Iannone, National Accounts Manager, Simon & Schuster

“Emma Dryden carries on the tradition of fine publishing of books for children and young people. She was trained by the best—Margaret K. McElderry, the first editor to have her own imprint—and has in turn trained others. Her list always featured books that speak to children with individual voices.”—Amy Kellman, Children’s Literature Consultant, former Youth Services Coordinator, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

“I’ve had the privilege of working with Emma in a couple of different capacities. In her role as editor on a project for which I served as author, she proved to be a brilliant, insightful collaborator, one whose long experience in publishing made the path easier for me and added immeasurably to the quality of our work. I’ve also benefited from her instruction on a number of occasions, and I’m ever impressed by her broad curiosity, her compassion and her stunning level of expertise. Anyone interested in producing the highest level of written work would be smart to seek out Emma Dryden.”—Lorin Oberweger, Free Expressions Seminars & Literary Services

“We at the SCBWI have always relied on Emma Dryden to provide our members with invaluable feedback about their work and careers.  She is insightful and wise, full of unique knowledge and expert vision about the children’s book field which she dispenses with sensitivity and individual care. Whether she is giving a manuscript critique or a seminar, Emma conveys the essential truths about children’s books in a way that only a veteran and inspired editor can. Whether you are an aspiring or a published author, working with Emma is bound to improve your work and provide you with the tools you need to flourish.”—Lin Oliver, Executive Director, SCBWI

“The name Emma Dryden connected to a children’s or young adult book—those are the ones that went to the top of my “to be read” pile. I knew that these books would be gripping in just the way you would want them to be. Books to fall into and be touched with regret as the last page was turned.”—Lisa Von Drasek, Curator, Children’s Literature Research Collections, Univ of Minnesota