5E, a collective of like-minded editors with experience at New York's top publishing houses, was founded in 2011 by Judy Sternlight, along with Patricia Mulcahy, Jane Rosenman, Joan Hilty, and the late Marjorie Braman. Leslie Wells and Liz Van Hoose joined in 2016. 

Meeting monthly to swap industry news and tips, the members of 5E work separately but are all devoted to helping writers reach their full creative potential in a variety of media. They are also committed to sharing their knowledge in the form of workshops, panel discussions, and individual mentoring at venues such as Grub Street in Boston, the Brooklyn Book Festival, and the Center for Fiction in New York. They maintain close ties with agents and in-house editors and publishers. 

Judy STernlight

Judy Sternlight spent nearly a decade editing books at Random House, Ballantine, and Modern Library before founding Judy Sternlight Literary Services. Prior to her career in publishing, she performed and taught improvisational theater with Some Assembly Required in NYC. She occasionally teaches at The Center for Fiction and other NYC arts organizations, blending theatrical and literary techniques to help writers hone their craft. She’s worked with many acclaimed writers including Elliot Ackerman, Marie-Helene Bertino, Rita Mae Brown, Mamta Chaudhry, Gwen Florio, Bret Anthony Johnston, Peter Matthiessen, and Daniel Menaker. For more information: www.Judysternlightlit.com.


Prior to becoming an independent editor, Jane Rosenman was an Executive Editor at Houghton Mifflin, Scribner, and St. Martin's Press. She was also Editorial Director at Washington Square Press. Jane has edited fiction writers such as Andrea Barrett, Elinor Lipman, Howard Norman, and Meg Wolitzer. In the memoir category, she has worked with Alice Sebold and with Mira Bartok. Jane now edits for publishers, agents, and individual writers. For more information, visit www.linkedin.com/in/janerosenman..


For more than a decade, Liz Van Hoose worked in the editorial departments of Viking Penguin and Alfred A. Knopf. She has edited books by Ron Currie, Jr., Kim Edwards, Alex Gilvarry, Garrison Keillor, William Kittredge, Robert Love, Dan Morrison, Haruki Murakami, Jim Shepard, Amor Towles, and Danielle Trussoni, among others, and has been a guest editor for writers’ conferences at Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Aspen Summer Words. Visit www.lizvanhoose.com.



Patricia Mulcahy is a former publisher who started as a temp at Farrar, Straus and Giroux and left as editor in chief at Doubleday. Since 1999 she has run the editorial consulting service Brooklyn Books (see www.brooklynbooks.com). Her clients include musician and media mogul Quincy Jones; NBC’s Andrea Mitchell; former White House advisor Karen Hughes; and Acumen Fund CEO Jacqueline Novogratz. She is the co-author of It Is Well with My Soul: The Extraordinary Life of a 106-year Old Woman, Ella Mae Cheeks Johnson (Penguin, 2010) and Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece and Mystery! On PBS (Viking, 2013).


Leslie Wells spent two decades at Hyperion as an Executive Editor; prior to that, she was a Senior Editor at Pocket Books and E. P. Dutton. She is now an independent editor who works with publishers, literary agents, and individuals on both fiction and nonfiction. She has worked with such authors as Mitch Albom, Candace Bushnell, Rebecca Wells, Julie Andrews, Katherine Howe, Michelle Knight, and Michael J. Fox. For more information and author testimonials, see www.lesliewellseditorial.com.



Joan Hilty has joined Nickelodeon as Comics and Magazine Editor and stepped into an advisory role in 5E. She specializes in graphic novels, illustrated books and transmedia; she was at DC Comics from 1995-2010 and left as a senior editor at its Vertigo imprint. As both an independent editor and through her boutique book production company Pageturner, she has worked with Farrar Straus & Giroux, Abrams, Inkwell Management, Levine Greenberg Literary, and Blue Man Productions. Authors she’s worked with include Neil Gaiman, G. Willow Wilson, Greg Rucka, Gene Luen Yang, Jim Ottaviani, and Kevin Baker. She is a former syndicated cartoonist, a current member of Powderkeg Writers in Brooklyn, and teaches at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. She serves on programming committees for Miami Book Fair International and the Brooklyn Book Festival. For more information, visit www.joanhilty.net.

"Life happens the way it happens—once."  — M.B.

"Life happens the way it happens—once." — M.B.


After a 26-year career in publishing, most recently as Editor-in-Chief of Henry Holt, Marjorie Braman went on to work independently with writers, agents and publishers, while also serving as a strategic advisor at Open Road Integrated Media.  Her authors included Michael Crichton, Elmore Leonard and Sena Jeter Naslund.  Marjorie passed away in July of 2015.