Gillian Stern

Gillian Stern photoAfter 15 years in academic publishing, specialising in criminology and social theory, I took time off after the birth of my third child. During this time I read the slush pile for a well-known literary agency where I discovered a novel that went on to win the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Richard and Judy Summer Reads of Summer Reads. This sealed my move from academic to commercial publishing and I have never looked back.

Since then – 15 years ago – I have been working as a freelance editor of literary fiction, mostly for Bloomsbury, but also other publishers such as Transworld and Penguin as well as many of the leading literary agencies. Writers I have edited include Kamila Shamsie, Joanna Briscoe, James Runcie, Romesh Guneskerah, Emily Perkins, Damian Barr, Nigel Farndale, Lawrence Norfolk and Michele Roberts.

I am also a ghost writer, mainly for Orion and have written five memoirs in this capacity.


  • Ghost writer
  • Editor: literary fiction.


2 hours mentoring in person or Skype and a follow up email.


In person