Joshua Essoe

Joshua Essoe - Editor

Baltimore, MD, USA

Editor/Writer WIP: 5-book series on the most-common issues I see writers struggling with as a full-time editor with over a decade of XP.

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Joshua has edited for bestsellers, Piers Anthony and David Farland's multi-award-winning novel, Nightingale. He's also edited for Dean Lorey, lead writer of Arrested Development, Mark Leslie Lefebvre, former director at Kobo, numerous Writers of the Future winners (before and after), USA Today bestsellers, and many other top-notch independents. He was lead editor at Urban Fantasy Magazine from 2014-2015. From 2012-2015 he recorded the weekly writing podcast Hide and Create with co-hosts Michael J. Sullivan, Diana Rowland, Jay Wells, and Debbie Viguie.

Every year you can find Joshua teaching about editing, pitches, and back cover copy at the Superstars Writing Seminar. His approach to editing is to help you make your story the best version of itself it can be.

When not editing . . . ha ha, a joke. He was a 2014 finalist in the Writers of the Future contest, and is currently at work on a series of books on writing, "Essoe's Guides to Writing," tackling the subjects he has seen authors struggling with the most in his decade+ as a full-time editor. The first, Action Sequences & Sex Scenes was released October, 2020; the second, Worldbuilding & Mood and Atmosphere, is coming in the first quarter of 2022.

"I had Joshua Essoe review my novel Nightingale as a final edit. His insights into audience analysis were very helpful. He caught plenty of dropped words and even a part of a dropped scene, but he went much further than that--looking for ways to enhance the story by adding scenes.

"Now, I've worked as an editor myself for some thirty years, and I've had some fifty novels edited at various firms like Bantam, Random House, Tor/St. Martins and Scholastic, but I don't recall ever having an editor who did such an in-depth and exhaustive job on editing. It wasn't over-reaching, either. It was just a darned-fine job.

"Not only do I give Josh my highest recommendation as an editor, I plan on using him again and again in the future."

-- David Farland, New York Times bestselling author of Nightingale, The Runelords series, The Golden Queen, The Courtship of Princess Leia and many others.

"Joshua Essoe solicited a story from me for the Magic Makers anthology. I wrote 'Self Image' but the revisions he wanted were unsatisfactory and I withdrew the story. Then I wrote 'The Shell,' and thought it was turning out to be a similar case. So I wrote 'Fair Chance' and that one was accepted with revisions.

"What then of 'The Shell'? I asked to see the proposed revisions, and was impressed. Essoe had identified weaknesses and made suggestions to strengthen them. Since I do want to have my best work represented in print, I made the revisions and sent both versions of the story to another market. I don't know at this writing which version will be published. But I am satisfied that Essoe has the best interests of each story at heart, even where we disagree about what is best.

"I suspect that the anthology will have some remarkable stories, each the best that author and editor can craft. I am reminded of Fred Pohl's Star Science Fiction series, decades ago, notable for its quality because of just such an attitude.

"(This, too, may need editing...)"

-- Piers Anthony, New York Times bestselling author of The Apprentice Adept, Bio of a Space Tyrant, Incarnations of Immortality, Xanth, and dozens of others.

"I was intimidated as hell when I set out to self-publish Fitness Confidential, but Josh's keen insights and editorial savvy helped make the process a breeze.

"Plus, he's nice. And he's quick. Just hire him, but only after he's finished editing my next book so I don't have to wait."

-- Dean Lorey, writer/producer Arrested Development, Those Who Can't, Fitness Confidential, and The Nightmare Academy series.

"Adequate writing becomes good, and good writing becomes great, when writers work with an editor who is solid in his craft, and trustworthy in his taste. Joshua Essoe is very high up on a very short list of editors who can make a writer's work truly shine."

-- James Artimus Owen, award-winning author and illustrator of Starchild, the Imaginarium Geographica series, Drawing Out the Dragons, Mythworld, and the forthcoming Magic Makers anthology.

"I was not only delighted at the speed with which Joshua Essoe returned the edits on my manuscript but also at the thoroughness by which he fulfilled his editorial duties. He not only mapped out minor yet important character inconsistencies but also made subtle suggestions for tweaks and improvements that helped make the prose and story flow. The detailed notes and insightful critique that Joshua created allowed me to properly re-visit my novel and not only see where it could be improved, but also where certain holes existed with insightful suggestions on how to make it even better. He is the kind of craftsman and expert that even the most nervous and trepidatious author could easily become comfortable handing their 'baby' over to.

"Both his fine eye for detail and the care he takes to properly understand the over-arching vision for the story arc make Joshua an excellent editor that I can’t recommend highly enough.

"(If there’s a way for you to tweak and edit my words so that it sounds better, by all means, go ahead – I trust your red pen with my life.)"

-- Mark Leslie [Lefebvre], previous Director Self-Publishing & Author Relations at Kobo, current Director Of Business Development at Draft2Digital, author of Canadian Werewolf series, Creepy Capital, and Tomes of Terror

English (UK)
English (US)
Action & Adventure
Epic Fantasy
Short Story
Space Opera
Urban Fantasy
Young Adult Fantasy

Work experience

Freelance Editor

November, 2010 – Present (over 11 years)

Portfolio (28 selected works)


Farland, David

Set in Stone (The Petralist Book 1)

Morin, Frank, Fraunfelter, Brad, Essoe, Joshua

Unwilling Souls

Gregory D. Little

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