Laird Gallagher

Laird Gallagher - Editor

New York, NY, USA

Editor with 8+ years of experience (5+ @ Farrar, Straus and Giroux [FSG]), expertise in award-winning and bestselling fiction and nonfiction

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I'm a book editor with nearly a decade of editorial experience, including five years in the editorial department of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

I'm experienced in developmental and line editing; query letter, proposal, and manuscript evaluation; copy editing and proofreading; and more. I've worked with Pulitzer Prize-winners and New York Times bestsellers, and I've acquired and edited books that ended up on countless year-end Best-Of lists. I have worked with acclaimed authors such as Jonathan Safran Foer, Ben Lerner, and Lydia Davis. I have also edited groundbreaking historians, cognitive neuroscientists, sociologists, and journalists. I have evaluated book proposals and draft manuscripts that have sold at auction for seven figures.

Some of my books: I edited the memoir ANTS AMONG ELEPHANTS, which was a Wall Street Journal Top 10 and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year for 2017. I also acquired LET THE RECORD SHOW, a political history of the AIDS activist group ACT UP, which was longlisted for several major awards and included in numerous best book lists for 2021.

I specialize in contemporary fiction, memoir, and serious nonfiction--especially history, science, philosophy, and politics/current affairs.
English (US)
Biographies & Memoirs
Computers & Internet
Contemporary Fiction
Literary Fiction
Short Story


  • Copyediting and Proofreading Books - NYU School of Professional Studies

Work experience

Associate Editor

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
July, 2017 – March, 2019 (over 1 year)

Supported President/Publisher Jonathan Galassi in all aspects of book projects from acquisition to publication; independently responsible for six titles per year
• Oversaw production process from finished manuscript to bound book (approximately five titles per season)
• Evaluated manuscripts and proposals; acquired book projects for publication
• Fully edited (from project inception to copyedit) four books per season
• Wrote jacket cover copy, catalog copy, sales/marketing materials, and rights guides
• Worked closely with agents, authors, and internal departments including publicity, sales, subrights, contracts, permissions, and legal
• Presented new titles before Macmillan executives and national sales and marketing teams
• Managed FSG’s internship program: hired, coordinated, supervised, and trained six interns per semester

Associate Editor

Center for an Urban Future
March, 2019 – November, 2021 (over 2 years)

Supported Editorial & Policy Director in all aspects of policy research, editing, and project production
• Provided editorial support for all written work products, including long-form policy reports, data briefs, grant proposals, press releases, and
the organization’s e-newsletter
• Performed developmental and line edits on policy publications including major policy reports, data briefs, web-based content, and
promotional material
• Copyedited, proofread, and coordinated design, production, and publication of every research report and data brief
• Researched and wrote data briefs and opinion pieces
• Conducted qualitative and quantitative research, including interviews, policy and best practices research, literature reviews, and data
analysis to strengthen and inform policy reports, data briefs, and more

Assistant Editor

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
July, 2015 – July, 2017 (about 2 years)

Assisted Editor-in-Chief in all aspects of book projects from acquisition to publication; independently responsible for three to four titles per year
• Oversaw production process from finished manuscript to bound book (approximately five titles per season)
• Evaluate wide range of fiction and non-fiction manuscripts and proposals; pursue own acquisitions
• Performed developmental and line edits on two to three books per season
• Edited the FSG Work in Progress website, a compendium of original essays, excerpts, and interviews with FSG authors
• Provided general administrative support (managing production calendars, tracking due dates, etc.)

Editorial Assistant

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
November, 2013 – July, 2015 (over 1 year)

• Oversaw book production process to completion (approximately six titles per season)
• Evaluated non-fiction manuscripts and proposals (physical science, history, current affairs, biography, social science)
• Performed market research, drafted profit and loss statements, prepared sub-imprint financial reports
• Managed backlist authors and titles for Hill and Wang, Northpoint Press, and Scientific American imprints

Fraternity: Stories

Nugent, Benjamin

97,196 Words: Essays

Carrère, Emmanuel, Lambert, John

Proof!: How the World Became Geometrical

Amir Alexander, Jonathan Ross, Blackstone Publishing

When the Plums Are Ripe: A Novel

Nganang, Patrice, Reid, Amy B.

The Sun on My Head: Stories

Martins, Geovani, Sanches, Julia

The Nocilla Trilogy: Nocilla Dream, Nocilla Experience, Nocilla Lab

Agustín Fernández Mallo, Thomas Bunstead - translator, Jason Manuel Olazabal, Macmillan Audio

The Big Green Tent: A Novel

Ulitskaya, Ludmila, Gannon, Polly

Laird has 3 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Lynn Davidman
Laird Gallagher has exactly the combination of skills and experience to help me work with what I wrote in the past and use it for my current and future work. As someone who had worked for FSG, and is currently a graduate student in sociology, he was able to help me look at my already published work in a new way and offer suggestions for how I might use it in the future.

Lynn Davidman, March 2022

Margaret Anne Abbey
Laird offered me a competitive cost that took into account my exact requirements. The assessment gave me the feedback I was after, and I was happy with the process.

Margaret Anne Abbey, February 2022

Christina Gombar
I have had a wonderful experience with Laird so far. His eloquent and insightful reply to my pitch gave me confidence, and the job he did on my query letter far exceeded expectations. He was able to intuit why my novel is a challenge to pitch, and helped me articulate more clearly why it is both relevant and necessary right now. I look forward to working with him on the full text.

Christina Gombar, February 2022

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