Alice Youell

Alice Youell – Editor

Former Commissioning Editor at Penguin Random House with 11 years' publishing experience working across bookclub and literary fiction.



I’ve worked in publishing for the last 11 years, most recently as Commissioning Editor at Doubleday, an imprint of Transworld at Penguin Random House, UK. There, I curated and edited a list of critically acclaimed, prizewinning literary fiction from the likes of Jan Carson, Susannah Dickey, Conor O’Callaghan and Caryl Lewis.

It was a great privilege to see my authors’ work from submission stage right through to publication and beyond, but it's the editorial process I've always relished the most: the wonderfully creative, dynamic and trusting collaboration between writer and editor, with words and story at the heart of everything. From the deep, involved work of helping a novel manoeuvre out of a narrative cul-de-sac and back onto the open road, to applying the final polish to a draft that's nearly ready to go, I'm available for the full gamut of the editorial lifecycle!

I offer editorial assessments and developmental editing of literary and bookclub fiction, as well as copyediting and proofreading on partial and full- length works of both fiction and non-fiction. I also offer editorial advice on your query package if you're at the point of submitting to agents.

Please do get in touch to let me know what you're writing, and to discuss how we might work together.


'Alice is hands down the best editor I’ve ever worked with. Over the course of four books, she helped me both recognise and realise the potential in my stories. She has an incredible knack of noticing both what’s not working in a book and exactly how to fix the problem and all her editorial advice is delivered in such a warm and genuinely helpful manner it doesn’t feel at all like critique. There’s no one I'd trust more with a manuscript. She was the making of me as a writer and I’m so grateful for her advice and encouragement.'

Jan Carson, author of THE RAPTURES

'Alice is a dream editor – she has an innate ability to sense where a manuscript is lacking, combining her sensitivity to her author's ambitions with a respect for the reader's experience.'

Susannah Dickey, author of COMMON DECENCY

'Expertly incisive, her attention to detail ensures that the editing process – from structural to line and word level – is meticulous. Her skill with story and character will support you in making your narrative sing, and Alice's genuine commitment to her authors makes editing both joyful and extremely rewarding.'

Louisa Reid, author of THE POET

'It is rare for an author to find someone else who cares as much about their work as they do but Alice is so intellectually and creatively generous that I felt I had someone entirely in my corner. I learnt so much working with her, I developed as a writer, and also had good plain old fun in the process.'

Bea Setton, author of BERLIN

Coming of Age Contemporary Fiction Literary Fiction Short Story
English (AUS) English (UK) English (US)
  • M.Phil Creative Writing, Trinity College Dublin
  • BA in English Literature, University of Exeter

Work experience

Transworld, Penguin Random House

Dec, 2019 — May, 2023 (over 3 years)

This role involved...

- Acquiring a boutique list of literary fiction for the Doubleday list at Transworld Publishers, launching a number of critically acclaimed, prizewinning debuts.

- Project managing books from submission to publication, selling books in-house and working closely alongside colleagues across departments to publish them with the best possible results.

- Evaluating, developing and editing manuscripts as well as writing copy for covers and marketing material.

Transworld, Penguin Random House

Jul, 2017 — Dec, 2019 (over 2 years)

Transworld, Penguin Random House

Jul, 2017 — Dec, 2018 (over 1 year)

Transworld, Penguin Random House

Jul, 2015 — Jul, 2017 (almost 2 years)

Transworld Ireland, Penguin Random House

May, 2014 — Jul, 2015 (about 1 year)

The Lilliput Press, The Lisa Richards Agency, Freelance Proofreading and Editing

Sep, 2012 — May, 2014 (over 1 year)


In sixteen sparkling stories, Jan Carson introduces us to worlds and characters that feel real enough to touch. All of life is here: the thrill of growing up, the grief when youth is over; first love, mature love, parenthood and loss - all shot through with pr... read more

Caryl Lewis

**WATERSTONES WELSH BOOK OF THE YEAR 2022** 'Truly beautiful and haunting, and an incredible feat of storytelling' DONAL RYAN'A tender, unusual and gorgeously wrought love story' RACHEL JOYCE'In times of war, Lewis finds resilience, redemption and hope...DRIFT... read more
'Small Things Like These meets Under Milk Wood - this slim but devastating novel captures an entire village, an entire world, and the many ways in which a woman can be trapped. A real gem.' RUTH GILLIGAN, author of The ButchersA wonderful novella, full of atmo... read more
The Weight of Love

Hilary Fannin

'This is heartache for grown ups. The Weight of Love pulls you in and does not let go' ANNE ENRIGHT'Beautiful and painful, exquisitely written, shot through with nostalgia for our earlier selves' MARIAN KEYESLondon, 1996. Robin and Ruth meet in the staff room ... read more
**WINNER of the EU Prize for Literature**'One of the most exciting and original Northern Irish writers of her generation' SUNDAY TIMES'Gripping, affecting, surprising. I inhaled it' LISA MCINERNEY 'Captivating, intelligent and courageous' IRISH TIMES'Spectacul... read more
The Raptures

Jan Carson

When several children from the same village start succumbing to a mysterious illness, the quest to discover the cause has devastating and extraordinary consequences.'Absolutely MAGNIFICENT: dark, witty, charming. I LOVED it.' MARIAN KEYES 'Utterly absorbing' L... read more

Bea Setton

'One for Sally Rooney fans' Sunday Telegraph'Compelling, raw and thrillingly strange' MONA AWAD, author of Bunny'Scintillating . . . wonderfully funny' Financial Times'Cinematically vivid, and refreshingly honest' LISA HALLIDAY, author of Asymmetry*FOR FANS OF... read more
The Waiter

Matias Faldbakken

Exquisitely observed and wickedly playful, The Waiter is a novel for lovers of food, wine, and of European sensibilities, but also for anyone who spends time in restaurants, on either side of the service.'Delicious.' New York Times 'As if The Remains of the Da... read more
The Poet

Louisa Reid

A PASSIONATE, PAGE-TURNING TALE OF COERCIVE CONTROL AND FEMALE SOLIDARITY, FOR FANS OF THREE WOMEN AND ACTS OF DESPERATION.'This is the book I have always needed, it is F*****G BRILLIANT and everyone should read it' Nikita Gill'A beautiful, biting page-turner'... read more
We Are Not in the World

Conor O'Callaghan

'Stylish, absolutely fascinating novel' Guardian'Haunting, mesmerising, and so deeply intelligent' Kamila Shamsie, author of Women's Prize for Fiction winning Home Fire'Powerful...compelling and profoundly moving' Irish Times'Heartbreaking, sweetly l... read more
Tennis Lessons

Susannah Dickey

For fans of I MAY DESTROY YOU and FLEABAG and for readers who want to laugh and cry: the brave, beautiful, sometimes brutal story of a young misfit and her rocky road to womanhood, stopping at each year along the way.'I loved Tennis Lessons so much. Susannah i... read more
Coming Up for Air

Sarah Leipciger

THREE EXTRAORDINARY LIVES INTERTWINE ACROSS OCEANS AND TIME'Bold in its weaving of three ingeniously linked storylines and rich in sensuous detail and vivid characterisation. I can't wait for her next.' PATRICK GALE'A stunning, stirring story told with excepti... read more
Nothing On Earth

Conor O'Callaghan

The critically acclaimed psychological chiller from a powerful new voice in Irish literary fiction.SHORTLISTED FOR THE KERRY GROUP IRISH NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2017 'As fine as it is frightening' JOHN BANVILLE 'This one will stay with you like your shadow' Guardian... read more
Common Decency

Susannah Dickey

'Susannah Dickey is a phenomenal talent and I loved this novel.' ELIZABETH DAY'A vivid and beautifully written novel that confirms [Dickey] as one of literature's major new talents ... its quiet despair is genuinely affecting' OBSERVER'[A] treat . . . vividly ... read more

Alice has 4 reviews





Karen F.

Karen F.

Dec, 2023

Alice exceeded my expectations with her level of editorial support and astute comments. I would not hesitate to recommend her.
Fiona P.

Fiona P.

Oct, 2023

There are many wonderful editors on Reedsy, so choosing a shortlist was a hard task. Alice was new to the platform, but I liked the look of the experience she had, and she was able to provide some stunning reviews from authors she had edited before joining the platform. And so I included her. She was the first to respond and her correspondence was always, throughout this most enjoyable, seaml...
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Valliard A.

Valliard A.

Sep, 2023

I presented Alice with a baroque monster of a work and she cobbled together a bespoke editorial package for me composed of gimlet-eyed proofreading, non-interventionist copy editing, and enlightening advice on the title, cover, and accompanying paraphernalia. She works swiftly, and is enormously kind, perceptive, and erudite, with an artist’s sensibility for design and overall concept execution...
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Maureen A.

Maureen A.

Sep, 2023

Alice is such a gifted editor and a thoughtful reader. I learned so much about my own writing. It was an honor to work with her.

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