Brendan Durkin

Brendan Durkin – Editor

Development editor specialising in genre fiction, particularly fantasy and science fiction. Let's make your project publication ready.

Overview

I’m an editor at Gollancz, the UK's biggest Science Fiction & Fantasy imprint. I have over half a decade's experience working with many bestselling and award-winning authors, as well as debut authors starting their publishing journeys. In 2021, Gollancz was named imprint of the year at the British Book Awards, thanks to our brilliant relationships with our authors and the SFF community, particularly over the pandemic.


My speciality is speculative fiction, and ranges from big secondary-world epic fantasies to literary near-future novels. I love all kinds of SFF, from epic and historical fantasy, to contemporary and urban fantasy. In science fiction, I love character-driven narratives, be they set in space or on earth, from space opera to high-concept science fiction. I’m not your guy for military SF, which is my loss, but you can’t love everything.


I adore books that use tropes readers love and do something surprising with them. I particularly love fantasies that take me to internally-consistent worlds inspired by people and cultures underrepresented in the genre. The books I connect with most have amazing characters, whose relationships feel alive and who make me care for them like real people.


Punchy plot twists, satisfying character arcs, ensuring your mystery has enough breadcrumbs to follow – in my development edits I like nothing more than getting stuck in and figuring out where a book needs pushing to make your work sing. I am rigorous and thoughtful, and always mindful of your intention. As much as try to improve a book, I make sure to let you know what’s working well. I think it’s just as helpful to know which bits are particularly funny, emotional or powerful as it is to know which bits need work.


When it comes to your query letters and book pitch, I have excellent experience of the current book market and know what’s speaking to readers. I attend acquisitions meetings regularly and know how to pitch books to publishers so that they pay attention. I’m a great collaborator and would love to work with you to nail down the best approach for your project.

Services
Fiction
Epic Fantasy Mystery & Crime New Adult Post-Apocalyptic Space Opera Thriller & Suspense Urban Fantasy Young Adult Fantasy
Languages
English (AUS) English (UK) English (US)
Awards
  • Imprint of the Year, British Book Awards 2021

Work experience

Gollancz, Orion Publishing Group

Feb, 2020 — Present

- Developed an award-nominated SFF list
- Mentor writers from the Tamasha Theatre Group as well as finalists on the Future Worlds Prize
- Manage literary estates including Terry Pratchett and Frank Herbert
- Gollancz won Imprint of the Year at the British Book Awards 2021
- Edits include: The Pact and Pattern series by J.T. Greathouse, The First Binding and The Doors of Midnight by R.R. Virdi, The Daughters' War by Christopher Buehlman, The Last War series by Mike Shackle, The Redwinter Chronciles by Ed McDonald

Gollancz, Orion Publishing Group

Feb, 2018 — Feb, 2020 (about 2 years)

- Shadowed on the publishing of brand-authors including Ben Aaronovitch, Brandon Sanderson, Ian Rankin and Joe Abercrombie
- Edits include: The Rearranged Life of Oona Lockhart by Margarita Montimore, Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear, Bear Grylls: The Hunt by Bear Grylls, A Fool’s Hope by Mike Shackle, Gallowglass by S.J. Morden

Portfolio

The thrilling conclusion to the acclaimed Pact and Pattern series, which started with The Hand of the Sun King. Perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Shelley Parker-Chan.THE PACTS HAVE BEEN BROKEN. THE REBELLION HAS FAILED.Foolish Cur has fallen into a trap. By r... read more
Downfall

Carey, Louise

Gallowglass

Morden, S.J.

Outcast

Carey, Louise

The Garden of Empire

J.T. Greathouse

The bold sequel to The Hand of the Sun King, where one man's magic and choices could change the fate of the world.WAR MAKES MONSTERS OF EVERYONE.Foolish Cur, once named Wen Alder, finds that his allies in the rebellion might cross any line if it means freedom ... read more

Brendan has 21 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Layton G.

Layton G.

May, 2024

Brandon was a top-notch editor who I'd hire again in a heartbeat.
Sebastian V.

Sebastian V.

Apr, 2024

Like the proverbial hero in a fantasy novel, Brendan showed up to save the day! I am extremely pleased and thankful for his feedback and suggestions regarding my novel. He was abundantly helpful along the way and even after the edit was completed, Brendan continued to answer some further questions I had and helped me improve my story overall. The feedback is clear and concise, and through his l...
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Paul S.

Paul S.

Mar, 2024

I hired Brendan to give me an editorial assessment of my first sci-fi novel. I had done all that I could on my own and needed an outside, professional perspective. While he was a bit more pricey than others, he started and finished early. He was very timely in his responses. I am over the moon with the quality of his input and feedback. His assessment is brilliant. His insights and suggestions ...
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Tim S.

Tim S.

Feb, 2024

The collaboration exceeded my expectations, and I received a lot of useful feedback and suggestions, even ahead of schedule. Overall, a great and professional experience.
Kwabena H.

Kwabena H.

Nov, 2023

I am very happy with the work that Brendan provided! I have the tools to vastly improve my story because of his helpful notes and suggestions! From the very beginning, Brendan communicated everything very clearly and answered all of my questions promptly. Throughout the process, he responded to any questions I had in a timely manner. Even after receiving the completed work, he answered all of m...
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