Bridget Watson Payne

Bridget Watson Payne ā€“ Editor

I'm a passionate, collaborative editor of nonfiction, illustrated, art, design, and creativity books; formerly 20+ years at Chronicle Books


I worked at award-winning independent publisher Chronicle Books for over 20 years where, as an editor, I helped hundreds of authors and artists realize their book ideas as a beautiful reality. I specialize in illustrated books, art and design books, and long-form text with or without accompanying images, as well as gift products such as journals and card decks -- and in working with creatives to shape projects and bodies of work into their best forms. Other subjects that particularly interest me include creativity (including self-help and creative business); how-to (particularly art instruction); pop culture; art history; photography; graphic design; nature; fashion; interiors; and illustrated gift books.

My editorial approach is friendly, collaborative, and can be light-touch or go deep as needed. I can work to a brief (you tell me you are looking for a light edit, I deliver a light edit) or Iā€™m open to figuring out what a project needs in the course of an initial consultation with the author. I am inspired by the words of legendary editor Robert Gottlieb, who said the job of an editor "is to be in sympathy with what the writer is doing and to try to help her or him make it better of what it is, not to make it into something else."

Architecture Art Design Entertainment Inspirational Nature Photography Self-Help & Self-Improvement
English (US)

Work experience

Chronicle Books

May, 2002 ā€” Aug, 2023 (about 21 years)

I worked at Chronicle Books for over 21 years, 19 of those spent rising up through the ranks of the Editorial Department, culminating in the role of Editorial Director.


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