Daniel Penny

Daniel Penny - Editor

Cambridge, UK

Former New Yorker editorial staff, interested in literary fiction and nonfiction with bylines in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, GQ, etc.

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I’ve been a writing coach, editor, and private tutor since 2013, and have worked with clients at every stage of the writing process - from the blank page to the final draft. Some of these projects include: novel and memoir manuscripts, college and graduate school admissions materials, academic papers and book chapters, and artist statements. I have a particular interest in helping people in creative fields find the words to tell their stories.

A former member of the editorial staff in The New Yorker's fiction department, I have experience working in both fiction and nonfiction, and prize my ability to help writers distinguish their projects in a crowded marketplace. In my own writing, I cover art, design, fashion, books, technology, and culture.

When I’m not writing or editing , I teach composition and visual culture at Parsons School of Design, and creative writing at The New School. I hold an MFA in creative nonfiction from Columbia University, where I was a Creative Writing Teaching Fellow and Writing Center Instructor.

Though I've worked on many book-length manuscripts as a workshop member and instructor, most of my editing experience has been with short stories, articles, and sample chapters. I'm looking to collaborate with authors who have literary aspirations for their fiction or nonfiction manuscripts.
English (US)
Biographies & Memoirs
Fashion & Textiles
Literary Fiction
Short Story


  • MFA in Creative Nonfiction (Columbia University)


  • Lorabel Richardson American Academy of Poets Prize
  • Norton Writer's Prize
  • Columbia Creative Writing Teaching Fellowship
  • Best American Essays (Notable)

Work experience

Editorial Staff (Fiction Department)

The New Yorker
June, 2016 – January, 2019 (over 2 years)

I evaluate unsolicited stories for the fiction department at the New Yorker. If I find something noteworthy, I recommend the story to the other editors in the department to consider for publication in the magazine. Basically, I act as a gatekeeper, and most of my job consists of rejecting manuscripts. To get past me, the work has got to be exceptional in terms of prose style, story mechanics, and thematic content.

Guest Lecturer

University of Cambridge
January, 2021 – Present (over 1 year)

I'm a guest lecturer in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Cambridge, leading workshops, delivering craft-based lecturers, and supporting other faculty in professional development.

Writing Center Instructor

Columbia University
August, 2016 – June, 2017 (10 months)

I worked one-on-one with students from across the university to develop their written assignments: from revising job applications and dissertations to brainstorming introductory critical papers and close readings.

Adjunct Faculty

Parsons School of Design
August, 2016 – Present (almost 6 years)

At Parsons, I teach a section of our core writing and composition class for first year students in collaboration with a studio instructor. Course goals include an introduction to university-level academic reading and writing, critical thinking skills, and the ability to reflect upon students’ artistic practices. Courses I've taught include Integrative Seminar (“Fake” and “Visual Culture”) and an arts criticism elective of my own design, called “Everybody’s a Critic.”

Creative Writing Teaching Fellow

Columbia University
August, 2015 – May, 2016 (9 months)

I devised and taught an introduction to creative nonfiction workshop through the Creative Writing department at Columbia University, focused on drafting, group work, and familiarizing students with the conventions of creative nonfiction. Students finished the course by creating a final portfolio of revised work.

Portfolio (5 selected works)

Fort Not

Skillings, Emily

Lot: Stories

Washington, Bryan

Daniel has 4 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Braden Hofeling
Daniel was very professional and flexible in working with me and accommodating my needs. He gave very honest feedback about my work which was helpful for editing and restructuring my book. Overall, I was satisfied with the level of competency and professionalism Daniel exhibited and I would recommend him for any project.

Braden Hofeling, June 2021

James Schwartz
I sent Daniel a story that wasn't working. He helped me see the problems and useful suggestions for fixing them. Thank you, Daniel.

James Schwartz, February 2021

David B
I've worked with Daniel on multiple short story projects and have been impressed by his work on each occasion. In my view, there are four things that make Daniel a standout editor: 1) He brings a nuanced cultural awareness to his edits. He has a strong sense of what's happening in the fiction and nonfiction world, and is able to point out how your work might fit into the context of larger...
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David B, February 2021

James Schwartz
I asked Daniel to assess whether one of my pieces would work better as a short story or a novel. He responded with very helpful insights. In addition, he spent an hour on Zoom answering my questions. In short, he did a great job.

James Schwartz, January 2021

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