Diana Pho

Diana Pho - Editor

New York, NY, USA

Diana M. Pho is a Hugo Award-nominated editor, formerly at Tor Books, expert in sci-fi, fantasy, horror, young adult and middle grade.

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Overview


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I am a three-time Hugo Award-nominated developmental editor, freelance writer, public speaker, and all-around nerd, bringing over a decade of Big Five traditional publishing expertise to the table. I'm a former editor at Tom Doherty Associates (for the imprints Tor Books, Tor Teen, Starscape & Tor com Publishing), where I acquired science fiction and fantasy novels, short fiction, and full-volume comics.

I love the art of storytelling. I strongly believe that we are the tales we tell of ourselves, our communities, and our world. Making good stories is more than putting words together in interesting ways. It’s about solid communication, being open-minded, seeing ways to deepen an author’s creative vision, while also adding to their creative toolkit.

I have expertise in the whole range of speculative fiction, horror, young adult, and middle-grade stories. My comfort zone in editing is broad: from literary to commercial, flash fiction to door-stoppers, prose novels and graphic novels.

Please note that I do not edit the following: non-fiction, poetry, screenplays, or picture books.

My science fiction tastes include near-future, space adventure/ space opera, cyberpunk, hopepunk, afrofuturism, technothrillers, dystopia and climate science fiction. On the fantasy side, I enjoy historicals (with a particular eye for non-Western settings), steampunk, alternate history, dark fantasy, and contemporary fantasy. My horror tastes fall under the “small h” rather than “die-hard Horror”: literary with a twisted speculative touch, supernatural, occult, gothic, dark sci-fi, new weird, pulp with a modern twist. (Also, Bruce Campbell is a horror genre of his own — you can fight me on this!)


Books I’ve edited have won the Thriller Award (A.J. Hartley’s Steeplejack, for Best Young Adult), the Ditmar Award (Thoraiya Dyer’s Crossroads of Canopy, for Best Novel) , the American Library Association’s Alex Award (P. Djeli Clark’s The Black God’s Drums) and a Kirkus Best Book of the Year Selection (Marie Miranda Cruz's Everlasting Nora, for Middle Grade). Several of my books earned Junior Library Guild Selections, multiple starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, School Library Journal, Shelf Awareness, and Kirkus, and are finalists for the Nebula Award, Lambda Literary Award, Shirley Jackson Award, and Andre Norton Award for Young Adult.

I’m also a three-time Hugo Award finalist for Best Editor, Long-Form, one of the most prestigious honors in the field of speculative fiction.


I offer a range of editorial services, including

- Editorial Assessments

- Full Developmental and Line Edits

- Query Letter Critique (with optional 10-page line edit)

- Sensitivity Reading / Cultural Consultant

- Workshop & Speaking Engagements


For any project, I bring my wit, verve, and friendly collaborative energy to improve upon a unique story. I hope to be the stepping stone an aspiring author needs to take their fiction to the next level using a keen intellect, an empathetic heart, and a few funny GIFs along the way!

Check out what authors I've worked with have to say (remove parentheses to get the link address):

dianampho(.)com/testimonials
Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Comics & Graphic Novels
Fantasy
LGBTQ (Fiction)
Magical Realism
Middle Grade
Science Fiction
Short Story
Young Adult

Awards

  • Hugo Award, Best Editor, Long Form (finalist)

Work experience

Editor

Self-employed
April, 2020 – Present (4 months)

Helping authors get the professional insight they need to help level-up their manuscripts, from a multi Hugo-nominated editor with experience in traditional publishing and beyond!

Editor

Tor Books, Tor Teen, Starscape & Tor.com Publishing at Tom Doherty Associates
August, 2012 – Present (about 8 years)

From my time as editor at Tom Doherty Associates (acquiring for Tor Books Tor Books, Tor Teen, Starscape & Publishing), I edited the range of speculative fiction in adult novels and short fiction. On the children's side, I edited science fiction & fantasy for young adult, and SFF & contemporary middle grade.

Editorial Assistant

Science Fiction Book Club
June, 2010 – May, 2011 (11 months)

I cut my editorial teeth and absorbed a range of classic and contemporary science fiction and fantasy titles while working for the Science Fiction Book Club, where I helped select SF/F titles for our members. I also served as on-camera talent to interview notable SFF authors for the book club's social media channels.

Freelance Social Media Manager & Blogger

Tor.com
January, 2010 – August, 2012 (over 2 years)

I had my pulse on steampunk subculture while Social Media Manager, where I solicited pitches and edited long form pieces for’s Steampunk Week blogging events for two years running. As Freelance Blogger, I wrote long-form blog posts on science fiction and pop culture.

Portfolio (10 selected works)

The Black God's Drums

P. Djèlí Clark

Rising science fiction and fantasy star P. Djèlí Clark brings an alternate New Orleans of orisha, airships, and adventure to life in his immersive debut novella The Black God's Drums.Alex Award Winner!In an alternate New Orleans caught in the tangle of the American Civil War, the wall-scaling girl named Creeper yearns to escape the streets for the air--in particular, by earning a spot on-board... read more

Rising science fiction and fantasy star P. Djèlí Clark brings an alternate New Orleans of orisha, airships, and adventure to life in his immersive debut novella The Black God's Drums.Alex Award Winner!In an alternate New Orleans caught in the tangle of the American Civil War, the wall-scaling girl named Creeper yearns to escape the streets for the air--in particular, by earning a spot on-board... read more

Everlasting Nora

Marie Miranda Cruz

An uplifting young reader debut about perseverance against all odds, Marie Miranda Cruz's debut Everlasting Nora follows the story of a young girl living in the real-life shantytown inside the Philippines’ Manila North Cemetery.After a family tragedy results in the loss of both father and home, 12-year-old Nora lives with her mother in Manila’s North Cemetery, which is the largest shantytown o... read more

An uplifting young reader debut about perseverance against all odds, Marie Miranda Cruz's debut Everlasting Nora follows the story of a young girl living in the real-life shantytown inside the Philippines’ Manila North Cemetery.After a family tragedy results in the loss of both father and home, 12-year-old Nora lives with her mother in Manila’s North Cemetery, which is the largest shantytown o... read more

Steeplejack

A. J. Hartley

Thoughtfully imaginative and action-packed, Steeplejack is New York Times bestselling A. J. Hartley's YA debut set in a 19th-century South African fantasy world“A richly realized world, an intensely likable character, and a mystery to die for." — Cory Doctorow, New York Times-bestselling authorSeventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga lives and works as a steeplejack in Bar-Selehm, a sprawling city kn... read more

Thoughtfully imaginative and action-packed, Steeplejack is New York Times bestselling A. J. Hartley's YA debut set in a 19th-century South African fantasy world“A richly realized world, an intensely likable character, and a mystery to die for." — Cory Doctorow, New York Times-bestselling authorSeventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga lives and works as a steeplejack in Bar-Selehm, a sprawling city kn... read more

Amberlough

Lara Elena Donnelly

A double-agent sacrifices all his ideals in order to save his smuggler lover before a government coup takes over their decadent city in Lara Elena Donnelly’s glam spy thriller debut, now a Nebula finalist for Best Novel!“Exploring the roots of hatred, nationalism, and fascism, while at the same time celebrating the diversity, love, romance, fashion, and joy the world is capable of producing.” ... read more

A double-agent sacrifices all his ideals in order to save his smuggler lover before a government coup takes over their decadent city in Lara Elena Donnelly’s glam spy thriller debut, now a Nebula finalist for Best Novel!“Exploring the roots of hatred, nationalism, and fascism, while at the same time celebrating the diversity, love, romance, fashion, and joy the world is capable of producing.” ... read more

Chronin Volume 1: The Knife at Your Back

Alison Wilgus

Alison Wilgus's Chronin Volume 1: The Knife at Your Back: is an action-packed, time travel adventure--first in a graphic novel duology.Her name is Mirai Yoshida.She was not born in Japan.She is not supposed to be in 1864.But, through a time-travel mishap, Mirai is stuck with no way out. Help may be found when she befriends Hatsu, a humble tea mistress harboring a dangerous secret. Yet time is ... read more

Alison Wilgus's Chronin Volume 1: The Knife at Your Back: is an action-packed, time travel adventure--first in a graphic novel duology.Her name is Mirai Yoshida.She was not born in Japan.She is not supposed to be in 1864.But, through a time-travel mishap, Mirai is stuck with no way out. Help may be found when she befriends Hatsu, a humble tea mistress harboring a dangerous secret. Yet time is ... read more

A Song Below Water

Bethany C. Morrow

Bethany C. Morrow's A Song Below Water is the story for today’s readers — a captivating modern fantasy about black mermaids, friendship, and self-discovery set against the challenges of today's racism and sexism. In a society determined to keep her under lock and key, Tavia must hide her siren powers. Meanwhile, Effie is fighting her own family struggles, pitted against literal demons from her... read more

Bethany C. Morrow's A Song Below Water is the story for today’s readers — a captivating modern fantasy about black mermaids, friendship, and self-discovery set against the challenges of today's racism and sexism. In a society determined to keep her under lock and key, Tavia must hide her siren powers. Meanwhile, Effie is fighting her own family struggles, pitted against literal demons from her... read more

The Perfect Assassin

K. A. Doore

A novice assassin is on the hunt for someone killing their own in K. A. Doore's The Perfect Assassin, a breakout high fantasy beginning the Chronicles of Ghadid series. Divine justice is written in blood.Or so Amastan has been taught. As a new assassin in the Basbowen family, he’s already having second thoughts about taking a life. A scarcity of contracts ends up being just what he needs.Until... read more

A novice assassin is on the hunt for someone killing their own in K. A. Doore's The Perfect Assassin, a breakout high fantasy beginning the Chronicles of Ghadid series. Divine justice is written in blood.Or so Amastan has been taught. As a new assassin in the Basbowen family, he’s already having second thoughts about taking a life. A scarcity of contracts ends up being just what he needs.Until... read more

The Sol Majestic

Ferrett Steinmetz

The Sol Majestic is a big-hearted and delightful intergalactic hopepunk adventure for fans of Becky Chambers and The Good Place "A feast of a book.”—Hugo Award-winning author Seanan McGuire Kenna, an aspirational teen guru, wanders destitute across the stars as he tries to achieve his parents' ambition to advise the celestial elite. Everything changes when Kenna wins a free dinner at The Sol M... read more

The Sol Majestic is a big-hearted and delightful intergalactic hopepunk adventure for fans of Becky Chambers and The Good Place "A feast of a book.”—Hugo Award-winning author Seanan McGuire Kenna, an aspirational teen guru, wanders destitute across the stars as he tries to achieve his parents' ambition to advise the celestial elite. Everything changes when Kenna wins a free dinner at The Sol M... read more

Burn the Dark

S. A. Hunt

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets Stranger Things in award-winning author S. A. Hunt’s Burn the Dark, first in the Malus Domestica horror action-adventure series about a punk YouTuber on a mission to bring down witches, one vid at a time. Robin is a YouTube celebrity gone-viral with her intensely-realistic witch hunter series. But even her millions of followers don't know the truth: her ser... read more

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets Stranger Things in award-winning author S. A. Hunt’s Burn the Dark, first in the Malus Domestica horror action-adventure series about a punk YouTuber on a mission to bring down witches, one vid at a time. Robin is a YouTube celebrity gone-viral with her intensely-realistic witch hunter series. But even her millions of followers don't know the truth: her ser... read more

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion

Margaret Killjoy

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy pits utopian anarchists against rogue demon deer in this dropkick-in-the-mouth punk fantasy that Alan Moore calls "scary and energetic."Searching for clues about her best friend’s mysterious suicide, Danielle ventures to the squatter, utopian town of Freedom, Iowa, and witnesses a protector spirit — in the form of a blood-red, three-antlered... read more

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy pits utopian anarchists against rogue demon deer in this dropkick-in-the-mouth punk fantasy that Alan Moore calls "scary and energetic."Searching for clues about her best friend’s mysterious suicide, Danielle ventures to the squatter, utopian town of Freedom, Iowa, and witnesses a protector spirit — in the form of a blood-red, three-antlered... read more

Diana has 3 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Brent Renison
Diana's editorial services were nothing short of revolutionary for me. Through line edits and editorial letter she shone a light on critical pacing issues, thematic elements, global concerns and the minutiae. Her criticism was thorough and tactful, and she was careful to leave wide latitude for individual voice and creativity. Her input helped me realize things about my manuscript that I would...
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Brent Renison, July 2020


L Komar
A good editor knows what a writer means to say even when the words aren’t quite right yet. By this or any other measure, Diana Pho is a great editor. She really takes the time to get to know a manuscript, which allows her a uniquely sensitive perspective on projects and expert understanding of the subject. What’s more, her collaborative and professional attitude make her a joy to work with. I c...
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L Komar, July 2020


Darryl Knickrehm
Diana was a pleasure to work with. Her methods were clear, helpful and well-thought-out. She took the time to write thorough advice and made great edits and suggestions with my query letter. I'll definitely keep her in mind for future projects!

Darryl Knickrehm, May 2020

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