Diana Pho

Diana Pho – Editor

Diana M. P. is a Hugo Award-winning editor, expert in sci-fi, fantasy, horror, young adult, comics & middle grade.

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!

Services
Fiction
Fantasy LGBTQ Fiction Magical Realism Middle Grade Science Fiction Short Story Young Adult Fantasy
Languages
English (US)
Awards
  • Hugo Award, Best Editor, Long Form (finalist)

Work experience

Erewhon Books

Dec, 2022 — Present

I edit the range of speculative fiction in adult novels, acquiring and editing genre-bending and game-changing fiction.

Self-employed

Apr, 2020 — Present

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!

Tor Books, Tor Teen, Starscape & Tor.com Publishing at Tom Doherty Associates

Aug, 2012 — May, 2020 (over 7 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.

Science Fiction Book Club

Jun, 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.

Tor.com

Jan, 2010 — Aug, 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

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."Sea... read more
Developmental Editing
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 ... read more
Developmental Editing
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 Ke... read more
Developmental Editing
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 writt... read more
Developmental Editing
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'... read more
Developmental Editing
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 i... read more
Developmental Editing
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 Neb... read more
Developmental Editing
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 int... read more
Developmental Editing
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... read more
Developmental Editing
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 Awar... read more
Developmental Editing

Diana has 4 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

P.J. P.

P.J. P.

Sep, 2020

My writing partner recommended Diana to me based on loving the books Diana has worked on. I'm so glad we were able to work together! Diana's insights not only helped me see ways to make my story better, her ideas got me excited about getting to the next version of my story. She answered all of my questions and asked great questions, too. I would definitely work with her again.
Brent R.

Brent R.

Jul, 2020

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...
Read more
L K.

L K.

Jul, 2020

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 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 came ...
Read more
Darryl K.

Darryl K.

May, 2020

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!

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