Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith – Editor

A successful editorial director at Penguin, I aim to bring out the best in your work so that it's ready for the publication journey.


An editorial director for Penguin Random House - the biggest global book publisher - I specialise in commercial fiction across genres and I aim to bring out the best in your work. I work with my authors throughout the editorial process, across editorial letters outlining bigger structural changes - plot, pace, characterisation etc. - to line-edits which take a more granular approach to reviewing the story at an inline level.

Drawing on years of experience, and numerous bestsellers across digital and print publishing, I've helped authors achieve magnificent reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. I'm here to help work manuscripts into their best possible shape ahead of publication or submission and querying.

Having worked across a number of bestselling authors, both internationally and domestically, my aim is to work collaboratively with authors to make their work the best it can be. With an eye for creating bestsellers I can offer advice on developmental edits, copy-editing and publishing strategy.

Chick Lit Coming of Age Contemporary Fiction Romance Thriller & Suspense
English (UK)
  • Proofreading - Publishing Training Centre
  • Copy-editing - Publishing Training Centre

Work experience

Penguin Random House

Oct, 2022 — Present

An Editorial Director at Penguin Michael Joseph, the home of commercial fiction in the UK. We publish authors such as Jojo Moyes, Marian Keyes and Dawn French.

At Michael Joseph I work with authors across commercial fiction with a primary focus on publishing romance, historical women's fiction and general fiction. I also lead our romance publishing programme from a strategic stand point.

Alongside this strategic work, I have my own curated list of authors that I work with editorially from the point of submission to publication. I work closely with my authors through the editorial process, offering editorial letters brainstorming larger ideas alongside my line-edits which looks at the manuscript at a much closer level.

Bonnier Books

Feb, 2021 — Sep, 2022 (over 1 year)

I was a founding member of Embla Books, the commercial fiction, digitally focused list at Bonnier Books. As part of the team at Embla I published global bestsellers - Dandy Smith's ONE SMALL MISTAKE, Becca Day, Lucy Coleman and others. I also advised on publishing strategy across the company ranging from Sunday Times bestsellers to audio number ones.

Head of Zeus

Jul, 2018 — Mar, 2021 (over 2 years)

Editorial Director for Aria and Aries. Specialising across commercial genres fiction I was responsible for the overall publishing of the list as well as the editor and publisher for authors such as Faith Hogan (I published the number one bestseller THE LADIES MIDNIGHT SWIMMING CLUB), Julie Houston (A VILLAGE AFFAIR), Andie Newton, Mandy Baggot and Lucy Coleman. Authors that were USA TODAY bestsellers, Number One Amazon Bestsellers and have sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

With Aries I published across action and adventure as well as historical fiction aimed in the 'swords and sandals' category. Titles I published include THE NIGHT AGENT (now a Netflix TV show), Simon Turney, Tim Hodkinson and Matthew Harffy.

Within my remit I managed the Aria/ Aries team, lead on our publishing strategy - from cover design to pricing and have years of experience seeing a book through from manuscript delivery to becoming a bestseller.


Jul, 2016 — Jul, 2018 (about 2 years)

Working primarily on the Mills and Boon and HQ Digital lists, I built a portfolio of successful digital-first authors. These included USA Today bestselling, Terry Lynn Thomas, UK Kindle bestsellers Darren O'Sullivan, Rebecca Raisin, Amanda Brittany and Rachel Burton.

Hannah has 2 reviews





James C.

James C.

Dec, 2023

Hannah is spot on with her story editing. I so much appreciate her eyes on my project and highly recommend her.
Kaila H.

Kaila H.

Apr, 2024

Hannah's developmental letter was very in-depth and insightful. She took time to highlight the strengths and weaknesses in each character arc and her suggestion to add a chapter was very useful. Going through her line edits, I felt there were several places that she ought to have highlighted based on the comments in her letter so there was a slight disconnect between the corrections in the manu...
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