Jillian Buckley

Jillian Buckley – Editor

Random House editor of prize-winning literary fiction, bestselling commercial fiction, and narrative nonfiction. Affordable and friendly!


I'm an associate editor at Penguin Random House, where I work most closely with Hogarth: a highly selective, literary boutique imprint under Random House. I have 6 years of experience editing bestselling and award-winning fiction across the literary and commercial spectrum, as well as a handful of exciting and experimental nonfiction. My editorial career has been defined by being a part of a very small, get-your-hands-dirty team, and I take great pride in working with authors at every stage of the editorial process--from early to advanced stages of writing and editing.

The list of writers and titles I've had the enormous pleasure of working with is long, but includes the
New York Times bestseller NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney; Scotiabank Giller Prize-finalist GREENWOOD by Michael Christie; GOOD MORNING, DESTROYER OF MEN'S SOULS by Nina Renata Aron; short stories by Lauren Groff and Paul Yoon; Barnes & Noble Discover Prize Winner GOLDEN CHILD by Claire Adam; BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS by Lawrence Osborne; WOMEN IN SUNLIGHT by international bestseller Frances Mayes; THE LOST NIGHT by Andrea Bartz; and #1 New York Times bestseller ONE DAY IN DECEMBER by Josie Silver. Of course, if you have any questions about my involvement with any of these particular projects, just ask!

I'm here to be your close reader, careful editor, and overall ally in what can be a personal, strenuous, and important! process: storytelling. I defer to you when it comes to the style, structure, and intensity with which I pay attention to your work. I've written extensive editorial letters outlining where I think a story is succeeding and faltering, identifying the moments or chapters or characters that may need a deeper reconsideration. I'm a good friend of track-changes, and am equally comfortable scribbling in the margins of your pages--cleaning up and clarifying sentences, cracking open small scenes that aren't quite doing what you want them to, tweaking your metaphors--accompanied by a shorter note explaining any patterns I'm noticing, and more macroscopic trends that might need your attention. I'm also happy to offer bold-faced bullet points, if you're looking for more general guidance. In other words, I'm here to live in your story with you as closely as you'd like me to. And if you're not sure what style would be best for your book, let's talk about it.

I'm an incisive and generous editor, and understand acutely what a privilege it is to keep a writer company as they hone their craft. I'm also the daughter of a novelist (fun fact!)--I've spent most of my life learning the sensitive art of workshopping, editing, and altogether spending time with other people's stories. It's a great joy of my life to spend my weekends sprawled on a floor with a laptop or a mess of pages, drinking my 15th cup of coffee of the day, my dog napping next to me. Don't hesitate to holler if you think we might be a good fit--would love to hear from you.
Biographies & Memoirs
Coming of Age Contemporary Romance Horror Literary Fiction Poetry Psychological Thriller Short Story
English (US)
  • Penguin Random House Recognition Award (2017 and 2018)
  • Phi Beta Kappa scholar
  • Columbia Publishing Course (2014)
  • BA in English and Creative Writing from Oberlin College

Work experience

Penguin Random House

Aug, 2016 — Present

The Clegg Agency

Aug, 2014 — Aug, 2016 (about 2 years)

• Hired as an intern and was promoted twice
• Read and evaluate queries (slush pile and referrals)
• Edit clients’ manuscripts, often over many months, and write accompanying letter to editors upon submission


Haunted by a past crime and a past lover, a psychoanalyst tries to protect his daughter from his mistakes—but at what cost?“This dazzling gothic-tinged thriller takes us deep into a labyrinth of secrets, lies, and deceptions.”—Dan Chaon, New York Times bestsel... read more
The story of four American strangers who bond in Italy and change their lives over the course of an exceptional year, from the bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun. Don’t miss Frances Mayes in PBS’s Dream of Italy: Tuscan Sun Special! She watches from he... read more
By the New York Times bestselling author of Mother, Mother and Smashed comes a propulsive new thriller: the story of a desperate and devious woman who will do anything to give her family a better life Gracie Mueller is a proud mother of two and devoted wife, l... read more
Darling Days: A Memoir

iO Tillett Wright

Born into the beautiful bedlam of downtown New York in the eighties, iO Tillett Wright came of age at the intersection of punk, poverty, heroin, and art. This was a world of self-invented characters, glamorous superstars, and strung-out sufferers, ground zero ... read more
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick“Get ready to be swept up in a whirlwind romance. It absolutely charmed me.”—Reese Witherspoon“Josie Silver writes with a warmth so palpable her characters sneak their way into y... read more
The Circus: A Novel

Jonas Karlsson

A real-life vanishing act leaves one man looking for his missing friend in this Kafkaesque new novel from the author of The Room and The Invoice. NAMED ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2020 BY The New York Times • BookRiot • The A.V. Club • GizmodoThe gent... read more
In these wildly imaginative, devilishly daring tales of the macabre, internationally bestselling author Mariana Enriquez brings contemporary Argentina to vibrant life as a place where shocking inequality, violence, and corruption are the law of the land, while... read more
A deeply affecting debut novel set in Trinidad, following the lives of a family as they navigate impossible choices about scarcity, loyalty, and loveWINNER OF THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE • “Golden Child is a stunning novel written with force and beauty. Though t... read more
“A memoir for our times.” —Michael Stipe “A coming-of-age drama captured through poetic prose and convincing honesty.” —Kirkus Reviews“I swim for every chance to get wasted—after every meet, every weekend, every travel trip. This is what I look forward to and ... read more
A scorching memoir of a love affair with an addict, weaving personal reckoning with psychology and history to understand the nature of addiction, codependency, and our appetite for obsessive love “The disease he has is addiction,” Nina Renata Aron writes of he... read more
"Let’s not mince words. This is a great book. Truly difficult to put down... sophisticated, smart and uncomfortable, and the story is cracking." – Lionel Shriver, Washington Post "Startlingly good...Osborne has been described as an heir to Graham Greene, and h... read more
“Tightly paced and skillfully plotted, The Lost Night is a remarkable debut.”—Jessica Knoll, New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Girl Alive What really happened the night Edie died? Years later, her best friend Lindsay will learn how unprepared she i... read more
Greenwood: A Novel

Michael Christie

A magnificent generational saga that charts a family’s rise and fall, its secrets and inherited crimes, and the conflicted relationship with the source of its fortune—trees—from one of Canada’s most acclaimed novelistsLonglisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize... read more

Jillian has 10 reviews





Adam S.

Adam S.

Jul, 2022

I honestly couldn't have asked for a better editing experience. It's clear that Jillian not only is great at editing, but she also has a passion for good story telling, and a talent for bring the heart out of your story in ways you didn't even realize were possible. This was my first time reaching out to an editor, and Jillian took great time and care with a project that meant a lot to me. What...
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Jun, 2022

My review comes a little later because life has been beyond hectic these last few months, but here we are, giving Jillian her very well deserved 5 stars review. Not only did she respect my tone as an author and the story itself, but she made it even better. Jillian made me feel proud of the final version of the book like I never thought I would. She has great attention to detail and is harsh, b...
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Tom B.

Tom B.

Mar, 2022

The toughest part in writing a short story is the opening line. Jillian gave helpful tips on improving my story's introduction paragraph to readers. Her assessments were on target. I am looking forward to working with her on future projects. Thanks Jillian Love & Life Tom
Humberto C.

Humberto C.

Oct, 2020

Honestly one of the best experiences I have had with any one from any line of work. Communicates well and is there as person and not robotic. Thank you Jillian I can't write enough complements.
Kamille T.

Kamille T.

Jul, 2020

Last month, I had the pleasure of working with Jillian. Jillian is a masterful editor and an expert at the art of editing. Jillian has the wonderful ability to quickly assess the strengths and weaknesses in a story, from the big picture plot down to the microscopic details. Her keen insight and vast experience enabled me to revise sections of the novel that needed work and embellish upon o...
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