Jillian Buckley

Jillian Buckley - Editor

New York, NY, USA

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

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Overview

I'm an assistant 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.
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Fiction
Coming of Age
Contemporary Romance
Horror
Literary Fiction
Poetry
Psychological Thriller
Short Story

Certifications

  • Columbia Publishing Course (2014)
  • BA in English and Creative Writing from Oberlin College

Awards

  • Penguin Random House Recognition Award (2017 and 2018)
  • Phi Beta Kappa scholar

Work experience

Assistant Editor

Penguin Random House
August, 2016 – Present (almost 4 years)

Senior Assistant

The Clegg Agency
August, 2014 – August, 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

Portfolio (14 selected works)

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 • “A rugged, riveting novel . . . This superb family saga will satisfy fans of Richard Powers’s The Overstory.”—Publishers Weekly (star... read more

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 • “A rugged, riveting novel . . . This superb family saga will satisfy fans of Richard Powers’s The Overstory.”—Publishers Weekly (star... read more

The Lost Night: A Novel

Andrea Bartz

“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 is for the truth. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BuzzFeed • Glamour • Real Simple • Marie Claire • Library Journal • Booklist... 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 is for the truth. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BuzzFeed • Glamour • Real Simple • Marie Claire • Library Journal • Booklist... read more

Beautiful Animals: A Novel

Lawrence Osborne

"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 he shares with Greene an interest in what might be called the moral thriller.” – Katie Kitamura, New York Times Book Review"A seductively... 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 he shares with Greene an interest in what might be called the moral thriller.” – Katie Kitamura, New York Times Book Review"A seductively... read more

Did You Ever Have a Family

Bill Clegg

USA TODAY BESTSELLER • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD, MAN BOOKER PRIZE, PEN/ROBERT W. BINGHAM PRIZE, AND ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE • AN ALA NOTABLE BOOK • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Amazon • Library Journal • Booklist • NPR • Kirkus Reviews • Guardian • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Google Play • Kobo • Literary Hub • Powell’s • Indie... read more

USA TODAY BESTSELLER • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD, MAN BOOKER PRIZE, PEN/ROBERT W. BINGHAM PRIZE, AND ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE • AN ALA NOTABLE BOOK • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Amazon • Library Journal • Booklist • NPR • Kirkus Reviews • Guardian • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Google Play • Kobo • Literary Hub • Powell’s • Indie... read more

Good Morning, Destroyer of Men's Souls: A Memoir of Women, Addiction, and Love

Nina Renata Aron

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 her boyfriend, K. “The disease I have is loving him.” Their love affair is dramatic, urgent, overwhelming—an intoxicating antidote to the ... 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 her boyfriend, K. “The disease I have is loving him.” Their love affair is dramatic, urgent, overwhelming—an intoxicating antidote to the ... read more

Godspeed: A Memoir

Casey Legler

“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 what I tell no one: the burn of it down my throat, to my soul curled up in my lungs, the sharpest pain all over it—it seizes and stretch... 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 what I tell no one: the burn of it down my throat, to my soul curled up in my lungs, the sharpest pain all over it—it seizes and stretch... read more

Golden Child: A Novel

Claire Adam

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 true to herself, Adam's work stands tall beside icons of her tradition like V.S. Naipaul.”—Jennifer Clement, author of Gun LoveRural Trin... 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 true to herself, Adam's work stands tall beside icons of her tradition like V.S. Naipaul.”—Jennifer Clement, author of Gun LoveRural Trin... read more

Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories

Mariana Enriquez

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 military dictatorship and legions of desaparecidos loom large in the collective memory. In these stories, reminiscent of Shirley Jackso... 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 military dictatorship and legions of desaparecidos loom large in the collective memory. In these stories, reminiscent of Shirley Jackso... 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 gentle, off-beat narrator of The Circus is perfectly content with his quiet life. By day he works in a bakery, and by night he obsessively o... read more

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 gentle, off-beat narrator of The Circus is perfectly content with his quiet life. By day he works in a bakery, and by night he obsessively o... read more

One Day in December: A Novel

Josie Silver

#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 your heart and stay for a long time.”—Jill Santopolo, New York Times-bestselling author of The Light We Lost Two people. Ten chances. One... 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 your heart and stay for a long time.”—Jill Santopolo, New York Times-bestselling author of The Light We Lost Two people. Ten chances. One... 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 of drag and performance art. Still, no personality was more vibrant and formidable than iO’s mother’s. Rhonna, a showgirl and young wido... read more

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 of drag and performance art. Still, no personality was more vibrant and formidable than iO’s mother’s. Rhonna, a showgirl and young wido... read more

The Drama Teacher: A Novel

Koren Zailckas

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, living with her husband Randy in upstate New York. Her life is complicated by the usual tedium and stressors—young children, marriage, mo... 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, living with her husband Randy in upstate New York. Her life is complicated by the usual tedium and stressors—young children, marriage, mo... read more

Women in Sunlight: A Novel

Frances Mayes

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 her terrazza as the three American women carry their luggage into the stone villa down the hill. Who are they, and what brings them to thi... 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 her terrazza as the three American women carry their luggage into the stone villa down the hill. Who are they, and what brings them to thi... read more

The Waters & The Wild: A Novel

DeSales Harrison

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 bestselling author of Ill Will Daniel Abend is a single parent in New York City, with a successful therapy practice and a comfortable life: an ... read more

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 bestselling author of Ill Will Daniel Abend is a single parent in New York City, with a successful therapy practice and a comfortable life: an ... read more

Jillian has 4 reviews

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

Leigh Mart
Jillian was wonderful to work with on my first novella. She was enthusiastic, communicative, and she provided a great assessment of my work. Her critique was thorough, even challenging me to build out two scenes and asking a few questions in the margins - this was on top of the copy editing. Our collaboration began in late March during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was quick to respond to my que...
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Leigh Mart, May 2020


Jennifer Craven
Jillian provided not only a highly thorough edit, but also a friendly, positive communication. Her upbeat personality is a huge bonus! I felt a genuineness from her--she cares about the projects she works on and gave sensible feedback. Definitely reccommend!

Jennifer Craven, April 2020


Enma Elias
Jillian was wonderful! Along with a line edit of my short story piece, she provided a two-page overall analysis and constructive feedback on the overall work. She highlighted what she liked, and addressed what she agreed was lacking and several options for how to fix this hole in the story. She was communicative and quick to respond when I reached out. In addition, she was open to further clari...
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Enma Elias, March 2020


Liz Tahawi
I am a first-time author. I appreciated the care and sensitivity Jillian displayed towards me and my work. I am only beginning to process her editing feedback but it has given me the confidence and roadmap to understand where my book can go. I highly recommend her.

Liz Tahawi, March 2020

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