Katy Guest

Katy Guest - Editor

London, United Kingdom

A freelance editor with experience in journalism, book reviews and publishing. I can help you to make your writing stand out.

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I'm a freelance editor working on fiction and non-fiction, full length books, short stories and journalism. I was the literary editor of The Independent on Sunday for 7 years, and I now work in book publishing as a commissioning editor. I know what publishers, reviewers and readers look for, and how to help you achieve it with your writing. I'm experienced and qualified in Rewriting and Substantive Editing, Copy-editing and Proofreading.

English (UK)
Biographies & Memoirs
LGBTQ (non fiction)
Politics & Current Affairs
Historical Fiction
Humor & Comedy
Short Story
Women's Fiction


  • Rewriting and Substantive Editing - Publishing Training Centre
  • Progress in Editorial Skills: Copy-editing and Proofreading - Publishing Training Centre
  • Introduction to Editorial Skills: Copy-editing and Proofreading - Publishing Training Centre

Work experience

New Projects Editor

November, 2016 – Present (almost 2 years)

Forging a new role through outreach and community building to transform great ideas into fundable, marketable, brilliant books. I pro-actively commission new work by seeking out great stories and writing - including from under-represented communities – work creatively with authors to build the networks around them, and manage them through the crowdfunding, editing and publishing process.

Part time commissioning editor

Guardian Review
June, 2016 – Present (over 2 years)

Commissioning and editing copy from famous and less well-known writers, including for the “Week in Books column”, “My Writing Day”, and cover features. Compiling the “Critical Eye” round-up.


March, 2016 – Present (over 2 years)

Substantive editing, copy-editing and proofreading of fiction and non-fiction, advising on how to improve written work to get it noticed by agents, publishers, reviewers and readers.
• “Katy’s editing improved my creative work 100%. Her insight and years of experience are what every writer dreams of. Highly recommended” – Esther Harris, writer and publicist

Reviewer, columnist and journalist

March, 2016 – Present (over 2 years)

Writing for print and online media including Mslexia, The Guardian, Independent, Bookseller, i, TLS, Financial Times and the-pool.com, as well as an essay for the peer-reviewed, academic journal Celebrity Studies.

Coordinator, the Rainbow List

The Independent on Sunday
June, 2009 – November, 2014 (over 5 years)

I took on the newspaper's annual "Pink List" of influential LGBT people in 2009, bringing in celebrity and expert judges and introducing online nominations to make the list authentic and attention-grabbing. Working with online and commercial colleagues and calling in contacts, I transformed the list into a global brand which trended on social media and made a profit for the company through sponsorship.

Literary Editor

The Independent on Sunday
May, 2009 – March, 2016 (almost 7 years)

Literary Editor, The Independent on Sunday, 2009 - 2016: Forging productive relationships with publishers, authors and reviewers to ensure that the IoS punched well above its weight with its intelligent, broad, accessible and eye-catching books coverage. I worked with a shrinking budget, being resourceful and persuasive to commission the best reviews and interviews, spot promising new authors and support big names, and showcased it all through smart use of social media. The section often led the conversation online with trustworthy reviews and successful campaigns, including one about children’s books and gender. As one of a hardworking staff of 12, I attended news conference and pitched ideas to all sections.
• “Impeccable literary judgement” – Jane Thynne, writer and editor
• “Excellent to work with … passionate about literature” – Anna Frame, publisher
• “One of the best editors I have worked with” – Shirley Whiteside, writer and journalist

Part time, occasional roles

April, 2009 – Present (over 9 years)

Interviewer and Chair at book festivals including Oxford, Wimbledon, Bath, Derby and Kew
Consultant: advising on programming for the Derby Book Festival since it began in 2015
Expert commentator: on books and more, e.g. on Radio 4, Radio 5, BBC News and Sky News
Judge: for Literary Death Match, Fiction Uncovered, and the Desmond Elliott Prize
Presenter and panellist: including at the inaugural Shoreditch House Literary Salon, and at a Speaker Series in Toronto where I was invited to discuss gender and children’s books


The Independent and Independent on Sunday
April, 2009 – March, 2016 (almost 7 years)

I pitched and wrote thought-provoking, well-researched, sometimes funny comment pieces pegged to the news, which upheld the paper’s reputation for responsible journalism and often took off online.

Deputy Literary Editor, Acting Features Editor, News Reporter, Interviewer, Arts Diary Editor, Feature Writer, Deputy Diary Editor.

The Independent and Independent on Sunday
October, 1999 – April, 2009 (over 9 years)


Father’s Direct
March, 1999 – August, 2009 (over 10 years)

I successfully negotiated with national funding bodies to secure financial support for a fledgling charity for parents.

Freelancer (part time)

Brand naming agency
March, 1999 – July, 1999 (4 months)

I joined a team of linguists to generate and research hundreds of potential names for a new drug to combat breast cancer.

Publishing Assistant

The Lutterworth Press
March, 1998 – July, 1998 (4 months)

I wrote and designed publicity material to attract booksellers and the media, working across editorial and sales.

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