Peter Alson

Peter Alson – Editor

Writer. Developmental Editor. Publisher. I have authored seven books, edited countless others, and started a small imprint.


“My memoir, Sea Change: A Man, a Boat, and a Journey Home, would not have been published without the incredible editorial guidance that Peter supplied. He understood what my book could be when I was at a loss as to what to do with it, and he helped guide me to where I needed to go. What I most appreciate about Peter as an editor is that he didn’t try to change the essential qualities of my voice but rather helped me figure out how to shape the story so that it worked better dramatically and structurally. If I knew how he did it, I would have done it myself. But that’s why you need him: because he knows things you don’t, and he imparts his knowledge and wisdom with passion and meticulous care. Whether you need help with big picture structural stuff or just want a more granular line-by-line tightening, you couldn’t place yourself in better hands.”

Maxwell Taylor Kennedy, author of Make Gentle the Life of this World: the life of Robert Kennedy and Danger’s Hour: The Story of the USS Bunker Hill and the Kamikaze Pilot Who Crippled Her

I’ve worked as an editor at both magazines and literary journals. I’ve written and published books with major houses. I know the business from both sides. It’s given me perspective on what writers struggle with and how editors and publishers think. I know it can be difficult to get the perspective you need to elevate your manuscript to the next level, to look at what you’ve written with fresh eyes and know what’s needed to improve it, to solve structural problems or more granular problems of rhythm and language. It may not be possible, on your own, to get the distance required. That’s when an outside editor, someone who’s not family or friend, can be invaluable. Let me take a look at your manuscript. I’ll tell you what it needs and how to get it there.

“I didn’t know what to expect when I contacted Peter. I was in the final edits of my nonfiction book, The Holly, and didn’t have a lot of time. I wasn’t sure if a quick assessment would be possible. After looking at a sample and having a conversation, Peter helped identify what might be needed and how he could help, and he was right. He is a careful reader, he has a great eye and is a natural at seeing what is needed where. Little things add up to big things in editing and his suggestions were spot on every time. I couldn't give him a higher recommendation.”​ Julian Rubenstein, author of The Holly

“I want to offer my sincere thanks to my earliest editor and book doctor Peter Alson, who simply is the best. He visited my secret pains and joys often and probably knows my manuscript as well as I do, but he never left the slightest fingerprint to reveal his visit!!” François Clemmons, author of Officer Clemmons

Action & Adventure Contemporary Fiction Literary Fiction Mystery & Crime Young Adult
Biographies & Memoirs Sports & Outdoors True Crime
English (US)

Work experience


Jan, 2002 — Present

I have spent the bulk of my professional career as a freelance writer and editor, during which time I have authored seven books of my own, and written and edited hundreds of magazine articles. Books I've edited have been published by Dutton, Catapult, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, and Greenpoint. My books have been published by Simon and Schuster, Crown, Ecco, Atria and others. The magazines I've worked for as a writer and editor include Playboy, Esquire, Details, The New York Times among many others.

Hachette Fillipachi

Oct, 1999 — Jan, 2002 (over 2 years)

Editor at Unlimited magazine, assigning and editing features.

Playboy Magazine

Feb, 1991 — Mar, 1993 (about 2 years)

Editor in Chief of Playboy start-up called SV Entertainment.

People Magazine

May, 1990 — Mar, 1991 (10 months)

Feature writer

Peter has 1 review





Charles M.

Charles M.

Jan, 2023

Peter Alson will tell you what is good and what is bad in your writing and point you in the right direction to take your manuscript to the next level. He is incisive, tough and challenging and will show you where your weaknesses lie with brutal honesty. His constructive suggestions strongly contributed to improving my first draft. I had an excellent experience with Peter and would highly recomm...
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