Philip Connor

Philip Connor - Editor

London, United Kingdom

Experienced commissioning editor, enthusiastic about literary fiction and narrative non-fiction. Competitive rates and publishing advice.

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Overview

I'm currently a commissioning editor at one of the Big 5 publishing houses in the UK, having previously build a successful list of exciting literary fiction and bestselling non-fiction at the award-winning publisher Unbound. I'm a Guest Lecturer at Faber Academy on their novel writing course, and mentor at a leading London writing school where I help aspiring writers from talented beginners to household names turn their ideas and proposals into manuscripts.

I've helped a wide range of authors with their work and hope I can help you too!

Most commonly the service I offer on Reedsy is editorial assessment. I will read your work thoroughly and carefully, providing suggested edits and comments through the manuscript. You'll also receive a second document that assess your work in big picture terms in areas like character, plot, story development, sense of voice and consistency.

Away from my day job, I'm the host of the popular publishing podcast What Editors Want where I interview industry-leading editors on what they look for in a book, so alongside editorial work I offer advice on writing pitches, synopsis, and routes to publications.

I am also a writer and hope this gives me an insight into the challenges my authors face. My writing won the Cúirt International Festival of Literature's New Writing Prize and has been twice longlisted for the Bath Novel Award. I also review books for publications including The Times Literary Supplement. I was the inaugral winner of the Faber & Faber Scholarship to UCL, where I completed an MA in Publishing, and I also hold a copywriting qualification.

Languages
English (UK)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
History
Nature
Fiction
Historical Fiction
Humor & Comedy
Literary Fiction
Short Story
Thriller & Suspense
Women's Fiction

Certifications

  • MA Publishing from UCL
  • BA in Creative Writing, English and History
  • Qualified Copyediter from the London School of Publishing

Awards

  • Faber & Faber Tebbutt Scholarship
  • Cuirt International Festival of Literature New Writing Prize
  • The Bookseller Futurebook Hack, Winner of Discoverability Category

Work experience

Commissioning Editor

Unbound
August, 2014 – March, 2020 (over 5 years)

I was a commissioning editor at Unbound, an award-winning publisher behind books like Letters of Note, The Wake and The Good Immigrant. We've won the Bookseller Book of the Year, the PEN Ackerley Prize, the Gordon Burn Prize and been shortlisted for the Booker, Goldsmiths and Folio Prize.

My job involved assessing manuscripts and proposals from authors and agents to find the ones I'm passionate about. I typically provided two rounds of edits - the first a bigger picture editorial review and the second a line by line edit, if required. I then manage the book through to publication while it is being copyedit, typeset and proofread to answer any queries and take in any corrections.

Editorial Assisstant

Faber & Faber
May, 2014 – August, 2014 (3 months)

I worked primarily on the Faber and Faber classics list, learning the basic nuts and bolts of editing and publishing.

Bookseller

Waterstones
September, 2013 – May, 2014 (8 months)

Worked at various branches of Waterstones selling books while I completed my MA in Publishing.

Bookseller

Charlie Byrne's Books
June, 2012 – August, 2013 (about 1 year)

Selling books at Ireland's best bookshop. With no computer database of stock, working here is the bookselling equivalent to cab driver's 'The Knowledge'.

Portfolio (28 selected works)

Johnny Ruin

Dan Dalton

'If a tree falls in a forest and Jon Bon Jovi is with you when it happens, is it still a figment of your imagination?' Johnny Ruin is a literary novel that explores themes of heartbreak and mental health. The novel is set in the mind of the narrator, a surreal United States where each state is a new state of mind: lust, anger, jealousy. Haunted by the idea that he is somehow broken, the narrat... read more

'If a tree falls in a forest and Jon Bon Jovi is with you when it happens, is it still a figment of your imagination?' Johnny Ruin is a literary novel that explores themes of heartbreak and mental health. The novel is set in the mind of the narrator, a surreal United States where each state is a new state of mind: lust, anger, jealousy. Haunted by the idea that he is somehow broken, the narrat... read more

The Sussex Devils: A true story of the 1980s Satanic panic

Marc Heal

"Heartbreaking and breathtaking." (Clive Barker, author of Hellraiser). In 1986 Marc Heal stumbled across a yellowed newspaper cutting about Derry Knight: a man who claimed that he belonged to a secret Satanic group operating at the highest levels of British society. Helped by John Baker, vicar of the Sussex village of Newick, Knight had falsely raised large sums from wealthy gentry on the pre... read more

"Heartbreaking and breathtaking." (Clive Barker, author of Hellraiser). In 1986 Marc Heal stumbled across a yellowed newspaper cutting about Derry Knight: a man who claimed that he belonged to a secret Satanic group operating at the highest levels of British society. Helped by John Baker, vicar of the Sussex village of Newick, Knight had falsely raised large sums from wealthy gentry on the pre... read more

Trust Me, PR Is Dead

Robert Phillips

In Trust Me, PR is Dead, Robert Phillips - the former EMEA CEO of Edelman, the world's largest public relations firm - calls the end of the PR industry and advocates new models of public leadership and public value. He tells tales from the front line and twenty-five years at the summit of PR, from the 'Hello Boys' Wonderbra campaign to sharing the stage with CEOs and prime ministers, as well a... read more

In Trust Me, PR is Dead, Robert Phillips - the former EMEA CEO of Edelman, the world's largest public relations firm - calls the end of the PR industry and advocates new models of public leadership and public value. He tells tales from the front line and twenty-five years at the summit of PR, from the 'Hello Boys' Wonderbra campaign to sharing the stage with CEOs and prime ministers, as well a... read more

A Mighty Boy: A Mother’s Journey Through Grief

Sarah Pullen

What would you do if a stranger told you your son was going to die?Silas is ten years old when the headaches start. When the diagnosis arrives, his parents are told they have until Christmas… maybe. And so begins Sarah Pullen’s battle to save her son, against doubting doctors and insurmountable odds. This story about love and loss traces her family’s journey from that first day at the hospital... read more

What would you do if a stranger told you your son was going to die?Silas is ten years old when the headaches start. When the diagnosis arrives, his parents are told they have until Christmas… maybe. And so begins Sarah Pullen’s battle to save her son, against doubting doctors and insurmountable odds. This story about love and loss traces her family’s journey from that first day at the hospital... read more

7 Years of Camera Shake: One Man’s Passion for Photographing Wildlife

David Plummer

As humans, we are drawn to predators like no other group of animals. They are the epitome of form and function, and have a level of perfection that we revere.In 2009, wildlife expert, conservationist and photographer David Plummer was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Rather than let it defeat him, he was galvanised to grab life by the horns and achieve the perfect wildlife shot. Over the ne... read more

As humans, we are drawn to predators like no other group of animals. They are the epitome of form and function, and have a level of perfection that we revere.In 2009, wildlife expert, conservationist and photographer David Plummer was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Rather than let it defeat him, he was galvanised to grab life by the horns and achieve the perfect wildlife shot. Over the ne... read more

24 Stories: of Hope for Survivors of the Grenfell Tower Fire

Irvine Welsh, A.L. Kennedy, Meera Syal, John Niven, Pauline Melville, Daisy Buchanan, Christopher Brookmyre, Zoe Venditozzi, Nina Stibbe, Mike Gayle, Murray Lachlan Young, Barney Farmer

Our City: Migrants and the Making of Modern Birmingham

Jon Bloomfield

'Indispensable . . . Speaks of hope and courage' Observer'An ode to openness, offering a refreshing alternative to those accounts that treat migrants as faceless statistics' David Lammy MP'A highly informed and eloquent account of life in a modern British city during a period of globalisation, austerity and mass migration' Patrick Cockburn, IndependentRace and migration are the most prominent ... read more

'Indispensable . . . Speaks of hope and courage' Observer'An ode to openness, offering a refreshing alternative to those accounts that treat migrants as faceless statistics' David Lammy MP'A highly informed and eloquent account of life in a modern British city during a period of globalisation, austerity and mass migration' Patrick Cockburn, IndependentRace and migration are the most prominent ... read more

Bird Brain

Chuck Mullin

Anxiety is a wildride. Often, there seems to be an assumption that if you’re mentally ill, youjust sit around and cry all the time. There is a certain amount of that, true,but there’s also much more to it.Chuck Mullin has wonfans with these funny, quirky pigeons that illustrate how mental health affectsher everyday life. From Bad Times to Positivity, the comics use humour to providea glimpse o... read more

Anxiety is a wildride. Often, there seems to be an assumption that if you’re mentally ill, youjust sit around and cry all the time. There is a certain amount of that, true,but there’s also much more to it.Chuck Mullin has wonfans with these funny, quirky pigeons that illustrate how mental health affectsher everyday life. From Bad Times to Positivity, the comics use humour to providea glimpse o... read more

Eileen: The Making of George Orwell

Sylvia Topp

This is the never-before-told story of George Orwell's first wife, Eileen, a woman who shaped, supported and even saved the life of one of the twentieth century's greatest writers.In 1934, Eileen O’Shaughnessy’s futuristic poem, ‘End of the Century, 1984’, was published. The next year, she would meet George Orwell, then known as Eric Blair, at a party. ‘Now,’ he remarked that night, ‘that’s th... read more

This is the never-before-told story of George Orwell's first wife, Eileen, a woman who shaped, supported and even saved the life of one of the twentieth century's greatest writers.In 1934, Eileen O’Shaughnessy’s futuristic poem, ‘End of the Century, 1984’, was published. The next year, she would meet George Orwell, then known as Eric Blair, at a party. ‘Now,’ he remarked that night, ‘that’s th... read more

The Little Girl Who Gave Zero Fucks

Amy Kean, J. Milton

This is the story of a brave young girl, Elodie-Rose, who one day decides to change the world and keep all her fucks in her basket. Wait a minute. You’re confused. What are fucks, you ask? It’s quite simple, really. Fucks are her self-esteem; all the happy, sad and wonderful thoughts that sit in her basket. That sit in every girl’s basket! And every girl must give these fucks away every time s... read more

This is the story of a brave young girl, Elodie-Rose, who one day decides to change the world and keep all her fucks in her basket. Wait a minute. You’re confused. What are fucks, you ask? It’s quite simple, really. Fucks are her self-esteem; all the happy, sad and wonderful thoughts that sit in her basket. That sit in every girl’s basket! And every girl must give these fucks away every time s... read more

Sparks: Adventures in Street Photography

Stephen Leslie

'To put it simply, this book is fun. It’s also funny, deep, at times disturbing, at other times profoundly hopeful. But every image gets remade in ways that hold a bit of genius' Lens Culture'Funny, tragic and often bizarre, Stephen Leslie’s photos in his book Sparks are an unique ode to street photography' GuardianA family isbrought close to ruin by a pet python; an Icelandic advertising agen... read more

'To put it simply, this book is fun. It’s also funny, deep, at times disturbing, at other times profoundly hopeful. But every image gets remade in ways that hold a bit of genius' Lens Culture'Funny, tragic and often bizarre, Stephen Leslie’s photos in his book Sparks are an unique ode to street photography' GuardianA family isbrought close to ruin by a pet python; an Icelandic advertising agen... read more

Why Did the Policeman Cross the Road?

Stevyn Colgan

Can lollipops reduceantisocial behaviour? Could wizards prevent street gambling? Do fake bus stopsprotect pensioners? Can dog shows help reduce murder rates?Stevyn Colgan spentthirty years in the police service—twelve of them as part of the ProblemSolving Unit, a special team with an extraordinary brief: to solve problems ofcrime and disorder that were unresponsive to traditional policing.They... read more

Can lollipops reduceantisocial behaviour? Could wizards prevent street gambling? Do fake bus stopsprotect pensioners? Can dog shows help reduce murder rates?Stevyn Colgan spentthirty years in the police service—twelve of them as part of the ProblemSolving Unit, a special team with an extraordinary brief: to solve problems ofcrime and disorder that were unresponsive to traditional policing.They... read more

My Groupon Adventure

Max Dickins

A book about opening yourself (and sometimes your colon) up to new experiences.When comedian Max Dickins was dumped by his girlfriend, he was faced not just with excruciating heartbreak but also with the cold realisation that he was bored, bored, bored. Desperate to shake things up, he took a friend’s advice and reluctantly bought a deal on Groupon.He then bought another. And another… until wh... read more

A book about opening yourself (and sometimes your colon) up to new experiences.When comedian Max Dickins was dumped by his girlfriend, he was faced not just with excruciating heartbreak but also with the cold realisation that he was bored, bored, bored. Desperate to shake things up, he took a friend’s advice and reluctantly bought a deal on Groupon.He then bought another. And another… until wh... read more

Children of Las Vegas

Timothy O'Grady

Visit a place where your accent is an aphrodisiac, invites a Las Vegas tourist board ad on the London Underground. Just the right amount of wrong, offers another from The Cosmopolitan Hotel. Clearly, it works. Over forty million people a year travel to Vegas, more than to Mecca. It is a global celebrity, an improbable oasis, a place offering bank-breaking fortunes and instant gratification, 24... read more

Visit a place where your accent is an aphrodisiac, invites a Las Vegas tourist board ad on the London Underground. Just the right amount of wrong, offers another from The Cosmopolitan Hotel. Clearly, it works. Over forty million people a year travel to Vegas, more than to Mecca. It is a global celebrity, an improbable oasis, a place offering bank-breaking fortunes and instant gratification, 24... read more

Annabel vs the Internet: The time I infiltrated Google HQ and other adventures

Annabel Port

Annabel Port has found herself in some bizarre and, let’s say, diverse situations. She’s sneaked around Google HQ in search of ball pools. She’s exhibited her own conceptual art at the Tate Modern (unofficially). She’s been a real-life shop mannequin at Mulberry.There were the attempts to overthrow Prince Andrew and befriend Vladimir Putin, as well as become an erotic-fiction writer, a self-he... read more

Annabel Port has found herself in some bizarre and, let’s say, diverse situations. She’s sneaked around Google HQ in search of ball pools. She’s exhibited her own conceptual art at the Tate Modern (unofficially). She’s been a real-life shop mannequin at Mulberry.There were the attempts to overthrow Prince Andrew and befriend Vladimir Putin, as well as become an erotic-fiction writer, a self-he... read more

The Music: A Novel Through Sound

Matthew Herbert

In the last hundred years – between the invention of the microphone and the computer – music has undergone a profound revolution. No longer confined to specifically designed instruments, we can now make music out of anything.Why use a guitar when you can use a lawnmower? Why use a lawnmower when you can use an explosion in Libya?The Music evokes a shifting sonic landscape in precise detail – C... read more

In the last hundred years – between the invention of the microphone and the computer – music has undergone a profound revolution. No longer confined to specifically designed instruments, we can now make music out of anything.Why use a guitar when you can use a lawnmower? Why use a lawnmower when you can use an explosion in Libya?The Music evokes a shifting sonic landscape in precise detail – C... read more

Repeal the 8th

Una Mullally

Abortion is illegal in almost every circumstance in Ireland, making it the only democracy in the western world to have such a constitutional ban.Between 1980 and 2015, at least 165,438 Irish women and girls accessed UK abortion services. In 2016, the figure was 3,265.Any woman or girl who procures an abortion, or anyone who assists a woman to procure an abortion in Ireland can be criminalised ... read more

Abortion is illegal in almost every circumstance in Ireland, making it the only democracy in the western world to have such a constitutional ban.Between 1980 and 2015, at least 165,438 Irish women and girls accessed UK abortion services. In 2016, the figure was 3,265.Any woman or girl who procures an abortion, or anyone who assists a woman to procure an abortion in Ireland can be criminalised ... read more

Ladders to Heaven

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers ... rainforest royalty ... more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Ladders to Heaven tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles in the dawn of civilisation. They feature in ever... read more

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers ... rainforest royalty ... more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Ladders to Heaven tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles in the dawn of civilisation. They feature in ever... read more

Ireland's Green Larder: The Definitive History of Irish Food and Drink

Margaret Hickey

Ireland's Green Larder tells the story of food and drink in Ireland, for the first time. From the ancient system of the Céide Fields, established a thousand years before the Pyramids were built, right up to today’s thriving food scene.Rather than focusing on battles and rulers, Margaret Hickey digs down to what has formed the day-to-day life of the people. It’s a glorious ramble through the ce... read more

Ireland's Green Larder tells the story of food and drink in Ireland, for the first time. From the ancient system of the Céide Fields, established a thousand years before the Pyramids were built, right up to today’s thriving food scene.Rather than focusing on battles and rulers, Margaret Hickey digs down to what has formed the day-to-day life of the people. It’s a glorious ramble through the ce... read more

The Shepherd's Hut: Poems

Jonathan Bate

Jonathan Bate believes that the slow, meditative reading of poetry – absorbing ourselves in the images of a poem, slowing to its beat, allowing our minds to rest in the pause of a line-ending – can bring us tranquility as we find echoes of our own experiences on the page. Experiences of beautiful places, strong feelings and moments that lift the human spiritIn The Shepherd’s Hut, Bate introduc... read more

Jonathan Bate believes that the slow, meditative reading of poetry – absorbing ourselves in the images of a poem, slowing to its beat, allowing our minds to rest in the pause of a line-ending – can bring us tranquility as we find echoes of our own experiences on the page. Experiences of beautiful places, strong feelings and moments that lift the human spiritIn The Shepherd’s Hut, Bate introduc... read more

A Country to Call Home: An anthology on the experiences of young refugees and asylum seekers

Lucy Popescu

From the editor of A Country of Refuge comes an anthology of writing on one of the defining issues of our time; focusing on the fate of refugee children and young adults, it is aimed at children and adult readers alike.There are tales of home, and missing it; poems about the dangerous journeys undertaken and life in the refugee camps; stories about prejudice, but also stories of children’s for... read more

From the editor of A Country of Refuge comes an anthology of writing on one of the defining issues of our time; focusing on the fate of refugee children and young adults, it is aimed at children and adult readers alike.There are tales of home, and missing it; poems about the dangerous journeys undertaken and life in the refugee camps; stories about prejudice, but also stories of children’s for... read more

A Country of Refuge

Lucy Popescu

A Country of Refuge is a poignant, thought-provoking and timely anthology of writing on asylum seekers from some of Britain and Ireland’s most influential voices.Compiled and edited by human rights activist and writer Lucy Popescu, this powerful collection of short fiction, memoir, poetry and essays explores what it really means to be a refugee: to flee from conflict, poverty and terror; to ha... read more

A Country of Refuge is a poignant, thought-provoking and timely anthology of writing on asylum seekers from some of Britain and Ireland’s most influential voices.Compiled and edited by human rights activist and writer Lucy Popescu, this powerful collection of short fiction, memoir, poetry and essays explores what it really means to be a refugee: to flee from conflict, poverty and terror; to ha... read more

The Almanac

Lia Leendertz

The Almanac revives the tradition of the rural almanac, connecting you with the months and seasons via moon-gazing, foraging, feast days, seasonal eating, meteor-spotting and gardening. Award-winning gardener and food writer Lia Leendertz shares the tools and inspiration you need to celebrate, mark and appreciate each moment of the year.

The Almanac revives the tradition of the rural almanac, connecting you with the months and seasons via moon-gazing, foraging, feast days, seasonal eating, meteor-spotting and gardening. Award-winning gardener and food writer Lia Leendertz shares the tools and inspiration you need to celebrate, mark and appreciate each moment of the year.

Established: Lessons from the World's Oldest Companies

Dark Angels

Heritage. Adaptation. Values. Flexibility.From the oldest pub in the world to the Liberty Bell and the origins of a nation, Established: Lessons from the World’s Oldest Companies tells the stories of twelve businesses with a combined age of almost 5,000 years. They’ve survived war, plague, rebellion, boom, bust, depression and strange twists of fate. But how and what can we learn from them.Spa... read more

Heritage. Adaptation. Values. Flexibility.From the oldest pub in the world to the Liberty Bell and the origins of a nation, Established: Lessons from the World’s Oldest Companies tells the stories of twelve businesses with a combined age of almost 5,000 years. They’ve survived war, plague, rebellion, boom, bust, depression and strange twists of fate. But how and what can we learn from them.Spa... read more

The Point of Poetry

Joe Nutt

What s the point of poetry? It s a question asked in classrooms all over the world, but it rarely receives a satisfactory answer. Which is why so many people, who read all kinds of books, never read poetry after leaving school. Exploring twenty-two works from poets as varied as William Blake, Seamus Heaney, Rita Dove and Hollie McNish, this book makes the case for what poetry has to offer us, ... read more

What s the point of poetry? It s a question asked in classrooms all over the world, but it rarely receives a satisfactory answer. Which is why so many people, who read all kinds of books, never read poetry after leaving school. Exploring twenty-two works from poets as varied as William Blake, Seamus Heaney, Rita Dove and Hollie McNish, this book makes the case for what poetry has to offer us, ... read more

Celebs At Home

Andy Bush

‘Bush can literally draw anything. I’ve watched him draw a stick of celery with enough finesse and detail to make a botanist weep. And then, in the next breath, he drew Rick Astley’s hair. Brilliantly.’ Mel GiedroycWhat do celebrities get up to when they’re at home and away from the glare of the public eye? Between playing songs on Absolute Radio, Andy Bush always wondered about the mundane, b... read more

‘Bush can literally draw anything. I’ve watched him draw a stick of celery with enough finesse and detail to make a botanist weep. And then, in the next breath, he drew Rick Astley’s hair. Brilliantly.’ Mel GiedroycWhat do celebrities get up to when they’re at home and away from the glare of the public eye? Between playing songs on Absolute Radio, Andy Bush always wondered about the mundane, b... read more

The Coming Age of Imagination: How universal basic income will lead to an explosion of creativity

Phil Teer

Every adult paid a living wage. No strings attached.Universal basic income is a very old idea that is fast becoming the radical idea of the twenty-first century. It could eradicate poverty and avoid a much-predicted dystopian future of automation and high unemployment – but it could also have an unexpected effect: an explosion of mass creativity.Phil Teer draws insights from the creative and e... read more

Every adult paid a living wage. No strings attached.Universal basic income is a very old idea that is fast becoming the radical idea of the twenty-first century. It could eradicate poverty and avoid a much-predicted dystopian future of automation and high unemployment – but it could also have an unexpected effect: an explosion of mass creativity.Phil Teer draws insights from the creative and e... read more

Philip has 11 reviews

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

Andy Macleod
Ten out of ten!

Andy Macleod, October 2020

Philip Connor
Cheers Andy - pleasure working with you!

Reply from Philip Connor


Ginny Walker
I have had the pleasure of working with Philip before on my comedy novel last year in 2019. This time, he has edited a memoir I’m writing on the sensitive subject of grief, after I lost my son in summer 2019 to childhood cancer. He continues to be professional in his approach, manages to steer me to focus on the right areas of the book that need definition or development. Philip knows his craft...
Read more

Ginny Walker, September 2020


Andy Macleod
Fab!

Andy Macleod, May 2020


Andy Macleod
A perfect 10!

Andy Macleod, May 2019


Caroline Greco
I sense Philip's energy and love of literature in all my interactions with him. He made the process fun and extremely valuable.

Caroline Greco, April 2019

Read more reviews

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Making sure your prose sings, your facts and story are straight, and your unique voice shines through.

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A long-time wordsmith, I am able to copy-edit (or beta read) with creativity and precision.

Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom

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