Robert Grossmith

Robert Grossmith - Editor

Norwich, UK

Published novelist/short story writer (incl in Penguin Classics) with literature PhD and 15 years' experience as HarperCollins senior editor

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I'm interested in working with budding novelists or short story writers of all genres as well as non-fiction writers and academic writers. For example, if you're writing a novel I will provide detailed feedback on such matters as style, structure, pacing, character development and plot – as well as more mundane matters such as grammar, spelling, punctuation and formatting – in order to bring your novel to a publishable form. If you're writing a dissertation or thesis I will work with you to make your your writing as clear, concise and well-structured as possible. Put simply, the English language in one of its many diverse disciplines or another – studying it, teaching it, writing it, editing it – is how I have spent my life.

I have also published two novels of my own, most recently in 2020, and numerous short stories as well as poems, scholarly articles and book reviews. An audio podcast of one of my stories is available on YouTube. Another story is anthologized in The Penguin Book of First World War Stories (Penguin Classics). If you Google me, you will find my fiction-writing credits and scholarly articles under the name “Robert Grossmith” and my dictionary-editing and book reviews under “Bob Grossmith”.

English (UK)
Humor & Comedy
Literary Fiction
Short Story
Writing & Publishing


  • BA, PhD

Work experience


September, 2005 – Present (about 15 years)

Freelance writer-editor working on a variety of projects: fiction, non-fiction, reference.

Senior Editor

HarperCollins Publishers
September, 1990 – August, 2005 (almost 15 years)

Editor/senior editor/managing editor working on a range of bilingual dictionary titles. During this time I also published a novel (The Empire of Lights, Hamish Hamilton, 1990) and numerous short stories in magazines, literary journals and anthologies, including the Spectator, the Literary Review, London Magazine, Best Short Stories 1989, Best Short Stories 1990, The Best of Best Short Stories, The Time Out Book of London Short Stories, Sixteen Modern Short Stories, The Penguin Book of First World War Stories etc.

PhD candidate

Dept of American Studies, University of Keele, UK
September, 1984 – June, 1987 (over 2 years)

PhD on Vladimir Nabokov -- 'Other States of Being: Nabokov's Two-World Metaphysic' -- awarded in 1987. Numerous scholarly articles on Nabokov's fiction published in academic journals and books, including A Small Alpine Form: Studies in Nabokov's Short Fiction, Russian Literature Triquarterly, English Language Notes, Essays in Poetics, The Nabokovian. Following the award of my PhD, I worked as a part-time lecturer on American Literature in the Department of American Studies at the University of Keele.

Teacher of English as a Foreign Language

The British Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
September, 1977 – May, 1983 (over 5 years)

During this time I also learned to speak passable Swedish and spent a year in the US (New York and Berkeley, CA), where I translated a number of academic articles and a doctoral dissertation (Children's Outdoor Environment, Pia Bjorklid) from Swedish to English.

Community theatre performer

Word & Action: Community theatre and writing service, Weymouth, UK
September, 1976 – July, 1977 (10 months)

BA student, Philosophy & Psychology

University of Keele, UK
October, 1972 – June, 1976 (over 3 years)

Portfolio (1 selected work)

Robert has 3 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Joseph Hartman
Robert's skillset is excellent. A quick perusal of his credentials will reveal that he's dedicated his life to the business of words. This shows in his work. He completed a thorough, high quality copy edit on my novel manuscript in HALF the forecasted time. His professionalism and literary knowledge are top drawer. I will certainly use his services again and advise others to do likewise. A clas...
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Joseph Hartman, October 2020

chris porozny
Robert went above and beyond in his editorial assessment. I can say absolutely nothing against his professionalism, his communication and punctuality or the depth and knowledge that pervaded his insights. I regard my association with Robert to be money very well spent and plan to continue or collaboration going forward. Thank you, Robert.

chris porozny, August 2020

Nirushan Sivanesan
Robert did an excellent job on my manuscript, and demonstrated good knowledge into the subject mater (general philosophy & philosophy of science). He offered me great insights into improving my work, He was very professional throughout, was easy to get hold of, replied promptly to all my questions, and completed the work before the agreed deadline. I highly recommend him.

Nirushan Sivanesan, June 2020

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