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).

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


  • BA, PhD

Work experience


September, 2005 – Present (almost 17 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 12 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Andrew Fordham
Another great job done by Bob - third time now. The value of a professional edit far surpasses the cost (which is very reasonable), and I for one will keep returning to Bob for his honest clarity.

Andrew Fordham, June 2022

Jeff Shapiro
Robert was very diligent, helpful and insightful in critiquing my work.

Jeff Shapiro, December 2021

Andrew Fordham
Another fruitful collaboration with Bob, this time with a longer novella. His work is much appreciated by this fledgling writer. I will definitely be sending further short stories to Bob for his professional polishing.

Andrew Fordham, October 2021

Robert Grossmith
Thanks, Andy. I enjoy your stories very much, so it's a pleasure to add my own small contribution to them.

Reply from Robert Grossmith

Andrew Fordham
Robert put the final coat of polish on the first story in my series and I will be calling on his experience, professionalism and honesty again.

Andrew Fordham, September 2021

Robert Grossmith
Thanks, Andrew. Hope to hear from you again soon.

Reply from Robert Grossmith

Morty Shallman
Working with Bob was an absolute pleasure. He responded quickly, his pricing was very reasonable, and his work product, in my case, an editorial assessment, was not only insightful, helpful, and constructive, it was also a pleasure to read. He even threw in some basic copyediting and gave me a couple of awesome blurbs to use in my marketng. I recommend him very highly indeed.

Morty Shallman, June 2021

Robert Grossmith
Much appreciated, Morty. I could say likewise, the pleasure was all mine. Great novel!

Reply from Robert Grossmith

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