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Stephanie Gorton Murphy

Stephanie Gorton Murphy - Editor

Providence, RI

Dedicated editor with an extensive track record acquiring and editing books for New York publishers. Interested in fiction and non-fiction.

Overview

I’m an independent book editor with over seven years of in-house publishing experience in New York and the UK. I work directly with authors on most aspects of developing their projects to submit to agents and publishers, including structural editing, research, and agent-query strategy.

I started out as a Paris Review intern and went on to work at Canongate Books, The Overlook Press, and Open Road Media. The books I’ve edited range from critically acclaimed novels, to Oprah-featured memoirs, to narrative studies of internet culture, sports fandom, and the vampire squid. Since going freelance, I’ve worked on literary fiction, suspense fiction, and narrative nonfiction, including history, biography, memoir, and pop science. I love working with writers and seeing their manuscripts become successful books.

Services
Languages
English (UK) English (US)
Fiction
African American fiction Crime & Mystery Cultural & Ethnic Themes Historical Fiction Literature Short Story Thriller
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs History Travel

Certifications

  • MA in English Literature, First Class - University of Edinburgh
  • Editorial Project Management - Society for Editors and Proofreaders
  • MFA in Creative Nonfiction - Goucher College

Work experience

Editor

Girl Friday Productions

February, 2016 – Present (10 months)

Girl Friday Productions is a publishing services group that works with established publishers, including Amazon and Inkshares. I work with authors and in-house editors on the developmental editing of recently acquired manuscripts.

Editor

New York Book Editors

May, 2015 – Present (over 1 year)

New York Book Editors is a premier affiliation of editors with broad experience from New York’s major publishing houses. As part of their network of affiliates, I work directly with authors who are seeking a developmental or structural editor.

Independent Editor & Publishing Consultant

Freelance

June, 2013 – Present (over 3 years)

In addition to developmental or structural editing, I advise on agent queries, polish book proposals, and help with archival research. My previous experience spans the genres of literary fiction, suspense fiction, and narrative nonfiction (including history, biography, memoir, essays, culture, politics, and pop science).

Author endorsements:

“Stephanie is a superb editor. She understands the big questions—the demanding issue of how to shape narrative. Her editorial acuteness first impresses the writer, then she becomes indispensable to the process. Remarkably, she’s also a pleasure to work with. I know all this because her editing of my 2012 novel, Moments Captured (Overlook Press), was impeccable both in micro and macro scale, in her line editing as well as in her sense of the story’s shape. Any writer would be privileged to work with Stephanie. I could not recommend her more highly.”
—Robert J. Seidman, author of Moments Captured

“Stephanie is one of those gifted editors who can look at a fragmented, interrupted piece of writing and see the whole. We worked together on my second novel, The Forever Marriage, and she made it a tighter, finer book. Stephanie harbored the right suspicions, asked the right questions, and somehow brought my work closer to what I’d intended to say. What’s more she treated my story as carefully as if it were her own, touching only the words she could lift and leaving the rest. She is a deft and supportive writing partner and an excellent literary guide.”
—Ann Bauer, author of The Forever Marriage

"Working with Stephanie was delightful because she took both an ‘insider’s’ and an ‘outsider’s’ view, making it possible for her to read the author’s as well as the reader’s mind. Her suggestions were definitely helpful in untying the knots in the manuscript.”
—Kunal Basu, author of The Opium Clerk and The Yellow Emperor’s Cure

“I worked with Stephanie on my first novel. She posed the right question at the right moment and the answer propelled me through the final draft. I can’t thank her enough.”
—Michael Tucker, author of After Annie

Editor

Open Road Integrated Media

April, 2012 – May, 2013 (about 1 year)

Acquired literary backlist for digital publication and promotion (Open Road's authors include William Styron, Alice Walker, and James Salter, and I worked on the acquisition of classic works by Irwin Shaw, Mary Renault, Ishmael Reed, and Stanley Karnow, among many others); acquired individual titles for specific marketing campaigns (for example, over a dozen major literary prize nominees); strategized and drove outreach to literary agents and other potential publishing partners; evaluated manuscripts for publication in Open Road's "e-riginals" program; briefed cover design; edited copy for e-tailer sites.

Editor

Overlook Press

August, 2010 – April, 2012 (over 1 year)

I acquired and edited literary and suspense fiction with some strong narrative nonfiction (Overlook's authors include #1 New York Times bestselling author Charles Portis, Stephen Fry, Mervyn Peake, Ann Bauer, and Penny Vincenzi); drove manuscripts and covers through design and production; wrote catalog and marketing copy; acted as the first point of contact for authors, agents, and freelancers.

Managing Editor

Canongate Books

February, 2008 – August, 2009 (over 1 year)

Managed the editorial to production process of all titles (Canongate’s authors include Yann Martel, Michel Faber, Geoff Dyer, and Barack Obama); read manuscripts for acquisitions and editorial meetings; applied for translation grants; submitted books for prizes; drafted cover and catalog copy; cleared permissions; managed database; wrote for blog.

Portfolio (7 selected works)

The Forever Marriage: A novel

Ann Bauer

Carmen wishes Jobe, the husband she never loved, dead--only to fall in love with him after he is gone. As she helps her three children grieve, she discovers, after a tryst with her most recent lover, that her own life may be in danger. Her emotions reeling, Carmen reflects on the fateful days of her youth that made her the person she has become: privileged suburban wife, unfaithful widow, moth... read more

Carmen wishes Jobe, the husband she never loved, dead--only to fall in love with him after he is gone. As she helps her three children grieve, she discovers, after a tryst with her most recent lover, that her own life may be in danger. Her emotions reeling, Carmen reflects on the fateful days of her youth that made her the person she has become: privileged suburban wife, unfaithful widow, moth... read more

After Annie: A Novel

Michael Tucker

An irresistible tale about love and the theater, After Annie is an astonishing first novel. Herbie Aaron is half of a celebrity marriage. He and Annie have been famous--and nobodies--and through it all they've been passionate, if not always constant, lovers and fast friends. But when Annie dies of cancer, Herbie is lost. If you think this is going to be a tragic tale about grief, think again. ... read more

An irresistible tale about love and the theater, After Annie is an astonishing first novel. Herbie Aaron is half of a celebrity marriage. He and Annie have been famous--and nobodies--and through it all they've been passionate, if not always constant, lovers and fast friends. But when Annie dies of cancer, Herbie is lost. If you think this is going to be a tragic tale about grief, think again. ... read more

Moments Captured: A Novel

Robert J. Seidman

Moments Captured is the captivating story of two indelible individuals and a shattering murder in latenineteenth-century San Francisco. An epic saga of young America flexing its muscle, it is roughly based on the life of the great photographer Edward Muybridge. Crossing the country with his camera and outsized ambition, Muybridge meets the emancipated young dancer Holly Hughes, and inexorably ... read more

Moments Captured is the captivating story of two indelible individuals and a shattering murder in latenineteenth-century San Francisco. An epic saga of young America flexing its muscle, it is roughly based on the life of the great photographer Edward Muybridge. Crossing the country with his camera and outsized ambition, Muybridge meets the emancipated young dancer Holly Hughes, and inexorably ... read more

Any Day Now: A Novel

Terry Bisson

Publishers Weekly has called Bisson's prose "a wonder of seemingly effortless control and precision," and John Crowley hails Bisson as a "national treasure!" Any Day Now is truly a literary tour de force. It is a poignant excursion into the last days of the Beats and the emerging radicalized culture of the sixties from Kentucky to New York City and daringly unique. This road movie of a novel, ... read more

Publishers Weekly has called Bisson's prose "a wonder of seemingly effortless control and precision," and John Crowley hails Bisson as a "national treasure!" Any Day Now is truly a literary tour de force. It is a poignant excursion into the last days of the Beats and the emerging radicalized culture of the sixties from Kentucky to New York City and daringly unique. This road movie of a novel, ... read more

Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web

Cole Stryker

4chan is the "Anti-Facebook," a site that radically encourages anonymity. It spawned the hacktivist group Anonymous, which famously defended WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by bringing down MasterCard's and Visa's Web sites. Created by a 15-year-old wunderkind in 2003, it is the creative force behind "the Web's most infectious memes and catchphrases" (Wired). Today it has over 12 million mont... read more

4chan is the "Anti-Facebook," a site that radically encourages anonymity. It spawned the hacktivist group Anonymous, which famously defended WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by bringing down MasterCard's and Visa's Web sites. Created by a 15-year-old wunderkind in 2003, it is the creative force behind "the Web's most infectious memes and catchphrases" (Wired). Today it has over 12 million mont... read more

Home is a Roof Over a Pig: An American Family's Journey in China

Aminta Arrington

When all-American Aminta Arrington moves from suburban Georgia to a small town in China, she doesn't go alone. Her army husband and three young children, including an adopted Chinese daughter, uproot themselves too. Aminta hopes to understand the country with its long civilization, ancient philosophy, and complex language. She is also determined that her daughter Grace, born in China, regain s... read more

When all-American Aminta Arrington moves from suburban Georgia to a small town in China, she doesn't go alone. Her army husband and three young children, including an adopted Chinese daughter, uproot themselves too. Aminta hopes to understand the country with its long civilization, ancient philosophy, and complex language. She is also determined that her daughter Grace, born in China, regain s... read more

How the Dog Became the Dog: From Wolves to Our Best Friends

Mark Derr

That the dog evolved from the wolf is an accepted fact of evolution and history, but the question of how wolf became dog has remained a mystery, obscured by myth and legend.How the Dog Became the Dog posits that dog was an evolutionary inevitability in the nature of the wolf and its human soul mate. The natural temperament and social structure of humans and wolves are so similar that as soon a... read more

That the dog evolved from the wolf is an accepted fact of evolution and history, but the question of how wolf became dog has remained a mystery, obscured by myth and legend.How the Dog Became the Dog posits that dog was an evolutionary inevitability in the nature of the wolf and its human soul mate. The natural temperament and social structure of humans and wolves are so similar that as soon a... read more

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