Susanna Forrest

Susanna Forrest – Editor

Memoir, history, culture and nature: developmental editor, writing teacher, ex-bookseller and former literary agent's PA.


"Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing." – Joan Didion.

During twenty years in publishing I've edited leading authors, shaped and polished books, shepherded writers through to completion of their work, typed contracts and worked the tills at a bookshop to see what the public really buy. Having worked with a wide range of publishers, I've edited across genres.

I'm here to help you find a path through your book, teasing out clear themes and arcs that give it depth and dynamism. I'll also help you perfect the text line by line in a way that enables you to build your own skillbase. I spend a lot of time working with authors of biographies and memoirs in my evening classes but I also love history-, culture- and nature-based titles. I'm especially interested in helping academics turn their scholarship into mainstream publications.

Let's see what we can achieve together!
Biographies & Memoirs Entertainment History Humanities & Social Sciences Nature Sports & Outdoors
English (UK) English (US)
  • Sophie Coe Prize for an essay on Food History 2016
  • Society of Authors Authors' Foundation Award 2012

Work experience


Sep, 2004 — Present

Journalist/essayist/book reviewer published in New York Times Online, The Times, the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, Spiegel Online, The Atlantic, Literary Hub, the Literary Review, Scotland on Sunday, Der Freitag, Paris Review Daily, Nowhere magazine (Fall 2017 Travel Writing Finalist), Atlas Obscura, Zoomorphic, Culturised.

Critically acclaimed author of two nonfiction titles, The Age of the Horse: An Equine Journey Through Human History (Atlantic Books, 2016) and If Wishes Were Horses (Atlantic Books, 2012). Contributed chapters to scholarly collections. Also author of three academic book chapters.

Former creative nonfiction editor at SAND literary journal, Berlin.

Ghostwriting, bookdoctoring, editing and commercial writing for; Hay House; Gawker/Gridskipper; Business Franchise; Gradjobs; Gerad Kite; Dropping Knowledge; Wuppertal Institute; Ebury Press/Random House and Virgin Books. Overseeing, writing and completing book-length projects or blogs.

Editing, transcreation and translation for ReThink for Volkswagen and ERGO; Der Spiegel Brexit Issue; European Commission; Egmont Royal Institute, Brussels; ECIPE Brussels; European Payments Council; Bertelsmann Stiftung; Blinkist; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; Harper Collins; Headline Review; Endeva; Martinus Nijhoff; Piet Zwart Institute; Spectormag; GALERIE EIGEN + ART; Mots Slow; grant applications; academic papers and cover letters. Providing feedback and editing for a wide range of writers from political scientists to erotica authors and molecular biologists; literary and commercial translations; art catalogues and special publications.

The Reader Berlin

Jan, 2016 — Present

Teacher and coach in creative nonfiction, offering Introduction to Creative Nonfiction evening course; Advanced Workshops for students with ongoing book-length projects, and day-length workshops on the personal essay and academic writing.


Sep, 2012 — Sep, 2013 (about 1 year)

Manager of a team of copywriters; editing; training staff members; problem-solving in a high pressure, fast-paced environment that involved researching and turning out large amounts of copy daily. Building structures for efficiency, teamwork and improved quality in a brand new start-up with constantly shifting requirements.

Waterstones Cambridge

Jan, 2005 — Aug, 2005 (7 months)

Erotic Review magazine

Sep, 2002 — Sep, 2004 (about 2 years)

Commissioning and editing short stories, articles and reviews. Working with authors including Sarah Waters, Michel Faber, Anthony Bourdain and DBC Pierre.

Sheil Land Associates

Apr, 2000 — Sep, 2002 (over 2 years)

Assistant to Vivien Green, literary agent. Drafting contracts, dealing with permissions, author liaison, assessing manuscripts, general admin.


Paperback. Pages: 320 Publisher: Random House 'I work in a pretty ordinary office from 9 to 5. I could be the receptionist in your building. Or the girl next to you on the bus reading a copy of Metro. And I'm wondering. what happened How did I turn from a spot... read more
If Wishes Were Horses Entertaining, beguiling and surprising in equal measure, If Wishes Were Horses is the story of one girl's childhood obsession with ponies and the complex relationship that women have had with horses across the centuries. Full description
But what do the producers really do? Do they edit to create characters? Can they really make or break a star? And what do the contestants think? Do they feel used or do they relish the opportunity? What is life after the show like for them? This book attempts ... read more

Susanna has 2 reviews





Michelle S.

Michelle S.

Jan, 2019

I felt connected to Susanna when I read her profile. I felt like she would connect with my story. The collaboration was really smooth. I loved her feedback, I hope to work with her on book 2.
Susanna F.
Thank you Michelle!
Zaake D.

Zaake D.

Aug, 2018

Susanna provided valuable feedback and edits for me. She was extremely thorough in her edits, and I hope to work with her again. Would definitely recommend!

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