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Commissioning Editor – fixed term 1 year contract (London)

Severn House, an imprint of Canongate Books, is a vibrant list which publishes a broad range of genre fiction, from Crime & Mystery, Thrillers and Romance, to Sagas and Sci-Fi. Founded in 1974 as a publisher of hardback fiction for libraries, Severn House now produces titles in all formats, including eBooks, audio and large print.

We’re looking for an experienced fiction editor to commission new and repeat authors, and to edit multiple titles per month as a Commissioning Editor on the Severn House team, based in the London office.

This role would see you working closely with the Senior Commissioning Editor to ensure the Severn House publishing schedule of approximately 100 titles per year is full. You will take responsibility for an existing list of established Severn House authors as well as commission new authors who fulfil our unique requirements. Fiction editing experience is a must.

This role could suit an experienced freelance editor looking to return full-time to the workplace on a hybrid basis, or an editor who loves genre fiction and would thrive in the fast-paced atmosphere of this dynamic publishing house and within our small, passionate team.  

Key duties will include:

  • Commission 1-2 books per month, which fit the Severn House brief and bring forward recommendations to Senior Commissioning Editor for discussion and approval
  • Draw up costings and offers to be approved by Finance before negotiating deals with authors and agents
  • Be lead editor for 2-4 titles per month, maintaining direct editorial relationship on key and developing authors and completing structural edits, AIs, cover briefs, cover copy and Biblio info on assigned titles.

What knowledge, skills, experience we’d like you to have:

  • At least 5 years as a fiction editor with commissioning experience
  • Able to respond flexibly to a busy workload and multiple deadlines
  • A team player and a passionate reader, preferably of crime and mystery fiction

Salary range: £34k to £37.5k pa (depending on experience)

This is a full-time fixed term 1 year contract, based out of our London office with hybrid working options.

To apply, please send your CV (including contact details for two references) and a covering letter to Joanne Grant, detailing why you feel you are suitable for this role. Email to The deadline for applications is 19th August 2022.


Canongate is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment and its employment policies for recruitment are designed to ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of age, disability, gender re-assignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity/paternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. 

Due to the high volume of applications we receive we are unable to respond to everyone. If you have not heard from us within 2 weeks of the closing date then unfortunately you have not been shortlisted for the position. We will keep your information securely until 30th September 2022. Unless you are the successful applicant, all of your information will be deleted from our systems at that point.

Commissioning Editor – fixed term 1 year contract (London)

Severn House, London
Contract, Full-time
Administration, Commissioning Editor, Editor, Publishing, Communications, Business Development, Editorial
Commissioning Editor – fixed term 1 year contract (London)
Salary description: 
£34k to £37.5k pa (depending on experience)

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At least 5 years as a fiction editor with commissioning experience