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Senior Commissioning Editor (London or Edinburgh)

Severn House, part of Canongate Books, is a vibrant publishing house which produces a broad range of genre titles, from Crime & Mystery, Thrillers and Romance, to Sci-Fi and genre mash-ups. Founded in 1974 as a publisher of hardback fiction, Severn House now produces titles in all formats, including eBooks, paperback and large print. This is an exciting time for Severn House as we celebrate our 50th anniversary and are continuing to evolve our eclectic, unique list.

Our small, dynamic team publish 85+ original titles a year so we’re looking for a confident, experienced Senior Commissioning Editor who has a passion for genre fiction and who can hit the ground running.

The individual must be a talented editor used to providing excellent agent/author care and who relishes the challenge of commissioning to brief. This role supports the Editorial Director in proactive agent outreach and shaping the list of Severn House for the future.

Key duties will include:

  • Commission at least 2-3 books per month, which fit the Severn House brief to build and shape the list through proactive research and agent outreach
  • Be lead editor for 2-3 titles per month, assigning structural edits as appropriate, and maintaining direct editorial relationship on key and developing authors 
  • Draw up costings and offers to be approved by Editorial Director and Publisher before negotiating deals with authors and agents
  • Be a strong second to the Editorial Director and assist in establishing positive relationships with a wide range of literary agents, communicating and promoting the Severn House brand and brief widely at conferences and events as required

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

  • At least five years’ commissioning experience in fiction
  • A genuine interest and passion for genre fiction
  • Strong knowledge of the market and commercial awareness
  • A confident self-starter and team player
  • Able to respond flexibly to a busy workload and manage multiple deadlines

Salary: £38,000+ pa depending on experience and location. We offer a wide range of benefits- Employee benefits (

This is full-time position, based out of our London or Edinburgh office and reporting into the Editorial Director of Severn House.

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 midday 31st May 2024.


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 June 30th 2024. Unless you are the successful applicant, all of your information will be deleted from our systems at that point.

Senior Commissioning Editor (London or Edinburgh)

Canongate Books, London | Edinburgh
Full-time, Permanent
Administration, Commissioning Editor, Publishing, Communications, Editorial
Senior Commissioning Editor (London or Edinburgh)
Salary description: 
£38,000+ pa depending on experience and location

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At least five years’ commissioning experience in fiction