Saturday, January 26, 2008

Want to be my editor?

Penguin Canada is looking for a full-time editor specializing in science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and other commercial fiction to work out of its Toronto office. The new editor will work on the Canadian editions of Robert J. Sawyer's upcoming WWW trilogy, on future books by Guy Gavriel Kay, and on other projects.

The job posting is here.

I had a conversation with Penguin Canada publisher David Davidar about this. This is a real job posting, not a pro forma listing; there is no hidden front-runner, and Penguin Canada is willing to hire from outside of Canada (although you'd have to relocate to Toronto to take the job). The new editor is expected to start work next month (February 2008).

Penguin Canada is a highly successful company, with one hundred million dollars in revenues last year.

(Barbara Berson, who was to have been my editor and had been editing Guy Gavriel Kay, has moved on; hence this vacancy. I wish Barbara all the best!)

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At January 26, 2008 11:32 PM , Blogger TomR said...

Robert, what a job! Read upcoming sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, and other novels, make suggestions to make 'em better, and then get to be one of the first to read your stuff?

And they'd pay me for this? (Which might just cover my beer tab...)

I'm probably the wrong one to apply, since I have not come across one of your stories that I've not been just freaking ga-ga over. Somehow methinks objectivity would be a requirement in this job.

But one can dream, eh?

At January 26, 2008 11:33 PM , OpenID boywhocantsayno said...

Pity I studied math and computer science rather than English; their office is about a 45 second walk from my apartment. (I'm assuming that their Yonge/Eglinton office is the main one, since I don't know of any others.)

At January 26, 2008 11:45 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Many thanks, TomR! But I must point out that you've read the published versions of my work, after they've been through the editorial process. I've benefitted enormously from the input of some very fine editors over the years, most significantly David G. Hartwell at Tor (who has edited over a million words of my fiction) and Stanley Schmidt at Analog (who has edited over 400,000 words of it).

At January 26, 2008 11:46 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Hey, there, BoyWhoCan'tSayNo. Yup, Penguin Canada is at Eglinton and Yonge -- really nice offices, I must say, and right across the street from one of my favourite pubs, The Unicorn. :)

At January 29, 2008 10:24 PM , Blogger ryan mannik said...

You know, I think they just might be replacing a friend of mine, though I'm not entirely sure just what he did at penguin.

At January 29, 2008 10:26 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Hi, Ryan. The new editor will be taking over authors formerly handled by a wonderful woman named Barbara Berson.

At January 29, 2008 10:31 PM , Blogger ryan mannik said...

Heya Mister Sawyer,

Yeah, didnt think David (who I believe you know) was an editor but the timing was close, and I just quit smoking so I'm making poor leaps of logic.

by the by I just picked up mindscan, I'm diggin it

At January 29, 2008 10:44 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Ah, you mean the wonderful David Leonard! He was my publicist at H.B. Fenn before he left for Penguin. I was very sad to see him departing first H.B. Fenn and then Penguin; he's a terrific guy.

At February 01, 2008 7:27 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Since the job posting will eventually disappear, and since this just might turn out to be quite an important hiring in the history of Canadian SF&F, here's the full text for posterity; the posting appeared in January 2008 on, in Quill & Quire's email newsletter, and elsewhere:

Commissioning Editor, Penguin Group (Canada)

Offered by: Penguin Group (Canada), Pearson Canada

Benefits: Health, Dental, Bonus, Stock options, Flexible hours

Duration: Full Time

Location: Toronto, ON Canada

Requirements: The Editorial department of Penguin Group (Canada) has an opening for a Commissioning Editor. This position is based at the Toronto office.

Job Summary and Major Responsibilities:

Acquiring and developing new titles for the Canadian publishing program. The editor will be acquiring books in the following areas: crime, thrillers, mysteries, historical fiction, horror, fantasy, science fiction, and women's commercial fiction. This responsibility involves reviewing submissions from agents and individual authors; commissioning books from writers already on our list and those not yet on our list; presenting proposals to the editorial board; working with production and marketing personnel to ensure that acquired titles meet profit and sales targets; working with authors to ensure quality and timeliness of manuscripts; and generally seeing projects through the editorial, production, and marketing phases of the publishing process. He/she will work closely with the Rights and Contracts, Production, Marketing and Publicity, and Sales departments.


* Strong academic background (preferably a Master's degree in a humanities subject); university degree or equivalent required.

* Several years of experience in publishing, specifically working in Editorial.

* Proven track record of acquiring and editing books in the assigned areas of specialization.

About Our Company: Penguin Group (Canada)--then called Penguin Books--was founded in 1974. Initially a distribution arm for Penguin International, Penguin Books began publishing indigenous Canadian work in 1982 with such notable titles as Peter C. Newman's landmark history of the Hudson's Bay Company, Company of Adventurers, and paperbacks by such Canadian icons as Robertson Davies, Timothy Findley, Alice Munro and Mordecai Richler.

Like Allen Lane, the founder of Penguin, Penguin Group (Canada) is determined to publish books that speak to the broadest reading public and address leading issues of social importance. Penguin's books are frequently controversial, tackling subjects as diverse as Canadian nationalism, the tragedies of homelessness and mental illness, the crises faced in healthcare and education, and Canada's role in the world economy. Please see our web site for more information and

Contact: Paula Hunter
E-mail: paula dot hunter at pearsoncanada dot com
Address: 26 Prince Andrew Place, Toronto Ontario M3C 2T8
Phone: 416-386-3678
Fax: 416-447-0598

Special Instructions: Interested parties are invited to submit a resume and cover letter by February 8, 2008 to:

Paula Hunter
Human Resources Consultant
Pearson Canada
26 Prince Andrew Place
Don Mills, Ontario, M3C 2T8
Fax: (416) 447-0598
paula dot hunter at pearsoncanada dot com

PublishersMarketplace Job #4781


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