Dexter Petley – Jericho Writers
Jericho Writers
4 Acer Walk , Oxford, OX2 6EX, United Kingdom
UK: +44 (0)345 459 9560
US: +1 (646) 974 9060
Dexter Petley

Dexter Petley - Editor

Dexter is the acclaimed author of a number of novels: Little Nineveh (Polygon 1995), Joyride (Fourth Estate, 1999), White Lies (Fourth Estate 2003) and One True Void (Two Ravens Press 2008).

Dexter is an experienced editor, literary novelist, memoirist and translator.   Self-educated, he spent many years wandering Africa, Europe and America until settling in France in 1994.  He worked as a teacher in a Ugandan missionary school and as a roving reporter for the BBC World Service before publishing his first novel in 1995.  Since then, Dexter has become the acclaimed author of a number of novels, a translation, literary non-fiction and a memoir of childhood.  He is one of the founding writers on the cult website Caught By The River, contributing chapters to both their nature anthologies. He publishes regularly and is now considered to be one of our most original British nature writers. Dexter lives in a yurt in Normandy.

As a long serving editor with Jericho Writers, (since 2005) many of Dexter’s clients have achieved considerable success in finding agents and publishers.  Among them is Costa shortlisted novelist, Elisa Lodato.


"Mr. Petley offered me such outstanding direction and feedback. He gave me very helpful suggestions on writing and structure. It is really incredible how much better my manuscript is now with the revision. The editorial service is essential and invaluable. I recommend it highly, and Mr. Petley as well."

- Betsy B.

"I was very happy with the detail and depth of Dexter's assessment. He gave me some very valuable and detailed suggestions and helped open the path to my rewriting my comic book. I would happily use him again."

- David D.

"Dexter is an excellent editor and many thanks for your good judgement in selecting him for my book."

- Jim M.

"Dexter offered just the right amount of encouragement and thoughtful, well grounded criticism, with an eye toward shaping my book for the tastes of conventional publishers."

- David M.


Dexter has captivated the entire Jericho Writers team with his shrewd observations and nomadic charm for almost two decades. It is no exaggeration that we always look forward to receiving his reports, along with any updates on his latest fishing expeditions. His fantastic reports read like chapters in a novel. Structured and well presented, Dexter’s appreciation for the written word shines in everything he writes; pushing his authors to look at their work critically. Indeed, possessing a plethora of worldly knowledge and a deep respect for the craft, Dexter does not shy away from complex themes or influences. Having been a reader for the Costa Prize his expertise spans entire genres, from commercial book club to war fiction. He takes everything in his stride, turning his fastidious, but fair, eye to anything at hand – making you a better writer for it. 


I never expected to become so passionate about helping aspiring writers.  From the start, I encountered two important things which have never varied in the thousands of manuscripts I have read as an editor: one, there are some highly talented writers out there being unfairly rejected by literary agents; and two, I learn something astonishing or surprising from every writer, regardless of ability.  My approach to editorial work is as painstaking as my own writing.  For me the written word is sacred and the power of language to convey ideas or to entertain is an endangered wonder of the world (I have never watched television and do not watch films).  I therefore read every manuscript with a certain amount of awe, very slowly, word for word, hungry for that phrase or image which will change the day.  Yet when it comes to my report, you’ll find I am fair but tough, generous and encouraging but ruthless chasing flaws.  Though reading is always a joy, I like nothing better than an intense line edit, a deep clean to make the pips squeak.

Quite simply, my mission is to help you become a better writer, even if this means you facing difficult truths and me losing sleep.  The rewards speak for themselves.

Genres Dexter specialises in

Literary (Including ‘bookclub’)
Crime / Thriller / Action
Young Adult
Short Stories & novellas
Other Narrative Non-fiction
Subject-led Non-fiction

Dexter's published books

Little Nineveh

Little Nineveh



Love Madness Fishing

Love Madness Fishing

One True Void

One True Void

Client successes

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