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

Your Writing Mentor Helen Francis

Learn how to perfect your prose with an experienced editor, literary agent and creative writing tutor.

Helen Francis has worked in publishing for twenty years. She was a fiction editor at Faber and Faber for eight years, where she was also in charge of the audio book list; she was a fiction editor at Head of Zeus for two. She also ran the classics list at Vintage, Penguin Random House, and was a freelance commissioning editor for Arcadia Books.

She has worked at literary agencies Abner Stein and MMB Creative, and has also worked as an international book scout advising foreign publishers on which English-language books they should translate and publish in their own territories; this was based in both Barcelona and the UK.

She has taught creative writing and editing to undergraduates at Bath Spa University, and is currently a tutor on the Jericho Writer’s Ultimate Novel Writing Course. She currently combines her role as a tutor with freelance editing and author mentoring.

Authors she’s edited and published include Victor Lodato, Joe Thomas, Sophie Hardach, Helen FitzGerald and Michelle Paver.

Specialises in: Contemporary, literary, crime/thriller/action, women’s fiction, comic/satire, historical fiction, short stories/novellas and some non-fiction (including memoirs, autobiographies and subject-led non-fiction).

Why we love Helen

Helen is a long-standing editor and Ultimate Novel Writing Course tutor with bags of publishing experience to help perfect your manuscript. Her credentials speak for themselves!

What Helen says about Mentoring

I love working with writers to improve their prose, regardless of genre. I get a huge amount of satisfaction from helping with the entirety of the writing process – from planning things out at the very beginning, to the actual choice of words on the page as the writing is in progress, to ‘bigger picture’ edits and helping with advice about next steps within the industry; I enjoy offering advice on each stage in turn.

I enjoy face-to-face discussions about writing, and I’d like to think I’m encouraging and nurturing, and good at honing in on exactly what needs to be improved – I’m not afraid to be tough with the red pencil when a chapter needs it.

Whilst working in-house at various London publishing companies as a fiction editor, the part of the process I enjoyed the most was working directly with writers on their texts – I get a huge amount of satisfaction from the back-and-forth exchange of ideas between writer and editor, which often feels like an extension of the creative process. Mentoring is an important step on the long journey towards publication; I relish in the challenge of it. 


Helen was a great tutor, supportive, providing her own ideas and listening to my own. We worked really well together and she understood what I wanted for my book. Her editing was fab, picking out parts I hadn’t even noticed and providing great support with how to resolve the issues. I would highly recommend her for your manuscript if you’d like it to be at a publishable level. The novel we worked on together has now had four full requests from agents!

Verity Hicks

Ultimate Novel Writing Course Student 2020/21
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