Welcome to Cornerstones U.S.! I am the Managing Editor, and am thrilled that you have found us. Formerly, I was an agent at Writers House for almost 25 years, and am now bringing my 30 years of publishing and agenting experience to our authors. We are proud to be part of the Cornerstones family, the long-standing No. 1 literary consultancy in the UK. Cornerstones is bringing its unique and extensive range of editorial services to the American corner of the world. Every character has an origin story, and while we originally hail from the U.K., the Cornerstones U.S. team is an outstanding group of experienced home-based story editors, with a sharp knowledge of what American agents and publishers are looking for.
We are the writer’s friend, and are here to help writers work to the best of their creativity and energy. Our principles are rooted in respect for the remarkable creativity it takes to write a book—any book, about any story, told in any voice. Cornerstones U.S. looks at every client personally and individually, customizing our editorial packages for each particular project. We bring insight, expertise, and above all, our creative passion to each and every story.
We assess every submission, and review your work to ensure that you are at the right stage to work productively with an editor. Whether you are ready for a detailed editorial letter, a full line edit, or workshopping, we will match you with the right service and editor. Cornerstones’ services are designed to give every writer the tailored editorial guidance they need to move their projects forward. We aim to provide our writers with powerful editorial tools that will help them as they continue to work on their writing. Cornerstones works at the speed of writing culture—always bringing up-to-the-minute editorial expertise and knowledge to every project we edit, workshop, and polish.
I am here as an added resource to our clients and am always available to answer your questions, and help you figure out what your best next steps should be!
Managing Editor, Cornerstones U.S.
New York City
Helen Corner-Bryant spent a number of years in editorial at Penguin before setting up Cornerstones Literary Consultancy in 1998. Cornerstones is known for teaching self-editing techniques, providing feedback, scouting for agents and launching writers. In 2016, she opened Cornerstones US, creating the world’s first transatlantic literary consultancy. Helen is a guest lecturer at leading universities including UCL Centre for Publishing and the Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford. She loves helping authors get a step closer towards achieving their dreams, whether that’s to become a better writer, acquire an agent, get published, or hit the bestseller list.
Sarah Conkerton graduated from the University of Oxford in 2019, where she studied Classics ab initio. She then interned at Murdoch Books within the Publicity and Marketing departments, and at the boutique literary agency Johnson & Alcock, before joining The Blair Partnership as their Agency Assistant in March 2020. Sarah joined the Cornerstones team in September 2021 as Assistant Editor. Her role includes managing author/client relations and assisting in assessing submissions, proofreading, and copyediting editorial reports. As a reader, Sarah is particularly a fan of fantasy, magical realism and historical fiction, but enjoys anything with a rich story and memorable characters.
Sarah Rouse graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. She has prior experience as a proofreader and copyeditor, and completed internships at OUP and Palgrave Macmillan during her time at university. Sarah joined the Cornerstones team in September 2017 as the editorial assistant, before becoming the Assistant Editor in March, and the Desk Editor in October 2018. Her role involves assessing submissions, liaising with editors, authors, and agents, sourcing editorial talent, and overseeing the development of projects, in addition to scouting. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys reading literary and experimental fiction, poetry, noir, dark/urban YA, and suspense narratives.
Kate Padiachy graduated from Warwick University in 2019, where she read American History and Literature. Her time as a bookseller at George Bayntun, an antique bookshop and bindery in Bath, confirmed her desire to stay in the world of publishing, and she joined the Cornerstones team as an intern in July 2021 before becoming an editorial assistant in September. Her role includes managing author/client relations, assisting in assessing submissions, and proofreading and copyediting editorial reports. Outside of work she can often be found with her nose in a book, and her favourite writers include Elizabeth Strout, Sandra Cisneros, Deborah Levy, and Frank O’Hara.