Gale Winskill (Winskill Editorial)

Advanced Professional Member
Location Winskill Editorial, 90 Main Street, ABERDOUR KY3 0UH
Telephone 01383 860 001
Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Mobile 0790 523 9781
LinkedIn Gale Winskill

Does your text need some professional TLC to get it ready for publication, by either self-publishing or traditional means?

Would your writing benefit from some guidance to improve its clarity and/or textual fluidity? Does your plot require a little honing? Are your characters in need of direction? Does your business text stand out for the right reasons? Are your message and structure clear?

Look no further! Whatever the problem, I can help you present your work to its best advantage, for your chosen audience.

As a trained editor, an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute for Editing and Proofreading (CIEP), I have over 25 years of experience across fiction, children’s fiction, non-fiction and other media, and offer a variety of services to solve your textual stumbling blocks. I also teach various fiction courses and mentor editors and authors.

Winskill, from Old Norse, means ‘shelter from the wind’. Although Winskill Editorial cannot shield you from the elements, I offer various editorial services to protect you from the potential pitfalls and idiosyncrasies of the English language, and enable your work to achieve its full potential.

Take a look at my website ( for more details, or drop me an email. All questions and projects considered.

Subjects, Services and Success

For all work, my level of input is entirely up to you and based on what you feel your text requires.

Fiction (adult, children's, YA):

  • Structural/developmental editing: looks at the fundamental aspects of a book – characterisation, narrative flow, pace, plot structure, tension, drama, and so on – and offers advice on how to improve and/or deal with any issues within the text.
  • Copy-/line-editing: checks everything from punctuation, grammar, spelling and consistency to basic plot progression and characterisation.
  • Critiques: an impartial, constructive overview of your text, highlighting areas for improvement and suggesting ways to address any problems. For whole manuscript or opening chapters.
  • Proofreading: makes sure that your text is free from punctuation, spelling, grammar or consistency errors.
  • Awards. Novels that I have edited include: winner of Best Indie Book Awards (horror category); winner of the First Novel (>80,000 words category), Next Generation Indie Book Awards; two winners of the Scottish Children’s Book Awards, and one shortlisted title; three winners of the Kelpies Prize; and two nominations for the Branford Boase Award.
  • Genres: mystery, thrillers, fantasy, adventure, literary, horror, historical, romance, crime, and others. Please ask for further details.


  • Non-fiction: Copy-/line-editing and proofreading services as above, but more detailed editing also checks content, flow, references, adherence to specific guidelines and illustrations.
  • Subjects: memoir, biography, philosophy, architecture, classics, history, art, design, memoir, cookery, travel, education, works in translation and many other subject areas. Please ask for further details.
  • Other: Children's picture books, academic journal articles, dissertations, theses, non-native English and blog texts.

Professional Qualifications and Experience

  • Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute for Editing and Proofreading (CIEP).
  • Tutor, HarperCollins Author Academy, Writing Fiction stream. 
  • Proofreading mentor for the CIEP.
  • Tutor on CIEP's Introduction to Fiction Editing online course.
  • Project-managed and contributed to the CIEP’s Introduction to Fiction Editing online course.
  • Partner, Page Turner Awards
  • I have written and presented various training courses, workshops and seminars on fiction editing, writing fiction and other subjects (see below).
  • Nearly 25 years’ experience, both in-house and freelance, in the UK and Hong Kong.
  • Ex-director of Publishing Scotland (2012–2014).
  • Proofread, edited, project-managed and critiqued a wide variety of books, for both independent writers and traditional publishing houses, including authors such as JK Rowling, Nicola Morgan, Dr Phil Hammond, and John Humphreys.


  • Efficient Editing: Strategies and Tactics, CIEP
  • On-screen Editing 1 & 2, CIEP
  • Copy-Editing, Publishing Training Centre, London
  • Training for Trainers, CIEP
  • Brush up your Grammar, CIEP
  • Going freelance and staying there, CIEP
  • CIEP North-East Mini-Conference, Newcastle, 2019
  • CIEP Glasgow and Edinburgh Local Groups event, Linlithgow, 2018
  • CIEP Regional Mini Conference, Edinburgh, 2017
  • CIEP Annual conferences, 2010, 2014 & 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020
  • CIEP and Society of Indexers (SI), Joint conference, 2015
  • CIEP Glasgow Group and North East Scotland Group, 2014. Professional Development Day
  • Publishing Scotland. Annual Conferences, 2010, 2011 & 2013
  • Annual Kingston Publishing Conference, 2010
  • MA (Hons) English Literature and Italian

Speaking/Training Engagements and other Professional Activity

  • HarperCollins Author Academy, Tutor, Writing Fiction, 6-week course. 
  • London Book Fair, Insights Seminar Programme. 2019. Seminar, co-presented with Margaret Hunter: Authors Are Our Business: The Collaborative Relationship between Editor and Author.
  • SfEP Edinburgh Group, 2019, Talk: Editing Fiction.
  • Writers' Neuk, 2019. Talk on general editing matters.
  • SfEP Annual Conference 2018, Lightning Talk: Who dares wings.
  • Workshop leader: SfEP, Annual Conference, 2016. Live Editing Session (fiction).
  • Wrote and presented one-day, pre-conference training course: SfEP and Society of Indexers (SI), Joint Annual Conference, 2015. Introduction to Fiction Editing.
  • Speaker:  SfEP, Annual Conference, 2014: workshop, An Introduction to Editing Fiction: Mind over Matter; and seminar, How we got started (with John Firth and Richard Hutchinson).
  • Speaker: SfEP, Glasgow Group and North East Scotland Group, Edinburgh, 2014. Professional Development Day.
  • Advisor/consultant (voluntary): SafeSpace, 2013–2014, charity fundraising write-athon (charity patron, the late Iain Banks). 
  • Seminar: Annual Kingston Publishing Conference, Kingston University, London. 2010: ‘How do you know if it’s any good? Remaining objective about your work; recruiting objective feedback, working with editors. Why this essential not optional’.
  • Chapter 9. ‘How do you know if it's any good?’ with Gale Winskill. In: The Naked Author: A Guide to Self-publishing, Alison Baverstock (Bloomsbury, 2011), pp. 115–129.
  • For further details on publications and blogs, please see my website (


Gale is such a joy to work with, and I always look forward to giving her one of our manuscripts. When I give Gale one of our books I know it’s in good hands and together we have had a couple of chart-hitters at HarperCollins!

What I most appreciate about Gale’s approach to editing is her ability to ask the questions on a manuscript that most editors and proofreaders will not ask. She has an incredible eye for detail when it comes to the context and presentation of a written piece of work, but most importantly she has the audience in mind and can cross over well from a fiction work and then tackle a non-fiction one just as easily.

I really value Gale’s insight when it comes to the nuances of language and style, and her incredible and joyful sense of humour.

Rose Sandy, Affiliate Publisher, Harper Inspire, HarperCollins UK

Gale's focus and accuracy are outstanding. Her contribution to our publication provided the professional polish we sought and more. Her patient and painstaking proofread helped us to publish a complex, fully illustrated, high-quality book with complete confidence. The result speaks for itself.

Alan Boyle, Leannta Associates

I was immediately impressed with her warm and positive disposition, which she combines with complete pragmatism about the publishing industry and obviously long experience as an editor and project manager … And I find myself quoting what she said about the editorial process still.

Dr Alison Baverstock, Course Leader, MA Publishing, Kingston University, and author

She is very personable, putting you at your ease: an important point in building a working relationship between author and editor. She is a highly skilled communicator, getting her points over objectively and succinctly.

Jenny Hogan, Writers’ Neuk

The help and advice provided by Gale Winskill, of Winskill Editorial, were invaluable. In many places the changes she suggested were small but they improved my book dramatically and in ways I could never have done on my own.

Colin M. Drysdale, independent, prize-winning author

Gale is an excellent editor who has proven that she can spot a potential best-seller. She has a good eye for detail and offers sound advice to her authors.

Lucy Juckes, literary agent

For prospective fiction writers, Gale combines an unerring eye for grammatical detail with the ability to offer perceptive critiques covering plot, structure, characters, pacing and all the other vital elements. She is also quick to respond, clear in the way she communicates and very tolerant of follow-up questions.

Stephen Gardner, author

Gale worked on two of my books, The Storytelling Entrepreneur and Merchandise for Authors, while I was Writer in Residence for the British Library. I had very tight deadlines which Gale was great about meeting and I really valued her feedback and professional eye on my work. Her insight allowed me to think more clearly about how the books were structured and improved my writing overall. I always recommend Gale when I run creative writing workshops for other writers.

Melissa Addey, author (

I was very fortunate to find Gale having used numerous copy-editors in the past. I didn't expect her to adapt so well to the challenging timescale, my awkward writing style and the unusual content of the text. She understood precisely what was required from the onset, her communication not just excellent but empowering throughout. She made a joy of what is what is, normally, a very stressful experience for me. I think it's down to her vast experience, but where other copy-editors struggle, Gale, excels.

Anton FitzSimons, author

Gale is the ally you need when writing a book. Her style is friendly, her customer service is excellent and her work is highly professional. I trust and value her opinion because she spends the time to get right into your manuscript and then gives well-formed, clear, useful, direct, realistic feedback, which she delivers in a kind, honest but positive way – just what is needed. Her aim is to make your work the best it can be. It is a pleasure working with her and I would l recommend her strongly.

JB Holman, author