Freelance writer and editor with more than eight years' experience working with authors, publishers, businesses, academics and the third sector.
Every writing and editing job is unique. Every author has their own style, and every business has its objectives. The only constant is that every piece of writing needs deserves to be fine-tuned with care.
Along with individual authors and small businesses, Grand Apostrophe has worked with some of the most renowned publishers of academic books, literary nonfiction, textbooks and teaching resources. These include UNESCO, Oxford University Press and HarperCollins. Why not join them?
I’ve worked with writers at all stages of their careers and from all over the world. I’ve learnt that, like their authors, no two manuscripts are the same – some of them just need a little extra help.
This is especially true in my specialism, non-fiction writing. Maybe you’ve got your ideas out, but you need help getting them in the right order. Perhaps your publisher has asked for substantive changes. You could be a first-time author, or writing in English as an additional language.
My work as a copy-editor ensures audiences are not distracted by errors and inconsistencies, building trust and confidence in the things you have to say.
I can efficiently reduce word counts without altering tone, distorting meaning, oversimplifying the message or diluting your corporate or authorial voice. After all, your writing should read like it was written by you.
Proofreading is the last line of defence between your project and the printing press (or its online equivalent), and its purpose is threefold:
- To provide a second pair of eyes: editorial work is a human process (and always will be), so proofreaders are there to catch anything the copy-editor may have missed.
- To eliminate errors that might have been introduced to the text since editing: copy can easily be compromised by processes like typesetting and design.
- To add the finishing touches: checking pagination, cross-referencing and all the other things that can’t be done until the text has made it onto the pages!
If you’re a student working on an essay, dissertation or thesis, I can help. Most universities now recognise that students sometimes need editorial assistance with their written work, but with deadlines looming, you need someone who comes recommended.
House style and tone of voice
I help businesses develop their own house styles and tone of voice guidelines. These documents help define your brand’s identity and make your message clearer and easier to understand.
What’s more, developing a house style will help your business save time and money, as copywriters and contributors can learn to write in your style from day 1.
Colin has worked with us on several projects over the last 2-3 years, from researching and writing copy on specific topics, to being our go-to proofreader for major publications.
Most recently he has revised and expanded our tone of voice guidelines and style guide, and delivered training sessions and resources to our communications and marketing staff introducing the new versions to people.
He is without fail diligent, thorough, thoughtful, and good humoured. An absolute pleasure to work with and one of our best critical friends.
Nick Southall, Campaign Manager, University of Exeter
Colin assisted me with formatting my PhD thesis draft after the final inclusions that I made. He was spot on with the timescales and correspondence. I would most definitely recommend him to other students.
Monalisa Fathima, PhD candidate, Leeds Beckett University
I needed some help with the copy for my photography business's website. Colin responded quickly and professionally and helped me market my services in a way that would resonate with my clients.
Colin's approach was methodical and practical, providing me with options to tailor content according to my preferences, and a style sheet I can use for making tweaks in the future. I've already had an increase in inquiries and conversions, so I'm over the moon!
Lucas Cookson, Lucas Cookson Photography
I contacted Colin asking him to proofread my pilot study report on the acquisition of English language by Arab and Cypriot Greek learners. Colin worked quickly and professionally, and I was really happy with the result! Highly recommended service.
Asma al-Hawi, PhD candidate, UCLAN
I sent my thesis to Grand Apostrophe shortly before my trial defence. Colin accommodated my deadline, helped me to structure my thesis and made my writing precise and clear – without altering the meaning. He was extremely thorough and gave me useful feedback.
I would strongly recommend Colin for academic proofreading, and I would definitely seek his help again.
Samiksha Koirala, PhD candidate, University of Oslo
Colin applied his skills to an academic research paper before journal submission which resulted in publication. He was recommended to me by another academic because his work adds significant value. Colin is very professional and a pleasure to work with. Highly recommended.
Michelle Barrow, Head of Education at the Centre for Nutrition Education and Lifestyle Management (CNELM)
After working for 10 years in one company, I decided to look for something new. As English is not my native language, and I hadn’t done a job search for some time, I needed help writing a high-quality CV and cover letter that would squeeze my experience into a few paragraphs.
Colin did a great job of writing the ‘right’ sentences, just like the ones I sometimes read in album or movie reviews: while I understand every word that is written, it isn’t easy for me to create something of this quality.
Best of all – after sending my new CV to a few employers, I received positive feedback from most of them and was invited to interviews. I began a new, rewarding job just a few months after my consultation with Grand Apostrophe.
Pawel Olchowik, IT Product Developer and Scrum Master
Colin’s editorial approach is one that blends with your own: tapping into your style and working with it until the best is drawn out from the work, to the point where you can really get excited about what you have produced.
My 60,000-word thesis was rendered into a perfectly formatted piece, noting ambiguities and correcting grammatical oversights and typos. Colin is accommodating on tight timescales. He greatly supported me with my doctoral research submission, and without him I would have been lost.
Sue Truman, PhD candidate, University of East London
I needed a professional eye to look over my manuscript before submitting to a literary agent. Colin offered constructive, creative input to strengthen the text and was timely throughout the process. I would definitely work with him again.
James Bloomfield, author
I contacted Grand Apostrophe when the manuscript for my first book required copy-editing and proofreading.
Colin worked diligently to meet the brief, delivering the finished text on time, within budget and with excellent communication throughout.
I’d be very happy to work with Colin again, and to recommend him to others.
Dr Edward Wastnidge, author and lecturer in Politics and International Studies at The Open University
Colin proofread several high-profile confidential documents and was consistently accurate with his work. Colin's expertise meant we produced first class, sector wide legislation which we could be very proud of.
Tanya Tribbell, Project Coordinator, Committee of University Chairs
We have worked with Colin on many projects and have found him consistently brilliant to work with. He brings a creative approach to projects, often suggesting solutions which we would not have considered.
I would recommend Colin without hesitation to anyone looking for an expert copywriter, proofreader or editor for communications projects. He can turn his hand to anything and is flexible, approachable, good humoured and a pleasure to work with.
Becky Pratchett, Marketing Campaigns Manager, University of Exeter
We worked with Colin for an international copywriting project and the outcome was very good. Highly recommended.
Javier Coves, CEO, Prezentology