Editor and writer | Social justice and social policy | NGOs, academics and more

Professional Member
Location Cardiff, UK
Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Website HannahAustin.co.uk
LinkedIn Hannah Austin


I offer four levels of service:

  • Substantive/developmental editing (including rewriting and restructuring);
  • Copy-editing;
  • Proofreading; and
  • Writing.

You can find out more about all of these on the Services page of my website. If you're not sure which one is right for you, don't worry - just get in touch and we'll figure it out!

Who I work with

The following are my main client groups, although I also work with authors and businesses. For examples of my editorial work with all of these clients, check out my Editing and Proofreading Portfolio.


Prior to becoming a full-time editorial professional, I worked in policy, research and communications roles within the voluntary sector. I’m passionate about applying this experience to my editorial work with nonprofits – from small local charities to international NGOs. I'll be an extra safe pair of hands, allowing you to concentrate on the bigger picture of your vital work. Find out more about how I can help you here.

I've worked with nonprofits including:

• Abortion Support Network • Amnesty International • ARTICLE 19 • Authors' Licensing and Collection Society • Centre for Public Scrutiny • Changing Markets Foundation • Chatham House • Defence for Children International • End Violence Against Women Coalition • Oxfam • Results UK • Small Arms Survey • The FrameWorks Institute • Transparency UK • Welsh Women's Aid • Working Families • Yorkshire Trans Support Network 


I love working with academics to increase the reach and impact of their research. From translating your findings into jargon-free, audience-appropriate language (whether your target readership is the general public or busy policymakers) to copy-editing your journal article or proofreading your funding bid, let me take the pressure off. Find out more about how I can help you here.

I've worked with academics from institutions including:

• Birmingham University • Cardiff University • Laurentian University (Canada) • London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) • University of Bristol • University of Cambridge • University of Münster (Germany) • University of Oxford • University of Strathclyde • University of Sunderland • University of Warwick


I know how overwhelming writing a thesis or dissertation can be. Sometimes you’re just too familiar with your work to notice mistakes. That’s where I can help. I proofread essays, theses and dissertations for PhD and Master’s students to make sure they're as good as they can possibly be before submission, including for students with English as a second language (ESL). Find out more about how I can help you here


Editing and proofreading for publishers has always been a cornerstone of my editorial business. Before going freelance, I cut my teeth in-house at the University of Wales Press, where I learned the ropes and gained valuable understanding of the busy publishing world. Find out more about how I can help you here

I've worked with publishers including:

• Cambridge University Press • Edward Elgar Publishing • Oxford University Press • New Internationalist • Policy Press • Routledge (Taylor & Francis) Red Press • The Guardian • University of Bristol Press • University of Chicago Press


I specialise in the subjects of social policy, social sciences and social justice.

The following are particular subject specialisms:

  • Austerity and welfare reform in the UK and Europe
  • Capitalism and neoliberalism
  • Charities, nonprofits and NGOs
  • Civil society, social movements and social change
  • Critical and cultural theory
  • Critical psychiatry
  • Devolution in the UK (particularly the Welsh context)
  • Equalities in theory, law, policy and practice
  • Feminism and gender studies
  • Globalisation
  • Human rights in theory, law, policy and practice
  • LGBTQI+ issues
  • Memoir and creative nonfiction
  • Policy studies
  • Politics and government
  • Qualitative research methods and research ethics
  • ‘Race’ and postcolonial studies
  • Sexualities and queer theory
  • Social class, poverty and inequality
  • Social justice
  • Social policy
  • Sociology
  • Violence against women and children
  • Women’s studies and history


I’m an eloquent, persuasive and versatile writer, and I love helping organisations and individuals to communicate complex messages clearly and elegantly. Here are a few examples of my writing:

Policy and research reports

  • Annual report for the international human rights organisation ARTICLE 19, for which I interviewed employees in every continent (except Antarctica!) and sourced all images, as well as writing the report itself.
  • Policy report for a coalition of nonprofits, which I wrote as part of a successful campaign for the introduction of a violence against women law in Wales.
  • Executive summary of a report into children, gender and sexuality, in which I translated a professor’s research findings into clear messages for policymakers.

Features and think pieces

Press releases and blogs

  • One of my press releases led to this coverage for International Women’s Day.
  • I wrote this piece for The Guardian on the same issue.

Campaign materials

Creative writing

  • My creative nonfiction has been published in respected literary journals in the UK and US, including MslexiaThe Mechanics’ Institute ReviewHippocampusWasafiriNew Welsh ReviewJournal of Compressed Creative ArtsThe Real StoryThe Moth and Aesthetica.
  • I have won the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize and been placed in the Center for Women Writers’ International Literary Awards, the Fish Short Memoir Prize, the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award and the New Welsh Writing Awards, as well as being awarded competitive grants (e.g. Arts Council).
  • I am represented by the literary agent David Godwin (who also represents Arundhati Roy and Lucy Ellmann), and am currently working on my first book.

Qualifications and training


  • 2014: Awarded a full ESRC scholarship for a PhD in Social Policy at the University of Bristol.
  • 2014: MSc in Gender Studies (Research Methods), University of Leeds. Pass with Distinction. Awarded the School Excellence Prize for the School of Sociology and Social Policy.
  • 2006: BA English Literature and Cultural Criticism, Cardiff University, 2:1.


  • I received my initial training (2007) in copy-editing and proofreading with UK industry leaders, the Publishing Training Centre.
  • Working with Non-Publishers, Chartered Institute of Editors and Proofreaders (CIEP) (then the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP)), 2017
  • Advanced Editing with Word (SfEP), 2016
  • I am a Professional Member of the CIEP, which sets the standards for the profession in the UK.


‘I am so impressed by your professionalism, and attention to detail, creativity and staying power that I want to say a big thank you. How you managed to tame this unwieldy beast and get to grips with our opaque documentation and various perspectives on the world of freedom of expression, leaves me deeply impressed. Thank you for taking it all on with such good humour and attention to what matters.’

Sara Wilbourne, Director of Communications, ARTICLE 19

‘Excellent work. Really pleased with it. You’ve clearly put in a significant amount of heavy work; at short notice and over the weekend too. Your comments were really useful in tidying up those parts of the text where we’d let some woolly language slip in.’

Ed Hammond, Director, Centre for Public Scrutiny (for editing the report of an inquiry into Kensington & Chelsea Council following the Grenfell Tower fire)

‘I asked Hannah to proofread a scientific research report written by US authors. She did a great job on a very fast timeline and was extremely professional throughout. She corrected for grammar, readability, style and more; applied British style and usage throughout; and sent us back a clean, highly polished draft. We’re grateful for her help and will contact her again in the future.’


‘We’ve been working with Hannah for a while now, and we always turn to her first when we have a report that needs proofing for a UK client.’

Allison Stevens, Senior Writer and Editor, The FrameWorks Institute

‘Hannah Austin worked with us on our academic monograph and proved an exemplary copy editor. As well as an excellent scholarly understanding, Hannah brings good humour and a scrupulous eye for detail.  We recommend her highly.’

Dr Michael Higgins (University of Strathclyde) and Dr Angela Smith (University of Sunderland)

‘Thank you so much for a superb job and for providing clear options and guidance. I will certainly be happy to recommend you to colleagues!’

Catherine Blampied, Policy Advocacy Officer, RESULTS UK

‘Thank you very much for your wonderful, detailed notes and the obvious time and care you have taken with this edit. I so appreciate your work and I hope the author will too.’

Jess Mitchell, Production Editor, Policy Press

‘Hannah reviewed the language and grammar of my article ‘Becoming public: tactical innovation in the Beijing anti-domestic violence movement‘, which has been published online first with VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations in the summer of 2015. I can strongly recommend working with her: she is very professional in her correspondence and always sticks to previously made agreements, including deadlines. She had a compelling way in letting me know how to turn sentences around so that they definitely sound better in English.’

Stephanie Bräuer, Research Associate, University of Münster

‘I needed someone to proofread my 80,000-word PhD dissertation, and a friend of mine recommended Hannah. I passed my viva with no corrections, which I think speaks volumes for the quality of Hannah’s work! She was always friendly, professional and quick to answer my emails. I would definitely recommend Hannah to other PhD students.’

[Dr!] K.D., PhD Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds

‘Hannah is reliable and an excellent communicator. She delivers work on time and to a very high standard. You couldn’t find a better copyeditor or proofreader anywhere!’

Deborah Withers, Founder, Hammer On Press

‘Hannah has a sharp grasp of policy, political and practice issues and is able to communicate her analyses effectively and with impact. Her work provides the basis for action and progress – what more can colleagues ask for?

Shan Ashton, Head of School for Lifelong Learning, Bangor University and Wales Violence Against Women Action Group

‘Hannah proofread my PhD thesis in Political Science and I am highly satisfied with her professional working style and the quality of the final outcome. My colleague recommended Hannah to me and now, after my cooperation with Hannah, I would wholeheartedly recommend her to anybody who is looking for a highly efficient and professional proofreader or editor. Vielen Dank und immer wieder!'

Anna Shpakovskaya, PhD Fellow, Duisburg-Essen University

‘We really appreciate the thorough copy-editing job you’ve done on this report. I’ve just finished going through your comments and your suggestions have been really helpful.’

Alice Delemare, Campaigns Adviser, Changing Markets Foundation

‘Having contacted 5 proof readers from the same site, Hannah was one of the first to respond and very professional from the start. Absolutely loved her work and she is incredibly efficient and I received all my work on time. Will definitely be recommending Hannah to my friends.’

Karlene Wong, MA Social Work, University of Greenwich

‘Hannah’s editorial input at the University of Wales Press during gestation of the Encyclopaedia of Wales was enthusiastic, intelligent and always of the highest standard – UWP is fortunate in being able to continue to rely on Hannah’s editorial and proof-reading skills, and hopes to maintain its relation into the future.'

Dafydd Jones, Editor, University of Wales Press