|Location||Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, UK|
|Mobile||+44 7813 266 023|
|Hazel Bird, Wordstitch|
OUT OF OFFICE
*** I am out of the office until February 2024. However, I'd love to hear from you about potential collaborations and will get back to you as soon as possible when I return! ***
Welcome! I offer editorial services that empower non-profits, charities, businesses and authors to confidently share their expertise and impact. I’m an artsy spreadsheetoholic who enjoys using a structured approach as a basis for nuanced, responsive editing. I’ve been described as ‘superhuman’ and a ‘secret weapon’, but until Tony Stark comes calling I’m dedicating my superpowers to text-based endeavours.
Why work with me?
- Editing that adapts to your needs
From a final fresh pair of eyes to a deep edit for structure and flow, with options for comprehensive referencing advice and editorial project management
- 14+ years of sound judgement
Full-time freelance since 2009, offering you expertise gleaned from hundreds of publications across numerous topics and areas
- Trusted editorial partner
Consistently excellent feedback and many long-term collaborations resulting in productive synergies, shared learning and mutual growth
What can I offer you?
A bespoke editorial service that sees the big-picture issues while pinpointing every detail. With around 15 years’ experience in publishing, I provide a steady hand and broad expertise on editorial projects ranging from articles, reports and books to multi-million-word encyclopedias.
Who do I work with?
Wordstitch is a small editorial business with big perspectives. I work globally with charities and non-profits, businesses, publishers and non-fiction authors to help them deliver some of their most prestigious publications.
What do I work on?
All things non-fiction, including reports, applications and assessments, books, educational materials, articles, websites, encyclopedias and catalogues. Specialist topics include charities, peace processes, digital and technology, business and leadership, media and culture, futures, history and the social sciences, but a broad bank of experience means I can turn my hand to most subjects. I get particularly excited about in-depth edits and large, complex projects where I can really add value. Read more below about my specialisms, clients and experience.
Services for charities and non-profits
Publications by charities and non-profits
Inform, engage and motivate your audience while demonstrating accountability via accurate and polished copy. Whatever you call your audience – customers, beneficiaries, users, stakeholders, members – I can help you reach out to them in a way that is consistent with your vision, mission and voice.
Publications about charities and non-profits
Convey your expert knowledge of charities and non-profits, helping to build a more robust and impactful sector. From governance to peace processes and from fundraising to finance, I can help you to broadcast your knowledge of how the charity and non-profit sector works.
Charity and non-profit editing and proofreading clients (selected)
- Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust
- BBC Bitesize
- Behavioural Insights Team
- DSC – Directory of Social Change
- Dubai Future Foundation
- Flemish Peace Institute
- Inclusive Peace
- Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
- Quakers in Britain
- Royal Osteoporosis Society
- SIPRI – Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
- University of Gloucestershire
- Individual authors
Specialist focus: Peace processes and peace research
Whether you’ve conducted some peace research, are publishing a policy paper or advisory note, have a factsheet to share, or are issuing some other form of writing on peace processes or peace research, I can help to ensure it is clear, user-friendly, thoroughly polished and meticulously referenced. I can knit together writing from various authors, including those for whom English is not a first language. And I can work to ensure your terminology and tone guidance is carefully implemented, respecting the need for neutrality and sensitivity when describing complex realities.
Specialist focus: Charity operations and governance
With a broad background editing and proofreading publications about all aspects of running a charity – from grant-making to legacy fundraising and from impact assessment to charity investing – I can work with you to hone your text to reach your readership in the most effective way possible. Whether your publication contains heavy technical detail or lays out a bold new idea – or both – I can offer you a rigorous editorial service solidly grounded in the unique charity landscape.
Find out more about my charity and non-profit editorial services.
Services for businesses and on digital topics
Balance functionality and flair to effectively communicate your expertise or big idea – and capture your reader’s imagination
Some business and digital editorial projects are all about technical precision and standardisation. In others, the focus is more on how a brand or message can capture the reader’s imagination. Whatever the case for your project, I can help to ensure your writing is accurate, accessible and appropriate for your target audience.
Business and digital editing and proofreading clients (selected)
- BBC Bitesize (Business Studies)
- BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
- Behavioural Insights Team
- Dubai Future Foundation
- LID Business Media
- Omnichannel Institute
- Wiley Blackwell
- Independent authors
Specialist focus: Futures
Futures research and reporting may cover diverse topics, but each publication should usually be an integrated whole. I can work flexibly across multiple topics and areas, helping to ensure there is a common thread and tone running through your publication. My services are tailored to your requirements, whether you’re looking for restructuring or a peace-of-mind final check and polish. And, building on over a decade of academic editing, I can provide comprehensive support with referencing and fact checking, to help cement your publication’s authority.
Specialist focus: Software and data management
Whether you’re publishing a report on an industry trend or something more technical, I can help to ensure your publication is geared towards your intended audience and their level of expertise. I can blend the writing of multiple authors if needed, ensuring consistency and a logical flow from start to finish. While I’m no expert, I’ve dabbled extensively in database design and coding. As such, you can be confident I will understand and respect the integrity of your code excerpts and your use of specialist terminology.
Services for complex editorial projects
Don’t compromise: control the big picture and the details on multi-author, data-heavy or highly illustrated editorial projects
With almost 15 years’ experience editing and project managing multi-million-word publications with up to 1,000 authors, many hundreds of illustrations, and both print and digital components, I can help you keep control of your processes and guide your project to a tidy and timely conclusion
Clients for complex editorial projects (selected)
- BBC Bitesize
- Directory of Social Change
- LID Business Media
- Oxford University Press
- Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
- Wiley Blackwell
Specialist focus: Highly illustrated publications
In some projects – such as in art history – the illustrations, maps and other visuals are much more than added extras: they are a major feature that draws readers to your publication. But tracking hundreds of images through the editorial process can be daunting, especially if they need to undergo one or more rounds of revision. I can work to keep your assets organised, track revisions and verify that everything ends up in its proper place. And I can do the detailed work required to keep the main text, the captions, the copyright credits and the assets themselves in harmony.
Specialist focus: Multi-contributor publications
Whether your publication has a dozen, a hundred or a thousand contributors, I can help you to maintain control. With experience managing and editing publications with up to 1,100 contributors, I understand the challenges these projects raise and how to mitigate them. Whether you need someone to coordinate with authors and suppliers, track large quantities of data, develop a robust style guide or handle the collation of corrections from multiple sources, I can drive progress with tenacity, balancing the big picture with the all-important details.
I offer five core editorial service types:
- Full Edit: Optimise your text for your audience with comprehensive enhancements to flow, clarity and consistency
- Final Eyes: Publish with confidence, knowing your text has been thoroughly checked for errors, consistency and layout
- Referencing Check-Up: Convey your authority and demonstrate your evidence base with meticulously constructed and verified referencing
- Editorial Report: Get a comprehensive assessment and report with suggestions on how to take your manuscript forward
- Project Management: Hand over to a PRINCE2® Practitioner editorial manager who will strategise and problem-solve on your behalf
Learn more about my services, including how we might work together (example workflow) and how to request a sample edit.
- Research reports, impact reports, policy papers, white papers
- Annual report and accounts
- Applications and assessments (e.g. grant applications)
- Client/beneficiary/user materials
- Member magazines and newsletters
- Major reference works (MRWs)
- Catalogues raisonnés
- Web and marketing copy
- General correspondence
Full list of specialisms
Technical and professions
- Business and leadership
- Charity operations, governance and fundraising
- Peace processes and peace research
- Resources and transit
- Software and data management
Humanities and lifestyle
- Art history
- Health and fitness
- Media, culture and communication
- Mountaineering and expeditions
Editorial service: Full Edit
Title: $Hello FirstName: Profiting from Personalization
Client: Rasmus Houlind, founder of the Omnichannel Institute and CXO at Agillic
Project details: In 2023, Rasmus engaged me to carry out a comprehensive edit of his upcoming co-authored book on personalisation in marketing, cleverly titled $Hello FirstName.
Download the full case study to read about my collaboration with Rasmus.
Qualifications and training
- Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) since 2011
- PRINCE2® Practitioner since 2021
- BA with First-Class Honours in English Literature from Durham University, UK, 2005
- Advanced Copy-Editing (Publishing Training Centre)
- Basic Proofreading (Publishing Training Centre)
- Introduction to Web Editorial Skills (CIEP)
- On-Screen Editing 2 (CIEP)
- Proofreading Problems (CIEP)
- Working with XML (Publishing Training Centre)
Other training (selected)
- SfEP and CIEP conferences (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2022)
- ChatGPT for Editors: Leveraging AI to Transform Your Workflow and Upgrade Your Efficiency (ACES)
- Copyright for Editorial Professionals (CIEP)
- Developing a Quality Editorial Process End-to-End (ACES)
- Editing in a Multilingual World (ACES)
- Efficient Editing: Strategies and Tactics (CIEP)
- Engaged Style Guides: Co-creating Standards with Your Community (ACES)
- Indexing Workshop for Editors and Proofreaders (Society of Indexers)
Skills and expertise
- Copyediting, developmental editing and proofreading of non-fiction
- Editorial project management
- Complex and multi-contributor publications
- Microsoft Word’s styles, templates and macros
- Style guides including AP, APA, Chicago/CMOS, Hart’s and MLA – or following house style or author style
- Style sheets, including creation from scratch for complex multi-editor projects
- UK and US English
- InDesign (proofreading only)
- XML, HTML and CSS
- Databases and spreadsheets
- Highly illustrated publications
- Transcription of historical documents (English only)
- Full-time freelance since 2009
- 2007–2009: in-house project manager at Elsevier, handling major reference works
- 2005–2007: senior children’s bookseller at Ottakar's
- Regular writer for the CIEP, including as author of its fact sheet on scope creep
Once again you have done the impossible!
production editor, Wiley Blackwell
Thank you for the extremely detailed work you do on our reports. You not only make the text grammatically correct but you also improve the quality of the report with your thorough comments and questions for the authors. Also the check of the endnotes is very thorough and improves our work. We highly appreciate the commitment you reflect by sending queries during the editing process so that you can apply decisions to the entire text, and your effort to accommodate our challenging deadlines.
Margarida Ferro, Office Manager, Flemish Peace Institute
A full-length handbook, an in-depth report or a stubbornly difficult chapter – Hazel approaches each and every project with equal amounts of care and attention to detail that is second to none. She has been our trusted copy-editor for a number of years now, and we couldn’t hope for a better advisor on all things editorial. Not only that, but she is also an absolute pleasure to work with!
John Martin, Publisher, and Gabi Zagnojute, Editorial Manager, Directory of Social Change
Hazel has worked on some of our biggest and most difficult manuscripts. She negotiates their complexities with clear-sightedness, patience and diplomacy, and the authors are always delighted with the results. I feel complete confidence in putting projects of this nature into her capable hands, and I know that she will bring clarity and precision to even the most challenging situations. It is a great pleasure to work with her, and I look forward to every project I am able to send her way.
Emily Lees, Senior Editor, Paul Mellon Centre
Hazel has been my secret weapon for more book projects than I can remember. Seriously, I don’t know how she does it; she spots things I would never have seen in a million years. I wouldn’t even consider sending one of my books to print without Hazel working her magic on it first.
Paul Choy, international documentary photographer and author
Bringing any publication to market is always a challenge and part of that challenge is never really knowing who you are going to end up working with. We have been delighted with the service provided by Wordstitch Editorial. They have been consummately professional, have a can-do (and will-sort) attitude and they have protected us from a lot of the usual aggravation that can come as texts are prepared for publication. We have certainly seen many books that have been published riddled with errors, but we really are not seeing that this time. We would really like to work with you again. Thank you!
Mark and Bernie Fishpool, authors of Software Development in Practice (BCS, The Institute for IT, 2020)
Hazel helped to make the manuscript more easily accessible and understandable than it would have been. She’s also razor sharp in having an eye for the structure and flow of the text. … There were specific parts of the manuscript where I was in doubt of whether I had explained myself properly – and parts where I surely knew I hadn’t. Hazel helped sort those parts out so I could rephrase and rework them. Those were very crucial parts of the manuscript, so I feel it became so much better and more congruent. I’d recommend (and have done so already) Hazel to anyone seeking an editor for their book project!
Rasmus Houlind, author of $Hello FirstName (Omnichannel Institute, 2023)
Thanks to ... Hazel Bird, copy editor, whose intelligent and thoughtful attention to detail has been nothing short of phenomenal.
Sara Lister, Justine Hofland and Hayley Grafton, editors of The Royal Marsden Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures, 10th edition
Thanks so much for your help over the years - I’ve always been able to send the magazine to the printers with 100% certainty that there will be no typos, howlers or spelling mistakes included thanks to your thorough work on each issue!
Dom Hall, Content Manager, National Osteoporosis Society
Hazel has worked as Project Manager on a number of large, multi-volume, print and online reference works produced by my team. She has a deep understanding of the publishing process and an analytical mind. She works closely to the brief, whilst also being unafraid to suggest intelligent improvements to processes and solutions to problems. She is always professional and helpful, striking a good balance between meeting the needs and requirements of the client and delivering a quality product.
Louise Barnetson, Production Manager, Wiley Blackwell
You’ve done an amazing job. I really appreciate the calm and accomplished way you’ve dealt with all the complexities and unusual challenges of the project.
Production editor, Wiley Blackwell
I have the pleasure of working with Hazel – consummately professional and helped lift the writing in [the journal’s fourth edition] to a new level.
Jay Armstrong, editor of Elementum journal