Jennifer Kay Davies - Fiction Editor and Proofreader

Professional Member
Location Southampton, England, but I work for clients worldwide
Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Mobile 07952652481
Website Jennifer Kay Davies - Fiction Editor and Proofreader
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Line editing, copyediting and proofreading for fiction writers

*Editor of The Last List of Mabel Beaumont by Laura Pearson, an Amazon Number One Bestseller, and Jinx by Jessica Huntley, a Bookshelf Writing Awards 2023 Finalist*

Ready to take your book to the next level and make it even more irresistible to agents and readers?

I've worked with internationally bestselling authors, so you can be confident that I'll have the expertise required to help you elevate your book, whether you want to query with agents or self-publish.

I specialise in thriller, crime, mystery, fantasy, romance and women's fiction. I also edit some narrative nonfiction including memoirs.

I'm friendly and approachable, and I offer personalised and individual editorial services to my clients. I understand that some authors are happy to leave me to work on their manuscripts, while others like a more collaborative approach. I can tailor-make a service that is best suited to you. Contact me via my website or email me at [email protected] for a free 1000-word sample to see what I could do with your manuscript.

I work for publishers as well as independent, self-publishing authors. View my portfolio here.


I offer the following editorial services to publishers and independent, self-publishing fiction authors:

Developmental editing

If you've written your book but you're not too sure if the structure works well, you need a developmental edit. I'll provide you with a detailed report showing what improvements could be made, covering the following:

  • Plot, including pacing and any plot holes
  • Characterisation consistency, effectiveness of character arcs
  • Setting
  • Chronology
  • Point of view
  • Tense
  • Structure - are the beginning, middle and end as effective as they could be? Can any chapters or scenes be moved around?
  • Tone and mood

Line editing and copyediting

After you've had a developmental edit carried out, your next task will be to have a line or copyedit carried out by a professional book editor. This looks at the technical side of your fiction writing and focuses on clarity and consistency.

As your book editor I will:

  • Collaborate with you - I am not here to tell you what you've "done wrong", but rather to help you address any issues which allows you to focus on what you do best: storytelling
  • Assess the effectiveness and necessity of each word and sentence
  • Highlight any inconsistencies or issues with point of view
  • Adopt the old adage of 'show don't tell' to make your writing more engaging
  • Trim off any unnecessary 'fat' to keep your writing as lean as possible
  • Highlight any issues with passive voice
  • Ensure dialogue and narrative are consistent with character voice
  • Ensure tone is consistent throughout
  • Check your manuscript for any inconsistencies with spelling, hyphenation and capitalisation
  • Correct grammar and punctuation
  • Identify any inconsistencies with characterisation or timelines
  • Address anything else you specifically want to work on
  • Provide you with a full and comprehensive report and style guide


The necessity of a final proofread should never be underestimated. There will always be mistakes which will be missed in an edit and so, before you self-publish or submit to agents, you will want to make sure you are submitting as polished a manuscript as possible in order to get those sales and good reviews or the possibility of a contract with a publisher.

In order to carry out a successful proofread, I will need:

  • The manuscript fully formatted to the agent's request if you are querying
  • The final PDF of the manuscript before you upload it to self-publish

This will catch out any nasty errors caused by the formatting that wouldn't have been noticed before.

As your proofreader I will:

  • Correct any errors in punctuation, grammar and spelling
  • Highlight any issues with the formatting
  • Check sentence structure
  • Provide you with a style guide, if one wasn't already provided

Manuscript critique

Before sending out your manuscript to agents or publishers, or in place of a developmental edit, you might benefit from a personalised critique from an industry professional. Perhaps you want to know if your story comes across the way you'd intended, or whether your story is interesting enough, or if there are any plot holes, or if the characters are likeable and relatable, or if there are any mistakes or inconsistencies. Receiving this level of feedback before proceeding with it any further could save you a lot of time and money, and it might be all you need to publish or submit to agents with confidence.

I will:

  • Provide a detailed report on all aspects of novel writing including show don't tell, characterisation, plot, point of view, tone, genre conventions, suitability for intended audience, setting, and everything in between
  • Let you know what you're doing well as what improvements could be made
  • Be kind, friendly and supportive
  • Offer constructive feedback and use worked examples from your own manuscript


I specialise in fiction, specifically thriller, romance, fantasy, mystery, crime, family saga, and women's fiction, but I also edit and proofread some narrative nonfiction including memoir.


I work for traditional publishers as well as self-publishing authors, and I've worked on several bestsellers and with award-winning, internationally bestselling authors. I'm confident I have the skills required to enhance your writing to the highest level to help make your book a success.


1. Essential Proofreading (Publishing Training Centre) 2022

2. Copyediting 2: Headway (CIEP) 2022

3. Switching to Fiction (Louise Harnby) 2022

4. Essential Grammar (Publishing Training Centre) 2022

5. Getting to Grips with Grammar and Punctuation (CIEP) 2022

6. An Editor's Guide to Editing Fiction (Publishing Training Centre) Year: 2022

7. Introduction to Fiction Editing (CIEP) Year: 2021

8. Copyediting 1: Introduction (CIEP) Year: 2020

9. Proofreading 1: Introduction (CIEP) Year: 2020



Hera Books

Boldwood Books

Flame Tree Publishing

SRL Publishing

Polygon Books

Rebellion Publishing

James Easton

Jessica Huntley

Independent self-publishing authors from all around the world




Choosing an editor or proofreader can be a daunting task. To find someone who is willing to enter into the 'little world' you have created takes an element of trust and compassion. To this end, I consider myself truly blessed to have found Jennifer. She nurtured me through the editing process painlessly, showing great empathy and common sense. We can all get a little too close to our projects whatever their nature. Jennifer has the experience, expertise and insight to objectively ask pertinent questions. She understands the writing process and can distil the potential of your story while keeping the true character of your work. Jennifer turned what could have been a traumatic experience into a pleasant one, for which I am truly grateful. Her questions and words of encouragement meant a great deal. I look forward to working with her in the future.

Rob Doyle

I implemented all your suggested changes to the best of my ability and wanted to reach back out and say thank you. Your attention to detail is flawless and everything looks so polished. This goes a long way in confidence for me to present a manuscript to agents. I have also sent an email to Edward regarding what a beautiful quality edit was done on this manuscript.

Heide Middlebrook

 "I'm so thankful I found Jennifer. From the first appointment to discuss what I needed, to where we are right now, it's been 100% professional. I can't express how working with Jennifer doesn't feel like work at all.

Jennifer kept to her timescales and committed to all we agreed. Her documents and following emails were clear and professional but personal. I really felt like she had my back from the off.

Not only did Jennifer provide a fantastic line and copyedit, but she also offered developmental offerings as she went along and I can't express how useful that was for me.

Jennifer's work on my manuscript has shaped it, but not only that -- her wise, thoughtful and regular feedback in between pass-backs was such a boost to my confidence and this was something I needed after an awful experience.

I would thoroughly recommend Jennifer and would use her fantastic work again in a heartbeat. What a gem!" 

Sarah Whitton

"I appreciated the following qualities I found in your work (in no particular order): efficiency, thoroughness, approachability, skill, knowledgeability, competency and empathy."

Margaret Hulson

Jennifer was very quick at getting back to me with a quote. Her prices are very reasonable. She kept me up to date with her progress and she returned my manuscript within the time stated. Her work was very thorough and precise. She looked at every single detail! Would highly recommend! Thank you!

Jessica Huntley

Last year I wrote my first novel and Jennifer was such a massive help. It can be quite a daunting move for newbie writers to find the best editor. But I needn't have worried as Jennifer was such a pro. She made it so easy to start a process that I had no clue about. Not only was she nice, pleasant and professional throughout but Jennifer was very precise on the actual editing. I had a good story, Jennifer made it a good novel. She picked up on what must have been close to a thousand mistakes and helped to improve my writing no end. I would definitely recommend Jennifer to any other aspiring authors and after the success of my first book I'm sure I'll be calling on Jennifer's help for my next project.

Liam O'Neill

Jenny Davies played a vital role in helping my book reach its full potential. As my copy editor, she caught hundreds of mistakes I had missed even after I edited my novel countless times. Her detailed notes and suggestions improved the readability of my writing. She not only corrected my errors but explained why they were mistakes, so I don't make them again in the future.


She completed the edits for my book quickly without sacrificing accuracy. I sent her a copy of my seventy-thousand-word manuscript on a Thursday without a deadline. She returned the copy-edited version to me four days later. I assumed it would take her at least a month since she was honest about working on several other manuscripts, but she still finished rapidly. I'm confident that Jenny can deliver anyone a solid copy-edit even with the protracted deadline, depending on her schedule, of course. If you are looking for a skilled editor and proof-reader, then I'm confident that Jenny Davies can deliver for you. She was a terrific resource and a pleasure to work with. I can't wait to send her my next book to edit.

Oscar K. Reyes