As a specialist fiction editor, I’ll help you develop and refine your novel before it’s released into the world.
I'm a trained, experienced fiction editor with an MA in creative writing and previous in-house publishing experience. I offer a select range of services to help fiction writers craft their best work.
For more details, take a look at my website.
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I’ve edited 100+ fiction manuscripts since becoming an editor in 2011, working with both self-publishing authors and publishing houses.
Over the years, I’ve done pretty well with my own fiction writing. I was shortlisted for the Escalator Literary Prize for Fiction (2012), published a handful of poems and stories, self-published a short story collection (The Hours of Creeping Night) and signed with a literary agent. And since I also once worked for one of the largest publishing houses in the world, I really do have a multifaceted perspective on the whole writing, editing and publishing process.
I know what it's like to pour your heart into your writing, so rest assured I'll treat your novel with the utmost respect. As a highly educated and trained editor with years of experience, I bring nuance and creative empathy to every manuscript I work on.
Manuscript Critique – A manuscript critique (aka manuscript assessment, manuscript appraisal) provides you with general guidance on the big-picture storytelling aspects of your novel.
Developmental Editing – A developmental edit is all about helping you identify and solve the big-picture storytelling issues in a completed draft of your book.
Line and Copy-Editing – This sentence-level editing checks your manuscript for errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling. As well as that, I’ll make sure readers don’t stumble over awkward sentences or misinterpret ambiguous phrases.
This is the very last thing that should be done to your text – it’s the final check for any lingering typographical errors. We’ll send your manuscript to someone else for this, as a fresh pair of eyes is of paramount importance at this stage.
Add-on: Submissions package guidance
If you’re planning to submit your novel to agents and publishers, I can help you create and refine your submissions package – that is, your query letter, synopsis and sample chapters.
Add-on: Blurb editing or writing
If you’re planning to independently publish, I can help you create and refine the back-cover blurb for your book, which is a crucial element of your marketing.
My specialist genres include fantasy, science-fiction, literary fiction and speculative fiction.
Qualifications, awards & training
My commitment to continuing professional development keeps my skills sharp.
- Developmental Editing, Intermediate (Editorial Freelancers Association)
- Developmental Editing Webinar (Editors’ Academy)
- Copyediting Fiction (Editorial Freelancers Association)
- Chartered Institute for Editing and Proofreading Conferences 2014, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021
- Society for Editors and Proofreaders Mini Conference 2017
- Editing for Fiction: Professional Development Day (Society for Editors and Proofreaders)
- Copy-Editing by Distance Learning (Publishing Training Centre)
- Plot and Structure Seminar (Emma Darwin)
- Handling Non-English Words in English Text Webinar (ACES: The Society for Editing)
- Unconscious Bias and the Conscientious Editor Webinar (ACES: The Society for Editing)
- Shortlisted for Escalator Literary Prize for Fiction (2012)
- MA Creative Writing – Royal Holloway, University of London (2011)
- BA English Literature with Creative Writing – University of East Anglia (2009)
This is just a small selection of the published novels I've worked on:
- Utopia in Danzig by Gwydion Roberts (Fiction: literary)
- One in a Million by Toni Faggioli (Fiction: supernatural thriller)
- A Million to One by Toni Faggioli (Fiction: supernatural thriller)
- One Plus One by Toni Faggioli (Fiction: supernatural thriller)
- The Snow Globe by Toni Faggioli (Fiction: literary)
- A Rational Man by Jonny Hollis (Fiction: literary)
- Expendables by Alison Ingleby (Fiction: YA dystopian)
- Infiltrators by Alison Ingleby (Fiction: YA dystopian)
- Defenders by Alison Ingleby (Fiction: YA dystopian)
- Given Time by Anthony Burn (Fiction: science-fiction)
- Unicorn Girl by Anne-Marie Conway (Fiction: MG fantasy)
- Dirt Clean by Judith Amanthis (Fiction: literary)
- An Artist’s Muse by Deborah E. Wilson (Fiction: literary)
- The String Games by Gail Aldwin (Fiction: literary)
- Synthesis: Weave by Rexx Deane (Fiction: science-fiction)
- Afterglow – Synthesis: Weave 2 by Rexx Deane (Fiction: science-fiction)
- Unforgettable by Charlie Maclean (Fiction: romance)
- Rise of the Reaper by Lorna Reid (Fiction: fantasy)
- Darkwalkers by Lorna Reid (Fiction: fantasy)
- Becoming Death by Melissa Brown (Fiction: fantasy)
- The Brooding Crown by Meg Cowley (Fiction: fantasy)
- Bound by Sarah Downing (Fiction: fantasy)
- Weft of Crimson by Sarah Downing (Fiction: fantasy)
- Wolf in Shadow by Sarah Downing (Fiction: fantasy)
Clients I've worked with:
- Independent publishers / self-publishing authors
- Penguin Random House
- Victorina Press
- Neem Tree Press
Hop on over to my website to download your absolutely no-strings-attached (I don't even ask for your email address), completely free guide to self-editing your novel. By making sure your novel is the best you can make it before sending it to a professional editor, you'll receive more value and ultimately end up with a better book.
Both stylistically and technically your observations and suggestions were superb. An excellent, comprehensive job – I shall certainly use your services again!
Henry Layte, publisher at propolis
I'm really glad I chose you to edit this project. Your feedback blows out of the water what I received from my last editor!
Meg Cowley, author
I’ve worked with other editors in the past but none as thorough, patient or supportive as Sophie. She made my work better and in the process made me a better writer. I simply couldn’t recommend her highly enough.
Tony Faggioli, author
Sophie Playle is my go-to copy-editor for both my own books and for those written by clients who contact me for proofreading services but whom I feel need a deeper level of intervention. Sophie edits with a gentle but meticulous hand – adding sparkle to a writer's words without damaging their authorial voice. Highly recommended.
Louise Harnby, proofreader and author
It's so nice when someone goes the extra mile without being asked. You delivered more than promised … A joy doing business with you.
Christine L. Conroy, author
Sophie put me completely at ease with exactly what she felt was needed with my work and how I should expect to receive it back … it resulted in a very easy and valuable partnership. A fantastic experience that went far beyond my expectations.
Rachel Tetely, author
Thanks so much for the fantastic job you've done. You have dark arts! My story reads so much better now … I'd call it seamless copy-editing, but it's more like a MIGHTY feat of invisible mending. You turn bedraggled shorts into things of beauty.
Tash Bell, author
As a writer, working with you has been the best thing that’s happened to me … I want to add my relief and happiness that you ‘got’ what I was trying to do; you didn’t just edit the words; you understood the concepts and your feedback helped me to tighten everything up and make it so much better, both in terms of subtext and style.
Gina Maya, author