Sue Browning

Phone
+44 (0)7541 758 016
Organisation
Sue Browning Editing & Proofreading
Membership Grade
Advanced Professional Member

About Sue

What can I do for you?

Whether your purpose is to inform, persuade or simply entertain, I can help ensure your writing is correct and clear so that your readers get your message without distraction.

I am a flexible and friendly editor and will always try to combine sensitivity with the rigour of an editor’s eye.

Who do I work for?

Variety is the spice of my life, and I love to work on all kinds of projects, from books, both fiction and non-fiction, and journal articles to newsletters, magazines, websites and blogs. My clients include publishers and academics, businesses and indie authors.

  • PublishersWhile I specialise in language and linguistics, I have experience in other humanities and social science subjects too, including sociology, international relations, politics and economics, philosophy and education.
  • Academics: I edit journal papers and books for academics in the UK and across the world in a range of subjects, including linguistics, speech technology, politics and economics.
  • Businesses: I can edit your report, blog, magazine article, website, leaflet, brochure, or in-house communication to ensure it is clear and compelling and fit for purpose.
  • Indie authors: I love to work with independent fiction authors. As well as the usual editing for language and style, I enjoy hunting down continuity slips and inconsistencies that might jolt your reader out of your story.

Who am I and how did I get here?

I’ve been lucky enough to be able to use my love of language throughout my changing career. After gaining a degree in Linguistics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, I worked in speech technology research, first in academia, then for a government research establishment.

Moving on from there, I now apply my love of all things wordy to editing, and I get a great deal of satisfaction from helping authors prepare their work for publication.

Subjects

My non-fiction subject specialisms include:

  • linguistics: phonetics, phonology, morphology, accents, dialects, grammar, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, discourse
  • sociology and other humanities and social sciences
  • environment: nature, green issues, organic gardening, wildlife

My fiction specialist areas include:

  • science fiction
  • fantasy
  • detective
  • humour

Qualifications and training

BA Linguistics

Recent courses include:

  • Tea and Commas: The Foundations of Line and Copy-Editing Fiction (Liminal Pages, 2023)
  • Efficient Editing: Strategies and Tactics (CIEP, 2020)
  • CIEP conferences 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • SfEP conferences 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Editing for fiction: professional development day (SfEP, 2016)
  • Practical mark-up of PDFs (SfEP, 2017)
  • Introduction to fiction editing (SfEP, 2015)
  • On-screen editing 1 & 2 (SfEP, 2008, 2014)
  • Introduction to web editorial skills (SfEP, 2010)

Clients

  • Publishers and PM companies
    • Cambridge University Press
    • Newgen (formerly Out of House Publishing Solutions), for Cambridge University Press, Taylor & Francis, Critical Publishing, Manchester University Press, IB Tauris, Arc
    • Orphans Press
    • SRA Books
    • Tickly Whiskers Publishing
    • Crux Publishing
    • HotHive Books
    • Word4Word
  • Commercial (editing and proofreading):
    • Clearly Presented Ltd, now Call Centre Helper Ltd.
    • Tree Ring Services
    • Sidney Phillips
    • On the Sauce Again (blog)
    • Aachen University
    • SafeLane Global
    • Aspire Consultancy
  • Fiction (editing): a large number of independent authors

Testimonials

Thanks for the diligent and (imo) inspired editing etc.

I have done a bunch of books and this phase of the process has always been unpleasant (at best). This time I looked forward to your emails and suggestions. ... It was a pleasure to get to know you even if it was epistolary and at a distance.

— Professor Norbert Hornstein, author of The Merge Hypothesis (Cambridge University Press, 2024)

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I couldn't have asked for a better experience with a copy editor

Thank you, Sue!! I can't even begin to express my gratitude and couldn't have asked for a better experience with a copy editor. Many thanks for your amazing attention to detail, thoroughness, clarity, and overall professionalism. If I could assign you a grade, it would be A+++++++.

— Rajiv Rao, editor of The Phonetics and Phonology of Heritage Languages (Cambridge University Press, 2024)

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One of the most intelligent and attentive proofs I’ve ever received

I can’t express how much I appreciate this edit. It is one of the most intelligent and attentive proofs I’ve ever received. So glad your linguist-classicist experience came in handy! Seriously, this edit has improved the text and I’m grateful.

— Jae Emerling, author of Transmissibility: Writing Aesthetic History (Routledge, 2023)

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Everything a gifted copyeditor should be: pragmatic, supremely knowledgeable, and dedicated to consistency

Writing for the Reader’s Brain benefited enormously from your expert guidance of Sue Browning, who exemplifies everything a gifted copyeditor should be: pragmatic, supremely knowledgeable, and dedicated to consistency. I’m so grateful to have you as an editor! Your advice has been terrific and I’ve gone with every suggestion with only a few amendments. I wish I’d had you working on my last two books.

— Yellowlees Douglas, author of Writing for the Reader's Brain: A Science-Based Guide (Cambridge University Press, 2024)

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The most reliable and sensitively attuned copyediting I have encountered

In your respect for the detail, and careful consultations with me on everything, you have been confidence-instilling at every turn. I have 3 other things at proof-stage at the moment, and can say without hesitation that yours is the most reliable and sensitively attuned copyediting I have encountered.

— Judith Buchanan, author of Shakespeare on Silent Film (Cambridge University Press, 2009)

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You add a large touch of humanity to the isolating activity of writing

I still marvel at the sharpness of your eye in finding the errors. I appreciate your comments – some of them make me smile … All your comments make me think and you make very sensible suggestions. … I am confident in publishing this one knowing that errors and inconsistencies will not mar the writing so giving the book a chance to be read without distraction.

You actually add real value to what I do, are so professional, never make demands, and add a large touch of humanity to the isolating activity of writing. And I love your asides in the comments you make and deeply treasure when you say you like the book.

— Ted Dunphy, independent author of Rowing Down the World to Auckland (Canaan-Star Publishing, 2015), Don't Poke the Fire (Canaan-Star Publishing, 2015) and The Devil to Pay (Canaan-Star Publishing, 2015), Snuff O'Brien's Private War (Canaan-Star Publishing, 2017), and A View from the Boiler House Door (Canaan-Star Publishing, 2018), the Teachers Count trilogy (working title, August 2021)

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The most problem-free and pleasant copyediting I have ever experienced
Let me join the other editors to thank you again! It was the most problem-free and pleasant copyediting I have ever experienced.

— Susan Gal, co-editor of Language in Culture by Michael Silverstein (Cambridge University Press, 2022)

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You found omissions where previous book and journal editors did not

WOO HOO! I’m done! Thanks again for your very careful reading/copy-editing, Sue. Like I said, you found omissions where previous book and journal editors did not, and I’m grateful for that (as future generations of scholars, will also be, hopefully).

— John R Rickford, author of Variation, Versatility and Change in Sociolinguistics and Creole Studies. (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

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You saved our bacon!

On behalf of the editors, I would like thank you for the excellent job you have done as copy editor. We couldn’t have asked for a better one, and on occasions you 'saved our bacon’ (well my bacon, then!) and in doing so helped us to avoid some glaring errors. We couldn’t have asked for a better copy editor. You were truly outstanding.

— Brian Hopkins, principal editor of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Child Development (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

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What a fabulous editor you are!

So smart, so precise, just so helpful! You've made the book significantly better and I am so appreciative!

— Steven Tuber, author of Using Projective Methods with Children (Taylor & Francis, 2018)

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Sue not only identified problems, but also suggested solutions that were always completely consistent with the style and content of the book

Sue provides excellent, proactive copy-editing services. She just completed work on a new book of mine, and was fast, thorough and easy to work with. A particular characteristic of her work is that she not only identified problems, but also suggested solutions that were always completely consistent with the style and content of the book. Great work, and I'm certain the book will be much better as a result.

— David Cropley, associate professor of engineering innovation at the University of South Australia, author of Creativity and Crime (Cambridge University Press, 2013)



Service

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Associated skills

Disclaimer note

The CIEP Directory of Editorial Services should be considered a point of first contact and prospective clients must satisfy themselves that members are capable of the work on offer. The Institute cannot be held responsible for the quality of work provided by any member listed in the directory. The members themselves are responsible for the maintenance and accuracy of their entries in the Directory and the CIEP has not made any attempt to vet them. The institute cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in the Directory. Inclusion in the Directory as a freelance does not necessarily mean that the member is self-employed as defined by HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions.

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