Maartje Scheltens

Maartje Scheltens

Maartje Scheltens

Professional Member

Why did you choose an editorial career, and how did you get into it?

I've worked in editorial for almost 20 years, but for most of that time I was in-house at a university press. When I needed a change in 2016, I wanted to go freelance but wasn't sure what to do. A friend gave me my first copyediting jobs on a journal, and I found I could do it, and also really enjoyed it. It snowballed from there!

What training have you done to get your editorial career up and running?

I did the CIEP Copyediting 2 course, and a couple of shorter courses as well. While I had a lot of experience of all kinds of copyediting tasks in-house, and had worked with copyeditors, I wasn't confident in putting it all together. The courses allowed me to believe in myself and my skills.

What work are you most proud of?

Really, any job where the author is happy, and I've met the deadline! Recently, I've moved into copyediting non-fiction, and I've found editing memoirs really rewarding.

What do you do if you're struggling on a job?

I'll probably turn to my fellow freelancers, either a group of friends I worked with in publishing, or the CIEP forums. They can often solve my problem or just commiserate and make me laugh.

What does being a member of the CIEP mean to you?

I feel quite proud to have been upgraded, and it means I can pitch to new clients with the confidence that I'm not a beginner anymore. I really appreciate the time and effort people have put into answering my questions on the forum.

Which editorial tasks do you enjoy the most and why?

I do quite enjoy churning through some references while trying out new albums on Spotify – sometimes it's great to do something really mechanical. I also enjoy the contact with authors, and building up a relationship with them. It's a great feeling when they come back with their second project.

Do you have any editorial pet hates?

Poorly written footnotes by academics who should know better!

What has most surprised you about your editorial career?

Just how enjoyable it's been, and how many interesting jobs have come my way, often in unexpected ways.

What's the best career advice you've received?

To diversify – don't depend on any particular client or source of work.

What advice do you have for people starting out on an editorial career?

Do the courses and get to know fellow editors.

Do you ever stop editing?

Yes, when I do my own writing, I have to take off my editor hat and focus on the creative side.

Finally, tell us one thing about you not related to editing

My house is full of books I'm planning to read, and I volunteer at my local library so am always discovering more. I love fiction, but also history, and have a weakness for cookery books, which I love to read – but in the kitchen I tend to make things up as I go along.

The CIEP does not give any special endorsement to the members who appear in Meet our members. If you are looking for an editorial professional, we recommend you search the Directory of Editorial Services.