Why did you choose an editorial career, and how did you get into it?
I've always loved books! I was fascinated by the process of bringing a book to life and wanted to learn more about the other jobs, other than the writing of a book. I was intrigued by the number of people that all contribute to bringing a book to publication and I wanted to be part of that team.
What training have you done to get your editorial career up and running?
I started by completing the Writers Bureau Proofreading and Copyediting course and now I'm working my way through CIEP courses. I also find that writing courses are really useful; they give you insights into methods of writing, rewriting and general storytelling that can be excellent for editing fiction.
What work are you most proud of?
I work a lot with authors from the LGBTQ+ community and anytime that I work with an author that is telling a story from a different, or underrepresented, point of view, I get excited. Visibility is so important and it's great to be part of bringing representative books to life.
What do you do if you're struggling on a job?
Scream into the New Oxford Style Manual. Then, if that hasn't helped, I'll usually reach out to another editor or proofreader directly or use the CIEP forums. It's great to know that other people have your back.
What does being a member of the CIEP mean to you?
It's the ability to tap into a wealth of knowledge and get straightforward answers really quickly. The training is excellent and really prepares you for work but the ability to ask a really specific question and get answers instantly is so helpful. I don't think clients fully understand what it means for us but seeing the badge of membership gives them confidence that the editing or proofreading will be completed professionally.
Which editorial tasks do you enjoy the most and why?
I love getting into the meat of a story and tackling the "big picture" stuff: plot, narrative, dialogue. If something's not working, I love working with the author to try and sort it out. There's a real sense of satisfaction when you see the story taking shape and getting stronger because of your input.
Do you have any editorial pet hates?
Aside from adverbs, particularly 'suddenly'? I don't think I hate anything about editing, there's plenty of really interesting things to find out and each time I have to look something up, I discover something new.
What has most surprised you about your editorial career?
The range of people I have been lucky enough to work with. Aside from novelists, I have worked with students and creative writing teachers. I was also able to gain a really interesting insight into how television is made when I copyedited a pitch to a television production company.
What's the best career advice you've received?
Read twice. If you've made a correction, go back to the start of the sentence and read it again. So many times that has saved me from new errors caused by a later correction.
What advice do you have for people starting out on an editorial career?
If it interests you, go for it. You have to, I believe, be interested and passionate about writing to want to do this sort of work, just enjoying reading is not enough. If you do care about how words are taken from writers and placed in front of readers, then take the time and find out more about the variety of different jobs there are out there.
Do you ever stop editing?
Never! I love the written word and read daily, be that books, magazines, blogs, whatever I can. But I just can't seem to stop my brain from noticing things about the text: things that could be improved, overly wordy phrases, errant punctuation or additional spaces. How do I turn it off?
Finally, tell us one thing about you not related to editing
When I'm not editing, I'm out on my bike, out with a pair of hiking boots on or clinging to the side of a mountain by my fingernails.
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.