Editing to meet a word count

Nature of edit  Shortening text to meet a word count without losing the substantive essence

Type of copy  Magazine interview


Hilary Green, one of Tyneside's leading textile artists, knew from a young age that she was destined to work in the field of art and textiles. Whilst at school at North Shields College for Girls, Hilary studied A level Art , A level Textiles – her two main loves – and A level Geography, hoping that the first two would lead to a creative future at Art College or following a teaching degree specialising in art and textiles.

After much consideration Hilary left Tyneside to attend a Teacher Training College in the Midlands. Unfortunately for Hilary the textile course at the college ran on alternate years and she had missed it, which led Hilary to follow painting as her main subject. She did wonder whether a better choice might have been a place where textile art was taking off to a new level.

Hilary trained to teach primary school children, eventually receiving a degree. During a summer holiday back in Tyneside Hilary met Peter, who at the end of her degree year became her husband.

Once a teacher, Hilary found very little time to produce her own art/textile work but has always been a big inspiration to the primary school children she taught in subjects as wide-ranging as ceramics, painting, paper making, felt making, silk painting, batik, weaving, dyeing and wrapping. Hilary has also worked with children and teachers in other schools and has run workshops for teachers.

During the earlier teaching years, Hilary and Peter took a year's sabbatical from teaching to travel the world, providing Hilary with a whole new variety of visual stimulation.

A few years later Hilary felt that she needed to produce creative work for herself, not just to inspire her classes. Whilst attending a workshop in Tyneside, Hilary became very inspired to produce her own handmade paper, which she later combined with embroidery.

In 1999, Hilary started on her first textile panels backed with handmade paper and painted with acrylic paint. The resulting work clearly showed how Hilary's earlier training in painting has proved to be very useful in her textile work in her use of colour, line and composition.


Leading textile artist Hilary Green reveals how wanderlust led to new inspirations. Following A-levels in art and textiles (and geography) at North Shields College for Girls, Hilary left the North-East for teacher training college and a degree. Owing to vagaries in the organisation of the course, Hilary majored in painting, which proved invaluable in the use of colour, line and composition in her later textile work.

As a primary school teacher, Hilary inspired the many children she taught by offering an extensive and exciting art and textile curriculum. She also ran workshops for teachers from other schools. During this time she took a year's sabbatical, accompanied by her husband, to travel the world and acquire a whole new variety of visual stimulation.

Problem and solution

The interviewer submitted a piece that was meandering and far over the word limit. Reworking the text helped it flow, deleted repetition, fitted it into the space available and tied it in with the illustrations.