I am experienced in giving constructive feedback on manuscripts, both literary and academic. I have a diploma in proofreading and editing and I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading abiding by their codes of practice. I offer a range of services and am able to combine different services as required. Please read the following descriptions carefully to establish which service, or combination of services you require.

Cartoon graphic showing a lady writer sitting on low stool working on a typewriter.

Developmental editing

This can take place when a manuscript is part-written or, more usually, when the first draft is complete. It involves reading the whole manuscript and taking a careful look at how the work is organised, developed and presented, giving appropriate feedback in a separate document. It is an overview and general critique aimed at improving the manuscript.

This typically includes comment on the original concept, structure, flow, pace, consistency, style, point of view, character, dialogue, plot and sub-plots.

It does not typically include line-by-line corrections of spelling, grammar, punctuation and word ordering or comments directly written on the manuscript.

Cost – £10 per 1,000 words

Copy editing

This normally takes place on a completed draft after developmental editing.

It normally involves reviewing and correcting the entire manuscript, making comments on the text to improve its readability, technical accuracy, style and sense. Comments will be made directly on the manuscript using the comments function in Word, unless agreed otherwise. Corrections are suggested but not made (it’s up to the writer to implement the improvements unless otherwise agreed).

It does not normally involve an overview of the manuscript and critique on the quality of the writerly aspects and how these can be improved.

Cost – this will vary depending on the amount of work required and will require submission of a representative sample to establish. It will be in the range of £15 per 1,000 words to £20 per 1,000 words.

Proof reading

This is the check of the whole manuscript for accuracy, usually just prior to publication.

It includes correcting spelling and punctuation errors, reviewing captions and making minor adjustments to layout, with changes made directly to the text.

It does not include corrections to grammar, style, word-order, consistency or substance.

Cost – this will vary on the amount of work required from £10 per 1,000 words to £15 per 1,000 words and will again require a representative sample to be submitted to establish the cost.

Time frame for completing the process to be agreed in advance.

“Helen and I drew up a schedule of timings for when parts of my dissertation would be ready for her to read, suggest edits and to proofread. These were always met (by both of us) and the suggestions were really helpful. I also learnt some good practices of grammar and punctuation along the way which I have used in subsequent work. I am delighted with the end result.”

Postgraduate student