My mission is to help you get the best out of your writing
I am an English-language copy‑editor, proofreader and text (layout) designer with more than a decade of experience editing academic, literary and healthcare policy publications. I grew up in Poland and moved to the UK just after uni (I graduated summa cum laude with an MA in English Literature and Language). When I came to live in London with my English diploma as my only professional qualification, everyone thought I was bonkers. I did, too, but I really wanted to make it work and so I thought I'd give publishing a go. To my delight, I soon found a job as assistant scientific editor at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. I stayed there for the next 10 years, loving every single thing about editing.
As editor at RCPsych Publications, I saw a great deal of manuscripts into publication: I edited several dozen books, manuals and reports, and hundreds of journal papers. I designed books, reports and magazines, brochures, leaflets, invitations, information guides and book covers. Since 2014, I have also worked as a freelance copy-editor and proofreader.
I'm an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading and member of American Copy Editors Society (ACES).
If you're reading this, you're likely looking for someone who can polish your manuscript or perhaps design a report you and your team have just finished writing. I work in three main areas of text production and I can help you at each of those steps.
Copy-editing requires in-depth engagement with the text. I'll read your work for sense and clarity, looking out for anything that weighs it down and makes it hard to follow: repetition, awkward grammar, inconsistent spelling, ambiguity, missing information, missing (or too many) references. Perhaps it’s too formal or too colloquial for its intended purpose? Perhaps the sentences go on forever and by the end you've forgotten what you wanted to say in the beginning? Or perhaps it was written by a bunch of authors and each section reads like an individual piece of work, with no consistent voice? We’ll address all that.
If I spot any gaps in your argument, I’ll point them out. When working, I’ll put myself in your reader’s shoes and if anything seems unclear to me, I'll ask you to explain or I'll suggest how it can be reworded. If your publisher (or organisation) has a house style, great – send it over and I’ll follow it with delight. I’ll work on the structure of the text, its logical progression; I may suggest moving some sections around or introducing subheadings. I can also apply formatting if you need me to. We’ll work on the text until you’re happy to submit.
During the editing process, I'll likely have questions for you, so please factor that in when planning for copy-editing. You’ll need time to think about them.
Proofreading is a less intensive form of text checking. It comes at a final stage of production, just before the document is sent to print or submitted for publication. It’s an essential step to ensure high-quality final product. It can be done both on a typeset proof (PDF or hard copy) and on a manuscript. Publishers and journals will send typeset proofs to a proofreader, but if you’re working on a report that will only be produced in Word then I can also proof a finalised (signed off) Word version.
No matter the format, the principles are the same: I will read the text to look out for typos, punctuation errors, anything that may have slipped out at an earlier stage (e.g. a table has disappeared or an image has moved to a different page and its text reference doesn’t make sense any more – things like that). I’ll check the table of contents, chapter titles, running heads, index, pagination and bibliography, and make sure everything is as it should be. The document should be copy-edited before it is sent to a proofreader, because proofreading is not the time to make any major corrections – there may not be enough room in the production schedule and the cost of correcting a typeset proof is considerable. So plan your work well and make sure you have it edited first.
3. Text design
I love designing documents, so if you have a report that needs a fresh look or a book to typeset, then please take a look at my portfolio. I work in professional typesetting software, Adobe InDesign.
I work with a range of clients and offer:
- copy-editing (in MS Word using track changes and notes, using tags if needed)
- journal papers, book manuscripts, book chapters, reports
- language editing (for authors whose first language is other than English)
- PDF proofs, Google Docs, Word documents, on paper using standard BSI copy marks
- text design
- creating bespoke layouts
- creating templates for documents, books, booklets, invitations, reports
- polishing translations
- I work on texts translated into English from the European languages (Polish, German, French, Norwegian, Russian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Belorussian) as well as Hindi and Arabic
- editorial consultancy
- manuscript assessment
- house style creation
I work to fixed rates, which depend on your requirements. We'll agree a fee upfront, so you can budget for the work and there'll be no surprises down the line — talk to me about your project and I'll prepare a quote.
Q1. How long does copy-editing take?
This depends on the length of the manuscript and how much work is required. In general, an average length journal paper (8,000 words) takes a couple of days to edit, plus your time reviewing any editing queries. If you need me to do a second run after you've answered all my queries, then we'll need one more day for that. So in total, depending on what else we both have on and how long you'll need to review my edit, I recommend putting aside 7–10 days for copy-editing a journal paper.
Proofreading a journal paper of similar length takes one day and usually there will be fewer, if any, editorial queries, but you'll still need time to review and sign off the proof.
A report of about 30,000 words will take about a week to edit, plus any time you may need at your end to review the text and answer my queries.
A book manuscript (80,000 words) takes about a month to edit (3–4 weeks, depending on complexity). Then, 1 or 2 weeks for you to answer my queries should be plenty, and I'll need 1 or 2 more weeks to go through your comments and finalise the text. Overall, you should have an edited book ready for submission after about 2 months of working with me.
Q2. When to employ a copy-editor?
Perhaps counter-intuitively, working with a copy-editor will be most effective, both time- and cost-wise, at a final draft stage, when you’ve finished revising. The tidier the manuscript, the less work there will be for a copy-editor (fewer rounds of revisions, fewer queries = less time) and the cost will be lower, too.
Q3. Will you make my text perfect?
I'll do my best! But I'd like you to consider what the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading has to say about perfection.
Q4. I was told by a reviewer that my manuscript needs to be proofread, why are you saying it needs copy-editing?
Proofreading can sometimes be used as shorthand for copy-editing, which can lead to misunderstandings. If your copy-editor and reviewer are at odds here, it's best to get back to the person handling your paper at the editorial office and ask for clarification.
Q5. I only have an idea for a project/a first manuscript draft so far, will you be able to give me an estimate of the cost of you copy-editing/proofreading/designing it?
I'd love to hear about your project and if it's in its early draft stages, I can offer you a manuscript assessment. I'll read your work and make recommendations on the next steps forward, advise on any additional reading material that may be useful for you at this stage and generally help in any way I can. If it's too early for us to work on a copy-edit, then I'll do my best to refer you to a colleague who can offer a developmental edit. Then, if you like, we can schedule some time for a proper copy-edit when your manuscript is in its final draft.
Q6. I'd like to know how you work.
To get us started, drop me an email about your project, mentioning your needs, aims and timelines (we can also schedule a telephone chat). Please also include a sample, preferably from somewhere in the middle of the work. If you are a new client, I'll edit a 2-page (500-word) excerpt, so that you'll see how I work and whether we're a good fit. If you like what you see, I'll provide a cost estimate, we'll set our dates, and I'll get down to work!
- As a copy-editor, I have a huge respect for the written word and you as the author. So I will always do my utmost to make your work as clear and polished as possible, and to help you come across in your writing the best you can be, but it will always be your work, your name and your style. Every author, manuscript and publisher is unique in their own way and I will help you make the best decisions for your circumstances.
- I understand deadlines. Please let me know early on if you are under any time pressures and I will do what I can to give your project the time and attention it deserves. If you're very close to your deadline and we'll have to work over the weekend, then a rush rate may apply.
I'd love to hear from you!
If you have any questions or would like to chat about your project, please get in touch. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, fill in the contact form on this page or simply call me on (+44) 208 8555 434.
No project is too small or too big — let's see how we can work together
Quotes are given on a per-project basis and will be discussed by email.
Please let me know as much as you can about the project and ideally send me your manuscript for assessment (I'll keep it confidential). To help me prepare a quote, please also fill in my project questionnaire.
If you're unable to download the form, please email me with the following minimum information:
- what's required (copy-editing, proofreading, layout, template, all four?)
- project length (number of words for texts or pages/spreads for layout/design jobs)
- whether images will be required and who will source them
- whether you will need me to come to work in your office
- whether you will require exclusive rights to the work I will create (layout/template)