Copywriter, editor and proofreader with more than eight years of experience working with authors, publishers, businesses, academics and the third sector.
Clients come to me at a variety of stages: some are just about to embark upon a new project and are looking for general advice and professional support. Others are all but finished and looking for the reassurance of a second pair of eyes.
Most, however, fall somewhere in between, and it can be difficult to identify what you need, and how someone like me can help. To make things easier, I’ve divided my core services into three categories: copywriting, copy-editing and proofreading. I also provide a specialist academic proofreading service for students completing longer, research-led assignments like theses and dissertations.
My experience in journalism and marketing prepared me for the challenge of tailoring and delivering complex, technical and commercial messaging to a variety of audiences.
Now I regularly work with academic institutions, global businesses and third-sector organisations.
I’m available to work on or offsite and will consider opportunities around the world.
My work as a copy-editor ensures audiences are not distracted by errors and inconsistencies, building trust and confidence in the things you have to say.
I can efficiently reduce word counts without altering tone, distorting meaning, oversimplifying the message or diluting your corporate or authorial voice. After all, your writing should read like it was written by you.
Proofreading is the last line of defence between your project and the printing press (or its online equivalent), and its purpose is threefold:
- To provide a second pair of eyes: editorial work is a human process (and always will be), so proofreaders are there to catch anything the copy-editor may have missed.
- To eliminate errors that might have been introduced to the text since editing: copy can easily be compromised by processes like typesetting and design.
- To add the finishing touches: checking pagination, cross-referencing and all the other things that can’t be done until the text has made it onto the pages!
If you’re a student working on an essay, dissertation or thesis, I can help. Most universities now recognise that students sometimes need editorial assistance with their written work, but with deadlines looming, you need someone who comes recommended.
Your work must be your own, so unlike with other editing and proofreading services, academic proofreaders can’t make or suggest material changes to your writing. My academic proofreading service will improve the quality and consistency of your written work and prepare you for the professional rigours of academic publishing.
Colin assisted me with formatting my PhD thesis draft after the final inclusions that I made. He was spot on with the timescales and correspondence. I would most definitely recommend him to other students.
Monalisa Fathima, PhD candidate, Leeds Beckett University
I needed some help with the copy for my photography business's website. Colin responded quickly and professionally and helped me market my services in a way that would resonate with my clients.
Colin's approach was methodical and practical, providing me with options to tailor content according to my preferences, and a style sheet I can use for making tweaks in the future. I've already had an increase in inquiries and conversions, so I'm over the moon!
Lucas Cookson, Lucas Cookson Photography
I contacted Colin asking him to proofread my pilot study report on the acquisition of English language by Arab and Cypriot Greek learners. Colin worked quickly and professionally, and I was really happy with the result! Highly recommended service.
Asma al-Hawi, PhD candidate, UCLAN
I sent my thesis to Grand Apostrophe shortly before my trial defence. Colin accommodated my deadline, helped me to structure my thesis and made my writing precise and clear – without altering the meaning. He was extremely thorough and gave me useful feedback.
I would strongly recommend Colin for academic proofreading, and I would definitely seek his help again.
Samiksha Koirala, PhD candidate, University of Oslo
Colin applied his skills to an academic research paper before journal submission which resulted in publication. He was recommended to me by another academic because his work adds significant value. Colin is very professional and a pleasure to work with. Highly recommended.
Michelle Barrow, Head of Education at the Centre for Nutrition Education and Lifestyle Management (CNELM)
After working for 10 years in one company, I decided to look for something new. As English is not my native language, and I hadn’t done a job search for some time, I needed help writing a high-quality CV and cover letter that would squeeze my experience into a few paragraphs.
Colin did a great job of writing the ‘right’ sentences, just like the ones I sometimes read in album or movie reviews: while I understand every word that is written, it isn’t easy for me to create something of this quality.
Best of all – after sending my new CV to a few employers, I received positive feedback from most of them and was invited to interviews. I began a new, rewarding job just a few months after my consultation with Grand Apostrophe.
Pawel Olchowik, IT Product Developer and Scrum Master
Colin’s editorial approach is one that blends with your own: tapping into your style and working with it until the best is drawn out from the work, to the point where you can really get excited about what you have produced.
My 60,000-word thesis was rendered into a perfectly formatted piece, noting ambiguities and correcting grammatical oversights and typos. Colin is accommodating on tight timescales. He greatly supported me with my doctoral research submission, and without him I would have been lost.
Sue Truman, PhD candidate, University of East London
I contacted Grand Apostrophe when the manuscript for my first book required copy-editing and proofreading.
Colin worked diligently to meet the brief, delivering the finished text on time, within budget and with excellent communication throughout.
I’d be very happy to work with Colin again, and to recommend him to others.
Dr Edward Wastnidge, author and lecturer in Politics and International Studies at The Open University