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|Hazel Bird, Wordstitch|
I am a project manager, copy-editor and proofreader of non-fiction academic and non-academic works of all flavours and sizes. I focus on every detail while always keeping sight of the big picture, and established authors frequently comment that I'm one of the best editors they've ever worked with. When editing and proofreading, I always suggest rather than impose, respecting your voice and your intentions for your work.
I am hyper-organised, usually handling 10–20 projects at any one time and working on over 5 million words per year. I'm also a calm and pragmatic communicator, practised at finding creative solutions and keeping projects moving. On my blog I enjoy reflecting on my own and the industry's working practices.
Specialisms include literature, history, genealogy, media, communication, culture, psychology, philosophy, religion and theology, social sciences, linguistics, computing and digital design, reference, music and music technology. However, I work on anything in the humanities and social sciences.
Skills and expertise
- Project management, copy-editing (on screen) and proofreading (hard copy or on screen; BSI symbols or Acrobat’s in-built mark-up)
- All types of publication, including trade books, journal articles, reports, monographs, contributed volumes, textbooks, multi-author works, and business documents ranging from annual reports to prospectuses to client letters
- MS Word's styles, templates and macros
- Style guides including AP, APA, Chicago, Hart's and MLA
- Style sheets, including creation from scratch for complex multi-editor projects
- UK and US English
- XML, HTML and CSS
- Blog writing, including guest posts
I work on a PC and use the following software:
- Word 2016 as part of MS Office 365 (including the latest versions of Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
- Adobe Acrobat DC
- Adobe Reader XI and DC
- Adobe InDesign CS6
- Adobe Dreamweaver CS5
- Freelance since 2009
- 2007–2009: in-house project manager at Elsevier, handling major reference works
- 2005–2007: senior children’s bookseller at Ottakar's
BA (Hons) English Literature, First Class, Durham University, UK
- SfEP conference (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016)
- Indexing Workshop for Editors and Proofreaders (Society of Indexers, 2012)
- Introduction to Web Editorial Skills (SfEP, 2012)
- Working with XML (Publishing Training Centre, 2012)
- Advanced Copy-Editing (Publishing Training Centre, 2011)
- On-Screen Editing 2 (SfEP, 2010)
- Proofreading Problems (SfEP, 2009)
- Basic Proofreading (Publishing Training Centre, 2009)
Services for academic authors
Whether you're preparing a paper for submission, need your thesis or dissertation proofread, or require help with non-native/EFL English, my extensive experience of academic editing means I can slot seamlessly into your writing process. After you've provided me with any publisher or style guidelines (e.g., APA, Chicago, Hart's, MLA), I edit your work and provide you with a track-changes file containing my detailed queries. Depending on the service you've chosen, I can then work with you to implement your answers to my queries and finalise the manuscript, ready for submission.
Services for non-academic authors and self-publishers
With my extensive experience of managing, copy-editing and proofreading books for publishers, I can help you to decide what sort of editing you want and how best to organise and design your book. I offer comprehensive copy-editing and proofreading services, and can work in InDesign to produce professionally-laid-out page proofs if you're planning on print publication.
Sometimes I will be able to help you all the way through to the point of publication, or where necessary I can direct you to one of my trusted colleagues who specialise in finalising files for digital publication on self-publishing platforms.
As a serious amateur genealogist of 20+ years' experience, I particularly enjoy helping genealogists to publish their family histories.
Services for publishers
I am a project manager, copy-editor and proofreader who makes things happen. I listen to all stakeholders and use my expertise to find and deliver win–win–win (publisher–author–editor) solutions. If you entrust me with the management, editing or proofreading of your book, you can be confident that I will deliver a sensitively produced product, as briefed, on time and within budget.
I handle non-fiction works of all sizes, including trade books, journal articles, monographs, textbooks, contributed volumes and multi-volume encyclopaedias, regularly coordinating project teams with hundreds of contributors. As a project manager, I can use freelancers from my own carefully compiled list or work with your approved suppliers. I can tailor my approach to any workflow and any style guide.
Services for businesses and charities
I understand that your written communications are vital to how you are perceived by your customers and members. I also understand that not everyone is familiar with the technical terminology of editing and publishing.
Whether I'm editing your annual report, checking your new website, or ensuring a prospectus or letter is typo-free, my communications and corrections are clear, straight-forward and free of publishing jargon. My suggested changes always keep your target market in mind and always preserve the voice and ethos of your business or message.
You can send me rough-and-ready drafts to be honed into a harmonious whole, or I can give carefully crafted text a final polish. Contact me to find out how I can enhance your communications.
- ABM Publishing (Practical Family History magazine)
- Biteback / Robson
- Out of House Publishing (titles by Cambridge University Press, Manchester University Press, Taylor & Francis and Zed Books)
- Oxford University Press
- Saxon Graphics (titles by Routledge)
- Whitefox (titles by The Guardian)
- Wiley Blackwell
- Windhorse Publications
Business and charity clients:
- Commonwealth Exchange
- National Osteoporosis Society
- Quakers in Britain
Numerous individual authors and self-publishers
Thank you for bringing your meticulous eye, extraordinary patience, and implacable intelligence to this book. I'm tremendously grateful to you for all your wonderful work.
Aysha Pollnitz, Assistant Professor of History, Grinnell College
You made no changes that seemed gratuitous, and made no more than necessary. I am equally amazed by your skill and by your temperament. You have made this process not only more efficient but also more painless than I thought possible.
Deborah Tannen, Professor, Department of Linguistics, Georgetown University, USA, and author of You Just Don’t Understand
You’ve done an amazing job. I really appreciate the calm and accomplished way you’ve dealt with all the complexities and unusual challenges of the project.
In-house project manager, Wiley Blackwell
I am a (mature) PhD candidate who was advised by my examiners to seek the help of an editor in order to complete the changes they wanted to see in my dissertation. Hazel’s contribution was precise and efficient and her accuracy reminded me of the way I was taught to write English 40 years ago but over the years have forgotten. She commenced work on exactly the day she said she would, completed ahead of schedule, and was able to get my second round of comments in more quickly than expected. Her willingness to answer ad hoc questions as I ground through my own work was a tremendous added value to working with her. In short, a pleasure to work with and I could not recommend her more highly.
Adam Gower, PhD student, University College London