Helen Fazal

Professional Member
Location PENRITH, Cumbria
Telephone 01768 865 306
Mobile 07908 140 975
Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Web www.proofreadextra.co.uk

Skills

Substantive/developmental fiction editing, line editing, copy-editing, proofreading, rewriting, on-screen editing, website editing, editing non-native English

Media

Books, company literature, newsletters, academic papers, websites

Qualifications

BA English Language and Literature, MA Librarianship and Information Science, Professional Member of the SfEP 

Training

On-screen editing (SfEP) 2014, Mentoring scheme (SfEP) 2014, Proofreading problems (SfEP) 2012, Basic proofreading by distance learning – merit (Publishing Training Centre) 2012

Subjects

Fiction (novels, memoirs, autobiography), humanities (history, geography, religious studies, philosophy, politics, psychology, political science, sociology), business (reports, websites, newsletters)

Testimonials

Helen's friendly approach and professionalism in her proofreading and editing services made it a pleasure to work with her from the start. She provided helpful communication, comments and advice, kept on schedule, and most of all I was delighted with her work. She polished my text and improved its form beautifully without changing my style, even respecting the little plays I would have between languages – my mother tongue is French. I very much recommend her.

Virginie Bonfils Bedos, author of Gatekeepers

Helen promptly responded to my enquiry and assessed my work (preparing a book for publication), quoted a reasonable price, provided a flexible service in keeping with my tight deadline, a thorough proofreading check and suggestions to improve the style. Importantly, Helen was reassuring and pleasant to deal with. What more can you want?

Moira H, social scientist

Helen has now edited and proofread eleven of my books, with the twelfth on the way very soon – she deserves a medal!
I write sci-fi and thrillers, and as a self-published author I have a fast turnaround, usually launching three books in a year. Helen is always able to accommodate this rate of production and does an excellent and thorough job on the edits every time.
It’s particularly important to me to feel supported in my work – not criticised – and I have found that Helen's feedback is always positive, well-targeted and respectful of the creative process. I have found her guidance and advice to be helpful, informative and educational.
I particularly like the creation of style guides as the project progress and the very useful alternative suggestions that I receive in my manuscripts - sometimes you just need that bit of help with a better way of phrasing things or an alternative word to use.
Having worked on so many books together, I really value Helen's contribution to my writing projects – we've worked through over half a million words together now.
So, if you need a great partner to work with you on your next book, I have no hesitation in recommending Helen.

Paul Teague, Sci-Fi & Thriller writer at https://paulteague.net/

I cannot recommend Helen highly enough. She has edited two of my books and has been a delight to work with. Helen is friendly and professional, with a strong, collaborative style. She is very supportive and never critical, but she does not shy away from providing effective challenge and guidance where it is needed. Helen has met every deadline and has always encouraged a healthy dialogue throughout the editorial process. The quality of her work is excellent and my writing has improved as a result of working with her. I can write a good story, Helen turns them into great books.

Rob Ashman, author of Those That Remain and In Your Name.

Helen has edited and proofread my first book, a romantic novel. My mother tongue is  French and I wanted the manuscript to be in perfect English.

Helen’s approach is professional, thorough and friendly, and working with her has been an enjoyable and educational experience. She was reassuring and encouraging. She has become my mentor!

I very much recommend Helen. I am so pleased with the outcome and I think I am lucky to have found someone like her. 

Dominique Douglas, author of The Man Who Played The Piano

I approached Helen in early 2018 about proofreading a near-final draft of my 105,000-word novel. From that initial enquiry onwards, Helen’s professionalism was obvious and exemplary. She responded promptly and, on the basis of some sample chapters she asked me to share with her, she explained clearly how she thought she could help.

What impressed me most was how Helen adapted her approach to the nature and demands of the project. Much more than a spell-checker, she worked through the manuscript with a fine discerning literary toothcomb, highlighting not only errors, transgressions and inconsistencies (kerb vs. curb!), but also stylistic points where the text might read better. She did all of this with great sensitivity to the overall tone of the novel, and I consider the exercise an investment rather than an overhead.

In short, I felt Helen cared about getting the words right. If this is also what you care about, I strongly recommend getting in contact with Helen.

M. J. Kentish, author of The Loss of Never Was

How do you choose the best editor for your work when there are hundreds of highly skilled and experienced ones to choose from? How do you know who will genuinely edit your work with integrity and not regard it as yet another mundane work task? And who can you work with confidentially with ease and mutual trust without fear of criticism and judgment? 

I was in a predicament as these questions evolved part way through writing my debut book. Despite having never worked with an editor before something was telling me I needed one.

I stumbled across the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. I randomly wrote to many editors across the UK all with impressive CVs seemingly capable of editing a vast range of subjects. From those that took the time to reply, only one stood out and that was Helen Fazal. Unlike all the others, Helen’s response included the word ‘enjoy’. Helen would actually ‘enjoy’ editing my work. She was an obvious first choice.

Helen went on to edit my book. Throughout this 18-month period Helen demonstrated an impeccable work ethic. She works diligently and consistently, which enables her to meet deadlines whilst remaining calm and thoughtful. It was a collaborative partnership each respecting the other’s role and contributions. This was important to me as all too often power can interplay as one tries to dominate the other.

Not only did she show a skilled technical ability but also a deep intuitive way of understanding of what goes beyond the immediate and obvious. This would not be possible without being well read herself and open to the unconventional. Her skilled editing capability was reflected in her sensitive and conscientious improvements to the narrative (initially mine was particularly messy and rambling). My work was never undermined but transformed into text which was leaner, tighter and above all else true to the essence of what I wanted to create. 

There were times I became vulnerable and exhausted by the nature of my subject matter. Helen was able to respond by gentle decisive intervention, which enabled me to carry on. For this I will always be grateful.I doubt I would have completed nor published my book without the support given by Helen!

The book immediately went on to be published without the need for an agent. 

Mary Anne Willow, author of The Grace of a Nightingale