Why did you choose an editorial career, and how did you get into it?
I've always loved the written word, and left university armed with a degree in Media and Journalism and a plan to pursue an editorial career. But life had other ideas. After a successful but uninspiring 10 years in the business world I emigrated to France with my husband, where I've been able to juggle raising a family with a new career in freelance writing. I've found that I enjoy editing as much as I do writing and, since the availability of paid writing gigs can be sporadic, adding editorial services to my skill set was a logical step. The flexibility of this kind of work dovetails brilliantly with my location and lifestyle.
What training have you done to get your editorial career up and running?
Living in France has made access to training difficult, so distance-learning courses have proved an invaluable resource. I took the PTC course in Basic Proofreading last year, and have now almost completed the PTC Basic Editing course too. My ultimate goal is to work as a fiction editor, so I opted to complement the comprehensive PTC training with the more specialist content of Sophie Playle's course entitled Start Fiction Editing. Armed with these qualifications I feel prepared to launch my career properly and with confidence in my abilities.
What work are you most proud of?
I'm a newbie on the editorial front so my portfolio is still very limited, but I am proud to have successfully completed some proofreading projects for Louise Harnby. An Advanced Professional Member of the SfEP, Louise is a highly respected and experienced proofreader, and a massive inspiration. Her confidence in my skills has been a huge boost.
What do you do if you're struggling on a job?
Reach for my reference books, and browse the SfEP forums - if the question hasn't already been answered there is always someone around who can help. I also find that stepping away from an issue and revisiting it later can help with clarity, so I will sometimes take off for a ride on my bike to clear my head and refocus my energy.
What does being a member of the SfEP mean to you?
To me the SfEP is a place where I can step into an established community of editorial professionals and know that I can find whatever support, guidance and training I may need. It makes freelancing feel less lonely, especially with living away from the UK.
Which editorial tasks do you enjoy the most and why?
I find a curious satisfaction in spotting inconsistencies in stories, such as a red front door that becomes blue fifty pages later.
Do you have any editorial pet hates?
The misuse of the possessive 's' has always riled me!
What has most surprised you about your editorial career?
How much I enjoy it, and how willing others are to share their knowledge, tips and experience.
What's the best career advice you've received?
Pursue a career that you enjoy - you spend so much of your adult life working that it's important to have a passion for what you do. Also, believe you are good enough and that your skills have value.
What advice do you have for people starting out on an editorial career?
Invest in good training, and seek out support from groups, forums and other professionals.
Do you ever stop editing?
I try, but don't always succeed. It can be quite a distraction when I'm trying to write.
Finally, tell us one thing about you not related to editing
I have a terrible stationery and art-materials habit, and very little spare time. Consequently, my office is filled with beautiful pens, pencils, paints, notebooks and papers that I love to look at, but which I use only rarely. For now. The closet artist in me will make a break for it one day.
The SfEP does not give any special endorsement to the members who appear in Meet our members. If you are looking for an editorial professional, we recommend you search the Directory of Editorial Services.