2008: I started reading science fiction and fantasy books from my local library. I took my first proofreading course: Basic Proofreading by the Publishing Training Centre.
2009: I started writing science fiction and fantasy stories.
2012: I started self-publishing my books.
2014: I applied my writing knowledge by gaining copy editing and proofreading experience, working on friends’ stories.
2015: I took courses in copy editing and proofreading by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP – now the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading).
2016: I took a fiction editing course by an experienced fiction editor.
2017: I took another fiction editing course by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (now CIEP). I joined the SfEP as an entry-level member.
2018: I taught myself how to use some of Paul Beverley’s macros for more efficient onscreen editing. I created written resources for autistic and non-autistic writers. I made contact with publishing professionals.
2019: New editing examples were created and posted to my website; the first of which were called Human Dystopia.
2020: I upgraded to an intermediate member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP). I attended the first CIEP conference, which was online due to coronavirus restrictions. I took the course Word for Practical Editing by the CIEP for more tips to be efficient with Word.
2021: I took the course Edit a Memoir by Tanya Gold to explore how to work with memoir as a genre, and to learn about reader expectations.
How I became a copy editor and proofreader – whole story
As an author I learnt some formatting and editing tools before taking formal qualifications, and I later researched best practice for writing and publishing books, and I believe this gave me a knowledge advantage before I took copy editing and proofreading qualifications. Around the time I was researching best practice, I gravitated towards the idea of preparing a book for publishing through fiction editing.
2008 – 2010
I started learning proofreading in 2008, and I completed the Publishing Training Centre’s Basic Proofreading course in 2010. It taught me much about how traditionally published books were proofread and where the profession came from. What appealed to me in proofreading was the freedom to work on my own, and at my own pace, and this hasn’t changed.
2010 – 2012
I also started writing in 2009/2010, and for a few years starting a proofreading business was on hold while I wrote full-length science fiction and fantasy stories, and published them. My background as an indie science fiction and fantasy author from 2012 taught me how to write, self-edit, format, and publish: to ultimately prepare a book for publishing. I learnt best practices and how to work in MS Word. Over time I became aware that I found preparing a book for publishing immediately applicable to my particular set of skills, than reaching out to readers as an author. I respect the creativity authors have in writing and promoting.
From 2014 my skills and experience as an indie author led to proofreading and copy editing the stories of friends and author contacts for experience, helping me gain confidence carrying out the work and dealing with clients. It was around this time that I began to recognise the benefit of proofreading and copy editing as a series of revisions, tools, and techniques for improving quality for writers and readers before publishing.
In 2015 I took further qualifications in both copy editing and proofreading by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (now CIEP), which had sections relevant to working on projects online and for individual authors rather than just on paper and with publishers.
- Proofreading Progress by SfEP
- Introduction to Copy Editing by SfEP
Throughout 2016 I researched author and editing best practice to decide on next steps: a new system of publishing to choose a better method of reaching my author goals and aspirations. I learnt from websites such as the Alliance of Independent Authors that a quality book and a professional approach to writing and publishing were essential. Doing my best on my own terms wasn’t good enough. I decided that where work was concerned I could help best by copy editing and proofreading authors’ stories on their path to publishing. I took a course in fiction editing, which was the next logical step.
I started a blog and posted resources to help inform writers about my services, and I also began posting science fiction and fantasy book reviews.
In 2017 I became an entry-level member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (now CIEP) and I attended local group meetings regularly.
- Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme
- Prince’s Trust Level 1 Award in Exploring Enterprise
- Introduction to Fiction Editing by SfEP (now CIEP)
I started the beginning of the year learning about MS Word macros that could help me edit my own writing and speed up processes in editing and proofreading.
From April 2018 I developed my blog and resources to specifically help writers with writing, and I wrote about a range of other topics about freelance life, creativity, and being an author. This accompanied my copy editing and proofreading 2016 posts. I uploaded a few editing examples of my published book The Antpod Faction that I later took down because I wanted different examples on there.
From Summer 2018, with support, I made contact with a number of publishing professionals, through various means.
New editing examples were created and posted to my website; the first of which were called Human Dystopia.
I decided to be a science fiction and fantasy fiction specialist – it made sense in hindsight and at this moment in time – and I updated my about page to reflect this.
I upgraded to an intermediate member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP). I attended the first CIEP conference, which was online due to coronavirus restrictions. I took the course Word for Practical Editing by the CIEP for more tips to be efficient with Word.
For the first time, I had one of my stories critiqued and the suggestions were helpful to me in rewriting and restructuring the novel.
I took the course Edit a Memoir by Tanya Gold to explore how to work with memoir as a genre, and to learn about reader expectations.
I had my fantasy story copy edited and line edited for the first time, and I began making edits.