Freelance substantive editor, copy editor, proofreader and researcher with over twenty years’ experience. 

Currently working on a sea story with a Welsh connection, the Ghost Ship of Trinity Bay

What can I do for you?

Do you have a finished or an unfinished book, story, essay or other work? Does it need some polishing, or would you like a considered opinion (based on a thorough reading) of your work? I can evaluate it, suggest rewrites or changes, do detailed copy editing,  or simply check it for errors and anything that is unclear (proofreading).  All  manuscripts considered, in electronic (digital) or typescript form.

I’ve a lot of experience in assessing novels and poetry, making suggestions and selections, and working closely and sympathetically with writers to give them serious feedback about their work. I’ve helped bring books to print in both print and digital form. And I can guarantee personal attention, good communication, and a tailor made approach to each individual writer. Email me at wwain {at} yahoo [dot] com for a no obligation informal chat.

  • substantive editing: suggest and advise on large or small changes to the work.
  • Manuscript reading service: a Reader’s report on your book / story / script.
  • Kindle and eBook conversions: it’s never been easier to get your book out there, with Amazon and others offering to produce and market your eBook. I can help you with the whole process.
  • Print on Demand: advice and help on using this new technology, because there’s nothing like a ‘real’ printed book for some writers!
  • Scanning of typescripts: if you have no digital copy, only a typed script, I can guide you through the scanning and conversion process simply and cost-effectively.
  • Copy editing at all levels: have you said what you meant? Is something unclear, could it be phrased better? Are there errors or inconsistencies in your work that you might not be aware of?
  • Proofreading for print, screen, web: a second pair of eyes is essential, unless you are already an experienced proofreader (and often, even then!)
  • Photo editing, image manipulation and web design: I’m not a graphic designer, but I’m familiar with Lightroom, Photoshop and Elements, and can enhance your pictures and advise on print quality and printer’s requirements.
  • Web design: I can help with a simple and effective web presence for your writing, essential today, including the hosting and uploading process. Contact me at wwain [at} yahoo (dot) com for more details.

Good and clear communication with you. Deadlines not a problem. Reliable, experienced.

And a writer too: I’ve been there! 

Contact me  with your requirements using the email wwain (at) yahoo [dot] com.

Editorial ‘CV’

Some of my recent projects:

  • 2019 copy editing on Chris Clunn’s forthcoming book on Semanta Santa Marinera, photographs of the Holy Week in Valencia’s Maritime Qaurter
  • 2018-19 Work on Betou: the Biography of a French Hamlet (Line Press, London)
  • 2016-19 Substantive editing on Damian Knight’s the Pages of Time series
  • 2015 Copy editing and helping to bring to press Damian Knight’s first novel, a sci-fi thriller for young Adults,  ‘The Pages of Time’.
  • 2014 Video editing for Brian Waltham Celebration in London in September 2014
  • 2013 design and maintenance of website on the history of shops and pubs in Primrose Hill,London
  • 2012 Editing Chris Clunn’s retrospective ‘I Should Coco’. Editorial work on Brian Waltham’s ‘Memos’ and his website at
  • 2011 Edited the introduction to Chris Clunn’s new book of portrait photography Meirionnydd (FUW 2011).
  • 2011 Made the initial selection for Brian Waltham’s posthumous poetry collection The Hang of It (Line Press 2011) and later on was instrumental in bringing the book to press.
  • 2011 Proofreading for Hodder Education’s Primary Years Programme series (Hodder 2011).
  • 2000-09 As managing editor of Smaller Sky Books I was involved in the whole range of publishing and editorial work from commissioning to copy editing. At the pre-production stage : commissioning cover art, obtaining permissions,overseeing typesetting and book layout, liaising with printers and designers. Post-publication : press releases and pre-publication publicity, sending out review copies and maintaining a clipping service. Also overseeing the company’s web presence and writing copy for the website.

More specifically, the editorial role included :

  • Substantial editing on William Cooper’s Scenes From Death and Life. This was an unpublished MS which had been written some years previously needing a lot of work to make it publishable.
  • Making the selection from a lifetime’s poetic output for Selected Poems and Memoirs of John Wain from a variety of sources, both published and unpublished sourcing; collating my late father’s unpublished autobiographical writings, and writing the 5,000 word introduction.
  • Editorial selection and/or editorial guidance for other works including Graham Tayar’s Not Too Late For Loving,  Eric Donner’s The Stranger in the House, and Rob Silverman’s The Job Lottery.
  • Reading and evaluating submissions for publication.
  • Smaller Sky Books was also one of the earliest small presses to experiment with eBooks (digital editions) and brought out a number of titles purely in electronic form. Of these, Frank Egerton’s The Lock went on to be published in paperback.The Print On Demand process became widely available during this time and Smaller Sky was one of the independent publishers who began using this production format.
  • Other editorial work 1990 – 93 Made the selection and worked on research, footnotes and section introductions for The Journals of James Boswell 1760 – 1795, a mammoth task of producing a single book from the thirteen volume Yale University edition. I also carried out the research on a BBC Radio 4 programme The Unearthing of James Boswell’s Journals.
  • 1986 – 87 I was editorial assistant on The Oxford Library of English Poetry; (Oxford University Press) and carried out research and proofreading for for Dr Christine Nicholls on the Supplement to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, also for the OUP.

Travel and other writing

At Easter 2012 I went out to the Greek Island of Chios to cover the annual Easter rocket battle, where two parish churches fire tens of thousands of homemade fireworks at each other… as crazy as it sounds…