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Writing and editing background
- I have thirty years’ experience writing and editing for newspapers and magazines at both local and national level (The Guardian – freelance features sub-editor). As a newspaper reporter, I attended in-house and residential courses in sub-editing while working for Berrows Newspapers and Westminster Press. At the end of my first two years, I passed the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) ‘prof test’ also known as the National Certificate Exam.
- I spent five years working as a local reporter for newspapers in Malvern, Worcester, High Wycombe and Orpington. I dabbled in sub-editing alongside reporting and got my first downtable subbing job at the Kent Messenger/ Evening Post.
- In 1994, I began working for Eastern Counties Newspapers as a layout sub, designing newspaper and magazine pages using QuarkXPress software. In 2010, the company (now Archant) switched to a content managing system and all sub-editors (including freelancers) were trained to use Adobe InDesign. This is now my preferred design software.
- I am a Professional Member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). I abide by the society’s Code of Practice and use its guidelines to determine my hourly rates.
- To stay current and to update my skills, I invest in continuous professional development (CPD). I have passed the SfEP’s P3 Proofreading course – the most advanced proofreading course the society currently offers and attended two annual conferences. Sessions and workshops I have attended include: Working with Macros, Perfecting PDF Mark-Up, Fiction Editing at Sentence Level, Managing an Editorial Project, Six Habits of Highly Effective Editors.
- My local Norfolk SfEP branch meets every two months. We share updates and trade tips to help improve members’ editing and proofreading skills.
- I have also completed the Publishing Training Centre’s Editing Fiction course.
- In 20I7, I passed completed and passed Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing course. This has helped me to understand the role of content marketing – social media and blogging – to promote a business.
- I have always wanted to write a novel ‘but never had the time’, so a few years ago I organised myself to take part in National Novel Writing Month NaNoWriMo. Each November, would-be novelists commit to writing 50,000 words in that dark, often dreary month. It’s a big commitment but very satisfying to silence your inner editor and go for it. I self-published Sorted! – a NaNoWriMo novel – which is available as a download on Amazon. I’m now in the process of re-editing this book and adding some more words with the goal of publishing it as a paperback.
- In 2018, I took part in NaNoWriMo again, writing every day. Book number two, French Fancies, is a follow-on from Sorted! It’s nearly complete and should be ready by the end of the year.
- I graduated from the University of Bristol with a BSc Hons in Politics and Philosophy. I absolutely love reading political thrillers or books that have a moral dilemma at their core. My favourite authors include Ian Rankin, Mark Billingham, Peter James, Angela Marsons, Robert Bryndza and Val McDermid. I’ve just discovered Harry Bingham, and I love his female protagonist Fiona Griffiths.
How I relax
- I try to avoid sitting at my desk all day, but sometimes it can’t be helped. For a speedy workout, I like Joe Wicks’ high-intensity sessions on YouTube or a 15-minute Pilates or stretching session.
- I am a member of the SfEP Run On group – editors supporting each other to get out and exercise. I occasionally make an appearance at my local Parkrun.
- I’m very interested in food, and I love cooking.I enjoy eating Thai and cooking Italian. I am the proud owner of a Cordon Vert certificate, having passed the Vegetarian Society’s course with distinction.