Copyediting Proofreading Writing

Society for Editors & Proofreaders

I’ve been accepted as an Intermediate Member! I danced a little happy dance when I got the email.

SfEP intermediate membership badge

If you’re thinking about using a copy-editor or proofreader and for some inexplicable reason you don’t want to use my services, I recommend you look for someone who is a Society for Editors & Proofreaders (SfEP) member. You have to prove a certain level of competence – including training and experience – before you are accepted as a member.

The SfEP has a great set of FAQs about using copy-editors and proofreaders – if you’re sitting on the fence, you might like to take a look.

SfEP membership email screenshot
I legit haz skillz!
Artwork Christmas

My Christmas cards are here!

Christmas cards in bubble wrap and cardboard box
They arrived!

I was worried that they’d be printed upside down or that the colours would turn out looking completely wrong, but never fear. did me proud. Now I just have to get on with writing them!

Artwork Christmas

Christmas card 2015: Revealed

Finally finished my Christmas card 2015! I’ve sent the file off to the printer now, crossing my fingers that I’ve got the file setup right and it doesn’t come back printed on the wrong side of the fold or upside down or just plain weird.

house and trees in snow
Christmas card 2015
Artwork TV Writing

The Apprentice 2015: Write a children’s book

The Apprentice is my guilty pleasure and I’m not ashamed of it! (Well, says my inner copy-editor, that would make it not a guilty pleasure, then. Or not a guilty pleasure. Wherever you want to put the italics, that’s fine by me.)

Last week the candidates had to write, produce and sell a children’s book in three days. That’s right – one day to write it, one day to get it made (complete with illustrations and design work) and one day to sell it into stores large and small. The tasks on The Apprentice are getting a bit tired and samey after ten years of the same formula, but this one was right up my alley.

boy sitting on windowsill reading
(Photo courtesy of

At first I was cringing as I watched Sam wax lyrical about Aristotle and the Snottydink, but by the end I wanted his team to win as I liked his enthusiasm and creative spirit! At least he was thinking about the plot and the overall ‘message’, unlike the other team who did have a plot, but one that wasn’t accurate in the information about honey production that it was trying to convey to its young audience. Nothing gets my goat quite like a children’s book that is wrong, wrong, wrong about something factual.

Sam seems like such a nice guy, I want him to do well in the process but usually it seems that the most horrible characters do the best on The Apprentice so I fully expect the final four to be Richard, Charleine, Selena and Vana, or possibly Brett.

I think the episode went a good way towards illustrating why writing a children’s book isn’t just as easy as A, B, C. I definitely have a lot of admiration for the graphic designers who came up with the visuals in just a day!

That reminds me, I need to finish off – start, actually! – the artwork for this year’s Christmas card… I got off to a good start with my watercolour sketch, but my first full size effort was doomed to failure after the masking fluid didn’t behave quite like I thought it would.


The nights draw in

Halloween marks a turning point in the year; in England we’ve recently put the clocks back and the nights start to arrive earlier and last longer. The spirits of winter are breathing down my neck, so I thought it was time to get the watercolours out for the first time in years and have a little practice before embarking on the larger painting that will be this year’s Christmas card. So, without the aid of masking fluid, we have my first attempt at a snow scene…

snow scene

I’ll be a lot happier working on a larger scale, but the snow fits my mood.