About me

Head and shoulders portrait photo, short dark hair, blue eyes, black vest top, blue backgroundSpecialist in fiction editing for self-publishing authors. I will happily tackle any genre, but I have most experience in fantasy, science fiction, romance, YA, horror and contemporary fiction. I relish projects that are a bit different – no job is too odd!

I have lots of experience of editing non-fiction. I specialise in the arts, humanities and social sciences. I also have experience in business, lifestyle, self-help and memoir/autobiography. I will take on most topics except maths, sciences, law, statistics and economics.

‘Clarity, communication and consistency’ is my motto. My aim is to help you get your voice heard and understood while preserving your unique style.

I am an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading. I have undertaken a number of their training courses on copyediting and proofreading.

My skills

  • I’m used to working directly with self-publishing authors, and I particularly enjoy this aspect of my work.
  • I’m comfortable working on books that include violent scenes.
  • I have experience of proofreading essays, theses and dissertations.
  • I’ve edited non-fiction books for major publishers, including Cambridge University Press, Routledge and Arc Humanities Press.
  • I have experience proofreading and editing websites and blog posts and using Content Management Systems.
  • I have worked in the public sector, private sector and third sector. Formal letters, reports, leaflets, staff handbooks, contracts … if your company uses them, I’ve probably proofread them!

My background

I graduated from Loughborough University in 2001 with a degree in Fine Art (Painting). I worked in various administrative and managerial roles within the charity sector before beginning my editing and proofreading training in 2015. In the same year I became a director of Help For Writers, a post which I held until December 2019. This involved copyediting, proofreading and helping clients distribute their books via online stores worldwide. Since December 2019 I have focused on editing and proofreading on a freelance basis as well as branching out into developmental editing.


I usually charge per word, and this will vary depending on the type of work I’m doing and the manuscript itself. To give you a ballpark figure, my prices tend to be around 0.01 GBP per word (£10 per thousand words) for proofreading and 0.012 GBP per word (£12 per thousand words) for copyediting. Developmental editing has more variation, but tends to be somewhere in the range of 0.015 to 0.02 GBP per word.

I’d be happy to give you an exact price once I’ve had a look at your work! For copyediting and proofreading, I do a free, no-obligation sample proofread or edit of a few pages. As developmental editing is more ‘big picture’ in nature, it isn’t so well-suited to that type of sample, but when I’ve seen your manuscript, I’ll be able to gauge how much work it needs and give you an upfront cost.

If you would like to discuss your project, please contact me!

Why do I charge more for some projects?

I find a per-word pricing model to be fair and transparent because no matter how good the writing is, I still need to read every word several times, and this takes time! However, some projects naturally need more work than others. This is not necessarily a reflection on the quality of the writing or how good the book is. Some things that can affect this are: 

  • Fact-checking – if there are lots of facts that need to be checked, for instance, in a historical novel.
  • References – formatting references can take a surprisingly long time!
  • Complex structure – a novel with a complex structure might need particular attention to continuity, timelines and cross-checking.
  • Type of English – if the author is writing in a particular dialect or non-standard form of English, editing to retain rhythm and flow might be more challenging.

Often, the more difficult a project is, the more satisfying it is to work on, so don’t let that put you off! I particularly like helping people who have great ideas but who simply struggle to get them down on paper. You’re the architect with the vision for the grand building, and I’m the bricklayer who helps you put one brick on top of another!

About me

When I’m not working or looking after my young daughter, you’re most likely to find me knitting, spinning, drawing or painting. You can see some of my artwork here, and you can even purchase a print here! I also enjoy jogging (although ‘shambling’ might be a better description). I love listening to music, particularly rock, metal, blues, goth, industrial, visual kei, pop and folk. I play the guitar and the piano with borderline competence. I am reasonably good at French and, being a language junkie, have tried my hand at various other languages including Finnish, Japanese, Latvian and Russian.

Find me on social media

Follow me on Twitter: @CatherineDunn8 

Find me on Facebook: /CatherineDunnEditorial

Find me on Instagram: ursul4  |  catherinedunnartwork

cartoon image of woman with short brown hair and blue eyes wearing a red and black jacket against a dark blue background