About me

Fiction editor for self-publishing authors. I will happily tackle any genre, but I specialise in fantasy, science fiction, YA, horror, crime/thrillers and literary fiction. I relish projects that are a bit different – no job is too odd!

I also have lots of experience of editing non-fiction. In the academic arena I specialise in art, history, politics and literature, but when it comes to my self-publishing clients, my expertise is in memoir, autobiography, self-help, lifestyle, religion and spirituality.

Topics I’m definitely not qualified to work on are medicine, mathematics, hard sciences, law and statistics!

‘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’ll work with you either on the ‘big picture’ (developmental or structural editing) or at a more detailed level (line editing, copyediting and proofreading), and we’ll discuss your needs to make sure we both have clear expectations.

I’m 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, as well as courses by Liminal Pages and the Editorial Freelancers Association.

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 and other things that some editors find unpleasant or triggering.
  • I’ve edited on a freelance basis for major publishers, including Cambridge University Press, Routledge and Arc Humanities Press.
  • I can edit LaTEX in Overleaf
  • I have experience of proofreading essays, theses and dissertations.

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 a company called Help For Writers, a post which I held until December 2019. This involved copyediting, proofreading, marketing, networking and helping clients distribute their books online. Since December 2019 I’ve focused on editing and proofreading on a freelance basis.


I usually charge per word, and this varies 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 0.011 GBP per word for proofreading and 0.013 GBP per word for copyediting. Developmental editing has more variation, but tends to be somewhere in the range of 0.018 to 0.022 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 edit or proofread 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’d 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 isn’t 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 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, crocheting, spinning, drawing or painting. You can see some of my artwork here, and I welcome commissions! Most of my artwork is digital, using the ProCreate program, but I still occasionally enjoy drawing with a pencil and painting in gouache. (I never use AI!) 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 and once achieved the heady heights of Grade 8 flute, as well as taking voice lessons. I’m reasonably good at French and, being a language junkie, have tried my hand at various other languages, including Finnish, Japanese and Latvian.

Find me on social media

Follow me on Twitter: @CatherineDunn8 

Follow me on Bluesky: @catherinedunn

Find me on Facebook: /CatherineDunnEditorial

Find me on Instagram: bearlycat  |  catherinedunnartwork

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