Editing

Would you like help to make your fiction and poetry ready to send out for publication?

To request support in editing your fiction and poetry, please send a message here.

My guidance draws upon over twelve years’ experience as a freelance editor and eight years’ experience as a creative writing tutor in Adult and Higher Education. I’ve helped beginner writers with individual stories and poems, and I’ve worked with a number of authors prior to the publication of their books and pamphlets.

I can offer feedback on most forms of writing. I have a particular specialism in novellas-in-flash / novels-in-flash.

Michael-8Services offered:

Copy-editing – advice on good English style, vocabulary choices, omitting unnecessary words, accurate and smooth grammar, correcting spelling / typos, punctuation, etc.

Developmental / Structural Editing – suggestions for enhancing creative and technical aspects e.g. characterisation, plot, setting, point of view, dialogue, vocabulary and imagery, rhythm, form (e.g. for poetry).

Fees vary according to –
– type of service required
– whether comments are to be handwritten on manuscript or typed into Word document
– whether you would like meetings in addition to manuscript advice
– speed of response required
– size of job (fee reduction available for larger projects)

Guideline Fees –

– Novella-in-Flash: £170 – £270 per 10,000 words
– Flash Fiction: £100 – £170 per 6,000 words
– Short Stories: £100 – £170 per 8,000 words
– Poetry: £65 – £95 for 150 lines of poetry
– Novels: £150 – £250 for first 10,000 words plus synopsis and covering letter.

Testimonials:

Thank you, Michael, for taking the time to read my novella-in-flash. You made some very astute observations and drew my attention to areas I needed to work on.  Even though it had been shortlisted at the Bath Novella-in-Flash competition, I felt myself that it needed work, but couldn’t put my finger on it. Your expert editorial eye picked up on the issues. What I loved is that you worded your critique in such a way that you forced me to ask myself questions and to ultimately come up with the answers. You are really good at that! With your help I wrote 3 or 4 more flashes, including one that really nailed what the novella was all about. And the result? Forthcoming publication at Flash: The International Short-Short Story Press! I can’t thank you enough and will definitely work with you in the future.” (Debbi Voisey)

“A book needs an editor – someone to cast an unbiased, critical eye over it.  Knowing how conscientious Michael is, I had no hesitation in asking him to edit my collection of flash fiction.  He didn’t disappoint. Michael approached the whole project in a professional, enthusiastic way, editing out many tiny errors, as well as making suggestions on how to improve individual stories and the narrative arc of the book.  ‘Finding a Way’, my flash collection on the theme of grief is being published by Ad Hoc Fiction in February 2019.” (Diane Simmons’s book ‘Finding a Way’ was shortlisted in 2019 for the Saboteur Award for Best Short Story collection)

“Michael’s feedback on my collection of poems was by far the most detailed and best-informed advice I have ever received on my writing… I would recommend Michael to any writer who is looking for a truly different type of mentoring..” (N.M.)

“Michael is outstanding for the time he spends and the support he gives… His care and meticulous attention to the work in hand is exemplary… It was money well spent.” (D.D.)

“Michael’s comments helped me to identify the gaps in character motivation, the function of all my characters in relation to the protagonist’s emotional arc, and to reconsider the way imagery worked across my novella-in-flash. His skill at identifying ineffective sentences was also invaluable. He was supportive, and I greatly appreciated his non-prescriptive tone.” (Jeanette Sheppard)

“Michael is meticulous in the quality of attention he gives to one’s work, with tactful comments and creative suggestions… His own enthusiasm and belief in the writer’s potential are inspiring.” (V.R.)

“I had no previous writing experience; on top of that English was not my mother tongue… Michael patiently and supportively guided me… [M]y writing has improved –  not only writing structure and techniques but in punctuation and grammar as well. I found Michael very reliable, trustworthy and well-organized.” (R.M.)

“Michael’s innovative approach was inspiring and unleashed a creative self I didn’t realise was there. As a result I have written a compilation of humorous true short stories for a paperback. Asking Michael to mentor me was an obvious choice and I am very happy with the work he has done. His comments are always clear and concise and every batch of stories was also returned with a covering letter, explaining the dos and donts and giving useful advice.” (Connie B.)

“I felt validated as a poet. Feedback was thorough, insightful and thoughtful.  Michael took time to unravel why less successful lines needed more attention. A courteous, supportive relationship was quickly established… I found the comments have led me to positive development because while they were encouraging they also indicated where and why my work needed to improve. I’d recommend Michael as a sympathetic and helpful mentor.” (Nola T.)

“I received my annotated manuscript back quickly. A summary page of common errors helped me to digest repeating patterns or areas for improvement. Each note within the main text was clear and precise. A structural suggestion for the novella as a whole added clarity… I have already amended some of my writing practice. As someone with no educational background in English literature and language past the age of sixteen, I learnt a significant amount to help my writing in the future…” (Stephanie Hutton. In 2019 this novella-in-flash (‘Three Sisters of Stone’) won the 2019 Saboteur Award for Best Novella)

“Michael has been a sensitive and insightful reader of my work. He gave me much to think about, particularly in terms of character and motivation, which helped me to approach my manuscript afresh and with renewed enthusiasm. His gentle comments and questions are always on point, and his suggestions for further reading extremely useful. I thoroughly recommend Michael as an exceptional tutor in creative writing.” (Deborah T.)

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