What is copyediting?

Definitions of copyediting vary between industries, countries and professional bodies. I've been trained by the UK's Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP), so I work according to their definition.

Copyediting includes:

Some publishers and creators prefer to split up these duties between a copyeditor and a separate 'line editor'. The CIEP don't make a distinction between copyediting and line editing, but if you do, just let me know which aspects of the edit you'd like me to focus on and I'll be happy to accommodate.

Copyediting does not include:

*You may have heard people use 'copyediting' interchangeably with 'proofreading' when talking casually (and will also see this in some of my client testimonials). However, in the publishing industry, copyediting and proofreading are separate stages of the publishing process and involve different (but overlapping) sets of skills. If you're not quite sure what you're looking for, feel free to get in touch and ask. **Some copyeditors will highlight potential copyright or libel issues as part of their work. However, this isn't a service I currently offer.

Working With Me

In order to get the best out of my work, it would be helpful if you could provide a brief (a description of the work that needs doing) in your initial email. This will help me to judge whether the job is within my remit, and to structure my work appropriately if you hire me. Some things I need to know are:

If you're not sure what you need, that's okay! Just let me know, and we can discuss what would be best for you.

My rate and time estimate will vary depending on word count and the details of the work required, but I'm aware that money can be tight for indie creators and marginalised people, so I'm willing to consider payment plans. 

I have experience working in Microsoft Word, Libre Office, and Google Docs, and will use Word/Libre's Track Changes or Google Docs' Suggesting mode to suggest edits so you can easily approve or reject them as needed. 

Get in touch at

"The edits [Rowan] made were fantastic for clarity, grammar and structure of the piece... would definitely use their services again." Hazel Dixon, Creative Lead at Bobbit Worm Games and co-writer of Accessibility in Online Larp

"Rowan... provided helpful corrections and comments on a quick turnaround. I would recommend them for any proofreading work." – Miller J. Power, Archaeology Master’s Graduate at Durham University 

“I asked Rowan to edit... fiction that was being used to introduce players to [a tabletop roleplaying event's] setting. ...Rowan picked up on errors that the game team would have overlooked and helped us to rework sections of the material to better deliver the narrative we were looking for; as a result the players received a better insight into the setting." – John Exton, Game Master for The 24 Hour Game  

"Rowan edited a guide and a funding application... They were professional and proactive and their editing work was excellent. I would recommend them to other clients." – Alex Hilton, Organiser for Nonbinary Inclusion Project