Why do you need me?

What’s the point of proofreading? How essential is an editor?

You already have an inkling that I may be of use to you, or else you wouldn’t be checking my site out, but you’re also probably trying to figure out if you really need to pay somebody to check your work. I mean…you’re careful, right? Or at least you could be more careful if you put your mind to it. Right?

Well, maybe.

The best tightrope walkers and trapeze artists work without a safety net – pulling off amazing feats, wowing their audiences, and doing it all on their own. You might be that good. If you do slip, though, if you publish something that has fundamental plot-holes; inconsistencies of character or world-building; poor spelling or grammar; awkward dialogue – the list of possibilities goes on – you will start to suffer reputational damage and your career could come crashing down before it has properly begun.

SUBMIT Your Manuscript HERE

I can be your safety net. I can catch your slip-ups before the paying public settles down to enjoy your ‘act’. Everybody gets snow-blind about their work after a while. I can be a fresh pair of eyes for you. I can spot your gaps, eliminate your errors, and react to your story as a first reader. My style of editing is both supportive and collaborative. We’ll work together in close partnership to hone the project to your vision, then polish it up to the finest shine. My services are flexible, wide-ranging, and reasonably priced.

Want to see what other clients think of my work? Check out my Testimonials page.

I’d definitely recommend him.

Paul Kane, author of The Rot.

‘I found Dion professional to work with and the book was all the better for his edits. I’d definitely recommend him.’

Paul Kane

I wanted to improve, and kept coming back for more!

Cover image: This Twisted Earth (Vol. 1). Blue and green strands intertwined like DNA on a black background, surrounding the names of the contributers.

‘You went into a level of detail that I hadn’t experienced before, which was difficult for me as my confidence is paper thin, but you dealt with it in such a way that I wanted to improve, and kept coming back for more! You were also far less dictatorial than it seems a lot of… Read more “I wanted to improve, and kept coming back for more!”

Jacob Prytherch

A consummate professional.

CC Adams, author of There Goes Pretty

‘He brings the open mind and patience to see what the creator is trying to convey, and work with them to deliver that vision – never losing sight of the fact that it’s the author’s story to tell. A consummate professional. I have no qualms in recommending his services to anyone looking to tighten and… Read more “A consummate professional.”

C.C. Adams

His passion and enthusiasm shows through.

Black Shuck Books logo

‘The thing with Dion is that his passion and enthusiasm shows through in every project he works on. From conception to final proof, his level of dedication is second to none.’

Steve J. Shaw - Publisher

Valuable, comprehensive and thorough structural insights.

K.T. Davies, author of The Red Knight.

‘Dion gave me valuable, comprehensive and thorough structural insights on a project I’m working on. It was a worthy investment, and I would certainly recommend him.’

K.T. Davies

A lot less stressful than I thought.

Cover image: Sunny, with a Chance of Zombies. Various zombies at a barbecue, the sun high in the sky.

‘This was my first experience with an editor (outside of academia), and you made it a pleasant one. I was worried that things would be changed without my permission, I wouldn’t get a final say in things etc. and you took those fears away. I procrastinate and am anxious by nature, but the process was… Read more “A lot less stressful than I thought.”

Nikki Tanner

Such a collaborative process.

Cover image: This Twisted Earth (Vol. 1). Blue and green strands intertwined like DNA on a black background, surrounding the names of the contributers.

‘I hate editing – I tend to put it off for ages. I’ve had other edits done on short stories I’ve published but they have largely been cosmetic changes and have certainly not been such a collaborative process. I was worried that I’d feel a bit ‘precious’ about making changes but your comments were so… Read more “Such a collaborative process.”

Hereward L.M. Proops

You need Dion. He’s there for you.

David Baume, author of Cat's Eyes, Road Safety, With All My Love, and Dry Stone Wall.

‘You need your writing to be as good as it can possibly be, while still being yours, in your voice. You need a suggestion on how to make that difficult and vital paragraph a lot clearer than it is now. You need to know that you’ve got the psychology of your characters straight – or… Read more “You need Dion. He’s there for you.”

David Baume
Cat's Eyes / Road Safety / With All My Love / Dry Stone Wall

Loving grasp of the narrative whole.

Cover image: This Twisted Earth (Vol. 1). Blue and green strands intertwined like DNA on a black background, surrounding the names of the contributers.

‘As an editor, Dion is possessed of a keen eye for detail tempered with a loving grasp of the narrative whole. His passionate editorial approach is driven by the uncompromising desire to facilitate a finished work that is both as accomplished and complete as possible. Unlike other perspicacious and gifted editors of my experience, his… Read more “Loving grasp of the narrative whole.”

Andrew Coulthard

Exactly what a person would pay for.

Cover image: This Twisted Earth (Vol. 1). Blue and green strands intertwined like DNA on a black background, surrounding the names of the contributers.

‘There was never a change without a valid justification and you were open to dialogue which ended in a mutually approved draft. You were quite insightful and enthusiastic. The enthusiasm counted for a lot and eased the sting of any criticisms or change requests. All your changes seemed well-informed and came from a place with… Read more “Exactly what a person would pay for.”

Matt Lewis

Thorough and accurate.

Publisher Logo: Unsung Stories.

‘Dion proves himself very thorough and accurate in his work with us and has shown a particular sensitivity to and respect for the author’s work. His enthusiasm for the project is coupled with his professional manner and reliability with deadlines.’

George Sandison - Publisher

He never forgets that this is your book.

Paul Melhuish, author of High Cross.

‘Dion promises to help an author make their work the best that it can be. He achieves this through an excellent understanding of the writing process, plot, characterisation, and pace. Dion has an eye for details, picking up on small facts and inconsistencies to make it all the more believable. He balances the need to… Read more “He never forgets that this is your book.”

Paul Melhuish

Personable and approachable.

Angeline Trevena, featured in Sunny, with a Chance of Zombies. Author of The Paper Duchess series and The Memory Trader Series.

‘I must say that the biggest thing for me has been how personable and approachable you are (both via email and social networking) which is really important. You feel like a real person, rather than a red pen! I found your editing both sympathetic and strict, which is exactly the balance it needs to be.… Read more “Personable and approachable.”

Angeline Trevena

A very pleasant experience.

Cover image: Sunny, with a Chance of Zombies. Various zombies at a barbecue, the sun high in the sky.

‘This is my first time working with an editor and you made it a very pleasant experience. I thought the editing process would be a bit overwhelming, but you made it manageable and relatively stress-free.’

Marc Kadushin

Clear, concise, and extremely helpful.

Mike Garley, author of The Return of the Samurai Slasher.

Dion’s feedback was clear, concise, and extremely helpful. I wouldn’t think twice about using him again!

Mike Garley

A tireless work ethic.

Graeme Reynolds, owner/publisher of Horrific Tales.

‘Dion is my go-to editor for UK novels. He has a great eye for detail and a tireless work ethic. He’s a joy to work with.’

Graeme Reynolds - Publisher

Excellent attention to detail.

Cover image: You Will Grow Into Them. A woman pulls on a glove of human skin. Her hand becomes that of a man.

‘Dion is a fine editor. Excellent attention to detail. I feel very lucky to have had him on my side.’

Malcolm Devlin

Insightful, comprehensive and assured.

Publisher logo - Dark Minds Press

‘The Fine-toothed Comb isn’t just Dion’s business name, it’s his mission statement too. The editing work he undertook on our behalf was insightful, comprehensive and assured. Turnaround times were fantastic and the whole process worked like a dream.’

Ross Warren

Strengthened the story.

Mike Chinn, featured in This Twisted Earth (vol. 1)

‘It was fun. Glad to say, it wasn’t too traumatic. I knew there were likely to be a few tweaks to help continuity (since I was submitting to a shared world book that was evolving all the time) but you also made suggestions that strengthened the story on its own merits.’

Mike Chinn

Deeply responsive to a writer’s vision.

Kit Power, author of A Warning About Your Future Enslavement...

‘Courteous, professional, thorough – Dion seems to instinctively grasp that the role of a good editor is to help shape and hone the text into the best it can possibly be. Unafraid to make bold suggestions, he’s also deeply responsive to a writer’s vision and voice. Working with him on my frankly bloody awkward collection… Read more “Deeply responsive to a writer’s vision.”

Kit Power

Impressed by the speed and precision of your responses.

Cover image: Sunny, with a Chance of Zombies. Various zombies at a barbecue, the sun high in the sky.

‘I’m amazed this is your first go as an editor. I’ve been impressed by the speed and precision of your responses, the organizational abilities displayed thus far and the excitement for the project you convey to all participants. I can honestly not think of a single interaction which could’ve been improved upon.’

Chris Bauer

A diligent and important contributor.

Allen Stroud, author of Fearless and co-author of the Phoenix Point stories.

‘Dion was a diligent and important contributor in the development of my novel from draft to draft. Aside from picking up a few crucial mistakes, he also asked important and challenging questions, always with a view to strengthening the story and how it was being delivered.’

Allen Stroud

The next level.

Joseph D'Lacey, author of The Veil (Testaments I&II), Weed, and Gallashan.

‘No matter how brilliant you think your manuscript is already, Dion Winton-Polak will accelerate it to the next level.’

Joseph D'Lacey

Easily one of the best editors I’ve worked with.

Rich Hawkins, author of The Cold.

‘Dion kicked my arse, editing-wise, but in a polite and really helpful way. Easily one of the best editors I’ve worked with. He’s so thorough he’ll probably edit this testimonial for me.’

Rich Hawkins
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