Impressed by the speed and precision of your responses.

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.

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

Valuable, comprehensive and thorough structural insights.

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

Loving grasp of the narrative whole.

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.”

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

You need Dion. He’s there for you.

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

A very pleasant experience.

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.

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

His passion and enthusiasm shows through.

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.

Publisher image: Steve Shaw, owner of Black Shuck Books
Steve J. Shaw - Publisher

Deeply responsive to a writer’s vision.

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

A lot less stressful than I thought.

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.”

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

He never forgets that this is your book.

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, author of High Cross.
Paul Melhuish

My first call for future projects

Dion is a dedicated editor who works with the writer to make their story sing. His respect for both the work and the authorial style, combined with his skill and professionalism, have made him my first call for future projects.

Eric Nash
Eric Nash

Exactly what a person would pay for.

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.”

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

Clear, concise, and extremely helpful.

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

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

I’d definitely recommend him.

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

Paul Kane, author of The Rot.
Paul Kane

A tireless work ethic.

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, owner/publisher of Horrific Tales.
Graeme Reynolds - Publisher

A consummate professional.

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.”

CC Adams, author of There Goes Pretty
C.C. Adams

Such a collaborative process.

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.”

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

A diligent and important contributor.

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

Personable and approachable.

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

Thorough and accurate.

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.

Publisher image: George Sandison, owner of Unsung Stories
George Sandison - Publisher

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

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, author of The Cold.
Rich Hawkins

Strengthened the story.

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

Insightful, comprehensive and assured.

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, owner of Dark Minds Press
Ross Warren

I felt secure

Dion is a passionate and professional editor with a keen eye for detail. His enthusiasm and approachability made all the difference. I felt secure in the knowledge that any changes he suggested would ensure that my novella was the best it could be.

Penny Jones, author of Matryoshka
Penny Jones

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

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!”

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

Excellent attention to detail.

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

Author image: Malcolm Devlin
Malcolm Devlin

A damned fine editor

Working with Dion was a pleasure. From the initial overview via Zoom to the final pass, he was dedicated to bringing out the best in my work. He was challenging when he needed to be, knowledgeable about the genre, personable and professional to work with. I found myself bouncing ideas off Dion during our discussions… Read more “A damned fine editor”

Author image: Zachary Ashford
Zachary Ashford
Beneath the Craggy Steep

Services

I can offer you a wide range of services depending on what you feel is needed to bring your document or manuscript up to standard. The basics fall under the general categories of Critique, Copy-Edit, Line Edit, and Proofread. (See my Services list for details.)

I am happy to discuss your particular situation to help determine the level of service required. Feel free to approach me if you have editorial needs that are not covered by this list – examples may include ghost-writing your blurbs and introductions, producing material for your mailing lists, or sharpening your adverts. We can negotiate prices for these alternative services on a job-by-job basis.

Request A Quote

 Please note, I do reserve the right to refuse a job if I deem that the writing is not of a sufficient quality to warrant professional editing yet. In such a circumstance I would, as a matter of courtesy, give the prospective client some general guidance to help them improve the quality of work for their next draft.

Affordable Payment Plan

What are the different levels of editing?

Click below to see full descriptions

Critique

Many people find it useful to check the quality of their work with ‘beta readers’ before spending their time and energy on copy-edits. A beta reader will provide you with a mass of feedback, from general opinions and questions of clarity to highlighting particularly problematic areas that require work. The service is typically free of charge, and done out of good will.

The value of this feedback can be variable, depending on how carefully the reader has considered the piece and how well their thoughts have been communicated. Distortion will often stem from the fact that many new writers ask friends and family members to fulfil this role. Unfortunately, they may be loath to risk hurting your feelings or ill-equipped to truly judge the value of your work, let alone advise you as to how it may best be strengthened.

My Critique service takes the form of an in-depth report, covering all manner of areas from plot structure and character development to dialogue, world-building, and writing style. It is a comprehensive analysis – without bias – from a person who has lived and breathed books all his life, and who knows how to be critical in a constructive and supportive fashion.

This is a broad-strokes service designed to help bring the quality of your work up to a level that may be considered publishable. You will still ultimately need to have a copy-edit done, and to go through the line editing and proofreading stages, but your chances of publication will be greatly increased by ensuring that your foundations are solid.

Copy-Edit

Many writers comment on the surprise paths they have been led down by defiant characters and capricious muses, which can lead to all sorts of complications. The act of creation is an organic one, often rife with inconsistencies. Narrative style, in-world rules, character traits, and all manner of other details may be contradicted down the line.

My copy-editing service works like a comb, running through your work to find these knotty problems. I will provide an introductory email to give you a general overview, setting out any major issues which need to be addressed before finer details can be resolved. Then, on the manuscript itself, I will highlight and explain each issue and offer one or two suggestions as to how they may be untangled.

This is a fine-tuning service designed to get everything working well together, smoothing the kinks out and helping the author to think through a swathe of topics from the perspective of their audience. Readers have no background knowledge of the world, no extra insights into character. Have you told them everything they need to know? Do they feel what you need them to feel? Well, let’s make sure of it.

I offer a discount for combining this service with my Line Edit service.

Line Edit

You’ve worked hard on your project, you’ve stared at the screen until your eyeballs bled, you’ve slogged your guts out and it’s a diamond – you know it is – but you’re so familiar with it you can no longer see the imperfections. You think it’s ready to go out into the world, but is it? Is it really? What have you missed, damn it?

My line-editing service is a full, focused look at your work on a line by line basis. It can be shocking how much was missed on earlier passes, but the results will be worth it. This is the fine-toothed combing I pride myself on. I will be relentless, working with you to help make your manuscript shine. I will be challenging, I will be considerate, I will be thorough.

This is a rigorous service designed to perfect every aspect of your work. It should only be selected if you have already had your work copy-edited by somebody else, or in combination with my own copy-editing service.

Combined Copy and Line Edit
My most popular service, and my preferred way of working. A real bargain.
Proofread

The cost of printing is rarely cheap, and people often try to save money where they can. However, the cost to your reputation will be even higher if your product hits the high street full of fundamental flaws. These can include (but are not limited to) spelling mistakes, missing or incorrect words, missing or inappropriate punctuation, inconsistent typography, self-contradictions, and incorrect information.

My proofreading service is non-judgemental on the style or inherent quality of your work. It takes as its starting point the position that you are already entirely happy with the content of your project, and you merely wish to ensure that it is presented without flaw.

This is a finishing-off service designed to protect your professionalism. It should only be selected if you have already had your work copy-edited and line edited by somebody else. Why somebody else? By the time you get to the proofreading stage, your work will have been examined over and over and over again. Your line editor will be snow-blind. It is absolutely vital to have fresh eyes on the project at this stage to give you the best chance of catching those last few errors. I’m happy to be those eyes.

Prices will be based on the level of service required and the amount of time it will take to complete.

Bespoke Services

Available upon request e.g. synopses for publishers, back-cover blurb, business communications, marketing copy.

Deposit

– I do now ask clients to pay a good-faith deposit up front, which would be deducted from their final bill. The amount will vary based upon the size of the project and how our working relationship develops across subsequent jobs. (The final bill must be paid within 30 days of the invoice being issued.)

Spread the cost

– I now offer an Affordable Payment Plan option that is perfect for writers who are still working on those early drafts. Simply set up a standing order for a set amount each month, then get cracking on your writing. You can save up for the deposit or keep it all going to fund the job in full – whatever works for you. I will send you monthly updates on how much money you’ve accrued. Just tell me when you’re ready and we can get started on the edits. And don’t worry – if you change your mind before I’ve begun to work on your manuscript, I will refund your money in full. No questions asked.

If you begin an Affordable Payment Plan before April 2021, I will lock your price for 18 months to avoid any price rises.

Ask Me Anything

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Penny Jones
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Hereward L.M. Proops
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Mike Garley
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Rich Hawkins
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Allen Stroud
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Jonas Kyratzes & Allen Stroud
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Joseph D'Lacey
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C.C. Adams
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Paul Melhuish
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Thana Niveau
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Paul Kane
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Malcolm Devlin
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Joseph D'Lacey
Cover image 2: A Warning, by Kit Power
Kit Power
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Dion Winton-Polak
Cover image: This Twisted Earth, by Dion Winton-Polak
Dion Winton-Polak
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