The best publications, websites and video productions are built on a foundation of good strong copy and sound design. We provide professional assistance with all writing whether it’s an edit of what you already have, or if you need to start from scratch.

Copy editing

An editor’s job is essentially to improve a piece of writing. According to Butcher’s Copy-editing: “The main aims of copy-editing are to remove any obstacles between the reader and what the author wants to convey and to find and solve any problems before the book goes to the typesetter.” In essence, a good editor makes sure that a manuscript is clear, correct, concise, comprehensive and consistent. The copy editor will work with the author, or authors, to make sure that the copy that goes to layout is as close as possible to perfect.

“Before and after” examples from Jeremy Butterfield.wordpress.com
What do you think of this extract from a government policy document? What is wrong with it?
BEFORE: “Specific considerations will need to be given to what assistance minority groups will require to fully participate and contribute to the design, development and delivery of policies and services.”
Here’s what I think is wrong with it:

1.    The first sentence is in the passive. There’s nothing wrong with the passive in the right place, but this is not the place for it.

2.    There are too many abstract nouns: consideration, design, development, delivery. Using verbs instead is more powerful.

3.    It is verbose. Why have both participate and contribute; doesn’t the second entail the first? Why have design, development and delivery (though the alliteration of three words beginning with d- might work elsewhere).

4.    It uses formal, long-winded words such as assistance and participate. Shorter words make your message more direct.

5.    Can you deliver a policy? Don’t you deliver something more concrete?

I edited it to remove those flaws.
AFTER: “We need to investigate how to help minority groups play their full part in developing policies and delivering services.”
It is 33% shorter, and I believe it is a lot clearer.
BEFORE: “Have you got issues impacting mobility?”
AFTER: “Do you have difficulty moving about?”
Which would most people prefer to be asked?
Which would you prefer to be asked?


Proofreading takes place once the book has been laid out and is almost ready to be printed. The proofreader will pick up errors that the editor has missed, and will note any formatting issues that need to be fixed by the designer.


We'll work with you to write copy for ads, technical copy, scripts and articles for your website.

You can read some of Debbie's articles here...