Writing wrongs #7: how’s your colon? Part 2

In part 1, I put semicolons in their place (and got a bit excited about cheese). In part 2, I’m taking a look at their closest relation: the colon.

It’s easy to confuse the two ­– they sure do look alike – but how they’re used is quite different. I think of a colon as an … Continue Reading

Hey big spenders

Recently, I’ve been putting out editorial flames all over the place, and as a result I’ve neglected my jotter. Never fear! A recent trip to Leeds, which included rain, delicious falafel and a couple of delayed trains, provided a few brilliant #shouldhavehiredaproofreader spots from some big-spending brands. Shame they didn’t have money in the budget … Continue Reading

Poland calling!

Yay! Exciting news! I’m pleased to announce that I have been selected for a literature residency programme in Krakow, Poland. I will be spending October 2017 living and working in this amazing city and attending the Joseph Conrad International Literature Festival. The programme is for young (yeah, still got it!) and emerging writers from other … Continue Reading

A day at the fair

If you work in the world of books then spring means one thing: LBF. The book fair is one of the essential pit stops on the international publishing circuit. It’s where deals are done, rights are sold, and everyone can have a good ol’ nosy at what the competition is up to.

As an author and editor, … Continue Reading

In the absence of heroes

Pointing out other people’s errors can be a thankless job. After all, nobody likes to be told they’re wrong. Editors and proofreaders are the unsung heroes of all the things we read. From signage to websites, they swoop in and snuff out tiny mistakes before they become full-blown billboardian disasters.

Unfortunately, unlike Marvel’s band of misfits, who … Continue Reading

When alternative facts won’t do

In these uncertain times, it’s nice to know that some things are the way they are, and that’s that. No matter how many ‘alternative facts’ people might be flinging around about really important world issues, when it comes to spelling, grammar, and punctuation, there are some hard and fast rules you can live by.

However, there … Continue Reading

Proofreading tips to avoid embarrassing your brand

There’s nothing that irks me more than when a company has spent heaps of money on marketing, advertising or promotional materials but has failed to pay a proofreader. When you decide, or when the agency you’ve hired decides, not to pay a proofreader, there’s a chance all that hard work and all the money it costs … Continue Reading

What’s new?


As the colossal mess that was 2016 draws to a close, I thought I’d leave you with a little year-end tip for how to correctly greet your fellow revelers in writing this weekend.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are holidays, and like Christmas, Ramadan, Passover and Halloween they’re capitalized. You should also capitalize their … Continue Reading