Advanced Professional Member, Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP)
Founder & member, Editors’ and Proofreaders’ Alliance of Northern Ireland (EPANI)
Partner Member, Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi)
BA English Literature (First Class, 1998)
MA Modern Literary Studies (Distinction, 2000)
PhD English Literature (2004).
Training and professional development
Rewriting and Substantive Editing (PTC, 2016)
Advanced Copy-editing (PTC, 2015)
Fiction Editing workshop (Publishing Ireland, 2013)
Brush up your grammar (SfEP, 2012)
Introduction to copy-editing (SfEP, 2012)
Introduction to web editorial skills (SfEP, 2011)
Basic Proofreading by Distance Learning (PTC, 2011)
On-screen Editing 1 & 2 (SfEP, 2010)
Graphic designer for fifteen years; went to university as a mature student in 1995. Freelance editor and proofreader since 2004, working for both private and commercial clients. I am a tutor on the SfEP’s ‘Introduction to Fiction Editing’ course.
Manuscript assessment; structural/developmental editing; fiction editing, copy-editing; ebook formatting and conversion; typesetting; advice on self-publishing; hand-holding through the self-publishing process
Books (single and multi-author), short stories, essays and articles.
Fiction, crime fiction, literary fiction, commercial fiction (please ask about the genres I don’t work on); creative non-fiction (memoir, biography); academic monographs (literature, art and art history, history). (I enjoy working on texts with footnotes and bibliographies!)
Fiction/novel editing; non-fiction (academic humanities subjects; biography & memoir).
Examples of work undertaken
Developmental editing: Francis O’Hagan, The Auditor (Lagan Press, 2010); Eliza Green, Exilon 5 trilogy (self-published, 2012-14) and Altered Reality (self-published, 2013); Robert Lawrence, To Set a Mouse Running (self-published, 2012); Pat Fitzpatrick, Keep Away From Those Ferraris (self-published, 2013); Luke Prochnow, A Far Cry from Living (self-published, 2013); L.T. Saunders, Falling for Mr Knight (self-published 2013); Raymond Watson, The Cell Was My Canvas (self-published, 2013); Amna Boheim, The Silent Children (Matador, 2015).
Copy-editing: <i>Stormont: The House on the Hill</i> (Booklink, 2008); Colin Cousins, County Armagh and the Great War (The History Press, 2011); Karen Brown et al, Musing in the Museum (special edition of Word & Image, Taylor & Francis, 2013); Linda Fullerton, More Than A Suitcase of Memories (self-published, 2013); Bernie McGill, Sleepwalkers (Whittrick Press, 2013).
Proofreading: Catherine Ryan Howard, Self-Printed (self-published, 2012); Patricia Craig, A Twisted Root (Blackstaff Press, 2012); Kira Kenley, All The Way Back To Here (self-published, 2013).
‘The text [of Cúchulainn: Ulster’s Greatest Hero] is much crisper and flows more naturally. Proofreading and editing is certainly a fine art, a fine art over which you have the highest level of mastery, that much is clear. I was really impressed with your attention to every detail.’
Réamonn Ó Ciaráin, Gael Linn; translator of Cúchulainn, 2017
‘I was put in touch with Averill through The Literary Consultancy, which turned out to be an excellent recommendation. I cannot thank Averill too much for her professionalism and technical competence in dealing with my non-fiction book on the Isle of Man and the First World War. Above all, I am grateful for her endless patience in dealing with a text which I constantly kept on changing. The book is so much the better for her assistance.’
Patricia Skillicorn, The Hammer of Thor: The Impact of the Great War on the people of the Isle of Man, 2016.
‘As a first time author, I was in need of developmental editing, copy-editing, and proofreading for my debut novel, Death by DNA. Averill performed all of these tasks with exceptional expertise and skill. When we first started working together, I had certain ideas about how much ‘science’ I wanted to include in my novel. Averill listened diligently (and patiently) to my point of view, and helped me shape the book so that there was still plenty of science, but not at the cost of bogging the story down. As an added bonus, she helped shepherd me through the intimidating process of self-publishing. Her expert guidance was invaluable every step of the way. Averill is an excellent editor and advisor, and I can’t wait to work with her on my next novel!’
John S. Shaw, III, author of Death by DNA, 2016.
‘I cannot recommend Averill’s service highly enough. She has shown skill, wisdom and patience in equal measure. She not only brings technical expertise to bear on projects, but a commitment to excellence in publishing aligned with a heartfelt passion for good writing. Her help and support has been invaluable to us.’
Hugh Odling-Smee, publisher, Whittrick Press, 2016
‘Averill worked as my editor on my debut novel, The Silent Children. I couldn’t recommend her more highly. She immersed herself in my story world and really understood from the offset the tale I wanted to tell. She took my novel from 70% done to 100%, pushing me to improve every step of the way. I couldn’t have done it without her. She has that great balance of delivering constructive criticism and encouragement. I loved working with her so much that I have asked her to work with me on my second novel.’
Amna K. Boheim, author of The Silent Children, 2015
‘[Averill’s] involvement became more than just that of an novel editor. We entered a dialogue, discussing the specific weaknesses in my writing. She pointed out these weaknesses with great sensitivity and tact. With her assistance, I learned a great deal – lessons I still value to this day.’
Robert Lawrence, independent author, 2014
‘I approached Averill Buchanan with a unique request for development editing. Throughout our work together, she was always prompt and thoughtful in response to my questions. After she provided her feedback, [she] responded quickly to follow-up questions and … gave me concrete next steps that I was able to use immediately, while also being respectful of my right to make the final calls. I enjoyed working with Averill and would recommend her to anyone looking for novel editing.’
Sarah Carlson, independent author, 2014
‘I just wanted … to thank you for doing such a good job [with proofreading]. You saved us from quite a number howlers, and it’s all very clearly marked-up.’ Helen Wright, Senior Editor, Blackstaff Press, 2012