Finely crafted words

Looking for a way to polish up your text?

I'm Caroline Petherick – Wordsmith.
A text management professional with many years of experience.

Written text ... just a collection of words. Yet, like simple bricks, words can be put together to create vivid and evocative constructions. For instance, J R R Tolkien:

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.

... or the inimitable Mark Twain:

I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.

Whatever you write – whether it's on computer programming, eternal life or anything in between – can be just as memorable. But to get the response you expect from your readers, you need someone to check it who doesn't know yet what's in your head.
This is where I come in; I'm your guinea-pig reader. I'll help create a clearer communication channel between you and your audience. I'm highly experienced – I've worked as a wordsmith since the early nineties – so you get a swift, efficient and cost-effective service.

For more about what a good editor can do for an author, see what Professor of Linguistics David Crystal says:

Example services:

Get your book edited or ghostwritten

Whether it's printed or an ebook, a novel or a textbook, I can edit it for you so it's reader-friendly. Or starting more or less from scratch, I can ghostwrite it for you.

More info

Get your thesis or dissertation proofread

I'm experienced at ensuring academic texts are ready to impress examiners.

Sounds good!

Maximise respect for your product or service

Showing you have perfect English is one of the best ways to ensure respect for your business.


Enhance your company image

Eloquent language takes your company image to the next level, making you stand out from competitors.

Why not?

Text Management

Do you want to produce effective information booklets and leaflets, instruction manuals, fact sheets, newsletters, business plans?

For design and accounting work it's good business sense to employ specialists. But when it comes to getting things down in writing, you've got a computer – so, why pay someone?

A computer can only do so much to help. It can't tell you:

  • that the content needs rearranging to end up in logical order
  • whether your vocabulary and writing style is right for your readers
  • about any gender, class or cultural bias in your text
  • whether the typeface and layout of the text make it easy or hard to read
  • that some information crucial to understanding has been left out, or
  • that you've typed 'now' instead of 'not' – such a tiny slip ... such potentially catastrophic consequences!

If you've already drafted a text, I can approach it from the reader's perspective – very different from the way that you, the writer, view it. My job is to make your publication communicate your message clearly, checking that:

  • it's in the kind of English that's right for your readers
  • information is included that's needed for full understanding
  • the text follows a logical order
  • contents and referencing are used if required

and so on ...

Good writing enhances your image, so readers will be impressed; your publication will become a springboard to help create more and better business for you.

Contact me now!


Are you drafting a business text, and want it checked over?

I'm a very experienced editor / proofreader, and have spent a sizeable chunk of my adult life in the commercial world. So I can achieve anything from a quick polish to a thorough makeover, depending on your needs. Scroll up to Text Management above.

Are you writing a book? If so, please scroll down to Editing below.

Are you writing a thesis, dissertation or essay?

Academic writing must be your own work. But what if your first language is not English? Or if you have acknowledged difficulty getting things down in writing?

If so, most universities and colleges allow you to have your text checked by an English proofreader. This helps ensure your meaning is clear and that the text is written in academic British English.

Cost? From £15 to £35 per 1,000 words. (For a more exact price, see 'What's the next step?' below.)

Time? I can normally proofread about 25,000 words in about two working days, and about 70,000 words in a working week and so on. But you'll need to check that I have space in my schedule. The more advance notice you give me, the more likely I can work for you when you need me.

Please also give yourself a few days after I've returned the completed text to you. You will need some time to check the changes I've made, before you submit your work for assessment and marking.

What's the next step?

Please email me, to:

1) tell me the title, subject and word limit of your text,

2) tell me your submission deadline, and

3) send me a 500-word sample of the text.

I will tell you whether I am competent to work on the subject matter and whether I can fit the work into my schedule. If both those conditions are met, I will work on your sample for free, and I will normally return it to you within 24 hours, with an exact price per 1,000 words.

So before you go any further:

a) you will know that we can meet your deadline

b) you can see what kind of work I would do for you, and

c) you will know exactly how much the job will cost you.

Okay? Contact me for help just when you need it!

Editing, ghostwriting

If you're a book publisher, you might like to contact me about my service; I have worked for the last few years on a series of books ranging from maritime history to diplomatic protocol to natural history, produced by Whittles Publishing, a prestigious private house. Dr Keith Whittles says, 'We have been working with Caroline for several years and across a broad range of projects and subjects. It is a pleasure to work with her – she is efficient, accurate, knowledgeable, diplomatic and very understanding.' (full text on the Testimonials page)

Also, I worked on Lloyd's Register's magisterial history and maritime technology books: 'Caroline was a joy to work with on our projects. She immediately answered our cry for help and couldn’t have been more helpful throughout our time of working with her. We found Caroline a fast, accurate and efficient editor.' (full text on the Testimonials page).

If you produce TEFL teacher-trainer books, you will find that my long experience in this field will help produce texts that are relevant and easy to understand.

I have also worked on educational texts – course books and teacher books – at primary and secondary levels, and am fully aware of the need to achieve coherence, cohesion – and correctness! – throughout.

Or perhaps you're a writer – of fiction, memoirs, family history, local history – who wants to ensure your work is as good as it can be before it goes to an agent, a publisher or, if you're self-publishing, your readers. Many of the writers I have worked with have – in some cases rather to their surprise – greatly enjoyed the process of checking their work before publication. One of my recent authors said to her publisher: 'Caroline and I have had SUCH fun getting the m/s sorted! I must say, she has been absolutely wonderful to work with.'

I have been working as an editor since 1993. My services range from copy-editing to rewriting to structural editing and developmental editing (coordinating a project from first drafts, incorporating input from authors, consultants and editors, to produce a designer-ready text).

Another option is ghostwriting: you provide me with the tale you want to tell, as notes or maybe recordings, and I can turn it into a well constructed and readable story.

Qualifications and experience

I am an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading – the highest possible grade in the body that sets editorial standards nationwide – and I continue to update my training to keep abreast of the fast-moving world of IT and the subtle changes in language that reflect our developing culture. See my directory entry at

I have an Open University degree in linguistics, Latin + Ancient Greek, and astronomy + cosmology. My activities include crewing a Tall Ship, piloting my own microlight and converting a barn into an offgrid holiday cottage, so visitors can find out what fun – and how easy! – it can be to live sustainably (see So my knowledge base is eclectic, helping ensure that any text I work on for you will be well received by your readers.

The next step

Contact me now to find out how my editing service can help your text communicate your message clearly and effectively to your readers.


Current clients include:

Whittles Publishing (maritime, engineering, natural history), the Maritime Foundation, and many independent authors of fiction and non-fiction, including memoirs, family history and local history,plus semi-fictional books on, for example, Palestine, the Irish troubles, merchant shipping in the Far East.

Past clients include:

Lloyd's Register, Sheffield Hallam University (secondary physics), HarperCollins (educational maths and English), Palgrave Macmillan (finance and economics), Lovely Little Books, Helbling Languages, Bott Automotive Vehicle Solutions, Micus (Duesseldorf), IFS, SECTA, BCCCA, ABTT, and a bunch of academics writing PhDs on topics as diverse as maritime history and rainforest rubber.

'Caroline was a joy to work with on our projects. She immediately answered our cry for help and couldn’t have been more helpful throughout our time of working with her. We found Caroline a fast, accurate and efficient editor with a keen eye for attention to detail who could work to extremely tight deadlines, always delivering when she said she would. Caroline has meticulous editing and proofreading skills and is willing to learn and research the subject matter, checking facts and questioning material that needs clarity and providing suggestions based upon her expertise. All of her suggestions were well thought out and pertinent. We would have no hesitation in using Caroline for our future projects.' Barbara Jones, Curator of Maritime History and Education, Lloyd’s Register.

'We have been working with Caroline for several years and across a broad range of projects and subjects. It is a pleasure to work with her – she is efficient, accurate, knowledgeable, diplomatic and very understanding. She handles authors beautifully, with their own expectations and foibles, and we have received compliments from several who have praised her work, her understanding and the improvements she has brought to their manuscript. I have worked with editors for 40 years and I can say wholeheartedly and with objectivity that Caroline is one of the very best. I am constantly amazed by her knowledge and skills and appreciate her sense of humour – it all helps the editing flow more smoothly!'
Dr Keith Whittles, Whittles Publishing

'I just want to say a big thank you for all your help and expertise. Your knowledge of Word is clearly extensive and has broadened my horizons in that area but your efficiency, reliability and professional standards are exemplary.'
John Crozier, author

'Caroline, I totally trust your excellent work! Cheers, Herbert.'
Dr Herbert Puchta, Professor of English at the Teacher Training University in Austria

'As I have discovered, writing a book doesn’t just happen. Not only do I have to endure the at times crippling process of love then hate of my own writing, but others have to read it too. Fortunately I’m blessed with a great team around me, and this has helped me improve every aspect of my work. I would particularly like to thank my editor Caroline Petherick ( for her support. People often ask me what an editor does and if they need one for their book. My answer is that to publish a book without an editor would be total madness. Caroline not only corrects my grammar and punctuation, but she proof reads my work and checks the consistency of facts – names, places, people, dates. It would be embarrassing to have to reveal how many errors she finds, but I don’t think I am alone amongst other authors. We all need a second pair of eyes.'
Matthew Woodward, author of Trans-Siberian Adventures, A Bridge Even Further and The Railway to Heaven.

Ah... proper sentences that make sense! Exactly what I want. You've done a wonderful job on this.'
Andrew Pilkington

About Me

Since 1993 I've created and contributed to a wide variety of texts, from leaflets and newsletters to weighty multi-author tomes.

My qualifications relevant to this profession include:

  • Advanced Professional Membership of the Chartered Institute of Editors and Proofreaders; the highest grade currently achievable, hence a testimony of high quality (and ongoing) training, valuable experience and proven reliability
  • Trinity Cert. TESOL, teacher of English as a Foreign Language
  • Dip ELS (Open) – Diploma of English Language Studies
  • Open University degree in linguistics, Ancient Greek, Latin, and astronomy/cosmology.
My business background covers the UK and Hong Kong, including PR work for J Walter Thompson, and 10 years running a special interest travel company (classical music festivals, natural history, fine arts and architecture, and fine food and wine). And just so's there's no risk of you thinking I'm all work and no play, I'm also involved in
  • Car driving – I became a member of the IAM and I sometimes have fun in a skid pan, too. Drives etched on my memory include (1) nipping over the pass from La Paz down for lunch in the steamy heat of the rainforest in the mid-70s (along what I later learnt was the Camino de La Muerte) in a beat-up rented Beetle; and (2) penetrating the fastnesses of the Zhongyang Range in ... a beat-up rented Beetle.
  • Scuba diving – I'm a PADI Open Water Diver and have dived the Channel, the Med and the Red Sea.
  • Winter sports – I've spent winters abroad skiing in Switzerland and France, I've made a risible attempt at snowboarding, and I spent time in the Canadian Rockies on a snowmobile and helping train a dogsled team.
  • Aviation – I hold a PPL, with IMC and Night Ratings. I have also flown a helicopter, and have been taken hot-air ballooning. I bought a Thruster microlight, but sold it when the adrenalin levels caused by its overstressed two-stroke engine went over the top. Then I had a go at learning hang-gliding, but stopped before I bent myself as well as the wing ... Next stop, gliding I hope! Not so physically challenging as hang-gliding, and much more planet-friendly than powered flight.
  • Martial arts – judo many years ago, then ki-aikido, and now the equally powerful, but less physically demanding, t'ai chi.
  • Sailing, including:
    • restoring and sailing a two-mast, gaff-rig traditional wooden boat
    • windsurfing – wobble'n'splash
    • yachting – Solent Points, Cowes Week and Kiel Week racing and cruising, DoT Yachtmaster, Short-range Radio Operator
    • Tall Ship – crewing the STA's Prince William in the Azores.
  • Opera – for several years I went to the gods in Covent Garden once or twice a week. I've also been to many festival performances at Bayreuth, Salzburg, Glyndebourne etc.
  • More arts – I'm the Discovery Days organiser for Liskeard Arts, my local Arts Society branch; and for several years I've been the projectionist for Cinema by the Sea.
  • Family – I'm mum to four young adults who are now scattered across the globe, startling the locals no doubt. Feeling guilty about thus increasing the population, I've told my four that if any of them really wants to have children, then they'll need to be prepared for a thoroughly subversive granny.
  • Weird and wonderful – I enquire into healing and dowsing.
  • Travel – I've travelled widely overland and by sea in Europe, Asia (inc. Trans-Siberian), Africa, and North and South America. When covid's far enough in the past, I'll be doing a lot more long-distance rail and sea travel.
    • For nearly 10 years I ran an upmarket travel company (art and architecture, wildlife, gastronomy, classical music festivals), so I travelled extensively on business.
    • In addition, I've stayed long-term in these countries: Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Gozo, Switzerland, Italy, Spain (inc the Canaries), Portugal (inc Madeira and Azores); Pakistan, India, Nepal, USSR (inc Trans-Siberian), Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Peru.
    • And I've travelled overland in: Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Andorra, Yugoslavia, Greece; Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Macao, China, Taiwan; Morocco, Egypt, Zimbabwe; Canada (inc Trans-Canadian), Colombia, Bolivia, and Venezuela.
  • Languages – I had excellent French, Italian and German, and I still have a conversational knowledge of those languages, plus 'get-by' knowledge of the languages of many of the countries I've visited.
  • Back at home? I'm lucky enough to live on a half-mile tranche of Cornish coast – and I've earned DEFRA's HLS award. This helps me maximise biodiversity, thus leave this small but perfectly formed part of the world in better heart than I found it.

There are reasons why I've listed all these things – first of all I'm quite proud of them, and second if your text has anything to do with any of them, you can expect an extra good result.