I’m Sophie Playle, and I help authors improve and refine their manuscripts.

Stories are important. They ignite our imaginations and help us understand the world. And yet, it’s not immoral for authors and publishers to want to earn an income from their books, or to want recognition and praise. But I think it’s satisfying to approach novel writing with the aim of creating something of true quality, something meaningful.

Experience

I started my career at a small wildlife publishing house in 2009, then became an editorial assistant at publishing giant Pearson Education.

Since starting my own editing business in 2011, I’ve worked with hundreds of authors and trained hundreds of editors.

Education

I have a master’s degree (MA) in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London, where I wrote my dissertation on the conflict between the natural and the mechanical in steampunk literature.

Previous to that, I studied for my bachelor’s degree (BA) in English Literature with Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, which is widely regarded as the best university in the country for creative writing courses. Not that I’m bragging. Okay, I’m bragging a little bit.

Oh, and I also have a BTEC in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, because why not?

Training

  • Developmental Editing, Intermediate (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Developmental Editing Webinar (Editors’ Academy)
  • Copyediting Fiction (Editorial Freelancers Association)
  • Chartered Institute for Editing and Proofreading Conferences 2014, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021
  • Society for Editors and Proofreaders Mini Conference 2017
  • Editing for Fiction: Professional Development Day (Society for Editors and Proofreaders)
  • Copy-Editing by Distance Learning (Publishing Training Centre)
  • Plot and Structure Seminar (Emma Darwin)
  • Handling Non-English Words in English Text Webinar (ACES: The Society for Editing)
  • Unconscious Bias and the Conscientious Editor Webinar (ACES: The Society for Editing)

Speaking

  • Self-Publishing Advice Conference: Crafting Beautiful Prose, 2021 (Alliance of Independent Authors)
  • Chartered Institute for Editing and Proofreading Conference 2021: Guiding Principles for Developmental Fiction Editing
  • Wednesday Wisdom, 2020 (Book Machine)
  • On Developmental Editing and Critiques, 2019 (The Editing Podcast)
  • Editors’ Roundtable 2018 (Alliance of Independent Authors)
  • Society for Editors and Proofreaders Conference 2016: Making the Most of Your Website

Interests

Over the years, I’ve done pretty well with my own writing. I was shortlisted for the Escalator Literary Prize for Fiction (2012), published a handful of poems and stories, self-published a short story collection (The Hours of Creeping Night) and signed with a literary agent.

I’m a woman of simple pleasures – food, films, books and nature – but I’m also partial to contemplating the meaning of life, the universe and everything. (Which often sends me into an existential crisis, but let’s not dwell on that.)

I also love to travel and once spent a year exploring mainland Europe, working from my laptop.

Credits

All photos by RXCROSE, except those on the blog. Web development by Paul Masek. Copywriting advice and selected sales pages from Karen Marston. A big thank you to you all!

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Insights into the world of fiction, from the desk of an editor

Editorial considerations, creative revelations and the occasional existential lamentation – sharing my experiences and personal recommendations exclusively with you.