Membership upgrade, part 2

In February 2016 I became an intermediate member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). Since then, I’ve done more training and gained more experience. I’ve worked with some lovely people and my confidence as an editorial professional has maintained its upward trajectory.

I’m delighted that this means I have been able to make another small amendment to my About page: I have achieved an upgrade to professional member of the SfEP. You can read more about the SfEP here.

In order for the admissions panel to grant professional status, I had to provide them with evidence of my training, details of my experience, and a reference from a satisfied client. I also took and passed the basic editorial test; this was necessary because many of my clients are non-publishers. The panel determined that I fulfilled their criteria – and that I am, in the SfEP’s words, a “professionally competent individual”. I now have voting rights within the organisation, and I am featured in the Directory of Editorial Services. I also get to use this membership logo:


It has been a hard but wonderful journey since my first tentative steps into the world of freelance proofreading. Thank you to my wonderful clients, my supportive editorial colleagues, and the delightful blogging community I try not to neglect.


I’m still here

“I’m so busy” is something I have been saying a lot over the last few months. It started out as a joke with my mum, because she knows I have had some months of little or no work. So when I say “I’m so busy”, it’s not a complaint – I am delighted that I seem, finally, to be attracting a decent amount work. But it is my excuse for the lack of recent blog posts. I am still here, although I am usually to be found on Twitter. I’ve been taking part in #HampshireHour every Tuesday (apart from the one evening I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2), which is fabulous for local networking. I’ve met some lovely people. I also attend my local SfEP meetings and they have been a brilliant source of motivation and encouragement.

OscarMost of my recent work has been on books for publishers, but I’ve also worked with an independent author and on online content for a local business. I love the variety. The books have included memoirs, children’s fiction and a short story collection. I started out by specialising in non-fiction, but my fiction titles are adding up now (five at the time of writing). I didn’t expect to branch into fiction so quickly, but I’m enjoying it.

I was joined by a new editorial assistant in February. He isn’t very helpful: he tries to chew my pens, he likes to sit on my laptop, and he knocks everything off my desk. But he’s a sweetheart and his paws are usually clean before he sits on the proofs. (Don’t worry – he only sits on my printouts and not the publisher’s copies.)

I hope, now I am adjusting to being “busy”, to be able to blog regularly again and to catch up on some of the wonderful blogs I follow.

All the best, and please feel free to say hi!

Blog anniversary

Today marks the first anniversary of the creation of I almost can’t believe it has been one year already.Office

I don’t think I would have managed to produce 113 posts in that time if it wasn’t for the support of those who read this blog. Thank you. I really appreciate your contributions.

I published a list of 2015’s most popular posts, but for this milestone I would like to highlight some of my favourite posts:

  1. Irregular verbs. Lots of people struggle with verb forms and I put together a 6-page PDF to help. It includes notes on usage differences around the world.
  2. Taradiddle. The interesting word with an origin story that illustrates its meaning. Managing to incorporate Harry Potter into the post was a bonus.
  3. Sample style sheet. A style sheet for an imaginary novel. Style sheets are an excellent tool and this is an example for any authors who want to know where to start.
  4. ‘Affect’ and effect’. I like this mostly because the comments took me from Pirates of the Caribbean to Pokémon.
  5. Punctuation..? by User Design. I was thrilled that an author asked me to review their work, but I had to be honest with my readers.
  6. Split infinitives. I really stuck it to the man with my support of split infinitives (and ending a sentence with a preposition).
  7. The Penguin Guide to Punctuation, R. L. Trask. Because no one should be afraid of punctuation. I think people actually bought this book after I recommended it. If that was you, I hope you are still finding it useful.
  8. ‘I.e’ and ‘e.g.’ are not interchangeable. A short, simple and effective post.
  9. Noel. I enjoyed writing Christmas-related posts, and I am already thinking of words to discuss this year!
  10. Proofreading advice: take a break. I wrote a series of posts on proofreading advice and I think this is the best one. It isn’t often that doing nothing is the best thing to do.

And now I’m going to have a cup of tea and some chocolate biscuits to celebrate properly.

The Dragon’s Loyalty Award

Thank you to Jeneane Behme for kindly nominating me for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. I love Jeneane’s writing and her commonplace book (such a wonderful idea).

The Dragon’s Loyalty Award is for the loyal fans and commenters, whether the recipient is a fellow blogger or someone who follows and comments regularly.

5 facts about me:

  1. This is as close as they get to each other.

    Harry is on the right. This is as close as they get to each other.

    I have 2 cats. If you follow me on Twitter you might have seen pictures of them already. Harry is 17 years old, and I couldn’t adore him any more than I do. He is frequently to be found dropping leaves everywhere or dribbling on my laptop. Maisie is 8 years old, and she allows me to live in the same house as her. She is frequently to be found policing the cat flap so Harry can’t get in.

  2. I have Raynaud’s syndrome. It’s uncomfortable but manageable. I often work at my desk with a blanket over my legs and a hot water bottle under my feet. I always wear fingerless gloves.
  3. I write too. I’m not saying my writing is particularly remarkable, or that I will ever share it here. But I know what it’s like to turn your ideas into written words. I know how scary it is to show someone your stories or your thoughts.
  4. I’m not unhappy when people buy me socks for Christmas. I can never have too many socks. In fact, I really like receiving new socks.
  5. One of my favourite words is packet. It sounds nice and sometimes good things come in packets.

I would like to thank all my regular readers. If you would like to take part, please consider yourself nominated! You can find the details on Jeneane’s post.

Blogger Recognition Award

I’ve received a few nominations for blogging awards/challenges but I haven’t got round to responding to them yet. I’m very flattered that fellow bloggers thought to nominate me for any.

I was nominated for this award by Keelan Miskwi. Thank you, Keelan.

The purpose of this award is to motivate and encourage bloggers and let them know that they’re appreciated, no matter how big or small their blog is.

How and why I started my blog

I started my blog because I chose to host my professional website. WordPress is good value for my current needs and the interface is (mostly) hassle free. There’s a wonderful blogging community here and I wanted to be part of that.

As I trained and gained experience as proofreader, I realised the things I know now would have been very handy for student-me and administrator-me to have known. My hope for my blog was that I could share my little bits of knowledge and that there might be people out there who would find it helpful.

Advice for new bloggers

I still think of myself as a relatively new blogger. I’m certainly still learning! I do have some practical advice for new bloggers which is, if you haven’t already done so, you should set your blavatar. It is used as the site icon for your blog.

Go the WP Admin board for your site and choose settings. This should take you to the General Settings page. On the right-hand side, it should say ‘Blog Picture / Icon’. The picture you upload there will then replace the standard-issue WordPress symbol that shows on bookmarks and browser tabs. There is a WordPress support page you can consult for more details.

I won’t tag any bloggers to pass on the award, but please consider yourself nominated if you would like to take part. The guidelines are on Keelan’s post.

50th post!

This is my 50th post on!

Thank you for following my blog. Thank you for your kind and interesting comments. Thank you for liking my posts. Thank you for your emails and tweets.

I hope that my posts have been helpful and at least a little bit interesting; I have certainly enjoyed reading your blogs.

If you have any content or topics you would like to suggest for future posts, please let me know.

To show my appreciation, I would like to offer all of my followers 20% off the total fee for the first project I work on with them. All you have to do is follow me on WordPress, follow me on Twitter, or like my page on Facebook. Please tell me that you follow me when you request a project quote.

You can follow me on twitter here:

You can like my page on Facebook here: Hannah McCall – Proofreader

Once again, thank you. You are all wonderful.