Writer and Editor

Professional editing services provided by Pete Kempshall

A list of professional editing services provided by Pete Kempshall, including manuscript assessment, line editing and structural editing for fiction, sub-editing for non-fiction, businesses, students and academia.

Editing services



Fiction edits are available in three categories, depending on the stage of development of the story submitted. These services are available for short stories (up to 8,000 words) and longer works from novellas to full-length novels.

Developmental edits

For the writer who has completed a detailed synopsis or first draft, to ensure that the foundations of your story are solid. Work consists of a report on the manuscript, addressing what is right and wrong with the story as a whole – this is the ‘big picture’ information you need before embarking on second-draft rewrites, and is where most of the heavy lifting occurs. Issues addressed include:

  • Plot strength/weaknesses (taking in level of conflict, escalation, whether the story makes sense as a whole, and so on)
  • Character strength/weaknesses (arcs)
  • Pacing
  • Structure/point of view

Line edits

For the writer who has completed a second or third stage draft, has completed initial rewrites based on first-draft editing, and who is ready to have the work polished on a sentence-by-sentence basis. This stage is in-depth and comprehensive, where any problems with the craft of the writing are addressed to ensure that the work has maximum impact. It can include everything from suggesting changes to individual words or moving a punctuation mark, sentence or paragraph, through to trimming redundant scenes or suggesting new ones where something is missing.


For the writer who has completed structural and line edits and has a manuscript that is almost ready for publication. This is the trawl of the work to pick up on the small but significant errors such as typos, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and artefacts from previous drafts that may have slipped the net in previous edits. Proofreading also ensures the style of the work as a whole is consistent.


Edits for non-fiction manuscripts cover the same basic stages as fiction (developmental edits, line edits, proofreading). Line edits will also include fact-checking of material where possible/practical.

More and more individuals and businesses are seeking to publish specific works that highlight a particular passion or aspect of their portfolio. Whether your aim is to create a coffee-table book of photography or a brochure for fundraising purposes, I have the necessary experience to see the project through to completion. I work with designers towards a unified style and look, and if you lack a designer of your own, I am more than happy to recommend a skilled and reputable contractor (please contact me about packaging writing, editing and design services across the entire project). I can also organise quotes for paper, printing and distribution costs.

Custom publishing

I am happy to edit features by freelance writers who intend to pitch their finished stories to magazines. Edits can include the following:

  • Assessment of the initial idea – does it generate reader interest? Does it have immediate ‘must-buy’ appeal to the publications you intend to approach?
  • First draft assessment – does the story do the job you intend? If you have been supplied with a brief, does your story meet it? Do you require additional material to make your points, or have you included so much it requires cutting? Is the structure of the story tight and compelling? What is required, if anything, at the rewrite stage?
  • Fact-checking – a line-by-line check of the story to ensure that the facts presented are correct. Includes everything from name spellings, phone numbers and websites through to more broad assertions.
  • Proofreading – performed following rewrites, when the copy is structurally sound and fulfils your brief. Focuses on typos, spelling mistakes, and those other niggly errors that inevitably creep in during the writing process.

Additionally, if you are an editor of a publication who requires swift rewrites to an already-commissioned piece, I will be happy to take on ‘feature surgery’. This can include anything from drastic rewrites that restructure and strengthen a piece while retaining its content and tone, through to ensuring that a submitted piece meets your ‘house style’ and so sits well with other stories in your publication or website. 

I am also able to perform sub-editing duties on active page layouts in order to trim excess copy or provide headlines, standfirsts and captions. I have several years of experience using Adobe’s InDesign page-layout software, with access to the latest version and a number of previous versions should they be required.


When presenting business materials, it is essential that your content be as clear and accessible as possible. Poor language, vague ideas and wayward thinking can mean that even the best material is perceived as confusing, impenetrable, or simply unprofessional. Engaging the services of an editor will ensure that your clients receive your message directly, efficiently and in a fashion that is memorable for all the right reasons.   

Annual reports
Whether it's ensuring that the style of your report is consistent throughout or simply fact-checking and proofreading, I can take these most crucial of documents and see to it that they are professionally and clearly presented to all interested parties and stakeholders.

Even the most exciting presentation will fail to make its intended impact if your audience is confused by unclear language or mistakes in spelling and grammar. By commissioning me to edit your presentation, you can be sure that no embarrassing errors creep into your PowerPoint or Prezzo pages. Moreover, I will assess the structure of your presentation to ensure that your ideas are passed on to your audience as effectively and impressively as possible. As well as working with visual presentation techniques such as PowerPoint, I am also happy to ‘script-edit’ speeches for oral presentations.

Promotional material
Imagine the suite of posters, banners, flyers and emails you have lovingly created – at no small expense – to promote your new business or product. Then imagine, once they have all been sent out, that you have made a mistake in your email address, phone number, or even the name of the very thing you are publicising… With my attention as an editor, you can rest assured that all the attention will be on your product or event, and none of it on sloppy mistakes.

Web pages/social media
Increasingly, commerce is being conducted online via websites and social media, and a strong first impression is essential to attracting new business. A landing page littered with typos and poor English is a sure way to convince potential clients that whatever you are offering, attention to detail is not part of the package. Engaging my services will result in website copy that’s clear, compelling and informative; there is an additional emphasis on Search Engine Optimisation to push your site higher up the list of hits when a prospective client searches for your business online. Additionally, I am able to assist in the creation of Facebook pages for an extra dimension to your online profile.

Business publishing

I provide a full range of editing and proofreading services for academic texts, including research and fact-checking where practical/applicable.

Mentoring/tutoring writing students
Having spent several years in senior positions with magazine-publishing companies, I have found myself frequently coaching new writers in the mechanics of the magazine industry, from pitching a story to structuring and polishing prior to submission. I now take on a limited number of students for coaching and mentoring purposes, to help them gain the practical experience in the field that they may not otherwise pick up prior to seeking their first job in publishing. Please contact me for more details and information about my student discount.

Students & academia