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Clare Diston

Editor/Proofreader @ Human Voices

Q: Hello Clare, congratulations on achieving your goal and starting Human Voices Editorial Services. You have been in business a year now, is that correct? “Thank you! Human Voices has been my fulltime job for about 9 months now, but I’ve actually been in business since 2011. After graduating from university I went back to my hometown to work out what to do next. Whilst I was temping in the local council (and really not enjoying it!) I had the idea to start an editing and proofing business, so I launched Human Voices and started out helping friends and relatives with their writing. Then I landed a job as in digital marketing at an SEO company and I worked there for nearly four years, keeping my business going at evenings and weekends, until last year I decided to leave my job and just concentrate on Human Voices. I took my business full-time almost four years to the day after I first set it up, and I haven’t looked back since!” Q: What if someone wanted to be an editor/ proofreader? What are the qualifications and education requirements? “I’m sure there are all sorts of routes for qualifying for this kind of work, and it might even be

possible to set up a freelance business like mine without any official certificates. I went into this work with a BA in English Studies and an MA in Creative Writing (which has helped me to specialise in fiction), but I knew I needed some more specific industry qualifications so I did two distance learning courses in Proofreading and Copy-Editing from the Publishing Training Centre. Those courses taught me the practicalities of proofreading and editing, and I started picking up work while I was doing those courses, so I got a mixture of theory and practice at the same time, which was really helpful. I think for anyone interested in this kind of work you really have to have an eye for detail and a love of language. I’ve always been the type to question how a particular element of language works, and to notice misplaced apostrophes and spelling mistakes. If you find you do this naturally, proofreading and editing could be perfect for you.” Q: Do you think it helps in the editorial process if the writer and the editor have some sort of connection – a common goal or understanding, so to speak? “Definitely – it really helps when a writer and

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The Corral - Showcasing the Writings of the Independent Author - Issue: Sample