Colm Boyd

Colm Boyd - Editor

London, United Kingdom

Freelance developmental editor, with a focus on thriller and contemporary fiction, memoir non-fiction, and LGBTQ+ writing.

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Overview

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I know that's a contradiction, but bear with me."

Even great writers have bumpy first drafts. It's my privilege as an editor to help you turn a good story into a great one. That covers everything from assessing the big picture to delving into individual sentences to make sure every part of your work is doing the most it can.

I've worked on projects from rollicking steampunk adventures to gripping psychological thrillers, with a sharp ear for authentic dialogue and a keen eye for continuity. I've had structure, stakes, and pacing drilled into me by the Creative Writing Master's at Edinburgh University and am delighted to dive into a project and work with you until you are thrilled with the result.

As well as the big picture, my experience as a technical writer and editing brand content allows me to hone into the sentences that make your voice unique. I can work with you to produce sharp, concise sentences that punch, or beautiful, melodic prose that a reader can luxuriate in.

It would be a joy to work collaboratively with you to ensure that the resulting novel is both satisfying for the reader, and authentically you.

Testimonials:

"Colm is an editor who fully engages with your work. His readings are smart, thorough and observant; his comments are thoughtful and helpful; his advice is kind, respectful and often very funny.

He has a real eye for the bigger picture – characterisation, plot arcs, tension, weird recurring issues you could never in a million years have identified on your own but that are glaringly obvious as soon as he points them out. I would highly recommend him as an editor, for both structural and more detailed work."

Elodie Olson-Coons, writer and editor


Languages
English (UK)
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
LGBTQ Non-Fiction
Fiction
Contemporary Fiction
LGBTQ Fiction
Thriller & Suspense

Certifications

  • BA (Hons) English Studies - University of Stirling
  • MSc Creative Writing - University of Edinburgh

Work experience

Writer / Editor

Self-Employed
October, 2018 – Present (over 4 years)

Providing developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading for a range of projects. Working collaboratively with writers to untangle plot points, smooth the structure, and ensure a consistent, engaging style.

Technical Writer

RateSetter
July, 2015 – May, 2017 (almost 2 years)

Focused on producing and editing concise, clear non-fiction writing. The purpose of the role was to simplify technical concepts for general audiences without losing relevant context and content. This honed my line-level editing and proofreading skills, so that I could help writers convey the most powerful message efficiently.

Editor

Self-Employed
September, 2011 – June, 2015 (over 3 years)

Worked with several writers, providing developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading. Covered a range of styles and content, from historical dramas to a number of memoirs. It was a pleasure and a satisfying challenge to help with the latter especially: helping to make a work the best it can be, while handling the writer's experiences with care and tact.

Portfolio (6 selected works)

Secrets of a Serial Killer

Rosie Walker

An edge-of-your-seat serial killer thriller that you won’t be able to put down! There it is: FEAR. It’s crawling all over her face and in her eyes, like a swarm of insects, and it’s all because of HIM. A serial killer has been terrorising Lancaster for decades, longer than should ever have been possible. The police are baffled, eluded at every turn by the killer whose victims span generations.... read more

An edge-of-your-seat serial killer thriller that you won’t be able to put down! There it is: FEAR. It’s crawling all over her face and in her eyes, like a swarm of insects, and it’s all because of HIM. A serial killer has been terrorising Lancaster for decades, longer than should ever have been possible. The police are baffled, eluded at every turn by the killer whose victims span generations.... read more

Roam Alone: Inspiring tales by reluctant solo travellers (Bradt Travel Guides (Travel Literature))

Bradt, Hilary, Smith, Phoebe, Phillips, Adrian, Barclay, Jennifer, Leeming, Jan

Beastly Journeys: Unusual Tales of Travel with Animals (Bradt Travel Guides (Travel Literature))

Scott, Jonathan, Attenborough, David, Durrell, Gerald, Murphy, Dervla, Shand, Mark, Bradt, Hilary, Barclay, Jennifer

The Last Days of Summer

Vanessa Ronan

'Opens Vanessa Ronan's literary career the way dynamite opens a safe ... beautiful and invigoratingly shocking' Joseph O'Connor, Irish TimesMid-July in Texas. Cicadas shed their dry summer skins, the scent of roses hangs heavy in the still air, and a woman sits alone on her porch at dusk, watching the empty, merciless prairie, its light falling to darkness. He's coming home.Upstairs, Lizzie kn... read more

'Opens Vanessa Ronan's literary career the way dynamite opens a safe ... beautiful and invigoratingly shocking' Joseph O'Connor, Irish TimesMid-July in Texas. Cicadas shed their dry summer skins, the scent of roses hangs heavy in the still air, and a woman sits alone on her porch at dusk, watching the empty, merciless prairie, its light falling to darkness. He's coming home.Upstairs, Lizzie kn... read more

A Capital Union

Victoria Hendry

SHORTLISTED FOR THE HISTORICAL WRITERS' ASSOCIATION DEBUT CROWN 2014. 'A remarkable debut ... an excellent novel, dramatic and engaging, with a Buchan thrills quality.' Alan Warner. Scotland, 1942. Seventeen year-old Agnes Thorne discovers that her new husband, Jeff, a campaigner for Home Rule, is determined to challenge Westminster over the issue of conscription. War is tightening its grip on... read more

SHORTLISTED FOR THE HISTORICAL WRITERS' ASSOCIATION DEBUT CROWN 2014. 'A remarkable debut ... an excellent novel, dramatic and engaging, with a Buchan thrills quality.' Alan Warner. Scotland, 1942. Seventeen year-old Agnes Thorne discovers that her new husband, Jeff, a campaigner for Home Rule, is determined to challenge Westminster over the issue of conscription. War is tightening its grip on... read more

Colm has 3 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Roger Moreau
Working with Colm was a great experience. He is very friendly and knowledgeable!

Roger Moreau, October 2021

Colm Boyd
Many thanks for the review Roger, it was a pleasure working with you and I wish you every success with your work.

Reply from Colm Boyd


James Vincent
It was a great pleasure working with writing and editing professional Colm Boyd. As an untrained writer Colm provided me valuable expertise with critique and advice on writing my memoir that no amount of Googling on my own could have ever produced. I was impressed from the beginning with his detailed price quotation. I had requested three professional price quotes on the Reedsy platform. His w...
Read more

James Vincent, July 2021

Colm Boyd
Thank you JD for this review, it's lovely to hear such positive feedback. I hope you enjoy the next part of the revision process, and am keen to hear how you get on with it, as well as your other n...
Read more

Reply from Colm Boyd


Glen Loveland
Colm had some great insights that I had not thought of. He provided some great suggestions on what to delete, re-work and expand upon. I will definitely work with Colm again and would recommend him for any projects that focus on different cultures, travel or international topics. Thanks Colm!

Glen Loveland, June 2021

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