Craig Hillsley

Craig Hillsley – Editor

An award-winning editor (including two Booker Prize nominations) of literary and historical fiction, thrillers and popular non-fiction.

Overview

I have edited a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, the most prominent being Graeme Macrae Burnet's "Case Study" and "His Bloody Project", both nominated for the Booker Prize. The books that I’ve worked on (for a variety of UK publishers) have won or been shortlisted for more than eighty major literary awards, including the Rathbones Folio Prize, the Wainwright Prize and the Historical Writers’ Association Debut Crown.


As Editorial Director of the award-winning independent publisher Saraband, I was named as a Bookseller Rising Star, and I’m particularly adept at editing historical, literary and crime fiction, as well as memoirs, nature writing and narrative non-fiction.


My strength is establishing fruitful working relationships with authors, be it on the overall development of manuscripts or detailed copy edits. A dozen years of editing experience has taught me to help writers hone the technical aspects of their writing and attain the essential balance needed in any manuscript: achieving commercial viability whilst preserving the author’s artistic vision.


Testimonials:


“I have always found Craig to be a sympathetic and insightful editor, sensitive to what I am trying to achieve as a writer. He has an incredible attention to detail both in terms of fact checking and in the appropriate use of language. I would recommend him wholeheartedly.” Graeme Macrae Burnet, Booker-nominated author


“Craig is an excellent editor. He possessed the skill, vision, tact and sensitivity that was required to help me edit my first novel, and he deserves a great deal of credit for the warmth of the reception the work received on its publication.” Donald S Murray – author of As the Women Lay Dreaming, winner of the Society of Authors’ Paul Torday Memorial Prize, 2020

Services
Fiction
Historical Fiction Literary Fiction Mystery & Crime Thriller & Suspense
Non-Fiction
Nature Travel
Languages
English (UK)
Awards
  • The Bookseller, "Rising Star", 2017

Work experience

Self-employed

Sep, 2019 — Present

Developmental and copy editing of literary, historical and crime fiction, as well as nature writing, memoir and environmental titles.

Saraband

Feb, 2012 — Sep, 2019 (over 7 years)

-Editing, manuscript assessment / acquisitions and marketing across Saraband’s publishing programme of fiction and non-fiction titles.
-Media relations: pitching feature articles, generating reviews, setting up author interviews for TV, radio and print.
-Writing blurbs, promotional copy and AI sheets (including sales points and author biographies).
-Establishing Contraband crime imprint and driving forward Saraband’s fiction list.

Portfolio

The characters in this delicious book are pushed to the point of no return and seek retribution. But how we get even is not always the best road to redemption. On the island of Mull, it takes ... read more
Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Case Study

Burnet, Graeme Macrae

Copy Editing
Three Fires

Denise Mina

In Three Fires, award-winning author Denise Mina re-imagines the 'Bonfire of the Vanities', a series of fires lit throughout Florence at the end of the fifteenth century - inspired by the fana... read more
Copy Editing
Proofreading
The Goldenacre

Miller, Philip

Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Fade to Black

Mullins, Steve

Copy Editing
Lakeland Wild

Jim Crumley

Copy Editing
Copy Editing
In a Veil of Mist

Murray, Donald S

Copy Editing
Copy Editing
2020: A Novel

Steven, Kenneth

Copy Editing
Copy Editing
A Proper Person to be Detained

Czerkawska, Catherine

Down to the Sea

Sue Lawrence

Mr Todd's Reckoning

Iain Maitland

The Janus Run

Skelton, Douglas

Craig has 22 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Donald P.

Donald P.

Mar, 2024

Working with Craig has been an absolute joy. He provided a manuscript assessment initially and then again after an extensive revision. In both instances, his comments were insightful and very helpful. He pointed me in directions that have definitely improved my novel. I would work with him again in a heartbeat. He is concise, clear, professional, and seems to have an uncanny ability to home in ...
Read more
Craig H.
Very kind words, Donald, thank you. It was a pleasure to work on a thriller that delivered the goods, and I wish you all the best with it.
Stephen H.

Stephen H.

Feb, 2024

After sending out the initial brief, it was Craig's response that first excited me. He offered exactly what I was asking for, and nothing more. All I wanted was a developmental edit - i.e. the overall narative, the structure, the pace, the characters, the plasuability. I didn't want any spelling changed, or paragraphs altered. I got exactly what I asked for, for a price that reflected that. A...
Read more
Craig H.
Thank you for such a generous review, Stephen, and I'm so happy that the edit has offered real food for thought and a clear path ahead. 'Beyond the Hills' has real promise, so best of luck with it!
Elaine R.

Elaine R.

Dec, 2023

I was very impressed and happy with the work of Craig. I hired him to do a final proofread on my manuscript, and he went way beyond my expectations. Not only did he find all the usual typos, misspellings and inconsistencies, he also offered some excellent advice on making certain parts clearer and more concise, tightening up the prose. I feel the story is much better now. It always amazes me ho...
Read more
Craig H.
Thank you, Elaine, I really appreciate your kind words. And I genuinely thought your story was beautifully written - I wish you the very best of luck with it.
Benjamin M.

Benjamin M.

Sep, 2023

Craig’s manuscript assessment of my novel was a thoroughly positive experience. The report was comprehensive and insightful, with a remarkable attention to detail. Importantly, I felt that he really tried to understand and develop my story on its own terms, and all of the suggestions for improvement were useful – either as confirmation of a nagging concern or as a fresh idea. I strongly recomme...
Read more
Craig H.
That’s a lovely review, Ben - I really appreciate it. Good luck with the novel; it strikes a great balance between being thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining, so it deserves to be read.
Gladys B.

Gladys B.

Jun, 2023

Craig's comments have been positive and encouraging. His suggestions are thoughtful and will definitely take my book to the next level. I highly recommend Craigg to aspiring novelists and thank team Reedsy for their patience!
Craig H.
Many thanks, Gladys. And best of luck with getting your manuscript published!

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