Dionne McCulloch

Dionne McCulloch – Editor

Editor and story doctor specializing in developing your voice and shaping your story so it engages readers. US and UK markets

Overview


As a writer myself, I know how isolating a writer’s journey can be. We all need an experienced advocate in our corner offering support, expertise and guidance. As an editor, I have nurtured authors from first timers to professionals and know that as your confidence grows, your voice strengthens and your writing improves.

I will help you see where your writing excels and build on that, create vital, engaging characters with powerful motivations and desires, and improve your writing techniques. I'll teach you to fine tune your story's pacing and tension and help you write character-revealing dialogue that advances your plot. I can shape your lumpy first draft into a book that engages from page one, or polish your manuscript sentence by sentence until it shines.

**I provide free assessment of your 1-page synopsis (for developmental edits) or free copyedit of first 2-3 pages (for copy edits).**

I've been shortlisted and won a special commendation for the 2022 4thWritePrize, from 4th Estate Books/The Guardian.

I've also judged for two international novel awards, been a PitchWars mentor, and currently work as an editor for both a UK and a US literary consultancy.

“Dionne is a wonderful mentor. She was both supportive and insightful, creating a safe space to talk about some difficult issues I was facing in my writing, and then helping me to draw out the central themes and to dig deeper into what was at stake for my characters. Dionne's feedback helped me to approach and think about my writing in new ways.”
--Zoe Lambert, author and lecturer in Creative Writing, Lancaster University PhD program, UK.

"Dionne provided me with a windfall of helpful feedback on my novel, including ways to improve characters, plot, theme, and where to clean up the language on the line level. She also referenced examples for every major point so that I knew exactly what she was talking about. Most importantly, after reading her feedback I agreed with almost everything she mentioned, which to me showed how tuned in she was while she was editing. She gave me objective ways to make my work better."
--Ben Orlando, author and English Professor, George Mason University, USA

“I have found Dionne to be an excellent editor. She is creative, rigorous, and collaborative without being intrusive. She has helped me to gain clarity in my narrative and has given me the encouragement I needed to finish my book. I highly recommend her.”
--Sheila Hawdon, literary writer.

“Dionne was incredibly helpful, striking the right balance between being critical and encouraging. I was immensely grateful for the guidance on tone and on making the writing 'appear' rather than just being purely descriptive. Dionne was also very sensitive in recognising that, unlike pure fiction, biographical work is very real and very personal. Overall, just what I needed- firm but sensitive guidance”
--Charlie Kiss, memoirist, A New Man.

"Simply put, Dionne is inspiring and brilliant. My novel is transformed, a superb mentor. Five big stars!”
--Frank Conway, literary author.

Services
Fiction
African American Fiction Contemporary Fiction Literary Fiction Thriller & Suspense Women's Fiction
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs LGBTQ Non-Fiction
Languages
English (UK) English (US)
Awards
  • 4thWritePrize, Shortlisted with special commendation 2022

Work experience

1 x UK literary consultancy and 2 x US literary arts agencies

Nov, 2015 — Present

Mentoring authors by providing one on one mentorships primarily in novel development (early drafts), providing in-depth editorial reports and copy editing manuscripts.

Black Writing Matters

Apr, 2023 — Present

Associate Director of new UK National Portfolio Organization, funded in part by the Arts Council England and based in SW England to nurture and support Black writers at all stages of their career.

Paper Nations

Oct, 2019 — Present

Member of the Creative Advisory Group for Paper Nations, an initiative to further creative writing across the UK.

Bath Spa University, Paper Nations

Mar, 2018 — Present

Writing and editing case studies, web site, and materials for publication for a UK-wide creative writing program run by Bath Spa University.

PitchWars

Nov, 2014 — Nov, 2017 (about 3 years)

Mentoring winning authors through submission to agents for the US writing contest.

Bath Novel Award

Mar, 2014 — Nov, 2017 (over 3 years)

Reading for short list and long list of Bath Novel Award and Children's Bath Novel Award since competitions' inception.

Portfolio

Swish, The

Tash Bell

On the Border

Davies, Cari

The Liar's Daughter

Peterson, Megan Cooley

No Be From Hia

Kalulu Banda, Natasha Omokhodion-

In 1945, World War II is ending. For Major Sally Honeychurch the war is just beginning.Major Sally Honeychurch has spent two years as an agent behind enemy lines. Now the war is over, the women who risked their lives are no longer needed. Sally is back in civv... read more
Baby Doll

Hollie Overton

Precocious

Joanna Barnard

'Can there be a more unreliable narrator than a teenage girl?' Fiona Palmer is (un)happily married when a chance meeting with her former teacher plunges her headlong into an affair. Intercut with the realities of their adult relationship, Fiona remembers first... read more
Testament

Kim Sherwood

The Liar's Chair

Rebecca Whitney

Rachel Teller and her husband David appear happy, prosperous and fulfilled. The big house, the successful business... They have everything. However, control, not love, fuels their relationship and David has no idea his wife indulges in drunken indiscretions. W... read more

Dionne has 39 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Ibrahim R.

Ibrahim R.

Apr, 2024

Working with Dionne McCulloch as my editor for my YA novel has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Dionne's approach is characterized by a remarkable level of detail and thoroughness throughout the entire editing process. What truly sets Dionne apart is her ability to provide constructive feedback without ever making me feel judged or discouraged. She focuses on what works well in the manu...
Read more
Dionne M.
Ibrahim! Thank you for this lovely review, it was such a pleasure working with you and seeing inside the world you've created. I can't wait to see what you do next!
Natasha O.

Natasha O.

Apr, 2023

This is my second project with Dionne and I'm so grateful for our connection. She's intuitive, detail-driven, and most of all passionate about the story. I will be working with her again, and again. We're a team now! Highly recommended. Thanks Dionne!
Dionne M.
I'm so happy to be on Team Natasha. Your stories will be everywhere soon!
AJ H.

AJ H.

Apr, 2023

Dionne provide valuable insights to my novel in development, as a result of her assistance my story has a clearer direction and I am more confident in the story
Dionne M.
Thank you Adrian, your book was a pleasure to work on. What a world you've made. I dearly hope to hold it in my hands one day soon. Keep me posted!
Marcus T.

Marcus T.

Feb, 2023

Dionne has been really amazing to work with! She was punctual, communicated well, and did an incredible job with the editing. I liked that she was thorough, while not taking away from the writing style. My book reads far better now, with less pointless musing and wordy fodder—all thanks to the diligent and professional work of Dionne. If you are considering an editor, (it's scary dropping that ...
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Dionne M.
Marcus, you're so kind. I loved reading your story; unforgettable, and I can't wait to see your book in its finished form--keep in touch!
Kamara G.

Kamara G.

Feb, 2023

This was my first time receiving a developmental review. I chose Dionne because she was responsive and provided a sample review. Her comments were thoughtful, and she was able to identify areas in the manuscript that could be improved. It was a pleasure working with her and I would recommend her to others.
Dionne M.
Thank you Kamara, and for the pleasure of reading your unforgettable book.

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