Holly McCulloch

Holly McCulloch - Editor

Oxford, UK

Knowledgeable and supportive guide and writing coach / editorial guru to help everyone get their voice out there.

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Overview

I am a huge believer in voices. Everyone's voice deserves to be heard. I want to help you shout from the rooftops (or from the bookshelves, whichever comes first).
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Having previously worked in trade publishing (as a reader for Conville & Walsh Literary Agency and within fiction editorial for Headline Publishing Group), before moving across to work as a book buyer for the WHSmith bookshops within Harrods and Selfridges, I know what it takes to get published, what it takes to make your book stand out to retailers, and what it takes for your book to be picked up by the readers themselves.

I also know what it takes to be a writer - my first novel is due to be published in February 2021. It can be a lonely road, one that is full of fog and confusing signs. But it doesn't have to be - I can help. I can make the road a little less lonely and a little less confusing.

Within fiction, my main areas of interest include: women's fiction, romance, and uplit. I also have a passion for food and beverage titles, in particular those relating to cake baking and decorating. (Outside of editorial work, I also run a cake business, creating bespoke celebration cakes.)

My freelance work mainly centres on providing editorial assessments.
Languages
English (UK)
Non-Fiction
Cooking, Food, Wine, & Spirits
Fiction
Fantasy
Romance
Women's Fiction

Work experience

Editor

Self-employed
November, 2019 – Present (about 3 years)

Freelance publishing guru and editor.

Book Buyer

WHSmith Travel (Harrods and Selfridges Concessions)
January, 2013 – April, 2014 (about 1 year)

Book buyer for the Harrods and Selfridges bookshops, for both fiction and non-fiction titles, including special collections.

Editorial

Headline Publishing Company
May, 2011 – January, 2012 (8 months)

Oversaw the production process for a large number of high-profile titles, from delivery of manuscript to final files; worked with bestselling authors including Victoria Hislop, Neil Gaiman and Jill Mansell; wrote cover copy and reading-group discussion guides.

Portfolio (5 selected works)

The Thread

Victoria Hislop

The enthralling novel from the million-copy bestselling author of THE ISLAND and THE RETURN.Thessaloniki, 1917. As Dimitri Komninos is born, a devastating fire sweeps through the thriving Greek city where Christians, Jews and Muslims live side by side. Five years later, Katerina Sarafoglou's home in Asia Minor is destroyed by the Turkish army. Losing her mother in the chaos, she flees across t... read more

The enthralling novel from the million-copy bestselling author of THE ISLAND and THE RETURN.Thessaloniki, 1917. As Dimitri Komninos is born, a devastating fire sweeps through the thriving Greek city where Christians, Jews and Muslims live side by side. Five years later, Katerina Sarafoglou's home in Asia Minor is destroyed by the Turkish army. Losing her mother in the chaos, she flees across t... read more

The Island

Victoria Hislop

The acclaimed million-copy number one bestseller and winner of Richard & Judy's Summer Read 2006 from Victoria Hislop is a dramatic tale of four generations, rent by war, illicit love, violence and leprosy, from the thirties, through the war, to the present day.On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother's past. But Sofia has never spoken of it.... read more

The acclaimed million-copy number one bestseller and winner of Richard & Judy's Summer Read 2006 from Victoria Hislop is a dramatic tale of four generations, rent by war, illicit love, violence and leprosy, from the thirties, through the war, to the present day.On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother's past. But Sofia has never spoken of it.... read more

A Walk In The Park

Jill Mansell

A WALK IN THE PARK is a Sunday Times bestseller by Jill Mansell, not to be missed by fans of Lucy Diamond and Milly Johnson. Reviewers love Jill's books: 'Glorious, heartwarming, romantic' Woman & HomeIt's been a while, but Lara Carson's back in Bath and lives are set to change as a result. Because Lara left her family and boyfriend Flynn eighteen years ago without a word to anyone. Why has no... read more

A WALK IN THE PARK is a Sunday Times bestseller by Jill Mansell, not to be missed by fans of Lucy Diamond and Milly Johnson. Reviewers love Jill's books: 'Glorious, heartwarming, romantic' Woman & HomeIt's been a while, but Lara Carson's back in Bath and lives are set to change as a result. Because Lara left her family and boyfriend Flynn eighteen years ago without a word to anyone. Why has no... read more

To The Moon And Back

Jill Mansell

No. 1 bestselling author Jill Mansell writes with sensitivity and optimism about love, loss and new beginnings in TO THE MOON AND BACK. Not to be missed by readers of Jojo Moyes and Veronica Henry. 'Another super tale from a talented writer' Sun When Ellie Kendall tragically loses her husband she feels her life is over. But eventually she's ready for a new start - at work, that is. She doesn't... read more

No. 1 bestselling author Jill Mansell writes with sensitivity and optimism about love, loss and new beginnings in TO THE MOON AND BACK. Not to be missed by readers of Jojo Moyes and Veronica Henry. 'Another super tale from a talented writer' Sun When Ellie Kendall tragically loses her husband she feels her life is over. But eventually she's ready for a new start - at work, that is. She doesn't... read more

Just My Luck

Parks, Adele

Holly has 11 reviews

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

J.L Nicole
Holly was amazing to work with. She's got great energy and I could tel she was actually excited to read my work. Her feedback and report were incredibly helpful and made it easier for me to identify the areas of my book that needed work or adjustments. In the end she takes her time and gets a great grasp of the story, characters, and what the author's goals are and then frames her feedback arou...
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J.L Nicole, November 2022

Holly McCulloch
Thank you for the lovely review J.L! (And I was actually excited to read your work!)

Reply from Holly McCulloch


Roni Teson
I needed an outside reader with an objective point of view and knowledgeable feedback, and Holly came in and shared an assessment that provided valuable insight. She even provided an AHA moment! This was super helpful. And for the record it wasn't all rainbows and puppies -- she has an uncanny way of sharing some challenging areas and making it a positive. I know that not everybody is open to f...
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Roni Teson, October 2022

Holly McCulloch
AH(A) thanks Roni! :)

Reply from Holly McCulloch


Steven Riley
Being a first time author I had no idea of what to expect from the assessment process and I saw it as a bit of a risk. However, I was blown away by the sheer depth and insight that Holly provided for me at a very reasonable cost. I really could not recommend her highly enough.

Steven Riley, September 2022


Andrea Moya
Holly did an excellent job pointing out ways I could improve the story and characters both from a macro perspective in the report and in detail through comments on the manuscript. She always responded to messages promptly and has been available to answer questions after delivering the report and revisions. Overall it's been a very positive collaboration and I feel like I have a good sense of ho...
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Andrea Moya, September 2022

Holly McCulloch
Andrea! Thank you so much for your kind feedback!

Reply from Holly McCulloch


Thomas Collin
Arriving on Reedsy with a 160k word manuscript draft was pretty daunting, but Holly was a lifesaver! Her pricing was very fair for the work required, and her report delivered spades of honest, incisive feedback to help restructure my story into something far more focused. The happy messages and encouragement were just a bonus! Holly bubbles with enthusiasm and brings all her energy to bear on t...
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Thomas Collin, August 2022

Holly McCulloch
Thanks Tom! Remember the harsh feedback and the encouragement are both equally as honest! Good luck with the rewriting.

Reply from Holly McCulloch

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