Isla Aitken

Isla Aitken – Editor

As a copyeditor and proofreader, I'm here to support self-publishing authors produce the perfect book at affordable prices.


I’m an editor and copywriter, communications consultant and fiction fanatic. Having been a sub editor on newspapers and magazines for more than 20 years, I now write and edit digital copy, helping websites pack a punch; and also clean up copy for fiction authors, so readers get pulled into the story instead of tripping over grammatical errors.

πŸ“– You've written your story and you love it. Now what do you do? You get an editor! I can help you with the line and copy editing process, and the final proofreading stage:
βœ… Line editing involves making sure your copy is consistent in style, tense and narrative viewpoint, and ensuring your story is tight and not overwritten;
βœ… Copy editing gets down to the nitty gritty of punctuation, grammar, spelling, syntax, construction and formatting;
βœ… Proofreading is that final check to make sure there are no typos, page numbers are all there and chapter headings are consistently styled.

πŸ‘©β€πŸ’» My experience in writing and editing includes:
* Fiction copy and line editing (The Changing Man, by KD Bradley)
* Memoir copy editing (Pas de Deux with the RSM, by Arthur Fleming, ed Peter Fleming)
* Web copy (
* Blogs (
* Social media posts (
* Podcast shownotes (
* News & features
* Advertorials/competition copy
* Product descriptions
* Press releases
* Posters
* Newsletters

πŸ–Š If you're a self-published author, I would love to help you make your story the best it can be. I can help tighten up copy and straighten out plot.

πŸ‘©β€πŸ’» Small business putting together a shiny new website? Let me write the words to wow your customers.

πŸ“˜ I’ve also written a cancer memoir (free of breast cancer since 2017, yay me), Making Pearls From Grit.

πŸ‘ Author KD Bradley said: "The moment Isla got involved, I knew straight away that she was engaged with the whole process. It was the small details that she picked up on, along with tips for the future that I appreciated most."

πŸ‘ Author Peter Fleming said: "I wanted to thank you for the wonderful work you have achieved in presenting Father's rather messy (and no wonder under the circumstances) war notes. It is brilliantly done. Thank you. We could not have asked for anything better."

πŸ‘ Author Quint Boa said: "You were a superstar on the entire process."
Biographies & Memoirs Health & Wellbeing Psychology
Mystery & Crime
English (UK) English (US)
Works with
Weebly Wix WordPress
  • NVQ level 4 journalism
  • CIPR diploma in PR (merit)
  • CIEP certificate in editing digital content

Work experience


Dec, 2019 β€” Present

Editing, proofreading and copywriting service and consultancy, providing a voice to suit every client, in language to suit every audience.

Ellis IP Ltd

Aug, 2013 β€” Dec, 2016 (over 3 years)

Promoting Ellis IP, an IP consultancy, through events, exhibitions and the media; overseeing the voice of the company on social media; overseeing updates of the company website; communicating with clients; initiating relationships with potential clients; producing company newsletter.


Jan, 2011 β€” Dec, 2019 (almost 9 years)

While raising my young children, I wrote my own fiction, and was also a communications consultant for local community groups and charities.

The East Lothian Courier

Sep, 2008 β€” Sep, 2009 (about 1 year)

Designed and laid out pages for three weekly newspapers in the Clyde & Forth stable, devised headlines, fact checked, rewrote copy, oversaw production, sent pages to printer, liaised with journalists and production team, enforced deadlines, contributed to streamlining of production process. Required the ability to work with precision at high speed.

Stuff magazine

Jul, 2003 β€” Oct, 2006 (over 3 years)

Duties included setting deadlines, creating flatplans, chasing writers for copy, pre-subbing copy, cutting to fit layouts, writing heads, sells and picture captions, fact checking and rewriting where necessary, sending pages to and liaising with repro, signing off cromalins. Managed one sub editor. Also wrote news-in-brief and design/fashion features; news for Stuff website; and copy for sponsored competitions. Dealt with reader enquiries and frequently communicated with manufacturers, PRs and advertisers.

OK! magazine

Dec, 2000 β€” Dec, 2002 (about 2 years)

Supported chief sub editor and oversaw work of three sub editors. Delegated features to subs, chased copy, pre-subbed and fact checked, liaised with agents, PRs, advertising and picture desk. Cut copy to fit layouts and wrote picture captions. Signed off cromalins at repro. Also wrote features. Required patience and diplomacy on frequently fraught occasions.


Jun, 2000 β€” Jul, 2003 (about 3 years)

At various dates I worked sub editor shifts at: GQ, Arena, New Woman, That's Life, The Mercury newspaper, the Financial Times, What Car?, Now, Sunday Mirror Night & Day magazine, Jane's Intelligence Review and customer magazines for BMW and the BBC. I fact checked, rewrote and cut to fit layouts.

Boots Health & Beauty magazine

Jan, 2000 β€” Jun, 2000 (5 months)

Chased copy, proofread and rewrote where necessary, liaised with client (Boots the Chemist) to sign off and fact check copy, cut to fit layouts; managed one freelance sub editor.


Feb, 1999 β€” Dec, 1999 (10 months)

Managing editor of Independent Dentistry magazine - chased writers, rewrote copy, laid out Quark pages, cut copy to fit, fact checked, liaised with repro/printer, signed off cromalins; was also assistant editor of Dentistry Monthly.


Pas de Deux with the RSM

Proofreading, typesetting, design and production of a memoir.

The Changing Man

Copy editing and some developmental work on a crime/thriller novel.


A chilling ghost story, which will leave you with sweat trickling down your spine. The narrator returns to the place she lost her lover - what, or who, will she find there? A short story that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck
Diagnosed with breast cancer while on holiday in Japan, editor, one-time environmental activist and wannabe politician Isla distracts herself with tourist adventures - including snorkelling in the South China Sea, learning about slipper etiquette and negotiati... read more

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