Jennifer McIlreavy

Jennifer McIlreavy - Editor

Sunshine Coast QLD, Australia

Award-winning projects and a passion for making your writing irresistible. I specialise in biographical, art and academic titles.

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Hi, I’m Jenny. I’m a publishing project manager and editor with years of in-house experience working across fine art, film, academic, biographical and autobiographical titles. I also love food and drink/cookery and true crime - so send them my way!

My main strength is as first point of contact on your manuscript – I love to really sink my teeth into a sweeping edit, helping authors find their voice with concision and making their writing more compelling and readable. Like most editors, my obsessive attention to detail also makes me an excellent line editor and proof-reader, so let me find and fix the smaller mistakes in your manuscript that keep it from perfection.

One of my recent projects, ‘Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema’ is an excellent example of the kind of work I really love to do. As a first-time author, Ray’s daughter Vanessa had a fascinating and deeply personal story to tell about her father’s life and work. I became completely involved in her world as I helped her through the process of publishing her first book, undertaking a major structural edit to let the core of Vanessa’s voice and story shine through. I also tackled the challenge of editing a number of contributing authors including Ray Bradbury’s daughter, Susan (no pressure there!), as well as contributors for whom English was a second language. Bringing a cohesion to all these entries while maintaining their individual styles was quite a task, but one I really embraced. The book has been exceptionally well received, selling out its first run quickly and receiving a slew of 5-star reviews on Amazon; it also won the Rondo Award for Book of the Year, and has been nominated for a first-time author award at the Scottish National Book Awards.

I’ve also managed and edited more academic titles, handling a lot of complex referencing and obscure picture research, such as on the Watson Gordon lecture series, and commercial exhibition catalogues such as October 2021’s ‘The Impressionist Era’.

I’m happy to adapt to your preferred way of editing, and have worked with Adobe, Word and InDesign, but my preference is just good old Word - a tracked changes copy and a clean copy will come your way. I will take time to get to know you and your project, to understand your goal and your voice. Publishing a book is one of the most exciting and vulnerable things you can do, and a good editor can make the experience so much more enjoyable and satisfying for an author – that’s what I aim for. I’ll keep you up to date on progress and can report back to you in the manner you prefer, and I’m highly responsive – I know it’s important to know what’s going on.

I love editing and writing, it’s what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. I had to leave my in-house role, where amazing projects came across my desk regularly, because the literal opposite side of the globe was just too long a commute, and I'm now operating as a freelancer from the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland. I’ve worked with excellent contacts across many countries and timezones, and I’d love to hear about your book, wherever you may be. I’m excited to take on new and different projects, and expand my editing horizons in this increasingly virtual world.

English (AUS)
English (UK)
English (US)
Biographies & Memoirs
Cooking, Food, Wine, & Spirits
Fashion & Textiles


  • Publishing Training Centre, London: Project Management in Publishing
  • Publishing Training Centre, London: Progress in Editing
  • Publishing Scotland: Introduction to Proofreading
  • Publishing Scotland: Introduction to Copy-editing
  • University of Queensland: Bachelor of Arts, English Literature/Journalism and Communications

Work experience


August, 2021 – Present (6 months)

Offering freelance publishing services including editing, proofreading, project management and writing, from a coffee shop by a beach somewhere in Queensland.

Publishing Coordinator

National Galleries of Scotland
August, 2017 – July, 2021 (almost 4 years)

In this role I primarily worked as a project editor on highly-illustrated exhibition catalogues, particularly fine art and bio/autobiographical material, as well as academic titles, marketing materials, and revised editions. In this high-pressure environment, I juggled simultaneous projects with large budgets on high-profile exhibitions, overseeing teams of freelancers and acting as the initial editor, production manager and image researcher.

Publishing Assistant

National Galleries of Scotland
November, 2015 – August, 2017 (over 1 year)

In this role, I was able to gain experience proofreading and begin my editorial training, working under more experienced project editors to learn the ins and outs of how and why a manuscript works or needs changing. I gained a great deal of confidence in image research and copyright issues, and begin working with distributor relationships and marketing. I oversaw production of NGS marketing materials including the annual publications catalogue, and worked on author signing events as well as writing marketing copy and articles for trade publications.

Portfolio (10 selected works)

Pin-Ups: Toulouse-Lautrec and the Art of Celebrity

Brocklehurst, Hannah, Fowle, Frances

Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema

Harryhausen, Vanessa

Charles Rennie Mackintosh in France

Robertson, Pamela, Long, Philip, Leighton, John Sir

Emil Nolde: Colour is Life

Hartley, Keith, Rainbird, Sean, Weikop, Christian, Blythe, Frances, Becker, Astrid

John Byrne: Sitting Ducks

Byrne, John, Brown, Gordon, Lawson, Julie

Bridget Riley

Riley, Bridget, Kudielka, Robert, Chassey, Eric de, Bracewell, Michael, Hickey, Dave

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