Jennifer McIlreavy

Jennifer McIlreavy - Editor

Sunshine Coast QLD, Australia

Award-winning projects and a passion for making your writing irresistible. I specialise in non-fiction, memoir, travel and historical bios.

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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 copy with tracked changes will come your way, or I can send a clean copy if you prefer to keep things simple. 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 beautiful South East 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


  • 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 (about 1 year)

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, oversaw production on marketing materials, and worked on author signing events as well as writing marketing copy and articles for trade publications.

Portfolio (11 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

Jennifer has 11 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Eric Freckleton
Working with Jenny has been nothing short of a wonderful experience. She knows just how to edit your writing to be more digestible without sacrificing your voice as an author. She encourages exploration of core themes, and gives great perspectives on what is working versus what is not. Jenny has a keen eye for both the big picture and the small details, who will turn your good stories into gr...
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Eric Freckleton, August 2022

Andrew Miller
Jennifer provided well thought through commentary and improvement ideas. She kept me updated me regularly and delivered before the deadline. Jennifer is very personable and made me feel comfortable throughout. As a first time writer, I recommend Jennifer as the appropriate person to work with.

Andrew Miller, August 2022

Timothy Albrecht
It is difficult to adequately verbalize the sterling worth of Jennifer McIlreavy. She single-handledly raised the level of my manuscript by leaps and bounds. She accomplished this not only by her expertise as a words-crafter but also as a continual inspiration and source of encouragement. Jennifer is a jewel, going not the extra mile but the extra 100 miles. She is a phenomenal text editor and...
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Timothy Albrecht, July 2022

Jennifer was an awesome editor, she provided a thorough edit and insightful feedback. She questioned my statements, phrasing, and other aspects of my work but all in an inquisitive and helpful way. She completed the job quickly and worked over time to help me get things done.


Robert Wright
We haven't completed the project yet, still, I'm pleased with the progress, and Ms. Mcllreavy's professional approach and ability to bring out the best in my work.

Robert Wright, June 2022

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