Kate Hopkins

Kate Hopkins – Editor

Enthusiastic and painstaking editor with a passion for literary and historical fiction, the arts and humanities


I am a writer, editor, copy-editor and proofreader, with more than fifteen years of experience working on both fiction and non-fiction. My specialisms are literary and historical fiction and the arts and humanities, especially classical music.

Since 2012 I have worked as a freelance fiction editor for several novelists. Most recently (via Reedsy) I edited the second volume of Janet Savin's novel about the Velvet Revolution in the former Czechoslovakia, 'Music for Three in a Time of Revolution'. Other recent fiction editing includes Isabel Scharen's 'A Better Life', set in Singapore and New Zealand in the 1940s, and a novel set in the London Blitz, told from the perspective of a Luftwaffe pilot.

I write regularly for the literary journal 'NB Magazine'. My recent work for them has included reviews of recent literary fiction, interviews with recently published authors and features on the Bronte sisters, independent bookshops, domestic thrillers and great Victorian love stories. I am also a top reviewer of fiction on Amazon.co.uk. My favourite contemporary authors include the late Helen Dunmore, Esther Freud, Patrick Gale, Sue Gee, Linda Grant, Tessa Hadley, Sarah Hall, Deirdre Madden, Sarah Moss, Maggie O'Farrell, Andrew O'Hagan, Tim Pears, Rose Tremain and Salley Vickers.

My editorial experience in non-fiction includes working as a copy-editor/proofreader for Faber & Faber, Philip Wilson Publishers and Adlard Coles (both now part of Bloomsbury) and Plumbago Books, a client press of Boydell and Brewer. Books I have copy-edited and proofread include a history of Romanticism, a biography of four major early 20th-century women composers, a large-scale exhibition catalogue dealing with William Blake and Europe, a book examining opera's various aspects, several memoirs and a travel book about the South West Coast.

Prior to going freelance I spent 13 years as an editor in the publishing team at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, with particular responsibility for the programme books for opera productions: around twenty-five a season. I currently commission and edit English-language articles for Salzburg Festival's concert programmes.

I am keen to collaborate with authors both on fiction (particularly literary fiction) and arts and humanities non-fiction.

Art Biographies & Memoirs History Music
Contemporary Fiction Historical Fiction Literary Fiction
English (UK)
  • MA (Cambridge University)
  • MMus (King's College London)

Work experience

Faber & Faber, Philip Wilson Publishers, Adlard Coles, Plumbago Books, individual novelists

Apr, 2010 — Present

I have worked as a copy-editor and proofreader on books that include an alternative history of 20th-century music, a biography of four women composers, a travel guide to the South West Coast Path, a selection of 'gender-swapped' Greek myths and a catalogue of the work of the 18th-century cabinet makers Ince and Mayhew. My many projects for Plumbago Books include editing the volume 'What Opera Means'. I've also been a structural/line editor for four novelists, working on both historical and contemporary literary fiction.

The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Jan, 2007 — Oct, 2020 (over 13 years)

I was responsible for creating our printed opera and concert programmes, in collaboration with the Commissioning Editor. I edited substantial articles on history, literature from the Classical period to the present day, psychology, theology, psychology, the visual arts, music and other subjects, and co-ran a popular blog for five years, writing many short articles on opera, literature and general culture. I also served as the main in-house proofreader, working on everything from fundraising letters to the 300-page catalogue for the V&A exhibition 'Opera: Passion, Power and Politics'. Additional responsibilities included picture research and layout design for opera programmes and other publications.

Kate has 2 reviews





Kirk S.

Kirk S.

Mar, 2023

Good editors, of course, are good readers. They're able to get "in there," take communion, as it were. They're willing to take part in the story's journey, to kindly let the author know when his antics are distracting, confusing, or otherwise bumbling, all the while sensing his quiet desperation to get things right. Their efforts to help are made entirely in good faith, and their dispositions i...
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Janet S.

Janet S.

Jan, 2022

I contacted Kate about a developmental edit of the second volume of a challenging historical novel which is set during the Velvet Revolution in Prague and includes the periods immediately before and after. One major challenge was presenting a society very different from those we know in the West and coding in sufficient hints about it so that readers would hopefully not misinterpret unfamiliar ...
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