Leighton Wingate

Leighton Wingate – Editor

Accuracy is key to credibility. I’m a longtime copy editor and proofreader, with an affinity for mystery, romance, fantasy and thrillers.


After years spent on copy desks at daily newspapers, I transitioned to freelancing, including roles with MSN, Infinite Spada (a PR consultancy), and book producers becker&mayer! and Girl Friday Productions (titles available on request). I can make your worlds come alive with my well-honed grammatical skills and keen eye for detail, for I’m adept at working in a wide variety of genres, from paranormal tales to romance stories to mysteries. I take pride in maintaining the author’s voice while ensuring and enhancing clean copy, consistency and readability.

I’ve enjoyed working on a Jeffery Deaver short story, a long novel featuring Napoleon that required a deep dive into Russian history, and a hefty international best seller that called for a deft hand at close, careful proofreading of the English translation from the original Spanish. Regardless of the subject matter, I can bring my extensive experience to bear on polishing your project.
Dystopian Fantasy Historical Fiction Mystery & Crime Paranormal Romance Romance Thriller & Suspense
English (UK) English (US)

Work experience


Aug, 2014 — Mar, 2017 (over 2 years)

In addition to regular proofreading duties (including book covers), I performed several cold reads and extra quality-assurance assessments. My tenure with becker[and]mayer! ended when the business was acquired by The Quarto Group, which undertook a large number of internal changes and jettisoned us freelancers.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Jul, 1989 — Mar, 2009 (over 19 years)

For almost 20 years at the Hearst-owned Seattle P-I, my work included designing pages and preparing, reviewing and revising news, business, features and sports copy, in print and online. I wrote headlines; oversaw content selection, editing and/or production for regular sections and pages; and edited staff blogs.

Furthermore, in fulfilling my responsibilities, I also:
· Concentrated on improving readability, addressing each story to resolve inconsistencies, ensure continuity, smooth out transitions, improve clarity and conciseness, and correct grammatical errors

· Edited HTML-based material using a proprietary content management and publishing system

· Substituted routinely for the copy chiefs in news, features and sports when those managers were on vacation or took medical or bereavement leaves

· Served in supervisory role, helping coordinate and check the work of several other copy editors


Snap. Upload. Ruin a reputation.In this page-turning short story from international bestselling author Jeffery Deaver, senior detective Jon Avery inherits a deeply troubling case. At an off-campus party, university professor Rose Taylor is drugged, undressed, ... read more
The award-winning, international bestselling page-turner about the secrets and lies of one man that lead another into a treacherous house of strangers…When novelist Manuel Ortigosa learns that his husband, Álvaro, has been killed in a car crash, it comes as a ... read more
In a sweeping story straight out of Russian history, Tsar Alexander I and a courageous girl named Nadezhda Durova join forces against Napoleon.It’s 1803, and an adolescent Nadya is determined not to follow in her overbearing Ukrainian mother’s footsteps. She’s... read more
A spellbinding thriller from the bestselling author of The Einstein Prophecy.A chilling curse is transported from 1880s London to present-day California, awakening a long-dormant fiend.While on routine patrol in the tinder-dry Topanga Canyon, environmental sci... read more
An Amazon Charts bestseller.Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. ... read more
The end of the world is the weirdest time to come of age.Welcome to the end of the world. One minute, people are going about their lives, and the next—not. In the wake of the inexplicable purge, only a handful of young misfits remains.When it all went down, “W... read more
Selena Rosenthal left behind her high school sweetheart, who was the love of her life, seven years ago.Now, she and the once-rebellious Oliver Bowman are back in Chandlerville—after his foster father’s heart attack and Selena’s contentious divorce—to deal with... read more
Hunter Cross has no regrets. Having left his football prospects behind the day he graduated high school, he’s happy to carry out his legacy on his family’s farm in the foothills of the Shenandoah. But when a shoulder injury puts him face-to-face with the high ... read more
In the second novel in award-winning author Barbara Longley’s sweet and sexy Haneys series, an introverted electrician rewires a young widow’s apartment—and attempts to mend her heart.Painfully shy electrician Wyatt Haney is a pro at complex wiring jobs, but w... read more
“If you ever say anything to anyone, they all die.”When eight-year-old Greer Donner falls off his horse in the Washington wilderness, he braces himself to face the long hike home alone. But screams pierce the darkness, and he stumbles upon a dead-end road wher... read more

Leighton has 38 reviews





Timothy S.

Timothy S.

Jun, 2024

Working with Leighton has been fantastic. He was extremely communicative during the entire process, His on-time work product was spectacular. He has such an amazing eye for detail and offered so many ways to dress problems and inconsistencies. I can not recommend him highly enough.
Brooke S.

Brooke S.

Apr, 2024

Leighton is always a joy to collaborate on projects with. He is extremely proficient and his expertise is evident. I also thoroughly enjoy how his comments make me laugh out loud while teaching me how to refine my craft. I chose him as my editor for the last five books and will continue to do so with my next three books.


Jan, 2024

Thank you, Leighton for your attention to detail and consistency, and for going the extra mile to ensure my manuscript was in best possible shape.
Gwen K.

Gwen K.

Jan, 2024

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Leighton. The review was detailed and deliberate. He was easy to work with, timley and took care in his approach to making my manuscript its best. I look forward to more collaborations.
Liz E.

Liz E.

Jan, 2024

I can only say good things about Leighton. He crossed every "t" and dotted every "i" in my manuscript. That's how thorough he was. He answered all my questions and explained in detail what needed to be edited. He went well over 100% as far as proofreading my work. He was patient and is easy to work with. I will definitely hire him again and will wait for him if he's busy. He is worth it. I high...
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