Leona Skene

Leona Skene – Editor

Cheerful book editor and champion of indie authors. Copyeditor for Penguin, Ebury, Simon and Schuster, and more. Forever in love with words.

Overview

Hello!


I’m Leona, I'm a copyeditor, and I'm hugely enthusiastic about books and reading. I genuinely love collaborating with clients to bring clarity and to make their work as polished and professional as it deserves to be. I work with both fiction and non-fiction authors – in the past I've edited historical fiction, sci fi/fantasy, YA, children's chapter books, and memoir, to name just a few.


My clients have included several bestselling authors, and I work with Big 5 publishers such as Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Ebury.


I'm based in Scotland and am lucky enough to work with clients from all over the world. I'm happy to use US or British English (and Scots!) and am familiar with most US and UK dictionaries and styles.


Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have a project you'd like to discuss! I'm always happy to chat, and I offer a free sample edit to find out if we'd be a good fit.


***


'Fantastic job, very thorough, yet happy to work with me on issues of tone and coherence. Caught all sorts of things I’d missed that would have embarrassed me! Very satisfied with the end result and would be happy to work with her again.'

– Aviva Rosenthal, writer


'Leona is not only pleasant to work with but also super knowledgeable and experienced. She has a great grasp of what makes a book successful and the skills to get it there.’

– Jess Anderson, Editorial Manager, Ebury Publishing


‘I engaged Leona to evaluate my manuscript and was highly impressed with her response. She was prompt, professional, and generous, and her comments and queries were insightful, relevant, clearly expressed, and extremely useful.'

– Jane Smith, author and editor


’Leona is great to deal with … Her conscientious editorial work is of a very high standard; her fact-checking is meticulous.’

– Edward Crossan, Commissioning and Managing Editor, Polygon Books

Services
Fiction
Children's Contemporary Fiction Fantasy Historical Fiction Literary Fiction Young Adult
Non-Fiction
Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Languages
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (UK) English (US)
Certifications
  • Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) - Intermediate Member
  • ACES: The Society for Editing - Full Member

Work experience

Self-employed

Jan, 2021 — Present

I work on a freelance basis for both independent authors and traditional publishers. I've edited novels and self-help books for several bestselling authors, and my publisher clients include Penguin Random House, Ebury, and Simon & Schuster.

SNACK Magazine

Aug, 2018 — Present

SNACK is a Glasgow-based print and digital arts and culture guide.

As sub-editor, I re-write, edit and proofread copy from staff and freelancers, fact-checking for accuracy and adherence to house style.

I scan for tone, content and compatibility with the magazine’s values and ethos.

Together with the editor, I select pull-quotes, create headlines, and oversee the final structure and layout of each edition.

Portfolio

Little Things

Fearne Cotton

This book is a way to make small changes to feel better, even when under stress.Stress is a normal part of life, but it can be overwhelming. The habits, tools and advice in these pages will he... read more
Copy Editing
Copy Editing
'Ever since I was a child I loved to dance. I had it in me - and when you dance the whole day and you've got music, it doesn't feel like work. It's freedom. It's love. It's therapy.'Before tak... read more
Copy Editing
Scatter Brain

Shaparak Khorsandi

Some brains, through no fault of their own, pack a bag, turn the lights off and run away to the seaside the moment they are meant to be doing homework, paying bills or not putting the cat in t... read more
Copy Editing
The Mini ADHD Coach

Alice Gendron

With funny and relatable illustrations throughout, find out what it's really like to live with ADHD.When Alice Gendron was diagnosed with ADHD aged 29, she knew she didn't fit the usual ADHD s... read more
Copy Editing
Older and Bolder

Esther Rantzen

Be bolder as you grow older, and make sure you float above any challenges that threaten to overwhelm you. Multi-award-winning broadcaster, founder of Child Line and Silver Line, campaigner, jo... read more
Copy Editing
Last Chance Dance

Lakita Wilson

An utterly charming YA romance perfect for fans of Elise Bryant and Leah Johnson. Leila is devastated when her high school boyfriend breaks up with her right before graduation, but when she ge... read more
Copy Editing
The Sky King

Polly Holyoke

In this soaring adventure for fans of Skandar and the Unicorn Thief and Wings of Fire, a new kind of monster launches an attack on the empire of Prekalt. Who can Kiesandra and her skysteed tur... read more
Copy Editing
Skyriders

Polly Holyoke

Wings of Fire meets Pax in this epic fantasy adventure set in a world where human and skysteed share a deep bond of friendship and love.When monsters emerge to attack the empire, it's up to Ki... read more
Copy Editing
Made with Reedsy
Who Served Well

Lawrie Johnston

The First World War devastated Europe and beyond, stirred revolutions and toppled governments and empires. For three young friends from Galloway in Scotland, embarking on their own personal jo... read more
Copy Editing
Copy Editing

Leona has 7 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Damaris M.

Damaris M.

Sep, 2023

Leona edited a manuscript that I had translated by myself from another language into English. Her work was very thorough. I especially appreciated her comments on stylistic choice of words and sentence structure as I still lack some of those all-important nuances. She even picked up on a minor inconsistency in my worldbuilding (despite this being a copy/line edit). I can absolutely recommend he...
Read more
Leona S.
Thank you for this kind and positive review, Damaris! Your book is excellent and I’m looking forward to working with you again.
Charlotte C.

Charlotte C.

Apr, 2023

Leona has been brilliant. She answered all my initial questions and edited my stories with total understanding of my particular requirements. She has a keen eye for where the storyline is weak or less focussed and she was able to guide me to make great adjustments to my stories. If you are writing for children, then I would highly recommend working with Leona.
Leona S.
Thank you so much for this lovely review, Charlotte! It was a pleasure to work with you and I wish you lots of success with your stories.
JH T.

JH T.

Apr, 2022

Leona is so awesome! Very kind and responsive, does great editing work, and also shares the little tidbits/reactions in the comments that show her responses to the story. She was very punctual and was able to fit in my project easily. Really hope we can work together again in the future!
Leona S.
Thank you so much for this kind review! It was a pleasure to work with you and to read your wonderful book.
Andrew J.

Andrew J.

Mar, 2022

Her proofreading was excellent and way ahead of schedule! Would definitely use her services again.
Leona S.
Thank you, Andrew! It was awesome to work with you.
Lawrie J.

Lawrie J.

Jan, 2022

As a first time author I could not have wished for a better editor than Leona. Her attention to detail and suggestions for improvements were excellent She went beyond her remit to provide me with helpful information about the self publishing process, I would most certainly work with Leona again
Leona S.
Thank you for the kind review, Lawrie! It was a pleasure to work with you on your novel. I wish you every success for the future.

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