Leona Skene

Leona Skene - Editor

Inverurie, UK

Cheerful, enthusiastic book editor and champion of independent authors. Copyeditor for Penguin, Ebury, and more. Forever in love with words.

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Overview


Your friendly neighbourhood book nerd!

I'm hugely enthusiastic about books and reading, and 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 novels, sci fi/fantasy, YA, children's chapter books, and self-help books, to name just a few.

My clients have included several bestselling authors, and I edit and proofread for publishers such as Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Ebury.

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

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 offer a sample edit to find out if we'd be a good fit.

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'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


'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


Languages
English (UK)
English (US)
Fiction
Contemporary Fiction
Fantasy
Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Non-Fiction
Self-Help & Self-Improvement

Certifications

  • Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) - Intermediate Member
  • ACES: The Society for Editing - Full Member

Work experience

Freelance Editor & Proofreader

Self-employed
January, 2021 – Present (over 1 year)

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 and Birlinn.

Sub-editor

SNACK Magazine
August, 2018 – Present (about 4 years)

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 (10 selected works)

The People's City

Anne Hamilton, Nadine Aisha Jassat, Alexander McCall Smith

Edinburgh is steeped in literary history. It is the birthplace of a beloved cast of fictional characters from Sherlock Holmes to Harry Potter. A city whose beauty is matched only by the intrigue of its past, and where Robert Louis Stevenson said, ‘there are no stars so lovely as Edinburgh’s street-lamps’. And to celebrate the city, its literature, and more importantly, its people, Polygon and ... read more

Edinburgh is steeped in literary history. It is the birthplace of a beloved cast of fictional characters from Sherlock Holmes to Harry Potter. A city whose beauty is matched only by the intrigue of its past, and where Robert Louis Stevenson said, ‘there are no stars so lovely as Edinburgh’s street-lamps’. And to celebrate the city, its literature, and more importantly, its people, Polygon and ... read more

Get to Bed! (1)

Russell, Catherine Ann, Quist, Morgan

The Little Book of Why (1)

Russell, Catherine Ann, Quist, Morgan

The Last Hacker

Wahlbeck, Mark

Fill The Gaps: A Novel

Andrew Johnston

A self-published debut novel, set in Edinburgh. Isaac is a mess. He is a university dropout, in denial about his career prospects and path in life. He takes out his frustrations on his flatmates and the world around him. His life is turned upside down when an old friend mysteriously reappears. Isaac will be led into a life of crime and confronted with some hard truths about himself. Will Isaac... read more

A self-published debut novel, set in Edinburgh. Isaac is a mess. He is a university dropout, in denial about his career prospects and path in life. He takes out his frustrations on his flatmates and the world around him. His life is turned upside down when an old friend mysteriously reappears. Isaac will be led into a life of crime and confronted with some hard truths about himself. Will Isaac... read more

Leona has 5 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

JH Tomen
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!

JH Tomen, April 2022

Leona Skene
Thank you so much for this kind review! It was a pleasure to work with you and to read your wonderful book.

Reply from Leona Skene


Andrew Johnston
Her proofreading was excellent and way ahead of schedule! Would definitely use her services again.

Andrew Johnston, March 2022

Leona Skene
Thank you, Andrew! It was awesome to work with you.

Reply from Leona Skene


Lawrie Johnston
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

Lawrie Johnston, January 2022

Leona Skene
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.

Reply from Leona Skene


Jim Cline
So very impressed with Leona and her professionalism and talent. She did an incredible job and met her promised timeline. I will totally work with her again.

Jim Cline, November 2021

Leona Skene
Jim is a wonderful client: throughout our collaboration he was courteous, responsive, and interested. Thank you for the kind review, Jim!

Reply from Leona Skene


Chris Upton
Leona has been amazing to work with from the outset of our collaboration and has provided high quality feedback delivering it with just the right tone. She is meticulous in checking the finer details and I feel that, through her support, my book is ready for publication in the best shape it could be!

Chris Upton, October 2021

Leona Skene
It was an absolute pleasure to work with Chris on his book, which is so heartfelt and movingly written. Thank you for the feedback, Chris! I wish you every success for the future.

Reply from Leona Skene

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