Lesley Hart

Lesley Hart - Editor

Horsham, UK

Fiction editor specialising mid-grade and YA, working independently and with Silverwood Books, MA creative writing and cw teacher five-years

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Fiction and narrative non-fiction developmental and copy/ line editor and creative writing teacher with a passion for helping authors to achieve their writing aspirations.

In 2017 and while studying for an MA in Creative Writing through Lancaster University, I realised my passion lay in editing my peers' work. Upon graduation, I immediately joined the Chartered Institute of Editors and Proofreaders (CIEP) and have been taken their proofreading, copy-editing and fiction editing courses since then. I believe that learning and honing my skills is a lifelong duty and opportunity, so I have continued to search out relevant courses with other professionals and organisations, including SYP, Louise Harnby, Sophie Playle and BookMachine.

Additionally, I have been teaching creative writing to adult learners at my local college for the last five-years. Combining this with fifteen-years spent working in primary and sixth-form education has given me an understanding of the issues and passions of young readers. I therefore feel particularly qualified to support: children's, mid-grade (8-12 years) and YA authors. My teaching experience means I would welcome the opportunity to edit authors work across a variety of genre.

My voracious love of fiction means that I am constantly looking out for new authors whose worlds I can journey into; so I don't feel bound by genre. Although, I feel less able and prefer not to work with: science-fiction, horror or erotica .

I would love to help you make your novel the best it can be. Please have a look at my website to see how else I might help you to achieve your author aspirations:
English (AUS)
English (UK)
English (US)
Contemporary Fiction
Historical Fiction
Middle Grade
Psychological Thriller
Romantic Comedy
Short Story
Women's Fiction
Young Adult


  • CIEP Introduction to Proofreading
  • CIEP Introduction to Copy-Editing
  • MA Creative Writing
  • CIEP Introduction to Fiction Editing
  • CIEP Word for Practical Editing

Work experience

Freelance Editor for SilverWood Books

SilverWood Books
August, 2020 – Present (almost 2 years)

I have worked with five authors for SilverWood on both a developmental and copy-editing basis. This has involved a close working relationship with all the authors who have been based in: southern Australia, Argentina and Thailand and the UK. In addition we have worked together to organise the starting point for their book, the order of short stories etc. Helen Hart is tremendously supportive of both her authors and her editors and I hope to have an ongoing relationship with her and with SilverWood.

Fiction Editor and Creative Writing Teacher

August, 2020 – Present (almost 2 years)

Since setting up my freelance editing business in July 2020, I have worked with a children's mid-grade author to edit her novel, a YA fantasy/magical realism novel. I have also copy-edited historical fiction, a non-fiction landscape history, non-fiction memoir, YA fantasy novel, a YA novella and I am currently working with an author of short stories.

For the last fifteen years I have worked in primary education (eight years) and sixth form education (eight years). Working in both the sixth-form library, in charge of fiction, and as a teacher of creative writing for the last four years. Some of my recent intake of students are now studying for an MA in Creative Writing as a result of my encouragement.

Since graduating with an MA in creative writing I have been taking industry qualifications to hone the editorial skills gained from working alongside my students. I have been busy since the inception of my business and have had the pleasure of working closely with a variety of authors to edit their manuscripts. Three of the projects I have worked on since becoming freelance have been for Silverwood Books.

In February 2020 I interned for Aria Fiction, alongside their Commissioning Editors: Rhea Kurien and Hannah Smith, and wrote editorial reports and blurbs for one of their recently published novels, another for a book submitted by an agent, I also checked the final PDF mark-up prior to print. Finally, I interrogated their contracts and uploaded all of the rights information to spreadsheet.

Freelance Mentoring

SYP London
May, 2020 – December, 2020 (7 months)

I applied for and was accepted on SYP's Launch mentorship programme and worked closely with Aimee Dewar to build my website and its content. Additionally, Aimee helped me to work out how much I should charge for my services and to help me to work out how best to market myself and my services. Aimee and I would meet on a monthly basis over Zoom and discuss what I had achieved and next steps to ensure the mentoring experience was productive and developmental.

One Week's Internship

Aria Fiction
February, 2020 – February, 2020 (less than a minute)

Read and made notes on a manuscript. Read an agency submission and submitted notes on it's viability. Went through proofreading changes on a manuscript in Adobe and ensured they'd all been picked up.

Portfolio (6 selected works)

Write Around Horsham

Webster, Bryan

The Scarring of the Roshanra (The Coral and the Kingdom Book 1)

Brown, Kara SB, Reynolds, Naomi, Flanagan, Clem, Hart, Lesley

The Book of Four Journeys

Del Valle, Veronica

Someone Else's Gods

Clarke, Gordon R

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