Martha Sprackland

Martha Sprackland – Editor

Experienced editor ready to give your manuscript the nip, tuck, haircut, snack, slap or workout it needs to catch a publisher's eye.


I am a freelance editor and writer with fourteen years' experience, both in and out of house, in journal and book publishing. Working across fiction, poetry and non-fiction, with an emphasis on literary writing, I am adept in structural and line editing, proofreading; my copy-editing skills are second to none.

I am editor at Offord Road Books, a small, boutique list publishing new and exciting work in poetry by, among others, A. K. Blakemore, Ella Frears, Will Burns, Seán Hewitt and Rebecca Perry. Our beautiful books have been chosen as Recommendations by the Poetry Book Society, have been shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award, and won the Ledbury Forte Prize (we celebrated with a reading in Paris, days before Notre-Dame burned...). I was previously (until 2021) the lead editor at Poetry London, a long-running international journal publishing established names alongside new and emerging voices, and I am a founding editor of multilingual, multinational arts zine La Errante. From late 2021 I have also been poetry editor for CHEERIO Publications, a production company and publishing house in association with the Estate of Francis Bacon.

Before going freelance in 2016 I worked as an editor at Faber & Faber, helping bring landmark titles to publication from both front- and backlist, by a dazzling roster that included T. S. Eliot, Seamus Heaney, Stevie Smith, Ted Hughes, Simon Armitage, Paul Muldoon and Sylvia Plath, as well as the Faber New Poets. I worked on prose books including Echo's Bones, a previously unpublished short story by Samuel Beckett, and essential volumes of The Letters of T. S. Eliot and The Poems of T. S. Eliot. On the non-fiction side, I worked on the Guardian–Faber list on titles including Patrick Kingsley's The New Odyssey, Gary Younge's Another Day in the Death of America, and popular science books by Dean Burnett. More recently, I worked at Unbound as an editor, for a year's worth of maternity cover, working on a wide range of book including a collection of essays by British hijabis, a co-written comic novel, a new version of the Morte D'Arthur, and many more.

In my freelance life I work for a number of publishers and arts organisations, including the Arvon Foundation, Bloomsbury, Canongate, the T. S. Eliot Estate, Faber, Granta, Oneworld, Pan Macmillan, 4th Estate, Persephone Books, The Poetry Review and many more. I have offered manuscript assessment services and mentorship to writers hoping to brush up their book pre-submission, via both The Literary Consultancy, the Rebecca Swift Foundation and Faber Academy.

I work closely with authors, both in prose and in poetry, to make sure their manuscript is as pin-sharp as it possibly can be, its images bright and clear, its dialogue fluid and convincing, its narrative arc strong and compelling. I'm a writer myself, and I know the value of intensive, rigorous editorial feedback to a work-in-progress, and the je ne sais quoi (except often we do know what) it takes to bring that last polish to a promising draft.

Whether you're just getting going and need to check the bare bones of a piece, you've reached a first draft and need to put it through its paces, or else you're ready to start sending out to agents and publishers, I will ensure that your work sings.

Above all, I love this work – always have – and am committed to books, to publishers, and to the wonderful authors I am excited to work with here.

You needn't necessarily take my word for it! Here is a jubilant parade of satisfied customers, both publishers and authors.


‘Martha has completed proofreading and editorial work for us many times and has been a total pleasure to work with every time. Her work is always at the highest possible standard and her turnaround times are remarkable; she is always calm and flexible in her approach to work and very generous with her time, working hard to accommodate our tight timeframes into her busy schedule. It’s no exaggeration to say that Martha has been an integral part of every clinic publication over the last few years and a large portion of any end-product finesse they have is down to her efforts.’
Andrew Parkes, clinic

‘Martha handled a complex academic text with all the qualities one would wish for in an editor – meticulousness, sharp eye, expert grammatical knowledge, diligence and speed. I highly recommend her services and intend to work with her in the future.’
Isabel Brittain, Hikari Press

‘Martha has been a reliable and meticulous proofreader for Persephone Books on several occasions: I would recommend her work, and her calm demeanour, wholeheartedly.’
Nicola Beauman, Persephone Books

‘The work Martha did for us at very short notice on our Adel Abdessemed publication was turned around perfectly and with the greatest grace and elegance. She is top of our list!’
Hannah Barry, Bold Tendencies/Hannah Barry Gallery

‘Martha's editorial skills are notably attentive, her suggestions work to enhance the quality of the writing, rather than impose on it. Her mastery of Spanish is of equal value when it involves works of translation, nuance and etymological leniency. An incredibly dexterous editor, with an acute and necessary eye for detail.’
Anthony Anaxagorou, Out-Spoken Press

‘Martha’s editorial work on Arvon’s 50th anniversary anthology was outstanding – she shaped a large amount of content in an intelligent and compelling way, and the final result was professional, attractive and of great value to Arvon in helping us tell our story.’
George Palmer, Arvon

‘Martha recently did an assessment of some of my work and I was really impressed with the level of her insight into all aspects of my writing practice. She not only showed me how to make the manuscript more attractive to an editor, but also encouraged me to better identify the things I was really trying to say. This clear-eyed approach has helped enormously as a way of seeing my body of writing as a whole. Martha has a rigorous focus and excellent grasp of structure – this comes with a light touch and instinctive understanding of the idiosyncracies of style. I’m excited by the prospect of working with her again.’
Tim Bradford

‘Martha’s editing of my writing was like the addition of salt to a meal by a gifted chef – light of touch, but absolutely essential to buttress the more salient flavours, and entice out those I had not even realised were there.’
Adham Smart

‘Martha's editing was incredibly useful to me. Although I was nervous to send her relatively recent work, she treated my writing both surgically and with a feel for my sensibilities as a writer. She has clarified a lot of doubts I had about specific poems while teaching me (by her example) new approaches to editing a poem. I feel fortunate to have had her input into my work.’
Matt Bryden

‘Martha is an exemplary poetry editor; thorough and competent in her understanding of grammar, syntax, tone and phrasing, yet still radically attuned to the resonances and diction of the best contemporary and emergent poetry.’
Mark Wilson
Biographies & Memoirs Nature Sex & Relationships Writing & Publishing
Contemporary Fiction Literary Fiction Poetry Short Story
English (UK) English (US)

Work experience

Offord Road Books

Mar, 2016 — Present

Boutique publishing list, founded in 2014. Our books have won the Ledbury Forte Prize, been shortlisted for the Forward Prize, the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Laurel Prize and the Michael Marks Award, and been named Recommendations by the Poetry Book Society. Authors include A. K. Blakemore, Will Burns, Helen Charman, Ella Frears, Melissa Lee-Houghton and Seán Hewitt.

CHEERIO Publishing

Nov, 2021 — Present


Mar, 2020 — May, 2021 (about 1 year)

Maternity cover role working on a diverse list of books

Poetry London

Mar, 2019 — Jan, 2021 (almost 2 years)

I was the executive editor of this long-running international magazine. Published three times a year in February, May and September, each issue contains new poetry, incisive reviews and features, with established names rubbing shoulders with new voices.

Faber & Faber

Jan, 2012 — Jun, 2016 (over 4 years)

Worked across poetry and non-fiction titles at this prestigious literary publishing house. I edited and project managed two rounds of the Faber New Poets scheme, and worked with some of the most exciting writers currently producing poetry in this country.


Too Young, Too Loud, Too Different

Malika's Poetry Kitchen

One of the Evening Standard's Best Non-fiction 2021.'We knew that black and brown bodies, working class voices, women's voices, did not have a space where they could be heard - and so this writing collective was a necessary and political act'In the early years... read more
More Fiya

Kayo Chingonyi

In this blistering anthology, poet, editor and DJ Kayo Chingonyi brings together a selection of exceptional Black British poets. This is his dream mixtape featuring a cross-generational span of current poets extending and inhabiting the spirits of the ancestor... read more
A powerful collection of new and recently completed poems by Ben Okri covering topics of the day, such as the refugee crisis, racism, Obama, the Grenfell Tower fire, and the Corona outbreak. In our times of crisis The mind has its powersThis book brings togeth... read more
'Will Burns is a soulful English poet of the kind we don't make enough of' MAX PORTER'Hugely affecting and timely' LUKE TURNER'A boldly struck chord, one that contains many of the dissonances, but also the harmonies, found in England today' CHRIS POWERIn THE P... read more
Granta 149: New Europe includes essays by Elif Shafak, UKON, Andrew Miller, Will Atkins, Lara Feigel, Katherine Angel, Michael Hofmann, Joseph Koerner, Tom McCarthy and many more. It harks back to the 1989 issue of the same name, themed around the response to ... read more
Devil in a Coma

Mark Lanegan

One morning in March 2021 with the second wave of infections ripping through Ireland where he was newly resident, Mark Lanegan woke up breathless, fatigued beyond belief, his body burdened with a gigantic dose of Covid-19. Admitted to Kerry Hospital and initia... read more

Vashti Bunyan

In 1968, Vashti Bunyan gave up everything and everybody she knew in London to take to the road with a horse, wagon, dog, guitar and her then partner. They made the long journey up to the Outer Hebrides in an odyssey of discovery and heartbreak, full of the joy... read more

Keiran Goddard

'This book is such a sneaky head f*ck - an epic poem in an ancient style about the brutalities of modern love, a masculine interrogation of feminine heartbreak, a really beautiful way to spend an evening' Lena Dunham'Hourglass will stay with me for a long time... read more
Paper Cuts

Ted Kessler

'A great writer' Paul Weller'A music journalist of integrity' Billy Childish'There's only one Ted Kessler!' Liam GallagherPAPER CUTS is the inside story of the slow death of the British music press. But it's also a love letter to it, the tale of how music maga... read more
Unexhausted Time

Emily Berry

Unexhausted Time inhabits a world of dream and dawn, in which thoughts touch us 'like soft rain', and all the elements are brought closer in.Feelings, messages, symbols, visions . . . Emily Berry's latest collection takes shape in the half-light between the re... read more
Sonnets for Albert

Anthony Joseph

With Sonnets for Albert, Anthony Joseph returns to the autobiographical material explored in his earlier collection Bird Head Son. In this follow-up, he weighs the impact of being the son of an absent, or mostly absent, father, Though these poems threaten to b... read more
WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL GRIFFIN PRIZEA NEW YORK TIMES BEST POETRY BOOK OF 2020Music for the Dead and Resurrected captures the complexity of living in the shadows of imperial force, of the vulnerability of bodies, of seeing with more than one's eyes. Valzhy... read more
Andrew Motion's expansive new collection is built around two long poems that form its opening and close. The title poem, in a kaleidoscope of compelling scenes, engages with subjects that include migration, placement, loss, space exploration and current Britis... read more
The Late Sun

Christopher Reid

The Late Sun asserts a balance between memorialisation of the recently dead and celebration of the vitality of the living. Early in the collection is a set of poems about the poet's mother, who died in great age after a life of exotic travel, and the poet's ow... read more

Miranda Ward

'The world is not neatly divided into two camps of women, those who wanted to reproduce and did, and those who didn't want to, and didn't. So many of us are caught here, in between, neither one thing nor the other, drifting towards a receding horizon, in our o... read more
Edited by iconic musician Kim Gordon and esteemed writer Sinéad Gleeson, a powerful collection by award-winning female creators, writing about the female artists that matter to them and their own personal experiences.This book is for and about the women who ki... read more

Kyung-Sook Shin

We join San in 1970s rural South Korea, a young girl ostracised from her community. She meets a girl called Namae, and they become friends until one afternoon changes everything. Following a moment of physical intimacy in a minari field, Namae violently reject... read more
Dancing in Odessa

Ilya Kaminsky

Described as 'a rich, reverberative dance with memories of a haunted city' (LA Times), the poems of the prize-winning debut Dancing in Odessa by Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic, draw on archetype, myth and Russian literary figures. Tightly realised dome... read more
POETRY BOOK SOCIETY RECOMMENDATION'Jack Underwood has developed an utterly clear lyric that rebukes moral obviousness, drives against false certainty. It's as refreshing as it is instructive . . . Underwood has become one of my favorite poets.' Kaveh AkbarJack... read more
Auguries of a Minor God

Nidhi Zakaria Eipe

POETRY BOOK SOCIETY RECOMMENDATION'In Auguries of a Minor God, her outstandingdebut collection, Eipe sings of joys and wounds felt deeply under the skin' David Wheatley, GuardianNidhi Zak/Aria Eipe's spellbinding debut poetry collection explores love and the w... read more
Tenement Kid

Bobby Gillespie

Tenement Kid is Bobby Gillespie's story up to the recording and release of the album that has been credited with 'starting the 90's', Screamadelica.Born into a working class Glaswegian family in the summer of 1961, Bobby's memoirs begin in the district of Spri... read more
Far District

Ishion Hutchinson

Far District, the transporting debut from the author of House of Lords and Commons, is structured as the spiritual journey of a poet-speaker caught between two cultures. As childhood memory is grafted to the world of imagination - shaped by books, art, music a... read more
WINNER OF THE 2021 PULITZER PRIZE IN POETRY Postcolonial Love Poem is a thunderous river of a book. It demands that every body carried in its pages - bodies of language, land, suffering brothers, enemies and lovers - be touched and held. Where the bodies of in... read more
Glittering a Turd

Kris Hallenga

Kris was living a totally normal life as a twenty-three-year-old: travelling the world, falling in love, making plans.However, when she found a lump in her boob and was told that it was not only cancer, but also incurable, life took on a completely new meaning... read more

Tom Cox

Sure, sex is great, but have you ever cracked open a new notebook and written something on the first page with a really nice pen?The story behind Notebook starts with a minor crime: the theft of Tom Cox's rucksack from a Bristol pub in 2018. In that rucksack w... read more

Andrew O'Hagan

Winner of the Christopher Isherwood PrizeLonglisted for the Portico PrizeA Guardian, Spectator, Sunday Times, Financial Times and Evening Standard Book of the Year'What a stunning novel.' Graham Norton'Funny, passionate, heartbreaking.' Tracey Thorn'Life-enhan... read more
The Anthill: A Novel

Pachico, Julianne

Scenes of Moderate Violence is the debut collection from award-winning poet John Moynes. If you think that modern literature doesn’t include enough time-travelling cowboys, then this is the book for you. If you need poems about history, love, death, madness an... read more
Despised and Rejected by Rose Allatini (1890–1980) is everything we would like a Persephone book to be: by a forgotten writer who deserves to be revived and with strong themes: opposition to war, acceptance of homosexuality, tolerance of others, awareness that... read more
Who Is Mary Sue?

Sophie Collins

In the language of fan fiction, a 'Mary Sue' is an idealised and implausibly flawless character: a female archetype that can infuriate audiences for its perceived narcissism.Such is the setting for this brilliant and important debut by Sophie Collins. In a ser... read more
Poems for Christmas is an exquisitely produced gift anthology which is guaranteed to get anyone in the festive spirit. Part of the Macmillan Collectors Library series, featuring expert introductions for your favourite classics. This edition features an introdu... read more
Poetry Book Society Wild Card Choice. Amy Key’s Isn’t Forever is a grimoire for feminine selfhood in a world where a sense of self is flimsy, elusive and unrequited. The poems in this book are obsessive in their desire to construct and breach the terms of thei... read more

David Harsent

Salt is a distinctive new assembly of poems by the multi-award winning David Harsent. Resting somewhere between fragment and exposition, these intense and primal pieces stretch out across the measure of the page in brief utterances. One extends sonnet-length, ... read more

Richard Scott

'But tonight I am super-charged, alive, looking into the eyes of / men . . .'In this intimate and vital debut, Richard Scott looks into the places not everyone sees or chooses to see. Against the backdrop of London's Soho, he creates an uncompromising portrait... read more
A Greek Verse for Ophelia and Other Poems contains one hundred poems taken from renowned Colombian poet Giovanni Quessep's entire oeuvre, including his last published book of poetry, Abyss Unveiled. The poems contained have been selected by his translators Fel... read more
Award-winning short story writer Cristina Jurado's first collection in English is filled with the idea of the other: different lives that take place at the corners of our eyes, just out of sight. The boundaries between the real and the unreal have never before... read more

Wayne Holloway-Smith

The mischievous and often dark world of Wayne Holloway-Smith’s first collection Alarum exists in the space between the peculiar thought and its dismissal. It is a place in which commonsense is unfixed, where the imagination disrupts notions of stability. ‘A si... read more

Zaffar Kunial

Us is the eloquent and affecting debut from the talented Zaffar Kunial. In a series of approachable, lyric narratives, the poems in Kunial's hypnotic collection look with a tender toughness at his upbringing by his English mother and Lahore-based, Kashmiri fat... read more

Jamie McKendrick

In a period when nations are retracting within their borders, the vivid and intricate poems of Jamie McKendrick's new collection Anomaly are especially timely, and speak of a fragile legacy of openness and interconnectedness. The poems playfully twin Bologna a... read more
O Positive

Joe Dunthorne

The long-awaited debut from the poet, novelist and journalist Joe Dunthorne. He was one of the most popular of our Faber New Poets (2010), and this collection has all the appeal of his acclaimed fiction: arch, playful and self-aware; truly funny and enviably cool.
From the award-winning poet and playwright behind Barber Shop Chronicles, The Half-God of Rainfall is an epic story and a lyrical exploration of pride, power and female revenge.There is something about Demi. When this boy is angry, rain clouds gather. When he ... read more

Martha has 44 reviews





Dave B.

Dave B.

Oct, 2023

I appreciate the attention to detail and the help I received.
Yassmin A.

Yassmin A.

Aug, 2023

Prompt interactions, super helpful notes, and gave me what I needed for the next draft. Would recommend!
Hana Y.

Hana Y.

Aug, 2023

Martha did a copy edit on my debut novel, and she did an absolutely fantastic job - very thorough and insightful, her attention to detail was second to none. She was also very kind, generous with her time and went above and beyond to help with extra things like the blurb and marketing. I’ll definitely use her again and would wholeheartedly recommend her to anyone who wants a job brilliantly done.
Kamaljit N.

Kamaljit N.

Aug, 2023

I asked Martha to do a developmental edit on my poems. She was very thorough and honest with her analysis, which I found helpful and refreshing. Martha edited my text and produced an additional in-depth report on a range of issues/concerns. After reading this I decided to do a re-write and I have approached her about getting a second edit done. I found her professional, straight forward and ea...
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Kirsty O.

Kirsty O.

Jul, 2023

I really enjoyed working with Martha who provided a very comprehensive assessment of my work and excellent feedback on areas to develop.

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