Stephen Carver

Stephen Carver - Editor

Norwich, UK

A versatile book doctor whose years of experience as a writer and academic enhance his approach to editorial work and practical mentoring.

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I'm a published author of fiction and nonfiction and a retired professor of Literature and Creative Writing (University of East Anglia, University of Fukui, Japan). I edit, proof, appraise and mentor manuscripts across genres - literary and general fiction, nonfiction, creative nonfiction, and life writing - and have a long professional association with The Literary Consultancy in London. I believe that writing is a craft that can be an art, and I am passionate about helping authors bring out the best in their work.

I work alone, I do not contract out. Because of demand, I ask for payment in advance and that you allow 4-6 weeks for completion of the job, although I try to be faster when I can. As a published author and academic, I bring a lot of extra experience to the work that you might not get with someone who solely edits. Many of my clients have gone on to gain agency representation and formal publication, or to succeed as indie (self-publishing) authors.


1. Manuscript Appraisal - I will read your MS closely (adding critical notes) + write a detailed feedback report (15 pages on average) realistically assessing its suitability to submit to agents and publishers, and advising how to do this if it is ready, and how to make it fit for purpose if it is not quite there. Feedback is constructive, honest, realistic, and polite. A follow-up phone or Skype call is included.

2. Mentoring - I will help you develop your project in 10,000 word submissions. Each part will be annotated and you will receive detailed written feedback and a follow-up phone or Skype call. You do not have to commit to anything beyond one read at a time, though a formal mentoring/developmental editing schedule can also be arranged.

3. Copy Editing - I will help you craft your manuscript, suggesting any changes I deem necessary and making minor correction myself. (All in Track Change so you can evaluate.) Your MS will also be proofread as part of this service, and we can go over the MS up to three times to prep it for publication.

4. Proofreading - Your manuscript will be meticulously checked for typographical errors, grammar, word choices, and factual accuracy. This should be the last stage before publication.

5. Literary Agent/Publisher Pitch Appraisal - I will critique you pitch package - your query letter, writing sample (10,000 words approx.), and synopsis. I will annotate your documents, suggest corrections, proof, and return a detailed feedback report. A follow-up phone or Skype call is all part of the service.

NB. Indexing and referencing service also available. Please contact for a quote or to discuss.
English (UK)
Biographies & Memoirs
Humanities & Social Sciences
True Crime
Contemporary Fiction
Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Science Fiction

Work experience

Reader and Mentor

The Literary Consultancy
June, 2013 – Present (over 8 years)

I have appraised literally hundreds of manuscript novels, memoirs, and nonfiction projects. I read closely, line-edit and then feedback in a detailed written report, following up in person, by phone, or online. I also mentor writers and act as a developmental editor. In addition, I sometimes copy-edit, proofread, index, and reference. I'm also the company's Complaints Moderator.

Freelance Editor, Author, and Writing Mentor

January, 2013 – Present (almost 9 years)

I appraise manuscript novels, memoirs, and nonfiction projects. I read closely, line-edit and then feedback in a detailed written report, following up in person, by phone, or online. I also mentor writers and act as a developmental editor. I also copy-edit, proofread, index, and reference. As a freelance writer, I contribute articles, reviews, and blog posts to a variety of traditional and online publications. I also write books, presently history and literary history for Pen & Sword and Morton Media.

Head of Online Courses

Unthank School of Writing
June, 2012 – December, 2018 (over 6 years)

Responsible for the management, design and implementation of an extensive online teaching platform in creative writing. Also taught courses in novel writing, short fiction, historical fiction, and life writing.

Lecturer in Literature and Creative Writing

University of East Anglia
October, 2006 – December, 2012 (about 6 years)

Full academic duties in both disciplines: lecturing and running seminars (classroom and online), research and publication, administration, exam marking, and student supervision.

Professor of English

University of Fukui, Japan
October, 2002 – September, 2005 (almost 3 years)

Full academic duties: lecturing and running seminars, research and publication, administration, exam marking, and student supervision (under- and postgraduate) in English Language, and English and American Literature.

Portfolio (25 selected works)

Unveiled: The First Unthank School Anthology

Stokes, Ashley, Carver, Stephen

The Brini Boy

McCulloch, Jane


Smith, Morgan

A Preamble to Depravity

Phillips, Akwesi

The Ash House

Chin, Audrey

Mother Earth

Jessett, A.P.

Where's Sailor Jack?

Uttley, John

No Precedent

Uttley, John

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