About

Hannah McCallHello!

My name is Hannah McCall, that’s an image of my face, and I am the person behind Black Cat Editorial Services. I’m a freelance proofreader and copy-editor based in the UK.

In a previous life I was an administrator (IT and vehicle services) and service desk analyst (IT). I’ve also worked for one of the UK’s largest supermarkets as a stock controller. I hold a BA (Hons) in Politics, which I gained from Royal Holloway, University of London. I’m still linked to the university as one of their approved proofreaders.

Today, I have the immense pleasure of working on and with words. I also have the honour of being the coordinator for the Society for Editors and Proofreaders West Surrey and North Hampshire local group.

Experience

I’ve been a professional proofreader, and later a copy-editor, since 2015. In that time I’ve worked on more than 70 projects, approximately half of those books.

Training and qualifications

I take training and continuing professional development very seriously. Here are some of the courses I have completed:

  • Basic Editing by Distance Learning (Publishing Training Centre), 2018
  • Basic Proofreading: Digital Skills (PTC), 2017
  • Mentoring scheme (Society for Editors and Proofreaders), 2016
  • P2: Proofreading Progress (SfEP), 2015
  • Grammar at Work (PTC), 2015
  • Basic Proofreading by Distance Learning (PTC), 2015

In addition to the above, I have passed the SfEP’s Basic Editorial Test, and I am a Professional Member of the organisation, meaning I have proven my competence to an expert panel. You can read more about the SfEP here.

Specialisms and interests

I work on all sorts of texts, but I find a particular joy in fiction. I enjoy the rapport of working directly with authors and take professional pride in helping brilliant stories on their journey toward meeting the world. I also have a soft spot for narrative non-fiction (such as memoirs).

I do take on dissertations and theses, and other academic documents, but I am selective about the projects I accept. I may be a good fit for you if your topic is within the humanities and social-sciences. At degree-level I studied international relations and conflict law; European integration; British politics; and political theory and philosophy.

If you have a particularly technical text, I am not the editorial professional for you. I’m also not your go-to for romance and erotica.

When I’m not working

If I’m not editing, I’m likely to be catering to my cat’s latest demand, making my way through my to-be-read pile, walking the dogs, or thinking about what to have for dinner.


My recent reads

If you’d like a flavour of the sort of thing I read for fun, here are some of the books I’ve enjoyed recently:

  • Tombland, C. J. Sansom
  • The Silent Companions, Laura Purcell
  • The Truth Pixie, Matt Haig
  • We Are the End, Gonzalo C. Garcia
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, Mark Manson
  • A Closed and Common Orbit, Becky Chambers
  • Rotherweird, Andrew Caldecott
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  • Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them, Francine Prose
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Becky Chambers