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.
I’ve been a professional proofreader, and later a copy-editor, since 2015. In that time I’ve worked on more than 80 projects, approximately two-thirds 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:
- The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon
- Writing a Novel, Richard Skinner
- Firefly: Big Damn Hero, James Lovegrove
- The Art of the Novel, Nicholas Royle (ed.)
- Good Omens, Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
- Record of a Spaceborn Few, Becky Chambers
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman
- The Binding, Bridget Collins
- Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo
- Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas