I get a kick out of making other people’s work better.

Sarah BarbourI began proofreading about 14 years ago when I lived in Japan. I worked for a small company in Tokyo that, among other things, proofread scientific and technical papers before they were submitted to international journals. The science was baffling, the language—English written by non-native speakers—was occasionally incomprehensible, the deadlines were tight, and my boss was a monster—but I learned a ton, and in the end discovered that I actually quite liked proofreading.

When I moved back to the States, I freelanced for the University of Illinois Press, where I proofread full-length, non-fiction books. I stopped freelancing when I got a full-time job at the U of I. In my new position, I was responsible for all our department’s publications, including a website and quarterly newsletter; I also wrote and applied a house style guide. A large part of my job was copy editing articles by academics from a variety of disciplines, making sure that they were organized, consistent, and succinct (academics are wonderful but wordy folk).

Eventually I left that job to stay home with my three children. Now I edit from home, working primarily with self-publishing fiction authors in genres as diverse as erotica and children’s literature.

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Master’s degrees in Film Studies and Library and Information Science.

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