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GUEST BLOG: Getting it right matters

The Consult Centre has invited local business professionals to write a guest blog. This week, we hear from Rachel at Well Read Proofreading Services.

Wel red Prewfreedin servises.

Or should that be Well Read Proofreading Services?

Getting it right matters! Accuracy is key when getting your writing out there, whether it’s a brochure to be sent out to clients, a novel to be published and put on a bookshop shelf, or a dissertation to be submitted for examination.

Errors in the material your audience reads allow the reader to lose confidence in your ability to do a job correctly, and they could be forgiven for questioning whether you pay attention to the detail.

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Rachel Gristwood

I’m Rachel Gristwood, Owner of Well Read Proofreading Services.

I’m a proofreader, hunting down terrier-style the mistakes in people’s writing! Having always had great attention to detail, it was natural for me to become trained and qualified in proofreading through the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading.

A classic example of this was a presentation with slides that I attended recently. There were only half a dozen slides with a few words on each, what could possibly go wrong?

The next slide was loaded. There was a typo; just one letter was wrong. But it made the word into another word, and that other word was a very bad word. There were gasps and giggles, the Chair of the meeting hurriedly interjected and stated that no offence was intended, but the speaker will remember the mortification forever.

What do you think those who attended that fateful presentation remembered as they left? Not the point that the speaker was trying to get across, but the one error, the single letter that hadn’t been proofread.

You may think that a qualified proofreader is an unnecessary expense, especially if you’re a native English speaker. It can be more of a question of whether you can afford not to. I’ve picked up on errors in the footer for a letterhead template; an ambiguity that changed the meaning in the second sentence of a story book; a graph pulled through from Excel to Word that deleted every other label, and have saved many more clients from mistakes being published. If something really matters, it’s worth getting a fresh pair of eyes to look over it.

Many people have taken the time during lockdown to write something. Due to the wonders of modern technology, I can receive a piece of writing through email, mark it up electronically, and return it via email to the client. If a client wishes to discuss something with me, we can chat in a Zoom call. This means that there is zero risk of Covid transmission, something of a comfort in these strange times.

Many people aren’t familiar with how to work with a proofreader. I have outlined the process on my website.

To help further, I offer a free proofread of a two page sample of writing. I mark it up carefully (generally using track changes in Word) and return it to the client, who can then see exactly how I note the suggested amendments.

I use the two sample pages to draw up a free, no obligation quote using the word count of the entire piece of writing.

I’m always happy to discuss the writing process with people. I don’t like the hard sell being done on me, so I never ever inflict that on people who get in touch with me. I tailor my services to how the client wants to work with me, for example one PhD student gave me her entire thesis, while another asked if she could send it to me chapter by chapter as she was writing them. My aim is always to make someone’s writing the best it can be.

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Getting it right matters


May I end my piece with a big ‘Thank You!’ to The Consult Centre for their excellent social media training. I now have my brand ‘out there’ on several platforms (and I always check my posts, recheck them, and, ahem, check them a third time before I’m happy to put them up!)

Rachel Gristwood

Well Read Proofreading Services

T: 07950 782734

E: rachel.gristwood@gmail.com

Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading


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