My experience and expertise includes:
editing and writing books, articles, press releases and advertising material.
ghost-writing fiction, memoir, or non-fiction
advising on writing projects
setting up basic websites using Squarespace or Weebly
typesetting and designing print books using InDesign
laying out e-books
some advice on self-publishing
some cover art
(ps. Want to know what I'm really good at?)
I most love to work with a person who has a story to tell or a book half-written but who doesn't know what to do next. I'm a hand-holder who helps you through every step. If that's you, let's chat. I'm honest and encouraging and I do what it takes to get your story on the page.
I love to help people who've got an idea - or something to share with the world - and get them set up with a book and a plan to get it out there.
I love to help writers who are nearly there. They're committed to the process and learning as much as they can, but they know there's something still missing in their work, and they're prepared to listen to advice and do the work of rewriting with guidance, so their writing really shines.
As well as that, I love to mentor young writers - teenagers and young adults. You've taken music lessons and sports coaching before, so why not work with a writer? Contact me. Let's figure it out together.
CAN I help you with your project?
Writing's not easy.
It's a craft and a skill. Some people have it naturally, while others of us have to work at it, but there's always room for improvement, and plenty we can learn. Here are my three favourite books about writing. (Yes, they are affiliate links, but I only recommend things that I use myself, that I've learned from, and that I truly believe are worth the money.)
This book goes into helpful, practical detail about how to get rid of that awkward 'told prose' and bring the story to life. Also includes a fantastic list of 'trigger words' to be aware of and avoid.
The most brilliant book on plot structure, and eminently readable (and funny, which is always a bonus in my opinion.) It's about screenwriting, but the same principles apply to fiction and memoir.
When I found it, the 'aha' light went off in my brain. This book gives practical help on how to get your story off the page and into people's hearts. If you can connect with them, you'll keep your readers. And here's how.
Writing a memoir?
you Want to share your story, but you're not sure where to start?
There's a whole lot more to it than just sitting down at your computer and typing whatever words come into your head. I'll take you step by step through everything you need to know to write a memoir that will have readers hooked. Check out my course here.
I love having happy customers.
Here is Some of the Work I've done recently
and what people have said about it
“This is really good.” - Guy Claxton, educationalist and founder of Building Learning Power.
I was tasked with writing a short booklet explaining the new Building Learning Power teaching and learning framework that Nowra Anglican College was putting into effect. I used the book ‘The Learning Powered School’ as reference material, together with some additional research, and created a 1750 word outline of the program with bitesized information for parents and other interested parties.
Bruce wanted to write his life story to give to his children and grandchildren. I worked with him to edit the content of his book, and then laid it out for him, including all his photographs, so that he had a great quality, well-presented book of his life.
Cecily was a vital part of the team in developing a new website for Nowra Anglican College. She managed to transform some existing and dated copy into modern and streamlined writing. However, her greatest work was in spending time talking with some of the educators in the College and then producing language that they were technically happy with, and that was also accessible to non-educators. This is more complex than it sounds. Cecily was very approachable showed great professionalism and worked very quickly and efficiently. We have had many comments from teachers and parents about how well written the content is.
- Gina Black, Project Coordinator
After a long, arduous search looking for an editor for my manuscripts, I was directed to Cecily Paterson. I browsed her website and immediately fell in love with what she does. Cecily edited my first and now second manuscript providing constructive feedback and areas of development making me a better writer today. She polished, clean up and gave my story a new light. Your insights, assessments and expertise are what’s pushing me to become a great writer like you someday — what an excellent job. Being a novice writer, I was worried about my style of writing and what areas of development I need. Thank you for understanding my style of writing and helping me grow better in that genre. I can’t stop reading my memoir you’ve just edited. You’ve made my story come to life and added the hidden spark it needed to stand out. You are gifted and talented in what you do. Thank you again, Cecily.
~Catherine Loppy, Author
Because of your coaching and the excellent course, today I took delivery of 100 copies of my memoir - ‘Forever Upward’. How I have enjoyed the journey with yourself alongside this year. I would not have done it without you.
- David Crowe, Author
“ As a first time self-publisher I was extremely grateful to Cecily. From the first edit right through to final publishing, Cecily was insightful, efficient and clear in what was required. I can wholeheartedly recommend Cecily to anyone looking to write and self-publish a book. If I ever get around to finishing my next book it will be Cecily I will turn to for help.
- Simon Tobin, Author
"Cecily edited my first novel and now my second. Why? At character development and emotion she is queen. She makes sure a story makes sense at every point and has punch. I was pushed to write better than I thought possible. Along the way, she has taught me how to write by not only saying, ‘this doesn’t work’ but by showing me how. Looking forward to our next collaboration."
- Christine Dillon, Author
"When I reached out to Cecily Paterson to help edit my daily blogs and create a manuscript from them she promptly assisted me on multiple levels. She held vast knowledge in assisting me with editing, locating a publisher and also reworking some of my wording, all the while working on narrowing down over 500 entries into 365. She was patient and understanding. To top it off Cecily helped me think of a name for my book,or daily journal. The final manuscript she put together was perfect. Thank you Cecily for all that you have done."
- Shaun Baker, Author
"Cecily was an absolute profesional and a pleasure to work with. She got the job done!"
- Steve Theeso, Creator
This book is a collection of essays about Third Culture Kids, edited by Rachel Pieh Jones. I contributed an essay and designed the cover.
"Cecily is an extremely talented writer. She is truly God-gifted. I am grateful that we crossed paths and she was willing to assist me in finishing a lifelong goal. Without her, my dream of completing my manuscript would not have been possible. Truly in debt and appreciative."
- Saul Flores, Author
"I am in a huge debt of gratitude for the work that you have put into this. Your attention to detail was phenomenal."
- MIKE B, AUTHOR
"I had a Christian editor I was pleased with but we parted ways as she didn't agree with my interpretation of biblical views. I found two editors after her who didn't meet my expectation. I am pleased to have crossed paths with Cecily Paterson. I loved her notes and explanations and was overall pleased with the edits and professional details she brought to my finished draft. It's not only important to have a good editor but to have someone who understands your writing style. I've found this is Cecily; she's a keeper and I will definitely recommend her services to others!"
- Acacia Slaton, Author
"Cecily is a master of seeing what is NOT there on the page. Whether it be missing emotion or thoughts or details. Her comments allowed me to clearly see what I needed to do and inspired me to better writing. She's efficient with her time (which keeps the cost down) and tells the truth kindly- a very important trait in an editor."
- Christine Dillon, author
I would highly recommend any new or experienced author work with Cecily. I spent three months searching for just the right editor and am forever thankful that I found Cecily. This was my first experience with working with an editor. I had heard many horror stories about how editors tear new writers down. Once I started working with Cecily I realized that my fears were unfounded. I have greatly enjoyed working with her.
It is clear that she knows what it take to make a story come to life. I have learned so much from her. In her feedback she uses questions, comments and example to help the author understand how to make their story pop. She focuses on how to improve the writer’s story line, while challenging the writer to strengthen their writing skills. Cecily is approachable, has great communication skills and responds in a timely manner to email. I wouldn’t want to use any other editor.
Cindi Myers, Author
"I met Cecily Paterson while trudging through the laundry list of possible editors you can find online, and I liked her right away. She was polite, professional and she had a book of her own that she was giving away for free at the time, which was all the proof of her work I needed. I read her work, and hired her on the spot. She was accommodating of my tight editorial budget and she helped with so many aspect of my work, including Cover Art that I was blown away. I will definitely be using her for my novel's sequels."
- KYLE KENNEDY, AUTHOR
“When I approached Cecily with my manuscript, I was rather overwhelmed at the thought of endeavouring to ready my book to face the world, yet tentatively hopeful that I had a story worth polishing. Her website promised hand-holding; I needed hand-holding. Working with Cecily has been more than wonderful. I had a story, now I am learning to write a novel. She quickly recognised that I only had a skeleton written, the rest of the story was stuck in my head. With skill, patience, honesty, and encouragement she is helping unleash it, and I am stunned at how much my writing has bettered under her wise guidance. Writing can be a lonely art, if you are looking for someone to come alongside you and help make your writing pop, I recommend Cecily thoroughly.”
- L.A. THARION, AUTHOR
"I felt refreshed working with Cecily. She involved me in the process and I felt like a burden was taken from me. She worked quickly and made my book read smoothly. It was such a relief having someone as positive as her in my team. She delivered on time and her price was less than I expected. Cecily is a gem."
- JEMMA JONES, AUTHOR
"I just wanted to say thanks for our last chat. This morning I tried my hardest to get rid of all the inner editor voices and I ended up with 500 words in half an hour... Thanks for understanding my trouble with the inner editor and perfectionist and for helping me write stronger, better pieces."
- AJ, WRITER
"Cecily was subeditor of SOHI Magazine. SOHI was a tricky task as it was written by professionals as well as community based amateurs. It had strict space constraints as well as an over the top style sheet, praised and dreaded in equal measure by designers and printers alike. Cecily exhibited the two traits most desired in a subeditor: tact and precision. These qualities are seemingly incompatible. This is what made Cecily great.
As well as dotting 'i's and crossing 't's, Cecily had an eye for design, and for how the text worked with or against it. SOHI has won several international design awards and without Cecily's keen eye, not just on meanings and syntax, but on balance and symmetry, SOHI would certainly have failed in the design-geek sector of the market. In this was, Cecily was crucial to the brand's success as a design-object, as well as a magazine.
I hope you get the chance to experience Cecily's work. Clean, creative, precise. She is a rare specimen.
- Rebecca Wolkenstein, editor
*this testimonial was not subedited by Cecily"
"Cecily provided a prompt and professional editing service. Her ability to understand what you want as a writer is re-assuring. I felt heard, valued and understood as she carefully edited my manuscript and I can recommend her to any author or publisher."
- Veronica Kilrain, author
"I just wanted to thank you for your work on my book CrimeSon. Your skill and attention to detail is of an excellent standard and you delivered exactly what I asked for and even more.
Thank you for making the process of getting my book edited to a standard that is ready to go to the publisher and the printer an easy one. It was a joy doing business with you and I highly recommend your services to anyone looking to get their book edited. I truly love the way you cleaned my book up and made its flow alot better without losing my style in the process. When I read my book after you edited it, I could still hear my own voice as I read. Great job, Cecily."