I have always been fascinated by words, language and writing. I first became interested in editing nearly 25 years ago when, as a history postgraduate, I studied Renaissance textual criticism. Subsequently, as a PhD researcher, I had a brilliant doctoral supervisor (Professor Jill Kraye of the Warburg Institute, University of London) who would return my chapter drafts covered in red proofing and editing marks. In order to benefit from her advice I needed to learn about copy preparation and proof correction.
After my PhD I became an academic researcher, contributing editorial and proofreading support to two major projects, and then a lecturer. In the latter role I have worked with countless students, advising and helping them to improve their writing. In addition, my teaching looked at a range of texts, and included consideration of how to distinguish good writing from bad.
I left full-time academia in 2014, although I have continued to work as an independent researcher and occasional tutor. Over the past couple of years I have immersed myself in the world of blogging and indie authorship, which has included writing and self-publishing (under a pseudonym) a short novel myself. At the same time I freelanced as a proofreader and copy-editor, work that I enjoyed so much that I decided in 2017 to establish myself full-time as an editor.
The decision to become a full-time editor has led me to set up two businesses to manage my main areas of editorial work: Academic Outcomes deals exclusively with academic writing; and Crayon Rouge is concerned with more general non-fiction and fiction writers, with a focus on independent and self-published authors. I chose the name Crayon Rouge because it sounds elegant, because it is the French for ‘red pencil’ (a common editor’s tool, at least before the digital age) and because it is a nod to my former PhD supervisor.
To be a good editor requires many attributes. One of them is to be a wide reader; another is to be able to read attentively and sensitively. I believe I have both of those attributes. I have always been a voracious reader across many genres and styles: fiction and non-fiction, popular books, literary works and academic texts. And, for reasons that may well be traced back to the influence of Professor Kraye, I read with an attention to style and detail all the way to the final full stop.
(For further reading, see https://stephenpigneyeditor.com/about/.)