- editorial skills and portfolio -

Non-fiction can be as creative, impactful and entertaining as any novel. At the same time, it must be accurate, well structured and thoroughly referenced (where appropriate), in order to convey authority to readers. Whatever your project – a reflection, an innovation, a memoir or a how-to – I can help you to find that crucial balance between captivating and informing your readers.

Skills and experience

  • Over ten years’ experience editing a huge range of subjects, from the natural world to fitness to popular history, and across books, journals, magazines, articles, websites and more
  • Strong focus on working closely with authors to enhance their message and story, in their own voice
  • Broad experience of amalgamating work by multiple authors into a cohesive whole
  • Both print and digital workflows (familiar with HTML, XML and CSS)
  • Adept with various style guides (e.g. APA, Chicago, Guardian, Hart’s Rules and MLA), and can quickly adapt to clients’ house styles or develop a bespoke style guide from scratch
  • Familiar with variants of English including British and American
  • Considerable experience with highly illustrated and technical books and reports
  • Dexterity with referencing: can convert between systems, research missing information, implement stylistic consistency, and advise on subtle/hidden forms of referencing where appropriate
  • Practised at working with authors across disciplines, cultures, languages and language abilities
  • Extensive experience coordinating with suppliers (freelance and non) around the world: I can suggest suppliers or work with your existing network (for project management)


  • Copyediting

  • Proofreading

  • Developmental editing

  • Editorial project management

What my clients and colleagues say

I have the pleasure of working with Hazel – consummately professional and helped lift the writing in [the journal’s fourth edition] to a new level.

- Jay Armstrong, editor of Elementum journal

In the beginning I questioned the expense of a copy edit, but I really think you have been worth every penny. Your meticulous attention to detail has been stunning throughout and I really feel that you care as much as I do about the finished result.

- Christine Lewry, author of Thin Wire

I think the job that Hazel Bird has done is excellent – my compliments to her and to you [i.e. Wordstitch’s client] for finding her!

- author of a memoir via a ghostwriter client


Publication types

  • Popular reference

    From fitness to history and from self-help to home crafting, helping to create a clear and concise reference that readers will enjoy using.

  • Magazines and journals

    Ensuring the consistency of your brand across a series of publications, helping you to build a relationship with your readers.

  • Websites and other digital copy

    Ensuring grammatical consistency and clarity of language while providing quality assurance on technical aspects as required.

  • Biography, autobiography and memoir

    Working closely with authors to help bring out the spark or message at the centre of their story.


Subject areas

Non-fiction is a vast area with topics as varied as people’s ideas. Some of the areas where I have particular expertise and interest are as follows:

  • Fashion history and sewing
  • Fitness and nutrition, especially strength sports
  • History and genealogy
  • Mountaineering, hiking and expeditions
  • Music and music history
  • Nature and the outdoors
  • Pets, especially dogs
  • Politics and current affairs

See the about me page for details on my background in some of these areas.

Clients and publishers

Following are some of the publishers I have worked with in the area of creative and other non-fiction (also often called ‘trade non-fiction’). In addition, many of my clients in this area have been individuals with their own personal projects, such as family history narratives.

  • Biteback/Robson
  • Elementum
  • Headline
  • Little, Brown
  • Practical Family History
  • Professional Ghost
  • Whitefox

What I’m most proud of

Elementum journal (from edition 4, 2018 onwards)

  • Award-winning, innovative journal of nature and story
  • Includes work by major authors such as Jackie Morris, Wyl Menmuir, Helen Scales and Raynor Winn
  • Copyediting in concert with a tight-knit editorial team
  • Diverse subject matter, from natural science to poetry
  • Broad array of historical and cultural topics, requiring cultural sensitivity
  • Style guide development
Elementum Edition 4 cover

Other example publications

  • Somewhere Anywhere (Paul Choy, 2018)
  • The Model Method, Hollie Grant (Little, Brown, 2017)
  • Writing Historical Fiction, Katherine McMahon (The Guardian, 2015)
  • The Lancasters of Pateley Bridge (Christopher Wright, 2015)
  • Their Trade is Treachery, Harry Chapman Pincher (Biteback, 2014)
  • Thin Wire: A Mother’s Journey through Her Daughter’s Heroin Addiction (Christine Lewry, 2012)
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Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, UK