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Welcome to my website

Whether you are a published or an unpublished writer, I am pleased to welcome you to my website.

Because you are looking at this website, you may well be seeking advice on your writing and perhaps guidance on how to improve your work.

I have been working with writers for over 25 years. In that time I have built up a strong team of experienced readers, covering virtually all forms of writing. Together we have gained a reputation for offering straightforward and frank critical appraisals. As one well-known literary agent says: ‘Hilary is the best. She tells it like it is! And she has a particularly sharp eye for spotting talent, even in its raw state.

My service is regularly recommended to writers by editors, agents and tutors of university creative writing courses.

From time to time authors are referred to me by The Society of Authors and other similar organisations.

I provide a proven reading/criticism service for novelists, writers of short stories , children’s books and authors of full-length non-fiction.

Specialist advice is available for romantic fiction, including HM&B, crime/thrillers, science fiction/fantasy, radio/film/TV scripts and poetry.

Also copy-editing/proof-reading, especially useful for those intending to self-publish.

Increasingly, the covering letter and synopsis are crucial elements of an unsolicited submission to a publisher or literary agency. If these fail to make a good impression, then it is quite likely that the actual typescript will not be read by hard-pressed agents/editors. Assessment of either or both as separate items is available.

Readers are mainly professional editors with wide experience of helping authors to bring their work to the best possible standard. They also have a sound knowledge of the publishing/book-selling industries.

Some are also published authors, though it is their sympathetic and insightful editorial skills which are of prime importance when it comes to giving authors really solid practical guidance.

My objective is to help writers achieve publication. I can’t wave a magic wand for every aspiring author, but I can:

  • Provide a thorough, practical and frank criticism which is absolutely personal and individual
  • Explain what is needed to give a typescript commercial appeal
  • Show how to present a professional-looking typescript
  • Give authors of outstanding talent a direct route to a leading literary agency
  • Help authors intending to self-publish to perfect a book before publication
  • I can also provide general advice on writing-related matters.

I hope you enjoy my website and especially reading about some of our successful authors.
Hilary Johnson

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Editorial Consultants

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Elizabeth Buchan

rachel-hore

Rachel Hore

I have known both Elizabeth Buchan and Rachel Hore for many years and am fortunate to have them as consultants to my service. Their wide range of experience as commissioning editors, reviewers for national newspapers and as novelists themselves enables us together to offer authoritative and up-to-date advice.

Readers

You will see from the published authors page that we have experienced considerable success in this regard, all the more remarkable because it is now so difficult for the unpublished novelist to break into the market or, as an essential first step, attract the interest of an agent.

Because of this success, we receive a great many typescripts from authors – too many for one person to handle.

We have therefore established a carefully-selected team of readers.