Kate Craggs

This is my story

I am a freelance copy-editor and proofreader based in Sevenoaks, Kent, and a mum of two boys. I work from home and have a small number of publishing clients, editing a wide variety of content – largely books and magazines, and I also work with corporate clients on an ad hoc basis editing business documents.

Before having kids I worked for a professional services firm in central London. This often involved early starts/finishing late and I would be away overnight, sometimes for several days at a time: tricky when you have a young family, limited childcare and a husband who travels with work.

Setting up my freelance copy-editing business has given me a new lease of life and the flexibility that we needed as a family. I can work during school hours, walk the dog in my ‘lunch break’ and I’m still able to drop-off and pick-up the kids from school.

In a nutshell

  • Company: Kate Craggs Editorial
  • Established: 2014
  • Web: www.katecraggseditorial.com
Kate Craggs

I had my first paid contract within 4 months of setting up my business

What was your previous career and how did you transition into copy editing?

I worked in London as an events and marketing manager. Part of my role was to write and edit marketing material so moving into copy-editing was about using transferable skills and maximising on previous experience: I had gained years of editing experience in previous roles working on tender documents, brochures, communications and marketing literature.

As a copy-editor I review content and give suggested corrections for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and correct any typos present in the text, helping to refine and polish a book or article before it is published which I love, and it gives me a great sense of satisfaction.

How did you decide which was the best course/qualification to do?  How did you find it?

I did a huge amount of research online as I knew I wanted to do a home correspondence course, rather than attend classes. I contacted the Society for Editors and Proofreaders to make sure that any course I undertook would be widely recognised by publishers. I also had some career coaching with a lady called Sarah Archer at Career Tree which was invaluable. It gave me the confidence to actually take the plunge and change careers and I learnt some great tips for achieving my goals.

How many hours’ study did you have to put in to become qualified?

I studied part-time for about 10 months. I had up to 12 months to complete the course, and it could have been done in half the time, but I wanted to do it at a pace that worked for me.

How long did it take to establish a steady stream of work and regular clients?

I anticipated working on a voluntary basis for up to a year to gain experience but I was lucky and had my first paid contract within four months of setting up my business. Work has been steady ever since.

Does the work fit in with family life as well as you hoped it would?

Yes, brilliantly – unless I have a really tight deadline, in which case I sometimes need to work at the weekend or occasionally the boys will go into breakfast or after-school club during the week.

What are the best and worst things about your freelance work?
The best things for me are having a real sense of self and job satisfaction, and the flexibility allows me to see the boys every day after school, have dinners with my husband and not have to commute or juggle childcare. The worst things are still having to do everything else! The washing, cooking, and cleaning. Some weeks are busier than others, so I manage to squeeze it all in, just about!