My name is Sarah Willson, and I’m a freelance copy editor with over 20 years of experience editing and proofreading books, articles, essays, screenplays, websites, blogs, videos, puzzles, interactive media, and pretty much any other format you can imagine.
I’ve always had a fascination with language—perhaps having an easily misspelled name made me attuned to how words work from a young age. I was that kid who looked forward to spelling quizzes and corrected her teachers’ grammar (with varying degrees of success). I was the copy editor for my high school newspaper, and I became known as the go-to person to proofread school papers and college applications.
My professional life has continued to involve finessing lots of words. I kept websites and databases error-free at various small startups. I read hundreds of manuscripts and screenplays when I worked in a development office. As a closed captioner, I got to proofread while watching TV (highlights included editing closed captions for hundreds of ’80s music videos). Most recently, I spent three years on the BuzzFeed copy desk, where I was the designated editor for crosswords and interactive quizzes (when I wasn’t copyediting award-winning investigations). I’ve written style guides, presented copy classes, and developed specialized style documents, including BuzzFeed’s video game style guide (because “gameplay” still isn’t in the dictionary).
As you may have guessed, I love reading—fiction, nonfiction, blogs, textbooks, recipes, interactive fiction, creepypasta, you name it—and I love giving feedback that helps a piece of writing shine. I’m also fascinated by linguistics, foreign languages, and constructed languages, and I’ve taken classes in French, German, Latin, Chinese, and Japanese. I have experience copyediting American, Canadian, British, and Australian English, and I also enjoy working with non-native English speakers to ensure their meaning gets across as intended. I’m a writer too, so I’ve been on the other side and I know how to give feedback that’s both constructive and kind.
If you have a piece of writing that needs to be polished to perfection, I can help. No job is too big or too small. Feel free to get in touch!