I've been editing in some form or other ever since university, when my friends would ask me to go through their essays before handing them in. (Their grades rose, word spread, and I was kept very busy!) In my professional life, I've worked on daily and weekly newspapers (Guardian, Telegraph, Independent on Sunday); magazines (the Literary Review and others) and books of all kinds (Faber & Faber, Virgin Publishing, various self-published works).
For many years I wrote for the books pages of the Guardian, reviewing novels by Fay Weldon, TC Boyle, Jane Urquhart, Joanna Trollope, Lionel Shriver and DBC Pierre, among many others. That was in addition to my day job as one of the paper's production editors, making sure the articles were clear, lively and error-free.
You can read some of my book reviews here.
Working on daily papers has given me lots of practice in cutting copy, so if your novel needs to lose 20,000 words, I can help. It's also made me a fast copy-editor – newspaper deadlines are tight. One of my strengths is turning garbled or badly translated English into clear, concise prose. And my publishing experience has given me insight into the world of literary agents and book deals.
'I'd been working on a novel for five years and was stuck in a knot – until Carrie untangled it and made me see all the threads much more clearly. Thanks to her I've now got an agent and hope to be published next year.' Chris Michael
'Carrie is an absolute pleasure to work with. While I was absorbed with my book Left Before Right, Carrie has helped me develop the ability to write for an audience. She has a natural understanding of plot structure and a great sense of character perception. My writing has improved drastically and I would recommend her to anyone who is looking to publish. She’s truly fab!' Elisha Gabb
'I could not have been happier with Carrie's structural edit of my first novel. Her eye-opening professional insight and attention to detail were matched by her enthusiasm and communication throughout the process. She gave huge encouragement, and not only highlighted potential problems, but gave wonderful suggestions of how to fix them. As a result, the final work is immeasurably stronger. I could not recommend the service highly enough for anyone serious about their writing, and will definitely send my next book Carrie's way too.' David Bradwell
'I'm feeling incredibly positive about how the book is transforming. I've learned so much! Once again, it's all down to the various thoughts/possibilities/options that your input has enabled me consider. I couldn't have done this without you. This has really been an excellent experience and money well spent.' Wendy Gifkins
'I have previously had a number of assessments from various companies and I felt as though I was stuck on an endless draft and re-draft merry go round. Each assessment offered advice, but none seemed to really take hold of my story and promote it forward. That is where Carrie’s approach is different: she has really taken an interest in me, my work, and the goals I have. I feel that I am now moving forward with purpose. Her report was extensive, detailed, and concise, and not only highlighted issues but offered considered solutions to those issues; practical things I could do to improve my manuscript. If you wish to know what needs fixing with your work, and how to fix it, then I would recommend Carrie without hesitation.’ John Moreton
'Carrie provided expert developmental editing for my first foray into fiction writing. I was quite nervous about sharing the manuscript with her. She offered a supportive and firm hand in walking me through a structural edit of the book. Anyone who wants to work with an editor who is warm, constructive, and thorough should hire Carrie O’Grady.' Rose Donovan
'Working with Carrie has been a life-saver for me. I am a Spanish native speaker who has been in London for quite a few years. Despite all my time here, I am still finding it difficult to translate my ideas or my projects into appealing written English, so Carrie plays a key role checking my marketing materials and proposals.' Maria Paula Munoz