Travelogues, travel memoirs, guidebooks
I am a specialist travel editor and a former guidebook writer for Rough Guides. If you’re writing a travelogue, a travel memoir, a collection of stories about a journey, an account of a stint abroad or a guidebook, I’d be delighted to hear from you.
I offer four types of bespoke edits for travel writers. Each edit is tailored specifically to what you think your book needs and what you are hoping to achieve with it, be that self-publishing, submitting to an agent or improving your writing for your own satisfaction.
The Big-Picture Edit
A Stage 1 structural edit
Constructive feedback on the fundamentals of your travel book, including its structure, pace, storytelling and descriptions. Designed to re-energise you and your book. Best for: A manuscript that hasn’t yet been professionally edited or has received negative feedback from a beta-reader.Learn more
The Nuts and Bolts Edit
A Stage 2 copy-edit
A professional makeover that focuses on the clarity and consistency of your book’s language and corrects its punctuation and grammar. Best for: A travel book that’s had its big-picture issues resolved and is ready for a serious polish.Learn more
The Full-Works Edit
A comprehensive two-stage edit
The gold-standard edit that begins with an intensive Stage 1 structural analysis of your travel book and later continues with a thorough Stage 2 polish of its language and style.
Best for: Giving you the confidence to transform your manuscript into a book of publishable quality.Learn more
The Introductory Edit
A fixed-price edit on your first 10,000 words
An affordable taster edit that critiques and polishes your first 10,000 words and gives you practical editorial tools for revising the rest of your travel book. Best for: Discovering how an edit can help you improve your book, and preparing your first few chapters for submission to an agent or publisher.Learn more
Wondering what difference an edit could make to your book?
Case study: Seaside Donkey, by Hannah Engelkamp
The book: The funny and refreshingly unsentimental chronicle of a 1000-mile tramp around Wales in the company of an eccentric donkey.
How I helped: By showing Hannah how radical edits to some passages would add pace and shape to the story of her journey and reduce the book to a more manageable length.
Hannah says: 'Brilliant, a total pro. Sweetly flattering, masterfully gentle with my tottery ego, but tenacious in running down all of the overworked paragraphs, every self-conscious bit of puff, all of the glib bits that need more explaining and the bloated bits that need less.'
Case study: Even More Ketchup than Salsa, by Joe Cawley
The book: The humorous memoirs of a Lancashire lad who moves to Tenerife, runs a bar, endures a catalogue of disasters and becomes a travel writer.
How I helped: By finding themes, structures and storytelling techniques to help Joe craft his several years’ worth of adventures and insights into well-defined storylines.
Joe says: 'Lucy developed my drafts from a wildfire of spontaneous convolution into a structured story that consequently blossomed into a bestseller. She is my first go-to when it comes to editing and polishing my prose.'
Case study: Iceland Defrosted, by Edward Hancox
The book: The story of one Englishman’s devotion to all things Icelandic, from its music to its food, by way of tongue-twisting volcanoes, limpid hot pools and freezing winter barbecues.
How I helped: By reviewing the way the book was structured and suggesting new chapter titles, which helped Edward organise his material for maximum readability.
Edward says: 'Lucy is thoughtful and sensitive when providing feedback and advice. She is an extremely thorough, professional and highly experienced editor. I was so grateful for her assistance with my first book. I’ll definitely be asking her to work with me on my second; I couldn’t do it without her.'
Case study: The Only Way is West, by Bradley Chermside
The book: The frank and funny ups and downs of hiking Spain’s famously arduous 500-mile Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail.
How I helped: By encouraging Bradley to choose opening and closing chapters that would frame his story, and by making sure that the standout episodes of his Big Adventure got the space and focus they deserved.
Bradley says: 'For me as a first-time indie-author, Lucy’s editorial assistance was invaluable. She found a needle in my haystack of words that turned my travelogue into a coherent true story. The proof is in the pudding of the reviews, which continue to be overwhelmingly positive. I’d highly recommend Lucy to anyone looking for an editor.'
I’m not a pushover or the kind of person who is easily led, but I agree with 100 per cent of every single comment you made. I become so blind when I’ve been working on something for too long, and you are just great at what you do. I just want this book to be the best it can possibly be, and you are such a big help in this process.
Raffi Youredjian, author of Tour de Armenia (travelogue)
Lucy’s guidance and prompting brought my travelogue to life, picking up on things I hadn’t considered and bringing a pace to the narrative that made the manuscript far more readable. She was thorough and professional and gave me the confidence to take my book to the next stage.
Derek Quick, author of Last Train in the Book: Across Canada by Rail (travelogue)