spot the typo
  • through the enactment of 236 laws and more than 8,600 local statues
  • a muse house with a beday in the bathroom
  • Now bake for 3540 minutes
  • the chaos of battle: the canons, gas attacks and shrapnel
  • Use an eclectic whisk to combine the ingredients.
  • This hansom corner plot offers a versatile duel aspect
  • rescue kit should include a bum dressing
  • HR manager responsible for the conflict of employment
  • best to give him a wide birth
  • be at the fairy terminal some time around 6
  •  the lunatic fridge
  • an insulting layer in a building’s fabric
  • to trash out the logistics for the training
  • nor do we do it on propose
  • those who lived pubic lives
  • the gathering of manna in the dessert

With thanks to eagle-eyed members of the SfEP Forum.

like an editor…

Like a bridegroom, an editor carries a first-time author across the threshold from school-taught theory to book-form execution. First-time authors, until then, have read as consumers, oblivious of the conventions of publishing. Who had noticed that the first paragraph of a chapter is not indented, or that ’20th century’ is not capitalised? Who knew the flexibilities of convention? What first-time author comes with a clear idea of their own style-sheet?

Thereafter, like a chaplain, the editor provides sympathy and confidence, a listening ear and a reassuring word, neither criticising nor preaching. Seeing the half-formed body, the naked face, they must be the soul of discretion.

The author must strum the tune, while the editor hums passively, like a sounding board, bringing out the notes.

The author is the psychiatric patient, and the editor is the friendly janitor, with bucket and mop, cracking apt jokes as he swabs the padded cell.

The author is the marathon man, making all the running, only aware of the editor when an arm pops out of the gathering gloom near the finish.

Unlike a coach, an editor does not say how things should be done. The editor does not pick the author for the first eleven, or tell the author which strong points to emphasise, or decide the formation of play, or design the training sessions.

Unlike a teacher, an editor does not pretend to be perfect. Editors know that their own work needs checking. Rather than put lines through text, they ask the author’s intention. They stand ready, even delighted, to drop their own ideas, in the face of creative conviction.

Editors know what makes an author tick, but authors do not fathom editors. Since the author pays the editor, he can never be sure what the editor thinks. Flattery is always around the corner.

Likewise, because authors come and go, and one editor may look after many authors, the editor resists involvement in the author’s little crises.

But if they are lucky, editor and author will grow to trust each other, and even achieve a mutual admiration.

with thanks to Fergus Dunlop, self-published author of Borderline Pass

what font is

Drag and drop to find any font from any image

Blog by Sara Donaldson prompted by the New York Times letting half their copy editors go in June 2017 (plus fun graphic and link to purchasing it on all sorts of office goodies).

painty letters

“Atypical” is a series of posters exploring form and rhythm of letters or pseudo-letters presented as half-realistic, half-illustrative figurative paint sculptures

textile letters

The magic of letters produced in fabric by Kathleen Loomis; a gallery worth clicking through

in a nutshell

A YouTube Channel from the studio of Kurzgesagt, full of delightful animations that explain (almost) everything from the birth of the universe to human death


GRAMMAR PURITY IS ONE BIG PONZI SCHEME is a well-articulated challenge to grammar reactionaries posted on the Literary Hub blog (July 2018). Do you agree with the sentiments?

answers to spot the typo

Corrections in italics:

  • through the enactment of 236 laws and more than 8,600 local statutes
  • a mews house with a bidet in the bathroom
  • Now bake for 35–40 minutes
  • the chaos of battle: the cannons, gas attacks and shrapnel
  • Use an electric whisk to combine the ingredients.
  • This handsome corner plot offers a versatile dual aspect
  • rescue kit should include a burn dressing
  • HR manager responsible for the conduct of employment
  • best to give him a wide berth
  • be at the ferry terminal some time around 6
  • the lunatic fringe
  • an insulating layer in a building’s fabric
  • to thrash out the logistics for the training
  • nor do we do it on purpose
  • those who lived public lives
  • the gathering of manna in the desert
  • author income

    ALLi, the Alliance of Independent Authors, conducted a survey on author incomes in early 2023. Download this summary PDF of the results – it is worth reading if you are thinking of publishing.

    Self-editing for self-publishers

    If you are an author with plans to self-publish then you could do worse than invest in Self-Editing for Self-Publishers – Incorporating: A Style Guide for Fiction by Richard Bradburn (search for your local bookstore). It is hefty, but it is also easy to navigate. You’ll get your manuscript into even better shape for sending to an editor or presenting to your reader. Sophie Playle has done the perfect review.

    9 tips for political writing

    Great thoughts about the value of editors/ing from Ian Dunt, political writer turned reluctant editor, that ends:

    ‘Good editors are heroes in a world of civilians. Treat them well.’

    Feel the love

    Want to flag up the love? Then this image is now available for your phone, laptop and iPad cases, on cards and notebooks, on mugs and bags and on clothing. Let’s keep up our message for unity and flash the picture or give it as a present.

    The EU flag at the heart of the UK flag

    See more products on


    the proofreader's parlour

    Louise Harnby’s blog for editors and proofreaders with information, advice, opinion, resources and general all round usefulness to the business of editorial freelancing

    understanding plagiarism

    Do you know what plagiarism is and how to avoid it? Have a go at Sheffield Uni’s fun quiz on plagiarism and referencing.

    do you know your txt slang?

    Some of these are in common use – some ought to be:

    AFAIK as far as I know

    CIH come in handy

    FLA four-letter acronym

    GIYF Google is your friend

    HTH   hope this helps

    RLF   run like f***

    RTFM   read the f***ing manual

    tl;dr / TLDR / tldr   too long;didn’t read (known as teal deer on a knitting forum)

    TLA   three-letter acronym

    TMI   too much information

    TP   toodle pip

    TTYL   talk to you later

    YMMV   take your pick: you make me vomit; your mileage / method / market may vary

    with thanks to SfEP Members‘ Forum

    Want to look up more?

    'i have been ...

    I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

    I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.

    I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work.

    I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore.

    I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

    I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

    Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older.

    One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!

    I may have been in Continent, and I don’t remember what country I was in.

    It’s an age thing.

    with thanks to Anon


    how books are made

    A podcast about the art and science of making books. Arthur Attwell speaks to book-making leaders about design, production, marketing, distribution, and technology. These are conversations for book lovers and publishing decision makers, whether you’re crafting books at a big company or a boutique publisher.

    reading = longevity

    Who knew?

    Research revealed that ‘Read more, live longer’; read the summary in The Guardian on 9 August 2016

    arabic type

    Lebanese typographer Nadine Chahine on why Arabic needed some new fonts – fascinating and linear

    OMG to WTF spectrum

    at a glance

    A talk from type designer Nadine Chahine on the role of type in glance-based reading environments and how this will impact the future of device screens

    perfectly formed

    The long tale of the British short story. In a trawl through thousands of short stories Philip Hensher found a generous tradition that not only suits established writers but gives a platform to voices on the edge of society. Read more