Not the Bot

Edit. Sleep. Repeat. No, that’s not all I do, though that was nearly all I did till a few years ago. Parenthood transformed that to Eat. Play. Edit. Sleep. Repeat. on work days and Eat. Play. Read. Star-gaze. Sleep. Repeat. on non-work days. Am guessing you’re here because you’re curious about the human behind the professional. 🙂

Hi! I’m Ayesha Chari, sensitive editor, evolving parent, multilingual Indian English speaker, serial walker, wannabe marathon runner, art and craft fan, compulsive organiser, nature lover, occasional doodler, collector of memories, Rishi Valley School (KFI) alumna, and coffee fiend.

What’s Behind the Editor?

Why sensitive editing? Because it’s who I am as a person – I believe in no borders, in the uniqueness of every human (and their voice), in the importance of awareness (inside and outside), in observing and listening as much as acting and responding.

Why perceptive problem-solving, constructive creativity, and conscious collaboration? Because when combined with care and empathy, these values enable meaningful engagement (with author–editor, author–reader, editor–translator, editor–editor), strong communities (of writers, readers, publishers, tech-users, production and backstage people) and lifelong growth (with the sharing of research and development, science and technology, life stories and imaginary worlds even).

Why Me? (Or Not Maybe.)

I’ve been editing since 2004: I worked in-house with publishers in India (Macmillan India Ltd, Seagull Books Pvt Ltd) until 2013; since then, I’ve been working independently and am based in the UK. Regardless of location, I’ve worked on text by writers worldwide, for readers anywhere and on publications created for international audiences. I (re)train regularly, am a fearless user of technology, and modify methods of working to stay contemporary.

Continuing professional development (CPD) is important so that services I offer match your expectations and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of language, communication and publishing.

I’m an Advanced Professional Member (APM) of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP, formerly the Society for Editors and Proofreaders) in the UK, which stands for excellence in English-language editing.

The APM membership level indicates that I must have

  • edited for a minimum of 1,500 hours (fact: editing an average of 8-hour, 6-day weeks, in-house for 10 years, plus ~5-hour, 7-day weeks for 9 years – you do the maths, it’s not my strength!);
  • core skills training and up-to-date CPD (see my CIEP directory entry);
  • special skills or expertise (see my Services; I’m also a References Ninja, having cut my teeth in publishing as a trainee by being made to edit multiple sets of 800+ references on hard copy by hand, every day, for 6 months); and
  • clients who will provide references (I’m a bit shy, so it takes me a long while to get round to asking – remember feedback is vital to help keep my socks up, so don’t forget to give some when we wrap up a project).

As a CIEP member since 2014, I’m committed to the CIEP’s Code of Practice and its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion initiative.

And no, I won’t edit your words to the style you’re reading here – that’s me, not you. Yes, I know the rules. I also know when to break or bend them.

The Eclectic Editor’s Affairs

Select Clients and Publications (Past and Present)

Ideas on Fire | Kognity | London School of Economics | The Language Editor | SLG Press | Sunrise Setting Ltd | Oxford University Press | Menard Press | SR Nova–Techset | Seagull Books Pvt Ltd | Taylor and Francis | Jaico Publishing | Chillibreeze Solutions | Nature | British Medical Journal | Oxford and Cambridge Journals | Wiley | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins | Elsevier | Blackwell | ADIS International | university presses, international research organisations and independent academics (global)

Select topics

Interdisciplinary subjects | World literature | Culture studies | Sociology | Anthropology | Theatre | Cinema | Art | Gender | Justice | Photography | Philosophy | Politics | Performance studies | Environment | Economics | Biology | Development studies | Transport | Policy and Planning | Social sciences

Select training & CPD

Courses from the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), now the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP)

Plain English for Editors (2021) | Web Editing (2018) | Efficient Editing (2017) | Copy-editing 2: Progress (2014)

Courses from the Oxford Publishing Group

Rewriting and substantive editing (co-organised with Oxford Brookes University) (2016) | Project management (co-organised with SfEP) (2015)

Continuing professional development

Attended annual CIEP conferences (2020–22) | Attended annual ACES conference (2021, 2022) | Attended annual SfEP conferences (2015, 2017, 2019)

Professional memberships

Advanced Professional Member, CIEP (active) | Full Member, ACES: The Society for Editing (active) | Partner Member, Alliance of Independent Authors (active) 

Prices

Will it be expensive? It could be or not – it depends on too many variable factors (e.g. word count, type of editing, timescale) to give you an estimate without seeing the text or discussing requirements in some detail. A bit like if you wanted a garden landscaped and wonder how much it’ll cost without giving any indication of size or nature of landscaping or simply what plants you want in your garden. (As a guide, see CIEP’s suggested minimum rates for different types of editorial work.) What I can guarantee is being honest about costs throughout and actively working together to keep within budgets.

If I’m not the right editor for you, I will help you to find someone who is.

Let’s Work Together!

If you have a project you want to chat about or want an editor who will champion your voice, get in touch. I look forward very much to collaborating!

Independent Editor

Sensitive editing for academic and non-fiction writing. Because your ideas are important.