The Little Red Pen (which is me – Liz Hudson) offers editing and book-production services for writers and publishers who want a focused and professional level of attention to their work and who want their readers and customers to receive a high-quality end product.
I believe in high quality and in high standards. I love my work and take pride in doing a great job. I want to contribute my skills to worthwhile and progressive projects, especially those in the arts and humanities.
I love books for being beautiful objects in themselves, but I love them too for all the possibilities contained inside: for everything you can learn from them. I remember learning to make a pot of tea from a book, at a very young age, possibly six. The hissing metal kettle terrified me, but I trusted the instructions in the book and didn’t scald myself. As a teenager, I cooked for my first dinner party – a cheese soufflé – using a book. I had no fear, and it did not collapse (thank you, Robert Carrier). Later in life I figured out how to bathe and burp, and maybe how to understand and mother, my baby from a book (at times riffling through the index with one hand while holding my screeching infant in the other).
And woven through and around all those practical lessons were the hundreds of imaginative journeys through time and empires, the greatest loves and deepest emotions, the encounters with the finest minds, that reading books brings to all of us who open their covers and enter into their worlds.
I learned in school, and especially at university – at Trinity College Dublin, where I studied English literature and French and French literature – how poetry and prose texts are constructed objects and how powerful they have the potential to be: politically and socially, poetically and imaginatively. I was particularly drawn to theories of psychoanalytic literary criticism and feminist (particularly French feminist) literary criticism, and these probably still inform my work. After college, I lived in Paris for three years, where I worked as a language assistant in a lycée and a graduate school, as a bartender, as a PA for a legendary sound engineer, and as an assistant editor at a language-learning magazine. (Several of these jobs were conducted three at the same time!)
I then went to London to study for a postgraduate diploma in printing and publishing and spent six years in that extraordinary city, working in busy journal- and book-production departments. When the company I worked for relocated, I moved back to my home town of Dublin, Ireland, where I set up my publishing-services business, The Little Red Pen.
I love collaborating with an author, being their fresh eyes and their questioning first reader. My superpowers are identifying the superfluous, asking questions to draw out the essential, speaking up for the future reader. As a copy-editor and proofreader with twenty years’ experience working closely with manuscripts, style guides and dictionaries, as well as ongoing professional development, I feel confident that I have attained a level of competence to look after my clients and their written work with care and scrupulous attention. Having said that, I learn something new every single day, and I’m not afraid to make or call myself out on mistakes.
When I started my business, I wanted to reduce my eco footprint by working from home. I was done with long commutes, waiting for elevators (and being silent within them), air conditioning, strip lighting and those nasty plastic lids you get on coffee cups. Now I work from my home office most of the time, using natural light as much as I can, and I open a window when cooler air is required. I walk or take my bike most places I need to go. I shred and compost old manuscripts and use eco-friendly and recycled products wherever possible. Sometimes I even get to eat lunch I’ve grown in my back garden instead of standing in the queue at the sandwich shop. (Not very often; I’m a terrible gardener.)
Enough about me. I am here to help you. I’d love to hear how I can help you prepare your publishing project. If you’re ready, spend some time looking over my services and packages then feel free to contact me for a no-obligation Skype or telephone chat.