To The Last Word Welcome

My name is Gary Dalkin. I am an editor and writer with three decades publishing experience. I specialise in structural editing (also known as substantive or developmental editing / manuscript critique or assessment). Additionally I provide a range of other editing services for authors, as well as copy-editing and proofreading for non-technical college and university work. As a freelance writer I write mainly about the craft of writing, but also write about film and music, including articles, reviews and interviews.

Contact me, or to find out about recent projects and publications visit my news/blog page. To see endorsements visit my client references page.


Improbable Botany My new anthology, Improbable Botany, appeared in paperback earlier this year. This speculative fiction anthology contains original stories by Rachel Armstrong, Cherith Baldry (Erin Hunter), Eric Brown, Simon Morden, Adam Roberts, James Kennedy, Ken MacLeod, Stephen Palmer, Justina Robson, Tricia Sullivan and Lisa Tuttle, who between them have won most of the major awards in science fiction and fantasy publishing.

Entrenched, the latest novel by David Lawrence-Young, the fifth title I have worked on for this prolific author, has just made its debut in e-book form.

cover of Literary WonderlandsRecently I have been thrilled to receive copies of two books I provided structural edits for last year, Find Another Place by Ben Graff and Out Of The Mist by Lynne Chitty. Finally, Paul Purnell’s Marco and the Pharaoh’s Curse, a children’s book I also worked on in 2017, has made its début. Currently in e-book, a physical edition is set to follow. All profits will be divided between the charities Guide Dogs for the Blind and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

A little earlier this year, another 2017 title, Spaghetti Head, by Sarah Tyley, made its first appearance. Other recent projects I have worked on include Andrew David Barker’s award-nominated Dead Leaves, The Conscript by Nate Kirtis, Do It – Cycling Around The World For A Laugh by Adrian Besly, Seek The Throat From Which We Sing by Alex CF, and Dangerous Score by Michael Bearcroft.

I wrote four chapters for Literary Wonderlands: A Journey Through The Greatest Fictional Lands Every Created, which was published in the US in late 2016 by Black Dog & Leventhal, and in the UK last November by Modern Books. I have just written the chapter on Persuasion by Jane Austen for the follow-up, Literary Landscapes, to be published later this year. My chapter on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein will appear in the third book in the series, Literary Journeys. I contribute every month to Writing Magazine, the UK’s best-selling magazine for writers, and am a columnist for the newly relaunched Amazing Stories, the world’s first and oldest science fiction magazine.


One project I am particularly proud of was editing the definitive biography of film composer John Barry – The Man With The Midas Touch by Gareth Bramley, Geoff Leonard and Peter Walker. I have worked as a freelance journalist or editor for Amazon, BBC Magazines, Blackfish,, Gramophone, The Guardian, HMV, Interzone, London Symphony Orchestra, Naxos, Musicweb International, Los Angeles Review of Books, Northern Stage, Royal Opera House, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, SFX and many others.


John Barry - The Man With The Midas TouchI am a former editor of Vector: The Critical Journal of the BSFA and a former judge of the Arthur C. Clarke Award.  I played a key role in the launch of the international New Media Writing Prize. I have written extensively for Amazing Stories, and conducted many interviews, mainly with writers, but also with musicians and film industry creatives, some of which you can find links to here.

You can read more about my background and see a list of publications I have contributed to here. Or check out my portfolio, which includes a sample of articles from Writing Magazine and chapters from Literary Wonderlands.


My Services

Whatever your writing needs, drawing on my 20 years experience as a published writer and editor, I can help. I offer structural, (or substantive or developmental editing / manuscript critique or assessment), academic and general copy-editing and proofreading. I know writing inside out, and provide a friendly, reliable, honest service. I do all the work myself – no out-sourcing or passing work over to temps or unpaid interns – and I do so at competitive rates. I am neither the cheapest nor the most expensive, but many satisfied clients tell me I am one of the best. Click here for more information about editing. Or here for why you would benefit from an expert opinion.