Copyediting and proofreading for non-fiction writers and publishers

Helping you to communicate your ideas to your readers

Hello, I’m Hester Higton. I’m an experienced editor and proofreader and I’m here to help you prepare your text for publication. Writing is all about communication, so I’ll help you to tailor your words to your chosen audience. I won’t try to change your voice, but I will be an extra pair of eyes to spot mistakes and make sure that your writing flows smoothly.

Here’s what one of the best-known copyeditors in the world says about the editing process:

Your job working on a book is to approach each book on its own terms, with fresh eyes, with a fresh brain to see the book for what it is and to, as I always like to say, try to make a book into the best possible version of itself that it can be. … Try to give the author, at the end of the process, their book in its best shape for its best life for the readers.

(Benjamin Dreyer, copy chief, Penguin Random House)

I mostly work on academic texts but I take on a wide range of non-fiction projects. I’m also happy to work with authors whose first language is not English. You can look at my FAQs page if you have a particular question, or read on.

Subjects covered

I work in most areas of the humanities and social sciences, but my main subjects (specialisms in bold) are:

  • History (general, history of sciencesixteenth centuryseventeenth century, church history, art history)
  • Music (general classical, choralvocal, opera, Renaissance, chamber music, theory)
  • Theology (general Christian, doctrine, Christology, church history, history of theology)
  • Museum Studies
  • Architectural History
  • Art History
  • Classics
  • Cinema/Film Studies
  • Ecclesiastical Law

If your subject isn’t here, I may still be able to help you. Do contact me to ask.

Services offered 

  • Proofreading
  • Copyediting
  • Substantive editing and rewriting
  • Proof-editing
  • Website editing and proofreading

To see what I mean by these categories, go to my Services page.


As well as working directly with individuals, I currently work for or have recently worked for:

  • Cambridge University Press
  • The Royal Society
  • Yale University Press
  • British Museum Publications
  • The Adler Planetarium, Chicago
  • Brepols
  • Officina Libraria, Rome 


Hester’s approach to her work is intelligent and sensitive. Authors are always grateful for the improvements she makes to their text. And she sets the highest standards of competency and reliability, so we as publishers are happy too.

(Sally Salvesen, Yale University Press)

Hester Higton plays an invaluable part in the production of the Ecclesiastical Law Journal. She combines the keenest attention to linguistic and typographical detail with academic rigour and extensive experience.

(Will Adam, Editor, Ecclesiastical Law Journal)

Hester has been my copyeditor for a year now, and everything I send her way is beautifully and carefully edited, with the utmost attention to detail, and a sensitive and humane approach to writing and authors. I have been working with different editors for over three years now, but Hester has been exceptional. It is a pleasure to work with her and I trust her with all my projects. I can only highly recommend her impeccable work.

(Jan Burzlaff, historian)

Thank you very much, Hester, for your painstaking and diligent work. In my eyes the article has been much improved and clarified. My impression is also that you were very respectful of the text, so that it still feels it’s ‘my’ text, although so much work from you has gone into it. I’d say managing to do this is a precious quality of a polisher/editor. It has been a pleasure to work with you.

(Samuel Gessner, historian of astronomy)

Hester Higton as copy editor has worked on the text with sharp insights and meticulous attention to detail which have made a significant contribution to the volume. 

(Caroline Bowden, author, The Chronicles of Nazareth (The English Convent), Bruges, 1629–1793 (Boydell & Brewer, 2017))

If all my copyeditors were as good and organised as you are I would have a much easier job! AKA thanks for everything!

(Journals production editor, major university press)

About me

I am an advanced professional member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP). I was awarded a Licentiateship in Editorial Skills from the City and Guilds Institute in March 2013.

I have qualifications from the Publishing Training Centre in proofreading (distinction) and copyediting (merit).

I am a tutor for some of the CIEP’s online courses and have been involved in developing the CIEP’s curriculum. I also teach two virtual learning series for the CIEP: Efficient Editing and Copyediting 1: Introduction. Since September 2022 I have been Training Director for the CIEP.

I have a doctorate in the history of science (University of Cambridge) and I am a published author of books, academic book chapters, and journal articles.

I have held various research and curatorial posts in national and provincial museums, including six years as the curator of the Bill Douglas Centre Museum at the University of Exeter.

In my spare time, I am a semi-professional singer with Northern Spirit Singers, the Durham Cathedral Consort of Singers, and Yorkshire Voices.


If you are interested in my services, please contact me by email at I aim to reply within 48 hours to all enquiries. It will help if you can give me some information about your project in your message – how long it is, how soon you need the work to be done, and whether you have a particular publisher or journal in mind. I am happy to provide a free no-obligation quote, but I will need a sample of the material to do that.

Data submitted via email will be treated as confidential and will not be seen by anyone else. I take your privacy seriously and comply with the UK GDPR legislation (see my data protection policy).