Writer in the English Lake District



Hello, I'm a writer living in the Lake District. I trained as a journalist in London, working for several national newspapers – including The Guardian and The Times – and for a variety of magazines. I now write fiction, and am also available for hire as a writing expert in a number of areas, all of which are set out below. So, more about me ...

Author: My first novel, Dances with the Daffodils, was self-published in 2013 with Swallow Books, and has as its theme redemption through nature. It is set in 1802, when the poet Wordsworth and his sister saw the daffodils that inspired the world-famous poem 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud'. The novel was shortlisted for Lakeland Book of the Year, and is now available both in paperback and as an ebook. I am currently writing a second novel (a contemporary re-creation of Wuthering Heights), a novella set in Paris at the time of the composer Debussy, and a first collection of poems.

Journalist: I've written articles for The Guardian on various subjects, including flooding in the Lake District and rioting across the UK. For The Times I was an arts subeditor and classical music critic, reviewing concerts and opera performances nationally, and travelling internationally to interview leading musicians. I worked as a news subeditor for The Observer and Sunday Times, and as Deputy Editor of Classic FM's magazine. Locally I've worked freelance with the University of Central Lancashire's (UCLan) publishing department and I write for the arts and culture webzine Northern Soul.



I can help in any or all of the following areas ...

Self-publishing ...



I offer authors help with all aspects of the self-publishing process, from finishing that final draft – in Microsoft Word or Scrivener – to copyediting, typesetting, proofreading, cover design, ebook publishing and paperback printing. And after all that ... ongoing marketing, sales and distribution. Having had an agent for several years, I can also offer help for authors wishing to approach traditional book publishers through a literary agent.

Editing, Proofing, DTP ...



I have experience as a copyeditor and proofreader with several publishers, including Time Warner Books, and can provide line-by-line copyediting and proofreading of book manuscripts and other longer pieces of writing. I also offer know-how in desktop-publishing (DTP), specifically InDesign and QuarkXpress, as well as knowledge of the internet's Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) through my work on the website of The Times and The Sunday Times.

Marketing, PR, Sales ...



I have many media contacts, in press, TV and radio, locally and nationally, and am able to submit press releases confident in the knowledge that they will be considered and often converted into editorial. As for social media, l publish tweets on behalf of a variety of Cumbria-based clients, to help build brand awareness. In addition, I write internet publicity and marketing literature for a number of local businesses and community organisations.


Praise for Dances with the Daffodils ...

"A fine achievement." Joan Bakewell, writer and broadcaster


"A real delight." Lucy Newlyn, poet and Wordsworth biographer

As a self-publishing coach ...

"Seeing Matthew in action – inspiring people to believe in themselves – is an eye-opener.

If I wrote for adults, he would have signed me up as a client then and there!"

Wendy Storer, author and writing tutor



Writer based in the English Lake District, with expertise in novel-writing, journalism, subediting, proofreading, copyediting, social media-marketing and self-publishing



If you'd like to get in touch

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