Paul Fishman, freelance writer and editor

I’m a freelance writer and editor with a background in publishing and the book trade. Until December 2016 I lived and worked in the UK city of Bristol (south-west England), but I’m now based in the village of Windermere in the English Lake District (Cumbria). I work with clients across the UK and as far away as Australia.


I write features, reviews and stories, and work on all sorts of commercial and educational projects as a copywriter. My writing interests include history, literature, current affairs, science, and food and drink, but then there’s usually some way into a subject—as often as not, boredom is a failure of imagination.


I copy-edit journal articles, books and associated academic text; edit and rewrite copy for websites, brochures and educational and promotional material, adding headlines, straplines, standfirsts, pull quotes and the like as required; provide editorial advice. I’m equally comfortable editing work by non-native English speakers and sophisticated native speakers.

Recent work—2015/2016

In my first two years of renewed freelancing, I’ve edited more than two dozen science books (ranging from general interest through to technical); published three illustrated print features for a high-circulation general-interest history magazine; published a short story in an online flash fiction magazine; edited various academic journal articles and the magazine sections of an educational journal; written a series of articles on research and researchers for a media company; edited interviews with researchers; written ten long magazine-style research case studies for a university publication; started ghostwriting a short memoir/local history book; published a feature in an international careers magazine; edited marketing material for an academic/educational publisher; published several book reviews; written, commissioned and edited articles on a wide range of subjects for an online drinks magazine; and blogged on everything from Dr Johnson to the psychology of dieting.

More information and contact

A more CV-like professional profile is available on LinkedIn, while there are some portfolio links on my Book Machine page. A full CV and references are available on request.

View Paul Fishman's profile on LinkedInBookMachine_logo

Please contact me if you have seen seen anything on the site that interests you, or if you would like to work together.

Freelance or freelancer?

Both are correct and in the Oxford English Dictionary. Freelance (‘free lance’) came first, starting as a 19th-century term for something medieval: ‘a type of military adventurer, typically of knightly rank, who offered his services to states or individuals for payment, or with a view to plunder; a mercenary soldier’. Some time after it took on its current meaning(s), e.g. ‘A person who makes himself or herself available to be engaged for work on particular assignments or projects, rather than being engaged on a long-term or permanent basis by a single employer’. Freelancers was occasionally used as a synonym for the first meaning of freelance in the 19th century, but became much more common as an alternative to the modern ‘freelance’ in the 20th century. I’d guess that freelancer is now more popular than freelance. Still, I like the connection with freebooting, roguish knights and prefer the older etymology, so I always call myself a freelance. I don’t mind if others differ, so long as we understand each other.

Quoted definitions taken from the Oxford English Dictionary.

Paul Fishman (Bristol, 2015)

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