I have found myself working with an increasing number of authors who are writing in English where English is their Second Language (ESL). I find this aspect of my work particularly interesting and really enjoy working collaboratively with the author to bring the flow of their writing into natural English without losing their unique voice, creativity and storytelling rhythm.
To assist in communicating the nuances and intricacies of the English language, that are sometimes not apparent to non-native speakers, I have taken a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course. As well as the ESL authors who I work with directly, I also work on anthologies of World Science Fiction short stories, written in English by authors from all over the world.
The Double-Pass Edit is the best option that I offer for ESL authors, because it provides the option for me to query the intended meaning of individual sentences and cultural references on the first editorial pass rather than making arbitrary changes that could smother the author's voice. I often combine this with The Manuscript Assessment as this allows me to query things like Characterisation, Setting, Theme and Flow, which can differ between cultures.
When editing a manuscript so that it reads like natural English, the most common changes I make are to:
If you are an ESL author, please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss your project. Every author's needs are unique, and I will happily discuss your individual needs with you, so that we can come up with an editorial plan that is right for you.