Deeply responsive to a writer’s vision.

Courteous, professional, thorough – Dion seems to instinctively grasp that the role of a good editor is to help shape and hone the text into the best it can possibly be. Unafraid to make bold suggestions, he’s also deeply responsive to a writer’s vision and voice. Working with him on my frankly bloody awkward collection… Read more “Deeply responsive to a writer’s vision.”

Kit Power, author of A Warning About Your Future Enslavement...
Kit Power

Personable and approachable.

I must say that the biggest thing for me has been how personable and approachable you are (both via email and social networking) which is really important. You feel like a real person, rather than a red pen! I found your editing both sympathetic and strict, which is exactly the balance it needs to be.… Read more “Personable and approachable.”

Angeline Trevena, featured in Sunny, with a Chance of Zombies. Author of The Paper Duchess series and The Memory Trader Series.
Angeline Trevena

A lot less stressful than I thought.

This was my first experience with an editor (outside of academia), and you made it a pleasant one. I was worried that things would be changed without my permission, I wouldn’t get a final say in things etc. and you took those fears away. I procrastinate and am anxious by nature, but the process was… Read more “A lot less stressful than I thought.”

Cover image: Sunny, with a Chance of Zombies. Various zombies at a barbecue, the sun high in the sky.
Nikki Tanner

Valuable, comprehensive and thorough structural insights.

Dion gave me valuable, comprehensive and thorough structural insights on a project I’m working on. It was a worthy investment, and I would certainly recommend him.

K.T. Davies, author of The Red Knight.
K.T. Davies

Loving grasp of the narrative whole.

As an editor, Dion is possessed of a keen eye for detail tempered with a loving grasp of the narrative whole. His passionate editorial approach is driven by the uncompromising desire to facilitate a finished work that is both as accomplished and complete as possible. Unlike other perspicacious and gifted editors of my experience, his… Read more “Loving grasp of the narrative whole.”

Cover image: This Twisted Earth (Vol. 1). Blue and green strands intertwined like DNA on a black background, surrounding the names of the contributers.
Andrew Coulthard

I wanted to improve, and kept coming back for more!

You went into a level of detail that I hadn’t experienced before, which was difficult for me as my confidence is paper thin, but you dealt with it in such a way that I wanted to improve, and kept coming back for more! You were also far less dictatorial than it seems a lot of… Read more “I wanted to improve, and kept coming back for more!”

Cover image: This Twisted Earth (Vol. 1). Blue and green strands intertwined like DNA on a black background, surrounding the names of the contributers.
Jacob Prytherch

You need Dion. He’s there for you.

You need your writing to be as good as it can possibly be, while still being yours, in your voice. You need a suggestion on how to make that difficult and vital paragraph a lot clearer than it is now. You need to know that you’ve got the psychology of your characters straight – or… Read more “You need Dion. He’s there for you.”

David Baume, author of Cat's Eyes, Road Safety, With All My Love, and Dry Stone Wall.
David Baume
Cat's Eyes / Road Safety / With All My Love / Dry Stone Wall

Exactly what a person would pay for.

There was never a change without a valid justification and you were open to dialogue which ended in a mutually approved draft. You were quite insightful and enthusiastic. The enthusiasm counted for a lot and eased the sting of any criticisms or change requests. All your changes seemed well-informed and came from a place with… Read more “Exactly what a person would pay for.”

Cover image: This Twisted Earth (Vol. 1). Blue and green strands intertwined like DNA on a black background, surrounding the names of the contributers.
Matt Lewis

My first call for future projects

Dion is a dedicated editor who works with the writer to make their story sing. His respect for both the work and the authorial style, combined with his skill and professionalism, have made him my first call for future projects.

Eric Nash
Eric Nash

Impressed by the speed and precision of your responses.

I’m amazed this is your first go as an editor. I’ve been impressed by the speed and precision of your responses, the organizational abilities displayed thus far and the excitement for the project you convey to all participants. I can honestly not think of a single interaction which could’ve been improved upon.

Cover image: Sunny, with a Chance of Zombies. Various zombies at a barbecue, the sun high in the sky.
Chris Bauer

Insightful, comprehensive and assured.

The Fine-toothed Comb isn’t just Dion’s business name, it’s his mission statement too. The editing work he undertook on our behalf was insightful, comprehensive and assured. Turnaround times were fantastic and the whole process worked like a dream.

Ross Warren, owner of Dark Minds Press
Ross Warren

His passion and enthusiasm shows through.

The thing with Dion is that his passion and enthusiasm shows through in every project he works on. From conception to final proof, his level of dedication is second to none.

Publisher image: Steve Shaw, owner of Black Shuck Books
Steve J. Shaw - Publisher

Thorough and accurate.

Dion proves himself very thorough and accurate in his work with us and has shown a particular sensitivity to and respect for the author’s work. His enthusiasm for the project is coupled with his professional manner and reliability with deadlines.

Publisher image: George Sandison, owner of Unsung Stories
George Sandison - Publisher

A tireless work ethic.

Dion is my go-to editor for UK novels. He has a great eye for detail and a tireless work ethic. He’s a joy to work with.

Graeme Reynolds, owner/publisher of Horrific Tales.
Graeme Reynolds - Publisher

A very pleasant experience.

This is my first time working with an editor and you made it a very pleasant experience. I thought the editing process would be a bit overwhelming, but you made it manageable and relatively stress-free.

Cover image: Sunny, with a Chance of Zombies. Various zombies at a barbecue, the sun high in the sky.
Marc Kadushin

A damned fine editor

Working with Dion was a pleasure. From the initial overview via Zoom to the final pass, he was dedicated to bringing out the best in my work. He was challenging when he needed to be, knowledgeable about the genre, personable and professional to work with. I found myself bouncing ideas off Dion during our discussions… Read more “A damned fine editor”

Author image: Zachary Ashford
Zachary Ashford
Beneath the Craggy Steep

He never forgets that this is your book.

Dion promises to help an author make their work the best that it can be. He achieves this through an excellent understanding of the writing process, plot, characterisation, and pace. Dion has an eye for details, picking up on small facts and inconsistencies to make it all the more believable. He balances the need to… Read more “He never forgets that this is your book.”

Paul Melhuish, author of High Cross.
Paul Melhuish

A consummate professional.

He brings the open mind and patience to see what the creator is trying to convey, and work with them to deliver that vision – never losing sight of the fact that it’s the author’s story to tell. A consummate professional. I have no qualms in recommending his services to anyone looking to tighten and… Read more “A consummate professional.”

CC Adams, author of There Goes Pretty
C.C. Adams

I felt secure

Dion is a passionate and professional editor with a keen eye for detail. His enthusiasm and approachability made all the difference. I felt secure in the knowledge that any changes he suggested would ensure that my novella was the best it could be.

Penny Jones, author of Matryoshka
Penny Jones

Such a collaborative process.

I hate editing – I tend to put it off for ages. I’ve had other edits done on short stories I’ve published but they have largely been cosmetic changes and have certainly not been such a collaborative process. I was worried that I’d feel a bit ‘precious’ about making changes but your comments were so… Read more “Such a collaborative process.”

Cover image: This Twisted Earth (Vol. 1). Blue and green strands intertwined like DNA on a black background, surrounding the names of the contributers.
Hereward L.M. Proops

Easily one of the best editors I’ve worked with.

Dion kicked my arse, editing-wise, but in a polite and really helpful way. Easily one of the best editors I’ve worked with. He’s so thorough he’ll probably edit this testimonial for me.

Rich Hawkins, author of The Cold.
Rich Hawkins

Strengthened the story.

It was fun. Glad to say, it wasn’t too traumatic. I knew there were likely to be a few tweaks to help continuity (since I was submitting to a shared world book that was evolving all the time) but you also made suggestions that strengthened the story on its own merits.

Mike Chinn, featured in This Twisted Earth (vol. 1)
Mike Chinn

I’d definitely recommend him.

I found Dion professional to work with and the book was all the better for his edits. I’d definitely recommend him.

Paul Kane, author of The Rot.
Paul Kane

A diligent and important contributor.

Dion was a diligent and important contributor in the development of my novel from draft to draft. Aside from picking up a few crucial mistakes, he also asked important and challenging questions, always with a view to strengthening the story and how it was being delivered.

Allen Stroud, author of Fearless and co-author of the Phoenix Point stories.
Allen Stroud

Excellent attention to detail.

Dion is a fine editor. Excellent attention to detail. I feel very lucky to have had him on my side.

Author image: Malcolm Devlin
Malcolm Devlin

Very impressed

Professional, with a great eye for detail. I was very impressed and will be using Dion for future projects.

Author image - Stuart R. Brogan
Stuart R. Brogan

Clear, concise, and extremely helpful.

Dion’s feedback was clear, concise, and extremely helpful. I wouldn’t think twice about using him again!

Mike Garley, author of The Return of the Samurai Slasher.
Mike Garley

Meet the editor

Your friendly editor

Who is The Fine-toothed Comb?

Hi there, my name is Dion and I am in love with the written word. Have been for as long as I can remember. School lunchtimes were spent in the library, whole holidays were spent exploring fantastic worlds. My university degree examined English Literature through the ages, culminating with a first-class dissertation on the anti-hero.

Since then, I’ve been both a reviewer and a podcaster on the Geek Syndicate Network; compiled and edited ‘Sunny, with a Chance of Zombies,’ a strangely uplifting apocalyptic anthology; and I have project-managed the first volume of ‘This Twisted Earth’ – an ambitious, ongoing, shared-world anthology series – all the way from conception to publication. I’ve loved working on these books but royalties rarely pay the bills. Words are why I’m here, though. This is what I do.

So, I am now offering my skills to writers and publishers of all stripes. I can help you hit the right note, sharpen your script and polish your prose. Together, we’ll bring your characters to life and raise your project to a level that is not only fit for publication, but that you can be genuinely proud of, knowing it has reached its full potential. You can find out how by going to the Services page.

Still not entirely sure that you need me?
Read Your work, elevated.

Or, if you already know you need an editor…

Let’s Talk!

Cover image: Trail of the Cursed Cobras
Barry Nugent
Cover image: Steadyard
Angeline Trevena
Cover image: The Thirty-third Owl
Jane Burnard
Wild Hunters - cover
Stuart R. Brogan
Cover image: There Goes Pretty
C.C. Adams
Cover Image: Matryoshka, by Penny Jones
Penny Jones
Cover image: The Degeneration of Hortensia Phrigg, by Hereward L.M. Proops
Hereward L.M. Proops
Cover image: Silkwash
Angeline Trevena
Cover image: The Return of the Samurai Slasher, by Mike Garley
Mike Garley
Cover image: The Cold, by Rich Hawkins
Rich Hawkins
Cover image: Fearless, by Allen Stroud
Allen Stroud
Cover image: Phoenix Point: The Briefing
Jonas Kyratzes & Allen Stroud
Cover image: Weed, by Joseph D'Lacey
Joseph D'Lacey
Cover image: Downwind Alice, by C.C. Adams
C.C. Adams
Cover image: High Cross, by Paul Melhuish
Paul Melhuish
Cover image: The House of Frozen Screams, by Thana Niveau
Thana Niveau
Cover image: The Rot, by Paul Kane
Paul Kane
Cover image: You Will Grow Into Them, by Malcolm Devlin
Malcolm Devlin
Cover image: The Veil, by Joseph D'Lacey
Joseph D'Lacey
Cover image 2: A Warning, by Kit Power
Kit Power
Cover image: Sunny, with a Chance of Zombies, by Dion Winton-Polak
Dion Winton-Polak
Cover image: This Twisted Earth, by Dion Winton-Polak
Dion Winton-Polak

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