Jan Brigden – My First Novel, and My Love of Proofreading …


It’s no secret that my first novel took me a while to write. Okay, YONKS, mainly due to my endless tweaking and re-tweaking of it until it waved the white flag at me. I’m thrilled, therefore, to report that, having received a cracking report from my RNA New Writers’ Scheme reader, I’ve finally started submitting my book to agents.

To date, I’ve had four rejections.


They stung.

A lot.

I have, however, received some very encouraging feedback.

I’m under no illusions, and I’m certainly not averse to self-publishing, I simply want to try the traditional route first.

I must trust that someone will love my book and believe in it as much as I do …

My novel is a multi POV tale – three interwoven stories in one, if you like – entitled ‘As Weekends Go …’





Here’s a little taster:

When Rebecca Stafford is gifted the chance of a weekend stay in one of York’s finest hotels with her best friend, Abi, the timing couldn’t be better. With her husband in Brighton for his summer sales conference and Abi’s boyfriend in Spain for a stag do, she has no reason to decline.

After all – what harm could come of it – apart from the odd raised eyebrow at home?

Rebecca also knows it might help take her mind off the fears she’s been having about her marriage; fears which her husband appears neither to share nor recognize.

Events, though, take an unexpected turn when Rebecca encounters a familiar fellow guest at the hotel. And with Abi’s relationship coming under scrutiny when temptation beckons, things soon become complicated.

Add in a power struggle with a twist in Brighton and the stag do from hell, and this clash of agendas guarantees all parties concerned a weekend to remember.


Keep your fingers crossed for me, dear friends.



On an entirely different literary note, I wanted to highlight here my love of proofreading.

I’ve quietly been expanding my portfolio, working on several novels/novellas for friends and acquaintances over time, using my own devised system and, more recently, track changes, with positive results.

I don’t hold a professional qualification, just a beady eye for detail and years of experience at wielding my trusty red pen in various office jobs I’ve previously held. I remember pointing out a horrendous typo to one particularly Godzilla-like company CEO on a document he was about to sign off to a potential client. He looked so gobsmacked, I thought he was going to sack me! Luckily, he just huffed and puffed a bit and from that day on declared me ‘chief checker’.




A few clients have kindly provided testimonials for me, a couple of which are below:

‘It is a pleasure to provide a testimonial for Jan Brigden. I have used her services twice, to proofread my self-published novels which have been uploaded to amazon sites throughout the world. As an indie author, I am aware that some self-published novels have been neither proofread nor formatted professionally, often resulting in a less than perfect result. Thanks to Mrs Brigden’s skills, I have received no negative feedback from readers vis a vis typos, grammatical slips or other omissions in my novels. I would recommend Mrs Brigden unreservedly to other writers who need someone to check over their work. I will be sending my next novel for her to proofread in due course.’

Elizabeth Lamb


I hired Jan Brigden to proofread my first completed book. After countless rewrites, I required a reader with a good eye for grammar and detail to go through the manuscript and pick up on errors I had missed. Having gone through chapter-by-chapter, and at my pace, I was delighted with the work Jan carried out, and had the confidence to submit my novel to publishers. With a professional, friendly attitude, easy-to-understand system and great value for money, I highly recommend Jan Brigden’s Proofreading Service.’

Laura E James


If you would like to get in touch with me about potentially proofreading your novel/novella/short story, etc, please feel free to email me at janbrigdenproof@gmail.com to discuss.

You can also contact me via Facebook or Twitter (@Briggy44)


 Many Thanks,

Jan X


41 thoughts on “Jan Brigden – My First Novel, and My Love of Proofreading …

  1. Go! Go! Go, Jan!!! I am SO excited for you, I’ve been following your journey with you in both capacities these past few years, am intensely happy and proud of you that this moment has come 🙂 Very best of luck, my friend! Yasmin xxx

    • Thanks so much, Yasmin. I’ve appreciated every bit of your support & encouragement. Here’s hoping, eh?! 🙂

      Jan Xx

  2. Ooh, Jan, I love the sound of ‘As Weekends Go…’
    It’s bound to reflect your own wonderful voice and personality and be a winner!
    Plus, you’re definitely my proof-reader of choice for the next novel. So, double whammy! Go Jan.

    • Thrilled that you like the sound of As Weekends Go …, June. Thanks so much for all your support, good wishes and vote of confidence re my proofreading. They are very much appreciated 🙂

      Jan Xx

    • Hi Shani, thanks for taking the time to comment. Such a positive one too! I really appreciate your support 🙂

      Jan Xx

  3. Reblogged this on Lizzie Lamb and commented:
    Jan has proof read both my novels and has a gimlet eye for mistakes. I would heartily recommend her to other indie authors or anyone who wants a professional looking manuscript.

    • Lizzie, I’m so grateful for your testimonial. Thanks, as ever, for all your good wishes & support! 🙂

      Jan Xx

  4. First of all, good luck with your submissions, Jan. I can’t wait to read AS WEEKENDS GO. You’ve just got to find an agent/publisher who’s worth their salt and willing to take you on. It sounds a stupid thing to say, but the only people who don’t get published are those who give up. But its true, If you do go down the indie publishing route, be assured that the New Romantics 4 will be on hand to give you all the help we can ❤

    • Thanks for the good luck wishes, Lizzie. I was so nervous about publishing this post, but am glad I have. Your wise words are very encouraging and inspiring.:)

      Jan Xx

  5. On the subject of proof reading, as Jan will testify, I am the queen of typos. But Jan spots them all. Sometimes, even when she’s pointed out my mistakes I read the sentence over and over and can’t see it. Then, BINGO! There it is. The added bonus in using Jan as a proof reader is that she is a writer, too, So she sees your work from both angles. She’s proof read both my novels and I’ll be sending her #3 in due course. Go Jan!! So glad that Facebook brought us together. 🙂

    • Bless you, Lizzie! Thank you. For everything! I can’t ever imagine not knowing you. Three cheers for Facebook! 🙂

      Jan Xx

    • Thanks so much for dropping by, Nicky. Much appreciated. Your cheers and good wishes are so very much appreciated! Rock on! 🙂

      Jan Xx

  6. I’m keeping fingers and toes crossed for you Jan – book sounds fantastic. I received 2 years worth of rejections before success so don’t give up hope, ever.

    • Kathryn, thank you so much! Your encouragement and inspiring words will definitely help spur me on. Much appreciated! 🙂

      Jan Xx

    • Thanks so much for your support & encouragement, Mandy. It is very much appreciated 🙂

      Jan Xx

    • Laura, thanks so much for your support. I’m so grateful for the fab testimonial you gave me too. ToD was a pleasure to read! 🙂

      Jan Xx

  7. Lovely Jan! I love the sound of ‘As weekends go.’ Looking forward to reading it when it’s published. Wishing you every success with your book and your proofreading business 🙂 xx

    • So pleased you like the sound of my novel, Elle. I was so nervous about publishing the post, but lovely comments like yours make me glad I did. Thanks for all your good wishes! 🙂

      Jan Xx

  8. Jan, I know and share your pain – constantly going over everything, changing, improving and re-writing. A nightmare, but if something niggles in the back of your mind it needs to be dealt with. I am just like you. I wish you every success looking for an agent and a publisher. It’s tough out there. Congrats on your success as a proof-reader, I hope lots of work comes your way. I must ask for a quote. I’ve just been professionally edited for the first time – an experience!! Proofing apparently wasn’t enough to warrant throwing anything back at me, the editor did it to help me out due to my one-arm, one finger situation, so I am told. However, I am not sure if I needed a lot of correction or not. Editing was reasonably painless, just tightening things up – but gosh did I sweat when I first saw the edited draft for the first time. LOL Good luck with your book and for continued work. I am sure it won’t be long. 🙂

    • Thanks for your lovely words of encouragement, Jane. I know how scary it is when faced with edits or corrections/amendments. I can never proofread my own work. I can’t see for looking, as they say! I so appreciate your good wishes! 🙂

      Jan Xx

      • Word blindness is my main problem – all becomes a blur. Used to have the same problem in the recording studio after long sessions. If we stayed too late everything sounded better and better, but next morning with fresh ears all the mistakes and rubbish stuff would leap out of the monitors and offend us all deeply. Stop when you are ahead, have a break and come back refreshed…works. 🙂

  9. Way to go, Briggers! Super star proof reader and a hot new chick lit star, you mark my words. Keep at it! We’re right behind you, beside you and with our arms around you! 🙂

    • Ade, you’ve made me blush! I’m so blessed to have such lovely, supportive friends like you. Thanks so much for all your good wishes and belief in me! 🙂

      Jan Xx

  10. Congratulations on getting to this stage, Jan, and best of luck with the agent search! The novel sounds great! Look forward to seeing it in print. x

    • Clodagh, thanks so much for your lovely comment! I’m chuffed to bits that you like the sound of my novel. Your good wishes are very much appreciated 🙂

      Jan Xx

  11. Excellent post, Jan. AWG is great and I have everything crossed for you. Must also say how much I appreciated you reading through Closing In for me, you really helped me knock it into shape.


    • Sue, I can’t tell you how much your support and good cheer mean to me. You and all the Romaniacs are a constant source of love & encouragement for which I’m so grateful. Reading Closing In was a pleasure. I’m just glad I could help. 🙂

      Jan Xx

  12. Got to say, Jan, I love the sound of As Weekends Go. I’d buy it! You’ve always been very friendly and supportive towards me and I so appreciate it. You deserve success and I’m sure it will come. Can’t wait to be tweeting and blogging about your book! X

    • Aw, thanks Sharon. What lovely comments! I really appreciate your good wishes & support 🙂

      Jan Xx

  13. I love the sound of your book, Jan, and will be keeping fingers and toes crossed for you (ouch). BTW, don’t be discouraged by those rejections; cry, rage, scream into a pillow then pick yourself up and send your ms out again – you WILL get there! Cxx

    • Thanks for your lovely comment, Chris. Wise words of inspiration & encouragement! 🙂

      Jan Xx

  14. Wishing you the best of luck with agents, Jan. I’m intrigued by your taster – sounds like a rollicking good read. Know exactly what you mean by tweaking and re-tweaking – my second novel was supposed to be just an edit, and turned into a complete re-write..

    • Rollicking! I love that word, Mags 😀 Thanks so much for your good wishes. We can be the re-tweaking queens together! 🙂

      Jan Xx

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