Sue Copsey

Freelance editor and children’s author

Hello! Welcome to my website.

I’m a professional book editor and children’s author, with more than 20 years’ experience in the UK and NZ publishing industries.


And now for my other hat – the writing one. (My editing hat is quite sensible, perhaps small and navy blue, while my author hat probably has feathers.)

My writing career began at London Zoo, where I worked as a  press officer and was deputy editor of the zoo magazine Zoo News. I also wrote a weekly column for the UK national children’s newspaper The Early Times.

During my time as an editor at Dorling Kindersley, I also wrote Children Just Like Me, which became an international bestseller and won several awards (hooray!).

In 2012, my first children’s novel was published – a spooky adventure called The Ghosts of Young Nick’s Head. Its publisher closed down, but this hasn’t been all bad for me, as it gave me the opportunity to find out what it’s like going the DIY route. It’s useful to be able to share this knowledge with other authors thinking of self-publishing. No awards for this one (boo!), but it’s received good ratings and reviews. Plus it has given me the chance to visit schools and chat with kids about writing and ghosts. Very cool.

The follow-up, The Ghosts of Tarawera, received a Storylines Children’s Literature Trust Notable Book Award for 2016 - yay!  Click here to read Chapter 1 of this exciting adventure story, erupting with all things volcanic and spooky!

The third in the series, The Ghosts of Moonlight Creek was unleashed on unsuspecting children in 2016, and is a finalist in the Sir Julius Vogel awards in the Best Youth Novel category. Read Chapter 1 here.

“A gripping tale … halfway between a spooky ghost story and a classic children’s adventure tale, with a murder mystery twist.”

– Paul Cameron, CEO, Booktrack


In New Zealand, Pearson published my non-fiction title Our Children Aotearoa in 2011. This was probably the most fun anyone could have writing a book. I travelled all over New Zealand meeting children from diverse backgrounds, chatting about their daily lives, their cultures, and their hopes and dreams for the future. This title won an award, too (Storylines Notable Non-fiction).

“An action-packed adventure with a good dose of spookiness.”

– Zac McCallum, Children and Young Adult Outreach Librarian, Christchurch Libraries 


I have extensive experience as both an in-house and freelance editor. I trained at Dorling Kindersley in London, and was a project editor then senior editor at DK for four years. After moving to New Zealand, I became a freelance editor specialising in non-fiction titles (adult/children’s), educational material, children’s/YA fiction, and genre fiction. I have edited more than 150 UK and NZ titles.

To find out about my editing services, including my publishing background, client list and portfolio,

click here.

And, um, the secret life of me, as revealed on Christchurch Libraries’ Children’s Authors page

Want me to haunt your school?

Click here to find out about organising a school visit, through the NZ Book Council’s Writers in Schools programme.

Listed in the New Zealand Herald’s ‘Best Books for Christmas 2015’

Storylines Children’s Literature Trust of New Zealand Notable   
  Book Award, 2016
  1. Listed in the New Zealand Herald’s ‘Best Books for Christmas 2015’

  1. Storylines Children’s Literature Trust of New Zealand Notable  

  Book Award, 2016

I should probably have two websites – one for my editing services, and one for my books, fun stuff and blog. But really, life is complicated enough don’t you think? So if you don’t want to wade through this home page, go straight to the tabs at the top of this page and select away!

Editing and design packages:

new for 2017

If you’re looking for more than just editing (e.g. cover design, internal layout, advice re printing and distribution), I’ve teamed up with one of NZ’s top book designers to offer editing-design packages, with a project management option too. Download our PDF brochure Pick n Mix Publishing.pdf

“A fabulous spooky adventure tale with its New Zealand setting offering something unique in a genre dominated by non-specific locations …”

SQ Magazine

Spooky  specials!

Find out more