Last Look Proofreading now available!

To celebrate the launch of my new proofreading service, Last Look Proofreading, I’m giving away three novel-length proofreads. To enter, simply leave a comment below with your vote for the most cringe-worthy typo/writing error (mine is affect/effect) before 6:00 Mountain Time on Friday, May 10th. I will randomly select three comments and notify the winners by email (so you must leave a valid email address). I will proofread a manuscript of your choosing (it can be unpublished or published, if you want to release an updated edition). Check out this page  to learn more about Last Look Proofreading.

Email me at with any questions, and good luck!

Update: I forgot to say that comments need to be moderated manually, so if your comment doesn’t show up immediately, don’t panic! It should be up by the end of the day, at least.

Update: Contest now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated! Winners are Allan, Agnes, and P. Creeden.

  1. #1 by Kelsey Keating on April 29, 2013 - 12:14 pm

    What a great giveaway! I think I cringe most at the sight of misusing the word “nauseous”, but am also willing to smack my head against a desk when I see peek/peak mixed up 🙂

  2. #2 by Alicia on April 29, 2013 - 12:26 pm

    I can’t stand it when a period (instead of a comma) is used with a dialog tag!

    awb (at) aliciawb (dot) com

  3. #3 by Aldrea Alien on April 29, 2013 - 11:03 pm

    I’m with Alicia on the period used in place of a comma with a dialog tag. But mine would be past/passed, although I have seen some stranger ones.


  4. #4 by lectorsbooks on April 30, 2013 - 8:29 am

    I’m pretty old school, but the misuse of “insure” over “ensure” always needles me. Then there is “assure,” which gets into the mix. Oh, gads. Then there’s the misuse of “compose” over “comprise,” and the tendency of former technical writers to (correctly) infuse hyphens and colons into non-fiction works–which is truly just a style point. I hope I didn’t list too many. My pet peeves abound!

    For Riley – Technical Issues

  5. #5 by Allan Evans (@EvansWriter) on April 30, 2013 - 1:05 pm

    Mine is the spellcheck non-event: Not quite the correct word is used. I recently read a Kindle novel featuring a single mother and her two children trapped in a house with a killer just outside the door. Tension was building nicely, until, “The doorknob giggled.”


  6. #6 by Sean on April 30, 2013 - 2:15 pm

    I’ll be honest – half asleep, I’d managed to write ‘draw’ instead of ‘drawer’… twice. In one paragraph. During one of the most important scenes.

    Neither of the two proofreaders I hired, nor my dozen betareaders, picked up on it. There’s a first print edition out there, about 50 something copies, that proves I am officially a moron.

    Sean(at)90daysnovel dot com

  7. #7 by Agnes Webb (@AgnesWebbAuthor) on April 30, 2013 - 3:21 pm

    It’s and its – makes me wanna scream!

  8. #8 by Kellie on April 30, 2013 - 3:39 pm

    Mine is more of a self-cringe that happens whenever I’m faced with using peaked/peeked/piqued. I always have to stop and think, no matter how many times I’ve used all of them.

    • #9 by Kellie on April 30, 2013 - 3:39 pm

      Woops – kellie(at)

  9. #10 by Celia on April 30, 2013 - 6:19 pm

    I’m horrible with from/form. I can’t tell you how many times my editor slaps my hand with that one.

  10. #11 by Jen Minkman (@JenMinkman) on May 1, 2013 - 5:18 am

    I ALWAYS type knowlegde instead of knowledge, even if I pay extra close attention and know the word is coming up!!
    jenminkman at hotmail dot com

  11. #12 by Pizpireta on May 1, 2013 - 8:54 am

    I get my bejesus whenever I come to read loose/lose, and payed/paid. Different English speaking countries, different spelling?

  12. #13 by Dean on May 2, 2013 - 10:07 am

    does it count that I can’t split an infinitive and still feel good about myself? I was taught in Catholic school to NEVER split an infinitive, even if it meant writing “boldly to go” or “to go boldly.”

  13. #14 by Jennifer on May 3, 2013 - 8:52 am

    until/untill- That is my biggest flaw. I just recently had some feedback about me missing some speech quotes. I have went over this a million times and had a editor go over it as well. Oh yeah and I wrote 20 minutes instead of twenty. – I have first time writer written all over the place.

  14. #15 by JimsGotWeb on May 3, 2013 - 12:42 pm

    Dangling from a cliff, I watched the eagles in the nest.

    • #16 by Alicia on May 8, 2013 - 4:37 pm

      Good one. Misplaced (and dangling) modifiers annoy the heck out of me!

  15. #17 by Stella Wilkinson on May 8, 2013 - 4:02 pm

    Ooh mine is very similar to yours, I get caught out with accept and except when typing too fast. I also get some very real problems with being English and putting in phrases and words that American’s misread, so really need someone who can spot that. Example: “I think he was pissed”. In English that means ‘drunk’ but in American it apparently means ‘angry’. That totally changes the whole concept!

  16. #18 by Magda Alexander on May 8, 2013 - 4:16 pm

    “Oooh, Oooh, Oooh, pick me, pick me,” I say in my best Horschak imitation. I’ll give you not one, but two of my biggest pet peeves: your/you’re and its/it’s. Like scraping nails on a chalkboard when I see those confused.

  17. #19 by zz on May 8, 2013 - 4:47 pm

    Where are you at?
    Why would this preposition EVER be needed at the end of a sentence?

  18. #20 by on May 8, 2013 - 4:51 pm

    Would of.

    (Apologies if this comes up twice)

  19. #21 by P. Creeden on May 8, 2013 - 6:22 pm

    Thanks for the giveaway! Mine is repetition of any kind – I “once” had a dog that bit me “once”.

  20. #22 by lectorsbooks on May 10, 2013 - 6:03 pm

    Thanks everyone for playing! These were all very, VERY painful to read. I was wincing all the way down the list.

  21. #23 by Kevis Hendrickson on May 29, 2013 - 11:37 am

    Deciding when to use the Oxford comma and sticking with it throughout a single work. Really annoying to see it used inconsistently within a single work. Either use it–or not. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

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