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Photo credit: Justin David, Inkandescent
I’m a performance poet with three published collections of poetry and the author of a novel. My poetry has been anthologised by Bloodaxe, Nine Arches and the Emma Press among others, and for the past year, I’ve hosted the LGBT+ radio show Out in South London on Resonance FM, showcasing gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans authors, musicians, comedians and other creatives like me.
Recent notable gigs include four times at Glastonbury on the Poetry & Words Stage, Women of the World (WOW) Festival at the South Bank Centre and headlining a national tour with Hammer and Tongue. I’m a Literary Death Match champion, Spread the Word LGBT Hero and Diversity Role Model. I’m also a freelance editor, Chair of Poetry London and the Pride Network at Hachette UK.
I’ve taught workshops for the National Portrait Gallery and various schools and colleges around the UK, and I lecture on creative writing and careers at Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education. My first love is still spoken word, but I also love radio and presenting and organising real-time and virtual events.
My other interests include cooking, vintage dresses, cat memes and coffee.
I'm an experienced editor of fiction and non-fiction whose current clients include Bloomsbury Publishing and Oxford University Press. I've also worked on books that went on to be published by Penguin Books, Duke University Press, Pearson and Unbound, and helped self-publishing authors find their voices. I provide editorial assessments, structural and line-editing and proofreading.
To see my full experience as an editor, please visit my profile on Reedsy.com.
Check out what some of my previous clients have said:
‘Sophia worked with me on my novel, which was published by Unbound. Her structural and copy-editing skills are thorough and thoughtful, with great attention to detail, and her approach to delivery was timely and effective. She was a pleasure to work with and I have no reservations in recommending her editing services.’
John-Paul Flintoff, award-winning journalist, author and performer
‘Having worked with Sophia for several years in-house at Bloomsbury, I’ve sought her out several times on a freelance basis and am always thrilled with her wonderful expertise, excellent ideas and unfailing reliability. I always look forward to the next time we can work together.’
Lisa Carden, former Routledge, HarperCollins and Bloomsbury in-house editor, now freelance editor and writer
‘Sophia Blackwell is undoubtedly one of the most skilled editors I have worked with over the past decade. She’s an extremely insightful and wise editor in relation to structure, content and style, as well as being an eagle-eyed copy editor. We’ve worked together on multiple fiction and non-fiction projects for major UK and international publishers, and each time she has performed wonders with the manuscript. Sophia is also one of the most efficient editors I know – the job is always done on time and to the highest standards. I can now hardly imagine publishing my work without having had Sophia’s masterful scalpel work over the text!’
Roman Krznaric, social philosopher and author of Carpe Diem Regained and The Good Ancestor
Writing can be lonely: a solitary endeavour in which you don’t know if you’re on a good track, and just a little steer can make all the difference. Working with Sophia gave me the confidence to crack on. She was honest about where I needed guidance, and supportive where she felt I was onto something. She helped me to feel accountable for making progress with my manuscript. In many ways, Sophia was my coach through my first draft phase. She was always available, and brought her skill and experience to the writing process. I’m very grateful to have found her.
Alex Smith, Founder/CEO, The Cares Family
‘Sophia was the ‘midwife’ on my last two books. Being helped by Sophia to bring my books to life was a great and joyful experience for me. Sophia somehow manages to get into the skin of the writer and deeply connects with potential readers. She helped me, as an amateur author, to find the language and tone that truly communicates what I wanted to share with my audience.’
Martin Kalungu-Banda, BBS Consulting
It was a pleasurable experience working with Sophia. Work was delivered ahead of deadline and was very patient with responses on my part.
I hope to be able to work with Sophia again.
Jenica Leah, author
Please note, I do not make direct introductions to publishers. I do not work with competitors to my employers, and need to be notified of anything that might cause a conflict of interest. Whether or not I can work on your book, I respond to all queries promptly and can always provide advice for next steps.
WRITING & PERFORMANCES
I have performed four times on the Glastonbury Poetry and Words stage and on various Polari national tours, including the WOW Festival at the South Bank. I have written and performed four and a half shows at the Edinburgh Fringe and devised other original events including Hammer and Tongue Slam at Battersea Power Station, Invisible Outlaws with Laura Macdougall and The Persisters with Jacqueline Saphra. With Paula Varjack and VG Lee, I was one of the original cast members of Rosie Wilby’s The Breakup Monologues and I've performed in various musical, comedy and theatre cabaret shows including Funny Women.
From 2016 to 2019, I was the host and organiser of Below Stairs literary cabaret night at Blacks Club on Dean Street in Soho. Guests included Rosie Garland, the Antipoet, Elvis McGonagall, Amy Leon, Beverley Bie Brahic, Jacqueline Saphra, Dean Atta, Alexis Gregory and Megan Beech among others. From 2010 to 2019, I also hosted music at most of London’s member’s clubs, regularly at Black’s but also the Groucho, the Ivy, the Century Club and Soho House, as part of The Society of the Golden Slippers with Jen Roberts and Simba Max Bhebhe.
I also provide the following:
• Live poetry performances of 20-90 minutes
• Bespoke workshops for adults and young people
• Hosting literature, music and cabaret events
• Event organising and promotion
• Keynote speeches on creative writing and the publishing industry
• Interviewing authors and chairing literary panels
• Presenting and editing radio and making weekly one-hour programmes from home
IN THE PRESS
‘Exceptionally talented…magic radiates from her performances, which are captivating, moving and often hilarious too.’
“Some of Sophia Blackwell’s poems read like Nico should be singing them to John Cale’s viola, some as if Shakespeare’s slut sister taught him all he knew, others are new as the new dawn. Dirty, juicy, knowing, open-works for me.”
“As soon as I finished this raw, addictive, affectionate poetry collection, I went back to the start and read it all again.”
“Searing, sexy and profound, a stone genius poet.”
PAST RADIO SHOWS
Sophia speaks with more guests and discusses a wide range of topics