Is your English fit for publication? Nothing distracts a reader more than lack of attention to detail, unnecessary errors and inconsistencies. Correcting these takes time and effort.

The cleaner the work is to begin with, the cleaner it will emerge; it might even not need a second edit.

A linguistic call to arms has two premises: nobody wants to read poorly written writing, and great writing is a pleasure to read as well as good business.

Based in Cape Town, South Africa and The Hague, The Netherlands, Alphabet City is a small, tight-knit and owner-managed group of professional and first-language English editors with many years’ experience of editing academic, management, language and creative work.

We are a sister company of Stellenbosch Publishing / Ilse Evertse and Associates (The Hague).

Besides papers, book chapters, white papers, proposals and theses, we also edit case studies, PowerPoint presentations and lectures, CVs, MBA applications, reference letters and application cover letters/emails.

Alphabet City’s clients include academics, consultants, university departments, and organisations concerned with policy, science and conservation in Europe (Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland), South Korea, Taiwan, the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Our work comes to us almost exclusively via word-of-mouth, and we work on an ad hoc or a project (e.g. a book) or retainer basis.

One of our editors recently edited a paper by the micro-credit pioneer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Prof. Muhammad Yunus (Grameen Bank). We also do work for a number of sub-organisations of and individuals connected to the United Nations.

We are familiar with and have assisted a great many authors to successfully submit papers to various journals, including a prominent one that is notorious for its tough, eccentric and contradictory submission requirements.

The ideal of professional writing is 100 percent communication, the first time. We seek to ensure that every document we work on is complete, clear, concise, correct, coherent, consistent, convincing and logical.

However, we are not grammar Nazis. Although it is tempting, we don’t go around correcting errors on grocers’ signs with marker pens or correction fluid.

The fields we work in include organisation studies and management, structured finance, urban studies, architecture, statistics, education, art, anthropology, philosophy, education and the humanities.

The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can assist you. Also, don’t forget to tell us whether you require UK or U.S. English.

Please plan, and get on with the writing. Don’t wait for your muse. The worst moments in writing always occur always just before we start. After that, things inevitably get better.