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Melissa Larner


With nearly 30 years' experience as an editor specialising in the arts and culture, I provide services in project-editing, copy-editing and proofreading of books, magazines, catalogues, exhibition materials, academic articles and dissertations, as well as copy-writing and blurb-writing. My editing/writing skills and knowledge of modern and contemporary culture enable me to make any text elegant, error-free, factually accurate and ready for publishing.

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Open Magazines


Melissa Larner

I began my editorial career in the role of sub-editor of Frieze magazine in the mid-1990s, while also employed as Head of Press at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. Since then I've worked on a freelance basis for hundreds of publishers, journals and arts and cultural organisations, both nationally and internationally, including:


Architectural Design

Art on the Underground

Art London

Art Newspaper

Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo

Barbican Art Gallery

Berlin Biennale

Brussels Biennial

The Burlington Magazine

Castello di Rivoli, Turin

Conran Octopus

Deste Foundation, Athens


Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow

Faber & Faber

Ferens Gallery

Fotogaleriet, Oslo

Galerie Thaddeus Ropac

Goldsmiths University of London

Gwangu Biennale

Hauser & Wirth

Hayward Gallery

Henry Moore Foundation

ICA, London

Ikon Gallery


Istanbul Biennial

John Wiley Publishing



Lisson Art Gallery

Live Art Development Agency

Liverpool Biennale

MMCA, Seoul

National Gallery, London

National Portrait Gallery

Objectiv, Oslo

Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels

Office for Contemporary Art, Oslo

Phaidon Press

Prince Claus Trust

Reina Sofia, Madrid

Reykjavik Art Museum

Responsible Trust for Models


Serpentine Gallery

Sharjah Biennial

The Shed, New York

Sothebys Institute


Sternberg Press

Studio Eliasson, Berlin

Studio Kapoor

Tate Publishing

Taipei Biennial


Thames & Hudson

Thomas Dane


Wellcome Trust

Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Whitechapel Art Gallery

Yale University Press

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Home: Testimonials

'For many years, the curatorial team at the Serpentine Galleries and I have relied on Melissa's sensitive, precise and knowledgable approach to editing texts relating to the visual arts. Melissa is one of the best text editors in Europe.'

Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries

'Melissa is the perfect editor –she understands the brief immediately, is able to tease out the essence of what writers want to say while maintaining their voice, and she's incredibly fast. It doesn't get any better than this.'

Dame Julia Peyton-Jones, DBE

Senior Global Director: Special Projects, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London, and

Visiting Professor, School of Arts and Humanities, Royal College of Art, London

'I've worked with Melissa for many years and have come to depend on her clear brain. She has a stunning capacity to see order in written chaos, together with an admirable style on paper that enables her both to improve and respect the prose of an author.' 

Michele Robecchi
Commissioning Editor,
Contemporary Art
Phaidon Press

'Melissa is an outstanding editor. Her text editing is accurate, swift and sensitive to the writing style and thought processes of authors. Art isn't an easy subject to articulate with precision, which is why so many people rely on her thoroughness and encouragement.'

Emma Ridgway, Head of Programme and Chief Curator, Modern Art Oxford 

'Melissa is a terrific editor – an imaginative commissioner and a deft and thorough copy editor. I highly recommend her.'

James Peto, Head of Programme, Wellcome Collection

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‘Having worked with Melissa for over a decade on art books large and small, I’ve always found her to be a highly skilled and experienced copy-editor. She’s someone I would particularly turn to for those unwieldy raw manuscripts that need substantial work, but I also respect her ability to do the lightest of jobs where this might be required. She always meets deadlines and communicates promptly and effectively. I would recommend her unreservedly.’ 

Rebecca Morrill
Commissioning Editor (Art)
Phaidon Press

 ‘I’ve worked with Melissa over many years, when I was at the Serpentine Gallery and more recently at Liverpool Biennial. She’s a thoughtful and precise editor and can clarify and edit a wide range of material from complex academic texts to interviews and interpretation. She makes writing accessible to a range of audiences and works very efficiently to meet deadlines. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.’

Sally Tallant


Liverpool Biennial

'Melissa is a brilliant and efficient editor and writer who has a deep understanding and knowledge of international contemporary art.'

Gunnar B Kvaran, Director, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo

'I really appreciate Melissa's work – it's like a blurry photograph suddenly becoming sharp and clear, or when somebody who's under water surfaces and you can see them for real.’


Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen

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