Editing Young Writers
Sometime before I turned 10, my parents “published” my first story at Staples. When I held this spiral-bound, laminated book with my own words and illustrations inside, I felt like an author. Looking back on my progress as a writer, I see my journey dotted with people who believed in me. They pushed me to […]
Alone at the Intersection of Editing and Engineering
This post is part of a new series of case studies by and for in-house editors. The focus of this series is on the personal experiences and various roles of in-house editors. A post will appear on the Editors’ Weekly every other month. If you’re interested in writing a post for this series, please email the Member Services Committee. […]
Happy Holidays and Year in Review
It’s time for our Year in Review! Check out our list of posts from 2018 and tell us your favourites in the comments. Have you ever thought of writing an article for the Editors’ Weekly? We’re looking for articles on the following topics: How you got started as an editor Events you’ve attended, such as […]
Have you seen this meme? There is no such thing as American English. There is English and there are mistakes. First appearing on Twitter in June 2014, the original tweet was tongue-in-cheek, in keeping with the account’s satirical leaning. The words have since taken on a life of their own, and the resulting memes are shared […]
Editing Technical Instructional Material: Do You Need to Be an Expert?
“How can you edit that? You don’t know anything about being an electrician.” I often heard that question and variations of it — carpenter, instrument technician, welder — in my years editing technical instructional materials for apprenticeship trades in Alberta. This is how I answered the question. I am the target audience The goal of […]
There’s No Clarity With Editors or Authors
Editors say they love words, with finding just the right phrase for the context, but, ironically, they can only fail with two terms critical to the world of publishing: “editor” and “author.” When someone says she’s an editor, you have no idea what she does. Is she the editor of a newspaper or a magazine, […]
Stepping Into the Arena
We’ve all as editors had the odd grumble over something an author has written. Maybe a string of noun clusters has pushed us to the limit of our patience, or we’ve broken down over a text awash with comma splices. It’s easy to criticize when we’re on the sidelines, though. Our problems are not the […]
Should You Only “Edit What You Know”?
Writers are often told to “write what they know.” But what about editors? Should we only take on projects that are squarely in our comfort zones? When I asked this question online, I found that many of my editing colleagues endorse the idea of editing in new areas. It’s a fantastic way to develop your […]
Should Editors Be Able to Write?
We editors talk at length about different kinds of editing and who does what, and we generally assume that we’re working on a text written by someone else. Together with the author, we massage the content, the structure and the presentation into the best possible shape for its intended readers. But should we also be […]
In My Opinion
There are a heck of a lot of opinions out there. Some days they come at you as thick as blackflies over Lac Ouareau on a July afternoon. Small, insistent opinions: some winging singly and some blackening the sky in noisy hordes. Some are meaningful and some mean well and some are just mean, but […]
The Lucky Ones
How often have I heard the comment that editors are failed writers — or, in the scholarly environment in which I work, failed academics. Even when said in jest, the underlying suggestion is that one way of interacting with words and ideas — the editor’s — is somehow inferior. Such statements also hint at a […]
Why Reading Is a Great Hobby for an Editor/Writer
The biographies of skilled communicators often reveal a lifelong, serious reading habit. I don’t think this is a coincidence. I have read constantly and voraciously since the age of five, and I give that habit (addiction?) a lot of the credit for the writing and editing skills I have developed. Reading makes you smart Those […]
What Does It Take to Start Freelancing?
If you’re just starting out as a freelancer, whether you’re a writer or an editor, keep in mind that the only way to survive is to be brutally efficient — which means you will have no social life. You should, however, get a gym membership and use it, because you’ll need to keep your energy […]
A Game-Changing Writing Exercise
As a writer, I always struggle with verbs. How many times have I used said, replied or answered? Can I think of a better verb to avoid being repetitive? Do I even need the verb? Verbs, seriously, keep me awake at night. So when I skimmed a recent online newsletter, Chuck Palahniuk’s “Thought Verbs” practically […]
The Editor’s Fedora Part 3
Now we arrive at the crucial topic of cost, and the seemingly arbitrary variations in same. Some editors are so brilliant that they really can and do charge top dollar. I know someone who can quote $5,000 for editing an 80,000-word manuscript. Before you gag on that, bear in mind that editing at that rarefied […]
The Editor’s Fedora Part 2
Okay, after Part 1, you should now have the MS nice and clean. What’s the next step? How do you find an editor? This part isn’t hard, but it’s crucial you find someone who’s right for your book. And there’s no substitute for research. Ask around. Google. If you haven’t already done so, join writers’ […]
The Editor’s Fedora Part 1
As an independent writer myself and a passionate believer in the indie ethic, I have to acknowledge one of its major downsides: a real or perceived shoddiness in the final product of self-published authors. Which is where I now switch hats and replace the bohemian beret of the writer with a more conservative form of […]