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Post-script: Professional Editorial Standards in action

By Michelle Waitzman

Anyone who has considered (or completed) any of the Editors Canada certifications has probably reviewed Professional Editorial Standards (PES). But how were these standards developed, and what do they have to do with the day-to-day tasks of editors and proofreaders?

Editors Toronto’s November program looked at PES through the eyes of four editors, each working at a different career stage and/or in a different editing niche. The speakers made it clear that the standards involve much more than taking tests; they are a practical and evolving guide to professional editing, which editors can use in a variety of ways.

The program started with an overview and history of PES from experienced freelance editor and instructor Elizabeth d’Anjou. Editors Canada first began discussing the standards in the early 1980s, and Elizabeth’s mother was a member of the committee that first created the standards, so Elizabeth practically grew up with them!

One of Editors Canada’s early goals was to set up a certification program so that professional editors could be easily identified (and their work properly valued) by potential clients. But before the organization could create a test for editors, it first had to define what it was testing. They considered questions such as the following: What skills are important? What tasks should editors know how to do? What kind of industry knowledge should they be expected to have? PES was created to answer these types of questions—a task that took many years and involved a number of consultations with members. The standards were not only important for informing a certification program, they were also a key tool for Editors Canada to use to raise awareness about editing as a profession and to explain what editors do.

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For 5 days only! Get 50% off all Editors Canada webinar recordings

Editors_Canada_50_percent_off_webinar_recordings

Couldn’t make it to the Editors Canada conference this past year? Can’t always get to your local branch or twig meeting or seminar? Editors Canada has you covered. Webinar recordings can be watched anytime, anywhere.

For FIVE days only, save 50 per cent on all previously recorded webinars.
Buy now for your 2019 professional development. Or, give the gift of professional development this holiday season for the editor on your list.

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A holiday get-together!

Editors Toronto members’ holiday dinner invitation

Time is running out to reserve your spot for the Editors Toronto members’ holiday dinner.

Come join your friends and colleagues in an evening of fun and celebration. Grab some food and a drink, and toast the passage of another remarkable year! Partners and friends welcome. See you there!

When: Tuesday, December 11, 2018, at 6:30 pm

Where: The Pickle Barrel, 312 Yonge St. (Yonge and Dundas)

Attendees pay for their own dinner and drinks.

RSVP by Monday, December 10, 2018.

Note: The Pickle Barrel is fully accessible, has a varied menu to accommodate food preferences, and validates parking.

For elevators: Enter through The Atrium doors (just north of The Pickle Barrel entrance on Yonge Street).

So you want to be a medical editor?

By Olga Sushinsky

AMA Manual of StyleIf you’ve ever thought about pursuing a career in medical editing, you might want to familiarize yourself with the specifics of the industry. At first, it may appear daunting, but learning this craft is perfectly doable with a little help from print and online resources, such as medical dictionaries and industry-specific style guides. If you do come from a science background, the odds of success are in your favour, but if not, you can still master medical editing. Regardless of your level of expertise, it is important to have these resources on hand.

The American Medical Association’s AMA Manual of Style 

Most likely, you will be provided with log-in access to the AMA website when you rece­­ive a medical editing gig. However, it’s also a good idea to invest in a physical copy of the AMA Manual of Style if you plan to edit medical documents long-term. It is so much easier to look up the treatment of terms, grammar points, and other peculiarities of medical writing in the physical book. The price for the book is on the higher end, but this investment might be worthwhile if you hope to make a career in medical editing. If you cannot afford the book, you can still find a few free resources on medical editing online.  The School of Pharmacy at Concordia University Wisconsin provides a document on citing references according to AMA style.

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Editors Unplugged: Get to know our panellists for Professional Editorial Standards in Action (Part II)

Interviews conducted by Catherine Dorton.

Our popular monthly program meetings often feature a jam-packed agenda. We like to keep our introductions short, so you can hear more from our panellists and less from us! It’s hard to do justice to the incredible wealth of experience these guests bring to the table, so we are offering you a preview with this short Q&A beforehand.

 

Jennifer DinsmoreJennifer Dinsmore

What were your goals when you started your career and have you reached them?

When I first started this career and got my Creative Book Publishing certificate from Humber College, I definitely saw myself as an in-house editor. But the job market didn’t make that easy. I went on to complete an internship and bounced around a bit in related roles, the longest as a publicist/proofreader for a small academic publisher. I still wanted to focus on editing, so I started a freelance editorial business three years ago. Now, my goal is to help independent and self-publishing authors prepare their books for market or to query [literary] agents. When a client tells me how much I’ve helped them, I know I’ve been successful, but it’s something I strive toward all the time.

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Editors Unplugged: Get to know our panellists for Professional Editorial Standards in Action (Part I)

Interviews conducted by Catherine Dorton.

Our popular monthly program meetings often feature a jam-packed agenda. We like to keep our introductions short, so you can hear more from our panellists and less from us! It’s hard to do justice to the incredible wealth of experience these guests bring to the table, so we are offering you a preview with this short Q&A beforehand.

 

Amy BrownAmy Brown

What were your goals when you started your career and have you reached them?

I was looking for a career that I could develop on my own time, do from home, and be intellectually engaging. Editing absolutely fit the bill on all three counts! As I’ve matured as an editor, I have learned so much about communication, respect, and empathy.

If you could pick a new profession, what would you be and why?

Funny you should ask. As of this month, I am training to become a personal and business development coach. I wanted to keep the freedom and challenge of freelance editing and add more human contact; I’m perhaps too much of an extrovert to be a full-time editor!

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Professional Editorial Standards in Action

Professional Editorial StandardsWhen: Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 7–9 PM (Please note the earlier start time, to accommodate our rescheduled business meeting.)

Where: Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) Spadina, 192 Spadina Ave., Third Floor, Room F

(Note: CSI Spadina moved across the street, to 192 Spadina Ave., as of late September 2018.)

Have you ever wondered whether your work as an editor meets the criteria set out in Editors Canada’s 2016 Professional Editorial Standards (PES) document? Have you read the standards but been left with questions about how to apply them to your own editing, or not read them and wondered what you might be missing?

Whether you’re familiar with the document or not, are new to the field or have been editing for years, or work in-house or freelance, our November program will help you gain a better understanding of the updated professional standards that were adopted by Editors Canada on October 1, 2016, and implemented on January 1, 2017. This meeting brings together four experienced editors for a panel that’s designed to take the mystery out of the standards by exploring how they work in practice.

Drawing insight and examples from their own backgrounds as practicing editors and members of various standards committees, Elizabeth d’Anjou, Amy Brown, Jennifer Dinsmore, and Laura Edlund will explore the four stages of editing covered by PES: structural editing, stylistic editing, copy editing, and proofreading. They will discuss the type of knowledge and practices that are required of all professional editors and the skills needed at each stage of editing. They will also talk about how they have applied the standards in their own work as in-house and freelance editors of Indigenous literature, fantasy and speculative fiction, educational texts, government documents, and more.

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Prize-winner learns value of mentors

By Deborah Joy Innes

I was the very lucky winner of two (yes, two!) raffle prizes at the Editors Toronto meeting in September.

The first was the book The New Vine by author Robert Marrone. There were two authors present that night (Robert Marrone and Trevor Cole), along with their editors, speaking about the author-editor relationship.

The second was the last prize of the evening: a one-hour mentoring session with Jennifer D. Foster—editor, writer, mentor, co-chair of Editors Toronto, and administrative director of Rowers Reading Series.

Embarrassed as I was to have won two prizes, the timing of the mentoring session was perfect. (The book set in Italy was also very good.) I’d recently lost my job after 10 years as an in-house copy editor, proofreader, and writer in a legal marketing and communications department. I was now in the process of setting up my freelance copy-editing business. I had many questions.

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