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Editors Unplugged: Get to know our panellists for Breaking Down Barriers to a Career in Editing

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.  

This month, we are honoured to be joined by Jessica De Bruyn, Gagandeep Bimbh, and Ronan Sadler. We were able to sit down with two of this month’s panellists for this Q&A. Meet all three panellists in person at this month’s program meeting on May 28.

Jessica De Bruyn 

Experience: A noun or a verb? Discuss.

Because I am in job hunting mode, my first instinct is to say noun. But I think that it can be a very ominous word in that context because it is difficult to know what employers or contractors are really looking for. However, I like it more as a verb because it highlights that it’s better to just get out there and do something. Whether it’s volunteering or starting your own project, it’s more about experiencing different things than it is about getting the “right” experience.

What is something you’re proud of in your working life?

Probably that I haven’t quit! Establishing a business as a freelancer has definitely not been easy. There were lots of times when I was working more than forty-hour weeks at joe jobs just to make ends meet and was wondering why I was doing this to myself. But eventually a manuscript would come in and I’d get to dive into this world that I loved so much, and I’d see myself getting a little closer to my goals. It is one step forward, one step back sometimes, though.

What was your favourite childhood character from a book/TV/film?

Cinderella. I was completely obsessed with the Disney movie from the time I was about three. I drove my entire family nuts watching it, making them read me the book, singing around the house, and pretending I was she. When I was seven, the list of characters I was infatuated with grew after The Little Mermaid came out, followed by Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. I am still a devoted Disney Kid for life. Actually, I’m leaving on Friday for a week at Disney World.

Gagandeep Bimbh

Experience: A noun or a verb? Discuss.

The issue of experience is unnerving for beginners. The heart of it is that traditional hiring conventions have conditioned recruiters to make assumptions about newcomers [to Canada], less experienced editors, and diverse editors without giving them an opportunity to show what they can do. Sometimes, these assumptions reinforce harmful cultural stereotypes about people whose first language is not English. From my personal experience, you’re asked questions that have nothing to do with your editing skill set, which makes you wonder whether you ever had a chance to begin with. This experience is all very exhausting and unbecoming, but nevertheless shapes reality for entry-level candidates, especially those from diverse cultural backgrounds.

What is something you’re proud of in your working life?

I’m proud of the decisions I made while training in the craft—I chose a clear niche and a clear medium that structured my learning through courses and books that helped me edit better, whether they were e-learning courses or case studies. It’s only growth from here.

What was your favourite childhood character from a book/TV/film?

Jim Carrey in The Mask. No one else made me laugh as much as he or his dubs (in the animated version) did.

More About Our Panellists

Gagandeep BimbhGagandeep Bimbh is a digital content strategist and editor who’s currently handling content initiatives at Digitally Savvy Inc. He is a student in Humber College’s Professional Writing and Communications program. Before immigrating to Canada last fall, he worked in Mumbai, specializing in cross-platform marketing content and editing niche communications material. His editorial career began as a copy editor at a start-up communications firm in Mumbai, where he worked through a diverse portfolio including branded and marketing content, educational and interactive learning content, and employer branding content. During his undergraduate years, he worked as an editor in the youth wing of a Rotary Club in Mumbai, editing and publishing interest-based stories on the English language, youth issues, and personal narratives.

Jessica De BruynJessica De Bruyn has been working as a freelance editor for three years, mostly concentrating on fiction manuscript evaluations and agent/publisher submission packages. She is a graduate of the Vancouver Film School’s Writing for Film, Television and Alternative Media program (now called Writing for Film, Television & Games) and holds degrees in theatre and music performance. Jessica is currently completing Ryerson University’s Publishing Certificate Program and the University of Toronto’s Creative Writing Certificate Program. She recently became the Editor-in-Residence for the So You Want to Write writers’ group and is a Senior Editor at The Rights Factory. She is also serving her fourth year as a judge for the Ink & Insights Writing Contest.

Ronan SadlerRonan Sadler is a freelance editor specializing in developmental and line editing for popular fiction and memoir. They are currently a freelance acquiring editor with Harlequin’s Carina Press, where their focus is on expanding the diversity of the list. They co-edited Speculative Masculinities, an anthology that is forthcoming from Galli Books and that uses speculative fiction to explore alternative visions of masculinity. Before joining Carina, Ronan interned with two New York–based YA agents, where they worked on client manuscripts, some of which went on to secure major pre-empt deals. Ronan has a master’s degree in Critical Disability Studies from York University in Toronto. Their academic research focused on storytelling and life narrative in the context of medical trauma, and their work on environmental imperialism and war contaminants was published in the collected volume Disability Studies and the Environmental Humanities (University of Nebraska Press, 2017).

This article was copy edited by Lexie Hofer.


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