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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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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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Indigenous editing principles, featuring Gregory Younging and his new style guide, Elements of Indigenous Style

Elements of Indigenous Style by Gregory Younging book coverWhen: NEW TIME: Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 6:30–8 PM

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

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

For the second program meeting of 2018–19, we are excited to feature Dr. Gregory Younging, author of the new and indispensable style guide, Elements of Indigenous Style (Brush Education, 2018).

Gregory’s exciting study—move over Strunk and White—is the first comprehensive style guide on Indigenous writing. It comprises 22 editorial principles or guidelines and explains why each one is needed. The first principle stresses, in part, that Indigenous Peoples must prioritize their self-perceptions and epistemologies. And the last, on the seemingly straightforward matter of verb tense, probes the nuts and bolts of how to write responsibly about Indigenous Peoples past and present. The other 20 supply much needed advice on ensuring appropriate and respectful interaction with Indigenous cultural materials and their custodians.

In introducing his new book, Gregory has recently delivered talks and conducted workshops across Canada. Now, happily, it’s Toronto’s turn! Please join us for what will surely be an enlightening discussion of Indigenous style—a subject of vital relevance for writers, editors, and publishers today.

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Thank you to our volunteers in 2017–18!

Editors Toronto is part of a national professional association run by and for its members. Everything you see, read, and attend is organized and co-ordinated by volunteers.

During the 2017–18 season we had over 60 unique volunteers, many of them volunteering on more than one occasion. Volunteers are vital to the success of Editors Toronto. Everything we do is possible because of our volunteers. Thank you for your time, your positive attitude, and your willingness to serve this branch. This is truly a team effort.

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An evening with Michael Redhill and Martha Kanya-Forstner

By Joanne Haskins

Editors Toronto hosted a special branch meeting in January, when acclaimed author Michael Redhill took the stage with his editor, Martha Kanya-Forstner, to discuss the writing and editing of Bellevue Square, the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner.

Redhill’s novels include Consolation (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize) and Martin Sloane (a finalist for the Giller Prize). He has written a novel for young adults, four collections of poetry and two plays. Redhill also writes a series of crime novels under the name Inger Ash Wolfe and is an editor and Editors Canada member. Kanya-Forstner is editor-in-chief for both Doubleday Canada and McClelland & Stewart. Along with Redhill’s prizewinner, she’s edited David Chariandy’s novel Brother, which won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and James Maskalyk’s Life on the Ground Floor, winner of the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

There were few empty seats and the audience of writers, writing students and editors anticipated an enlightening discussion as two of the most highly regarded figures in Canadian literature today promised to reveal the ins and outs of the editor-writer working relationship. The biggest takeaway of the evening for editors was “Ask questions.”

After introductions of both Redhill and Kanya-Forstner, each discussed their process as writer/writer-editor, and editor. The respect they had for each other was evident throughout the discussion as they listened carefully to one another, built upon each other’s responses, and focused on each other’s strengths and abilities to bring the best of the writer’s words to the page. (more…)