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By Berna Ozunal
This year, 591 people travelled to St. Petersburg, Florida, for the annual American Copy Editors Society (ACES) conference held from March 23 to 25 at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront Hotel—the second-highest attendance ever.
I went to St. Pete’s for a few reasons this year: I enjoyed last year’s conference in Portland and learned a lot, I seriously needed to “defrost,” and I was presenting a session.
Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, St. Petersburg has a population of just over 250,000. From the Tampa International Airport, it’s just a 30-minute taxi or shuttle ride to the hotel.
I was told that March is the perfect time to travel to Florida, and it’s true. With highs between 24ºC and 28ºC, you are transported to another dimension—one where people do not walk around half the year swaddled like mummies in wool and down. (more…)
This seminar is a hands-on workshop in which you’ll edit actual short manuscripts; the instructor will review the edits in detail with the group, discussing the reasoning behind various edits, alternative choices, and techniques. Throughout the course of the day, you’ll work on several different types of documents, practise using key resources such as dictionaries and style guides, create and follow style sheets, write queries to the author, and discuss the merits of specific editing choices with fellow attendees and the instructor. The session will also include a review of key copy editing guidelines, advice on finding information as you edit, and plenty of pro tips.
You are encouraged to bring
• a laptop computer with word-processing software (paper copies of manuscripts will also be provided) and
• a copy of the second edition of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, if you have one.
Note: This session is not for beginners. Attendees should be graduates of a copy editing course or have equivalent skills and experience (such as editing under the supervision of a senior copy editor for six months or more). Further, attendees should know how to create style sheets and write author queries. (more…)
Substantive editing, also known as structural editing, focuses on the content, organization, and presentation of an entire text, from the title through to the ending. Substantive editors help writers define their goals, identify their readers, and shape the manuscript in the best possible way. They clarify the argument, fix the pacing, suggest improvements, and draw missing pieces from the author. These essential skills apply to fiction and non-fiction alike, including books, magazines, reports, legal decisions, and corporate and government writing of all kinds. They are equally useful for writers, too, as they revise their final drafts to submit to literary agents or publishers or to self-publish through Amazon, Google, or other platforms on the web.
Substantive editing is the first step in the editing or revising process, and there is no point in copy editing a text that needs substantive work. This seminar outlines the basic steps in substantive editing, offers tips on ways to win writers’ and clients’ confidence, and provides realistic in-class exercises. Enjoy a stimulating discussion, practise your skills, and return home with a fine handout.
Please note that this is Rosemary’s last seminar with Editors Toronto, after offering her expertise to the association for more than 20 years. Take advantage of this, your last opportunity to benefit from her extensive knowledge and experience. (more…)
Any good editor will tell you she’d be lost without her well-thumbed, heavily flagged, and coffee-stained copy of The Chicago of Manual of Style. But just what is this mysterious tome? And why is it so critical to the work we do?
This seminar will introduce you to the joys and sorrows of the book that most people simply call Chicago. We’ll start with a brief history of its publication, exploring how it grew from what was essentially a guide for compositors into the most trusted and widely used editorial style manual in North America. But the fun won’t stop there! We’ll also look at what it covers, how to use it, what has changed between the most recent edition and the previous one, and much, much more.
This course is highly recommended for anyone just starting to work as an editor or hoping to become one. (more…)
Taxes can be like monsters under your bed: they’re scary because you don’t know what lurks there. This seminar takes the fear away by taking the mystery away. In three entertaining hours, you’ll learn how to reduce your tax bill and keep the Canada Revenue Agency happy at the same time. Learn which expenses are allowed, what it means to incorporate or register for the GST/HST, and how to avoid the pitfalls that get the CRA steamed.
We’ll cover the advantages and responsibilities that come with being a freelancer and running your own business. By the end of this seminar, you’ll feel confident about your taxes, and, with the worry off your mind, you’ll be ready to devote more of your mental energy to what you do best: your work! (more…)
Whether you work in-house or freelance, on fiction, non-fiction, or textbooks, you’ll sometimes be asked to decide if a manuscript is publishable. Even more intimidating, you’ll be asked to comment on how to make it publishable. If you’re new in publishing, you’ll likely be asked to take care of the slush pile. What do you look for? How do you organize the evaluation? If you are a freelancer, how much do you charge? And how do you gently tell a writer to consider another career (more…)
Editing picture books for children is a uniquely creative undertaking. Children’s book editors need to understand how words and pictures work together to tell a story, so they must possess not only a facility for language but also an appreciation for illustration and a keen eye for design.
This seminar will introduce you to some of the special skills needed to edit picture books, with a particular focus on the relationship between the editor and the illustrator. We’ll take a close look at the process of creating these types of children’s books, from concept to illustration roughs to final layouts. How does this work differ from other types of editing? What kind of feedback should the editor offer the illustrator? What roles do type, layout, and other design choices play? How do you know where the page breaks go, and how can those decisions support the storytelling?
In this seminar, you’ll get a thorough overview of this unique area of book publishing. (more…)