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By Michelle Waitzman
Can you tell whether a book was written by a man or a woman, based only on the words the author used? Is the road to hell (or at least to bad writing) paved with adverbs, as Stephen King once claimed? Do American authors write “louder” than British authors? If you’re intrigued by these questions, Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve will satisfy your curiosity.
Author Ben Blatt uses data journalism to apply statistical analysis to a wide variety of topics. In this book, literary works and bestselling fiction are subjected to his big-data approach, often with surprising results. While this isn’t meant to be an instructional book by any stretch of the imagination, writers and editors might find some of the takeaways applicable to their own work. His statistics on sentence length, repetition, gender balance, and other topics may give readers some additional things to think about when they write or evaluate a novel. But generally, Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve is simply an interesting and unusual way to look at writing.
By Summer Cowley
As an editor with editor friends, I find myself often reading works by authors who use citation styles other than the ones I regularly use in my own writing. Even though I become more comfortable with different styles every time I see them, many styles are unfamiliar in my APA-dominated world of the social sciences. Many times, I have wished there were an easier and more reliable way to quickly learn citation styles than running internet searches. Luckily, I’ve recently found Cite Right: A Quick Guide to Citation Styles—MLA, APA, Chicago, the Sciences, Professions, and More (2018) by Charles Lipson.
Cite Right is a short book (180 pages) in which Lipson provides summary explanations and examples of many citation styles. The book is divided into two general sections: “Citations: An Overview,” which contains introductory material and a general explanation of the practice of citing, and “Citations in Every Format: A Quick Guide,” which addresses Chicago/Turabian, MLA, APA, CSE, AMA, ACS, AIP for physics/astrophysics/astronomy, and mathematics/computer science/engineering citation styles.
When: Tuesday, February 26, 7–9:30 PM (Please note the earlier start time, to accommodate our business meeting.)
Where: Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) Spadina, 192 Spadina Ave., Third Floor, Room F
Robert A. Heinlein first used the term “speculative fiction” in 1947 to describe the highest aspiration of science fiction. Over time, the term has expanded to include other genres, including fantasy and horror, as well as derivatives and hybrids. As an umbrella genre in which worlds are often built from scratch rather than patterned after our own, speculative fiction has provided fertile ground for social and political critique. It has also evolved to support a diversity of voices, though expanding the representational repertoire of speculative fiction remains a concern.
Join Editors Toronto on February 26 to hear four seasoned writers and editors discuss their experiences with the genre. Toronto’s Jen Frankel, JF Garrard, Dominik Parisien, and Drew Hayden Taylor will talk about various topics, including
- the expanding role of Indigenous Voice in genre fiction (Drew Hayden Taylor);
- the pressures of representation within texts and in relation to the broader publishing industry (Dominik Parisien);
- the realities of indie publishing, crowdfunding, editing, and world building (Jen Frankel and JF Garrard);
- the lessons learned from panels on writing and pop culture about the need for diverse stories in literature, film, and media (Jen Frankel and JF Garrard); and
- strategies for supporting authors of different backgrounds and identities while keeping their voices intact throughout the editing process (Jen Frankel).
Learn about setting rates (and raising them) from long-time freelancers at the PWAC Toronto February seminar. Note, Editors Toronto members are eligible to receive the PWAC Partners discount.
Date: Monday, February 25, 2019
Time: 7:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.)
Location: Miles Nadal JCC, Room 318 (third floor)
Why is talking about freelance pay rates and money in general so challenging? In this seminar, we ask long-time freelancers to share advice on how they’ve set their rates and how they’ve raised them over the years.
- Carol J. Anderson, an editor, proofreader, researcher, and writer for the private sector, non-profits, and government
- Allan Britnell, freelance writer and editor and past-president of the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors
- Diane Peters, a writer and editor who has covered a variety of topics for national publications and also teaches writing at Ryerson University
- Suzanne (Sue) Bowness (seminar moderator), a long-time freelance writer/editor and writing teacher
To learn more about the seminar and the speakers, visit pwactoronto.org.
As always, PWAC Toronto evening seminars are FREE for PWAC members, and while non-members who register online in advance receive a discount.
The organizers ask that you please register in advance so they know how many people to expect.
Recommended reading: Sue Bowness shares a preview of our seminar topic in her latest Networds Blog post.
Indigenous editing principles, featuring Gregory Younging and his new style guide, Elements of Indigenous Style
When: 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.