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Interview conducted by Arija Berzitis.
A career as an editor is often a solo adventure, especially if you’re a freelancer. So we thought one way to better connect with fellow editors was to ask them the Five Ws: who, what, where, when, and why. Read on for some thought-provoking, enlightening tidbits from those of us who choose to work with words to earn our keep.
Please tell us a little about yourself, the kind of work you do (and where you live), and how long you’ve been an editor.
I’ve worked as a copy editor in Toronto for over 30 years, mainly for magazines: Toronto Life, Azure, and The Walrus, both in-house and freelance. I received a National Magazine Award as co-winner for best editorial package in The Walrus, a rare honour for a copy editor. I started out typing manuscripts on octuplicate carbon paper at Maclean’s, took a job at TV Guide as editorial secretary, got promoted to copy editor, and earned my master’s at UOTJ (University on the Job). Once I found my niche, I chose to specialize and hone my skills rather than climb up the editorial hierarchy. Except for internships, which don’t provide the same intensive hands-on training, those entry-level positions no longer exist. That long arc gave me a foundation in print production and took me from the introduction of desktop publishing all the way up to electronic editing today. Since 2001, I’ve been freelancing full time for a diverse range of clients, from marketing departments and custom content firms to government agencies, non-profits, and academic presses. I’m “content agnostic,” which means I can edit pretty much anything for publication.