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No editor is an island: The follow-up

Editors drink Wine too!

Editors drink Wine too!


by Carol Harrison

It was a dark and stormy night when I met with fellow editors at Editors Toronto’s coffee-shop event last week at Boxcar Social. We were a small group with varying levels of experience and comfort with social media. These meetings are a great way to alleviate the isolation that sometimes comes from working from home. Plus, it’s good to see the real-life faces behind the online names!

Janet MacMillan and I are both active on social media, with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogging. Marg Anne Morrison and Alicia Peres, not so much. Admittedly, these platforms can be time-consuming, but they also help you connect with people who you would most likely never meet, especially if they live abroad.

Marg Anne raised the question of what “working remotely” meant. We agreed that it most often means working from home. However, there are those who work in remote regions or rural towns, which underscores the role social media plays.

Alicia said it was good to talk shop without having to explain yourself. That’s why editor meetups are so good! They’re not so much to learn something as they are to let off a bit of work-related steam.

Having drained our wine and drunk our beer (kudos to Boxcar for having Dieu du Ciel and making me one happy editor), it was time to return home. For me, it was good to meet people and reconnect with colleagues.

If you couldn’t make it out, we hope to see you at the our next event: “Oh, the Places You’ll Go: A Bookstore Crawl” on November 19, 2016.

Carol Harrison is editor-in-chief of BoldFace and freelance editor and writer at Muse Ink. When she isn’t focusing on words, she’s focusing her Nikon D3200.

This article was copy edited by Nicole Osbourne James.

Becoming an academic editor: one year later

By Nicole M. Roccas

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Nearly a year ago, I decided to strike out on my own and become a freelance academic editor.

It wasn’t a hasty decision—I was about to finish my PhD in history and had been considering career options for several years. During that time, I took on small, short-term copy editing jobs I found through friends or online job sites. Editing, I found, came naturally and complemented my tendency to be fastidious with written language.

Nonetheless, when I finally launched my own editing business, I encountered a steep learning curve. As I reflect on the past year, here’s what I’ve learned—and continue to learn.

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Ask Aunt Elizabeth: Help me navigate the stormy seas of financial insecurity!

By Elizabeth d’Anjou

Looking for advice on editing the editing life? Whether you’re a beginner looking for tips on starting out or an old hand looking for another perspective, veteran editor Aunt Elizabeth is ready to address your queries. Submit them to [email protected]—you may find the answers you are looking for in next month’s column.

Ask Aunt Elizabeth: Help me navigate the stormy seas of financial insecurity!

(1) Dear Aunt Elizabeth,

I’m a freelance copy editor in my early 30s, with a partner who also freelances, albeit in another field. We want to start a savings account and eventually a family, but due to the feast-or-famine nature of our work, we are not sure about where to start. What approach should we use to set aside money for the future amidst financial uncertainty?

Sincerely,

My Clock Is Ticking

Dear Clock,

No wonder I never had kids—given the huge frustration I recall early in my career of just trying to plan a modest vacation (when I had the time I never had any money to spare, and when I had a bit of money I never had any time). I couldn’t even have imagined trying to arrange for a maternity leave. Since then, the government has introduced an EI maternity leave option for self-employed Canadians, but its restrictions are such that its appeal is severely limited.

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Ask Aunt Elizabeth: To freelance or not to freelance?

By Elizabeth d’Anjou

Looking for advice on editing the editing life? Whether you’re a beginner looking for tips on starting out or an old hand looking for another perspective, veteran editor Aunt Elizabeth is ready to address your queries. Submit them to [email protected]—you may find the answers you are looking for in next month’s column.

Ask Aunt Elizabeth: To freelance or not to freelance?

(1) Dear Aunt Elizabeth,

I’m thinking of becoming a freelance editor. I’ve worked in-house for many years as an editor at several different magazines, and I’m currently an in-house editor at a major publishing house. I love being an editor, but I yearn to be my own boss. What kind of person do you think it takes to be a freelancer, and can you kindly list a few of the pros and cons of running your own freelance editing business?

Sincerely,
Contemplating in Cabbagetown

Dear Contemplating,

I wouldn’t trade my freelance life for any job on earth, but self-employment isn’t for everyone. How can you tell if it’s for you? Well, that yearning to be your own boss is a big indicator that you might be well suited to freelancing; not taking orders from anyone is the biggest appeal for me. (As God is my witness, I will never again have to redo work—or, worse, ask an author to—because of my manager’s poor decisions!) (more…)

The Nitpicker’s Nook: May’s linguistic links roundup

The Nitpicker’s Nook is a monthly collection of language-related articles, interviews, and blog posts from around the Web. If you read something that would make a good addition, email your suggestion to [email protected].

The Nitpicker's NookBy Robin Marwick

  • PerfectIt, a popular Word add-in that helps you edit faster and more consistently, has just released its third version. Adrienne Montgomerie’s review of PerfectIt 3’s pros and cons may help experienced users decide whether they want to upgrade — and fence-sitters like me decide whether to finally take the plunge. (The Editors’ Weekly)
  • The self-publishing boom is creating a growing niche for independent editors and designers. Simon Owens interviews two editors who have succeeded in the world of indie publishing. (PBS MediaShift)
  • Of course, “traditional” publishers haven’t gone away; in fact, they’re contracting out more work than ever. For editors who are interested in pursuing freelance work with publishers, Louise Harnby has some guidelines for writing “cold” cover letters. (Louise Harnby)

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By the Book: Freelance editor, writer, and media consultant Tina Anson Mine’s reading highlights

 Tina Anson MineInterview conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

Have you ever wondered what fellow editors like to read? We have, too. In our interview series “By the Book,” we get the inside scoop on editors’ all-time favourite books, their top style guides, and what their alternate-universe careers would be.

Tell us about your current job as a freelancer, Tina, plus a little-known quirky fact about you.

I primarily edit books these days, though the first phase of my editing career was in magazines. For the last year, I’ve focused mainly on the substantive editing of cookbooks and health-and-nutrition books. I’ve also worked on a couple of health-oriented recipe books that have an element of crafting to them, such as a handmade soap book and a homemade herbal remedies book. The latter two combined some of my favourite skills, because I adore both words and crafts.

It’s probably not a little-known fact about me—because I yap about it all the time to my family, friends, and fellow crafters—but I love to knit and quilt. What’s quirky is my taste in projects. At the moment, I’m knitting a replica of the wicked Cowichan-style cardigan that Jeff Bridges wore in The Big Lebowski. My biggest coup, however, was a punctuation-themed quilt that a fellow editor and I made for another editor’s little boy. And I’m not afraid to toot my own horn: it was spectacular!

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By the Book: Freelance editor and author Charis Cotter’s book highlights

Charis CotterInterview conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

Have you ever wondered what fellow editors like to read? We have, too. In our interview series “By the Book,” we get the inside scoop on editors’ all-time favourite books, their top style guides, and what their alternate-universe careers would be.

Tell us about your current job, Charis, plus a little-known quirky fact about you.

I juggle my work as a freelance editor with writing children’s books, doing storytelling and writing workshops in schools, and reviewing children’s books. This fall, I’ve been focusing on promoting my new novel, The Swallow: A Ghost Story, and that morphed into telling ghost stories on radio, on TV, and in schools. Ghosts are my thing—Newfoundland ghosts, in particular. I encourage students to collect traditional ghost stories from their families, and we use them to work on storytelling and writing. It’s very rewarding, but I really appreciate the relative quiet calm of editing and writing when the dust settles.

Quirky? Not a lot of people know that I like to memorize and recite poetry out loud while I am walking the wild coastline near my house on Conception Bay, Newfoundland. I prefer poems by my favourite rhyming poets—Shakespeare, Yeats, Wordsworth, and Longfellow, to name a few. It helps to distract me from thinking about how hard it is to get up the next rocky hill. I love learning a poem this way. I really get inside it by saying it over and over, and by the time I’ve memorized it, I understand it. The rhythms of walking and reciting poetry go very well together. I highly recommend it. As long as you don’t meet other people on your walks. That can be embarrassing.

What is your all-time favourite book and why? (more…)

By the Book: Freelance editor and author Janice Weaver’s reading highlights

WeaverQ&A conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

Have you ever wondered what fellow editors like to read? We have, too. In our interview series, “By the Book,” we get the inside scoop on editors’ all-time favourite books, their top style guide, and what their alternate-universe career would be.

Tell us about your current job, Janice, plus a little-known quirky fact about you.

For many years now (too many to mention!), I have worked as a Toronto-based freelance trade editor. I do all kinds of editorial work—structural editing, copy editing, and proofreading, as well as project management—on fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books, and I teach a copy editing course in the Ryerson publishing program. In my spare time, I also write non-fiction books for younger readers.

A quirky fact, eh? Don’t travel with me! Something bad always happens when I travel—one airline went bankrupt, my pocket was picked, a hurricane struck. Probably the wildest one was in New Orleans, where a bolt of lightning travelled down the chimney and came out the fireplace four feet from where I was having my morning coffee. It was one of the most frightening experiences of my life!

What is your all-time favourite book and why?

Well, like any book lover, I’d say this is an impossible question to answer. It’s kind of like asking a parent to name his or her favourite child! There are many, many writers whose work I greatly admire, of course, but I read different authors at different times for different reasons.

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