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Editor for life: Marnie Lamb, freelance editor, indexer, and writer

Interview conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

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 W5: 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.

Marnie Lamb
 

Please tell us a little about yourself, Marnie, the kind of work you do, and how long you’ve been an editor.

My first paid editing job was at the, then named, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, in Hull, Quebec. I was hired during the summer when I was doing my master’s degree in English literature. (I won’t tell you how many years ago that was!) The job was quite a coup for a student, considering that most of my classmates stacked books at Chapters or worked as teaching assistants in mandatory English courses for unruly engineering students.

After I graduated, I left Indian Affairs and pursued other goals over the next few years (including a second master’s degree, this one a combined creative writing and English literature program). I then worked for a year as an editor for a professor at the University of Ottawa before moving to Toronto. I freelanced for a few months and then landed a position as a catalogue editor for an advertising agency that produced all of Sears’s advertising. I remained in that job over five years before making one of the best decisions of my life in September 2009, when I left the agency to start my own freelance editing business, Ewe Editorial Services.

Since then, I’ve completed a Publishing certificate at Ryerson University and watched my business blossom. I work mainly in book publishing, with scholarly, educational, and trade publishers. My specialties are permissions research, indexing, copy editing, and proofreading. Like most other freelancers, I love the variety and the freedom that comes with being my own boss.

Outside of editing, I have many hobbies and not enough time to pursue them! My passion is writing fiction. Several of my short stories have been published in Canadian literary journals. My first book, a preteen/teen novel named The History of Hilary Hambrushina, has just been published by Iguana Books, the publishing company of Editors Canada past president Greg Ioannou. (more…)

The Twelve Days of Editing

Holiday Tree Lights by Carol Harrison

Photo by Carol Harrison

By Jennifer D. Foster

Here’s a little twist on the holiday classic “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to get us all in the festive spirit!

On the first day of editing, my true love gave to me: a brand-new dictionary.

On the second day of editing, my true love gave to me: two Tylenol and a brand-new dictionary.

On the third day of editing, my true love gave to me: three boxes of herbal tea, two Tylenol, and a brand-new dictionary.

On the fourth day of editing, my true love gave to me: four spiffy writing journals, three boxes of herbal tea, two Tylenol, and a brand-new dictionary. (more…)

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

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

By Savanna Scott Leslie

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

  • That’s a wrap on the 2016 Editors Canada conference in Vancouver! Paul Cipywnyk shared his photos from the event so you can relive those memories, or see what you missed. (Flickr)
  • Across the pond, the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) held a professional development day for fiction editors. Editor Liz Jones discusses some takeaways from the big day. (Eat Sleep Edit Repeat)
  • Brexit: the fun new portmanteau that everyone’s worrying about. And if, like me, you edit in the finance world, you’ve probably seen the term a lot. Linguist Mark Liberman muses on different pronunciations of the trendy word in John Oliver’s must-see Brexit segment from Last Week Tonight, which you can watch within the article. I’m in the [‘brɛk.sɪt] camp. What about you? (Language Log)
  • Perhaps all the complaints about “females” in pop culture have put you off the word entirely and you’ve begun to use “women” as an adjective instead. You wouldn’t be alone. Mignon Fogarty weighs in on the practice, and the sexism that may have caused it, before sharing a practical suggestion. (Grammar Girl)
  • How much do you consider syntax in your edits? Emma Darwin explores the “rhythm, reason, and rhyme” behind strong sentences. (The Itch of Writing: The Blog)
  • As I’ve been learning from Alec Ross’s The Industries of the Future (2016), automation and mechanization will quickly reshape the economic landscape. These changes should improve our health and increase leisure time—but they’ll also allow companies to drastically cut jobs. Stay calm! A recent report suggests writing and editing jobs in Canada are unlikely to be automated in the next 10 to 20 years. (The Globe and Mail)

Savanna Scott Leslie is an editor and publishing consultant based in Hamilton, Ontario. She’s also a new and enthusiastic co-coordinator of Editors Hamilton-Halton, though she can’t help but shudder at the word co-coordinator.

This article was copy edited by Joe Cotterchio-Milligan.

Editor for Life: Lianne George, editor-in-chief at Chatelaine

Interview conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

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 W5: 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.

Editor for Life: Lianne George, editor-in-chief at Chatelaine

Lianne, please tell us a little about yourself, the kind of work you do, and how long you’ve been an editor.

I’ve been an editor for 15 years. Currently, I’m the editor-in-chief of Chatelaine, which is very much my dream job. Prior to this, I was the editor of The Grid, a weekly Toronto magazine owned by Torstar. Over the years, I’ve worked for a range of publications, including Maclean’s, Canadian Business, ELLE Canada, and the National Post.

Who: If you could edit one famous author, living or dead, who would it be?

This is a very tough question. It’s hard to contemplate the possibility that my favourite writers—Haruki Murakami, Mariam Toews, Edith Wharton, Joan Didion, George Saunders, Alice Munro, etc.—would have required any help from me. So just for the hell of it, I would pick either Caitlin Moran or P.G. Wodehouse, both of whom really make me laugh. Or Jane Austen, whose manuscripts I would enjoy immersing myself in for long stretches of time. It might be an opportunity to ask her, do these feisty heroines always have to get married? What would happen if one or two of them didn’t get married? (I might be fired.) (more…)

Editor for Life: Nita Pronovost, editorial director at Simon & Schuster Canada

Interview conducted by Jennifer D. FosterNita P.

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 W5: 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.

Nita, please tell us a little about yourself, the kind of work you do, how long you’ve been an editor, etc.

I’ve been editorial director at Simon & Schuster Canada since February 2015. Prior to that, I was a senior editor at Penguin Random House Canada. I acquire, develop, and edit non-fiction, commercial and historical fiction, and promising debut novelists. Authors I have worked with include Paula Hawkins, Roberta Rich, Eva Stachniak, Joy Fielding, Linwood Barclay, Kevin O’Leary, Alan Doyle, Russell Peters, and, more recently, Robert Rotenberg, Iain Reid, Robert Bateman, Jody Mitic, and Andrew Pyper. (more…)