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Seminar: Substantive editing

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…)