A quick look at some editing roles and where you might go from here

A quick look at some editing roles and where you might go from here

Notes for a talk with an undergraduate editing class

If you like the work as you understand it so far and you’re wondering whether this might be the career for you, you’ll want to know something about the range of possibilities in the marketplace. I’ll give you a thumbnail sketch of some of the roles I’ve worked and talk briefly about where you might go from here to further prepare. Then we’ll get into a Q&A.

Editing, you say?

Editing, you say?

THE ABILITY TO SPOT A FEW CLASSES OF ERROR IS NOT NEARLY CREDENTIAL ENOUGH

When I was at a startup in the early ’90s and we were building our department, we took on as editor someone very new to the profession. She had studied design in school, and the portfolio she brought us was filled with visual pieces. But she had an ear for the language, she had a passion for reading and could parse a sentence, she was sharp and analytical, and she soon picked things up. 

The editor’s bookshelf

The editor’s bookshelf

Resource, reference, guide

The skills an editor develops over a lifetime of editing are the tools in her toolkit. Integral to developing and honing those skills are the books in her life. The books she reads for pleasure, making the rhythms of the language (or languages) intuitively her own. And the books she reads and studies specifically to learn more about how the language works.

The levels of edit

The levels of edit

SURVEYING THE EDITORIAL LANDSCAPE

You know this already, even as novice writer or editor: some text needs only a minor bit of tweaking to ready it for publication; other text might need progressively more intervention before it goes before an audience. The categories of editorial intervention — from deeper to lighter, and the tasks involved—are known as the levels of edit.