Book Review: The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

A curious mind probing for truth may well set your scribbling ass free. Poet, writing instructor, and author of three memoirs, Mary Karr has been messing around with memoir all her life. Messy – that pretty much describes her approach to writing and teaching. “I’m a passionately messy teacher,” she writes. And, no surprise, her book […]
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Book Review: Editorial Niches

When Editors Canada decided to update Editing Canadian English, now in its third edition, the twenty-four authors and their team of editors generated so much material that they decided to create a companion volume, Editorial Niches. What’s in it? Editorial Niches consists of two long chapters, each divided into many subsections with report-style enumeration to preserve […]
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Preparing for Certification … No More

Here I am making a fool of myself in public. Two weeks ago, I announced that I would study for the Editors Canada copy-editing exam coming up in November 2015 and blog about what I’m learning. Today, I’m announcing that I’m not taking the exam. The idea is just too stressful. And it’s only August. […]
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Preparing for Certification: Week 2

This week I assessed what I know about “the fundamentals of publishing” by doing Part A of the copy-editing practice test. I went to the library to write the test. I work at home, and I’ve decided that I need to get out of the house to study. So this week I began what I […]
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Preparing for Editors Canada Certification: Week One

For the next 14 weeks, I will be studying for the Editors Canada copy editing test on November 14. I haven’t actually signed up for the test. I hope that if I blog about studying, I will actually study and take the test. I learn by writing. I figure I will have to study three […]
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IF I WERE THE EDITOR …

A Song for Nettie Johnson, by Gloria Sawai Regina: Coteau Books, 2001. 296 pp. This collection of literary short stories won the Governor General’s award for fiction in Canada in 2001. The stories are loosely connected by a sense of place – small towns on the Canadian prairies – and by recurring images of light […]
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Why editorial freelancers need a business plan

Being a freelance editor isn’t just about words. It’s also about wages. In Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers: A Guide for New Starters, Louise Harnby leads people with no prior experience in publishing through the steps involved in setting up a business. Harnby is the owner of a proofreading business, an advanced member of the […]
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A Review of Fiction Editing Courses

Over the past four years or so, I’ve taken three fiction editing courses online. Here are my thoughts and recommendations. Trade Books: Fiction (CDPB 306) Ryerson University From this seven-week course I learned how to read and think like an editor, not like an English major (which I was). The course provided an overview of the […]
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Anent The Editor’s Companion

I’m loath to give a negative review, but I’m uninspired by The Editor’s Companion (Writer’s Digest Books, 2014) by Steve Dunham. The book rehearses rules that I already know and fails to provide a coherent approach to editing. To be fair, perhaps the book isn’t aimed at experienced editors; it certainly isn’t aimed at editors who […]
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IF I WERE THE EDITOR…

The Master, by Colm Tóibín Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2004 In good novels, we experience an intimacy with characters that we don’t have with people in real life. I can’t get inside someone’s mind and know their thoughts and feelings, no matter how well I think I know the person. Even in close relationships, we […]
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