Category Archives: book review

Book Review: The Story Cure by Dinty Moore

If you’ve written a novel or memoir but haven’t been able to get it quite right – something isn’t working and you’re not sure what – reach for The Story Cure (Ten Speed Press, 2017). In this uplifting and highly readable book, Dinty Moore, a.k.a. “the book doctor,” delivers on his promise to diagnose common problems […]
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Book Review: The Business of Being a Writer

If you want to make a living as a writer, I urge to read Jane Friedman’s new book, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press, 2018). But be warned: this book is not for everyone. It is for those writers who are willing to compromise – to write “words that sell,” to invest […]
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Book Review – Arrival: The Story of CanLit

In 2018, we take it for granted that Canada has an abundance of authors with international reputations. But sixty years ago – not that long ago, really – there was no such thing as CanLit. Great authors came from elsewhere, from countries with a history, not from a northern colony. All that changed in the […]
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Book Review: What Editors Do: The Art, Craft, & Business of Book Editing

Every editor should buy this entertaining collection of essays edited by Peter Ginna. The essays cover everything from acquisitions to freelance editing, from the commercial environment of the Big Five to the literary milieu of independent publishers. See my review in The Editors’ Weekly.

Write No Matter What: Advice for Academics, by Joli Jensen

Book Review This new book is aimed at scholarly authors who struggle with writing. But to my surprise, much of Joli Jensen’s advice is translatable to any project that matters a great deal to you but that you put off doing. A professor of media studies and director of the Henneke Faculty Writing Program at […]
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Review: The Complete Canadian Book Editor, by Leslie Vermeer

I was excited by this title, a brand new book on being an editor in Canada. I thought it would be aimed at readers like me. Although I’ve never worked in-house, as an experienced freelancer and long-time student of Ryerson’s publishing program, I know a fair bit about the publishing industry. This book, I hoped, […]
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The Curious Mind of a Copy Editor

Should it be “short, balding man” or “short balding man”? “Bad hair day” or “bad-hair day”? Mary Norris, a copy editor at The New Yorker for over thirty years, relishes these sorts of editorial decisions. “If commas are open to interpretation,” she writes in her literary memoir Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, […]
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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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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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