Category Archives: copy editing

The substantive editing gap at university presses

As a freelance copy editor for a university press, I’ve received the occasional manuscript that needed a substantive or structural edit – a depth of editing that copy editors are not paid to do. Copy editors are expected to do a combination of copy editing and stylistic editing, known in the Canadian market as a […]
Read More »

The Best and the Worst of Edits: Diane Schoemperlen on the editing of her memoir, This Is Not My Life

Diane Schoemperlen, the author of a dozen novels and short story collections, thought that writing a memoir would be easy. After all, she had the makings of a great story – a fraught relationship with an inmate convicted of second-degree murder – at her fingertips. What could be so hard about typing it into the […]
Read More »

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, […]
Read More »

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 […]
Read More »

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 […]
Read More »

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 […]
Read More »

Working with the Author, for the Reader

To copyedit is to confront and solve an endless series of problems, great and small. — Carol Fisher Saller Q / What could possibly be subversive about copy editors? Aren’t copy editors pinched-nosed mousy types with bifocals and buttoned-up blouses? Carol Fisher Saller, author of The Subversive Copy Editor (University of Chicago Press, 2009), thinks […]
Read More »