Honoring Amy Einsohn
She told me a few years ago that her book was developed from the copyediting course she taught at the University of California, Berkeley’s Copyediting program. She said that when she was first teaching in the program in the 1980s, the only required text was The Chicago Manual of Style.
“Chicago didn’t have enough of the mundane how-to information [copyeditors need]. So every semester my pile of handouts grew,” she told me. Finally, she put her handouts together, expanded them, and The Copyeditor’s Handbook was born. UC Berkeley and San Diego both now require the handbook in all three of their copyediting courses.
Amy was a generous editor. She readily shared her knowledge of copyediting and the industry. In addition to her book and teaching, she was an active member of at least one copyediting forum. And if you were lucky enough to be able to speak with her, virtually or in person, she was generous with her answers to any questions you had. And she was humble about it all. She always gave me the impression of being grateful that people found her sharing worthwhile.
Editors tend to be a quiet lot. Let’s face it: most of our work is done in our heads. If you’re not one of the lucky ones to work on a team of editors, you can feel isolated.
I’m grateful that the Internet in general and social media in particular lets editors escape from their heads and get to know one another. Amy wrote a wonderful resource, but the Internet let her share herself with us, and we are richer for it.
In honor of Amy, take a moment today to say thank you to another editor who makes a difference in your work and your life. Introduce yourself to someone new, follow your heroes online (no stalking, please!), and get to know the wonderful people in our industry.
Thank you, Amy, for your generosity and kindness. Thanks, too, to all copyeditors who keep the quality of the written word front and center, through their work and through their generosity to our community.