More Blog Posts
Featured Topic: Running Your Freelance Business
Freelance editing isn’t just about editing; it’s also about running a business. Today’s News Roundup gathers some good advice you can put to use right away.
- “Four Tiny Things You Can Do to Make Yourself a Better Freelancer”: Ensure a professional appearance with these four ideas. (Freelance Advisor)
- “What to Say When You’re Asked to Work for Free”: There are lots of ways to say no without saying “no.” Give it a try. (thestar.com)
- “When Should I Say No?”: At different points in your career, there are real reasons to say...
Chosen from more than 1400 submissions, the works of writers James McBride, George Packer, Mary Szybist, and Cynthia Kadohata have won the 2013 National Book Awards.
Presented last night by the National Book Foundation, the awards were given to McBride for his novel The Good Lord Bird, to Packer for the nonfiction The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, to Szybist for the poetry collection Incarnadine, and to Kadohata for the young people’s novel The Thing About Luck. Poet Maya Angelou was awarded the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, and novelist E.L. Doctorow received...Read More »
Words that end in ack are common in English, and one of them, flack, is less than a century old. It’s often confused with flak, and the two seem have originated simultaneously and independently. Some dictionaries list one as an alternate spelling of the other.
Flak and flack both can be traced to the late 1930s. One is an abbreviation; the other is named after a Hollywood press agent.
Flak is a rare word that end in -ak, like yak (from a Tibetan word). Flak comes from Germany, an abbreviation of Fliegerabwehrkanone, a word that cries for abbreviation. The German noun contains three words: flieger (aviator), abwehr (defense), and kanone (gun). Combining the...Read More »
Featured Topic: New Words
Confused about the word your author just used in a manuscript? Today’s News Roundup has some help for you.
- “Why ‘American Heritage Dictionary’ Is Adding ‘Selfie’ and Not ‘Twerk’”: Yes, there is a method to the madness. (Time)
- “New Words - 18 November 2013”: Cambridge Dictionaries Online has added listicle, nanoblock, and responsive design to its pages. (About Words)
- “‘Media Meshing’”: Now that we have media meshing, we don’t have to wait for a watercooler moment to share our thoughts on the latest TV program...
This past weekend, editors in nine locations across Canada wrote certification exams from the Editors’ Association of Canada. The roughly 20% of candidates who typically pass the exams will be certified in either copyediting or stylistic editing. Next year the proofreading and structural editing tests will be offered.
Congratulations, first, to everyone who has ever challenged the exams. They’re tough.
The exams were first offered in 2006 to provide experienced editors with a stamp of exceptional quality — a gold standard, as they put it. “EAC certification sets objective standards for recognizing high levels of knowledge and skill.” A few years ago, I passed the copyediting exam. Just preparing for the exam was excellent professional development — maybe better...Read More »
A football (English style) fan with an eye for detail counted 45 errors in a best-selling autobiography by recently retired Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson. In response to his complaint, he was offered a refund.
An offer of a refund is probably not unusual when when a customer writes a letter expressing dissatisfaction with a book, but this is Sir Alex and Man U. The emailed response from the publisher was shared with British newspapers, who adore stories about the foibles of popular public figures more so than their American counterparts.
“Can the tome now be...Read More »
Featured Topic: How to Edit
There’s no one right approach to editing, so today’s News Roundup points out three.
- “Tale of 3 Editors, a Manuscript, & the Quest for Perfection”: With three editors with unlimited time working on a book, surely the book is perfect. Not quite. (An American Editor)
- “Covering the Quaint Little People”: Watch out for unconscious condescension. (You Don’t Say)
- “When the Client Ruins Your Work–What Would You Do?”: You’ve done the best editing of your life, but the author rejects most of your edits. Here’s how to deal. (Freelance Folder...
In last week’s Tip, I talked about what type of questions to ask a potential client. The goal is to get to know the project and the client to help you make good decisions about it. The next step is to prove your skills.
Show Your Stuff
After the initial conversation, I ask to see the entire manuscript and offer to do a sample edit. I’ll edit 500 to 1,000 words. I don’t want to spend too much time on it; I’m not getting paid, after all. And I don’t want to do an entire unit, such as a chapter, so that the author can get the entire manuscript edited via samples like mine.
Not every freelance editor takes this route, however. Some will take a test, others will...Read More »
Featured Topic: Dealing with Grammar Advice
These days grammar advice abounds, but not all of good or about grammar. In today’s News Roundup, thoughts on the quality of advice and how to take the advice.
- “12 Mistakes Nearly Everyone Who Writes About Grammar Mistakes Makes”: When you read an article about grammar, keep these issues in mind. (Arrant Pedantry)
- “When We Do Not Agree”: There are, in fact, rules for Standard English, but they may not be what you think they are. (Lingua Franca)
- “They’d None of Them Be Missed”: How to argue with purists. (You Don’t Say...
Atlantic Media is looking for a managing editor for National Journal magazine in Washington, D.C. First published in 1969 and relaunched in 2010, National Journal is a nonpartisan weekly magazine (40,000 subscribers) and website (3 million unique viewers monthly) that reports on politics and policy in Washington. National Journal seeks a high-energy journalist with strong story-conception and editing skills.
The managing editor will conceive and edit both short and long-form stories, manage and assign stories for a team of journalists and freelancers...Read More »