More Blog Posts

Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 9:31am
Mark Allen
Jibbing, Not Gibing, is My Goal for Sailing

I recently and unexpectedly acquired a Butterfly, a 12-foot sailing dinghy, and immediately signed up for lessons at a nearby sailing club. I’ve always had an interest, but now I need to learn my sheet from my stay and my bow from my aft.

I figured out port vs. starboard long ago when I realized port and left both have four letters and are similarly formed with one vowel in the second position. On Twitter, Leigh Hogan suggested a more romantic way of remembering, tweeting: “I picture ancient Portuguese mariners sailing south along the west...

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Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 5:25am
Erin Brenner
07/31/14 News Roundup: Freelancing Success
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 11:20am
Adrienne Montgomerie
Reflections on Award-worthy Editing

“Each book you edit teaches a different skill, whether that’s communication with an author or how to handle translation. The important thing is to reflect on the process after each project. In each book, you learn to push your own limits. Erotica and pop-fiction are not my thing, generally. But I knew that, in order to make this book work as it could, I had to extend myself. So I did. It reaffirmed just how important it is for writers and editors to read widely and to read beyond their own comfort zone.”

The Last Temptation of Bond, by Kimmy Beach

That’s what Peter says he learned from editing the award-winning poetry book by Kimmy Beach: ...

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 5:45pm
Dawn McIlvain Stahl
But wait, there's more! Text Expansion Software, a Tech Tip from

For years I’ve heard that text expansion software could save me time by reducing the keystrokes needed to type out oft-repeated phrases. And for years I’ve treated that idea like an unworthy hack, the late-night infomercial of productivity ideas. I figured I’d rather cut down on the boring repetition of my phrasing than on the time it takes me to type out that phrasing. I still think I may have had a point there. But text expansion users have a point, too.

If you have ever ...

  • added unwieldy typesetting codes to a long book manuscript,
  • found yourself repeatedly typing “Author: Please add this to the bibliography” or “Author: Please clarify...,” 
  • had a long chain of correspondence that necessitated the repeated use of the "Proper...
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 8:20am
Erin Brenner
Tip of the Week: Journalism and the Right Word

After a long dry spell of books to review, I now have a stack on my desk wanting my attention. In an effort to review books for you before they hit the remainder bin at your local bookstore, this week’s Tip covers two dictionary-style books: The Right Word and The Oxford Dictionary of Journalism.

The Right Word

The Right Word: Correcting Commonly Confused, Misspelled, and Misused Words by Elizabeth Morrison is designed for student writers and business professionals wanting to improve their writing skills. Morrison, a writing teacher and journalist,...

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 5:25am
Erin Brenner
07/29/14 News Roundup: Vocabulary and Its Usage

Can you be combulated while working at your standing desk? That would be so fun! Find out in today’s News Roundup.

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Monday, July 28, 2014 - 12:35pm
Dawn McIlvain Stahl
Job opening: News Editor for Greater New York section

Dow Jones is seeking a news editor to join its Wall Street Journal Greater New York team. WSJ has 36 million monthly online viewers and a thriving Greater New York section that includes the real-time reporting and news blog Metropolis.

The news editor will manage the daily online news coverage of the WSJ Greater New York section, including assigning and editing news and features, writing Metropolis posts, and engaging in interactive projects and social media.

This full-time position requires advanced copyediting skills, mastery of AP style...

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Monday, July 28, 2014 - 8:40am
Adrienne Montgomerie
How to Edit the VIP

Editors are used to phrasing diplomatic queries. Nearly everyone has interacted with an author who sees every suggestion as a personal attack. But it can be even harder to edit some authors’ words: those written by the CEO, the Principal, your boss, or the “foremost authority on X,” for example. How do you tell “the most important person” that their prose need major revision?

Those Very Important People are less likely to be used to criticism. And though their abilities have brought them into a position of great respect and influence, those abilities probably aren’t related to writing. Writing is hard; and it’s a completely different skillset that they may not have cultivated.

Inconsistencies, infelicities, libel, atrocious grammar, racist colloquialisms, and plagiarism...

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How to
Monday, July 28, 2014 - 5:20am
Newsletter Sneak Peek: Project Documentation as Prevention and Cure

by Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, ELS

We freelance editors like to think we can avoid many issues that staff editors must deal with. But two issues we can’t sidestep are the need to document our actions on each project and the need to manage the discussion when we are mistakenly blamed for project problems. Yes, sometimes we are at fault, but that’s a topic for another column.

How You Should Document

If you document everything you do during a project, you can use your records to stay on track as you go. You can also use them later to jog your memory, to determine ways to improve your work processes, and even to defend your reputation if a client incorrectly believes that you are at...

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Saturday, July 26, 2014 - 4:09pm
Dawn McIlvain Stahl
Wordoku: Sudoku for Wordies, Summer's Bounty Edition

Farmers markets, garden plots, window boxes -- summer produce is beginning to appear everywhere you look. If you’re among those who have put in the labor to nurse fruits and vegetables into existence or to search out the best of summer’s bounty in the markets and shops, may you be blessed with the best basketfuls of produce. And only as many of your neighbor’s cucumbers and zucchinis as you want.

To correctly solve our bountiful Wordoku, make sure that every row, column, and 3x3 box contains the following letters exactly once [difficulty: moderate]:  


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