Interview 28: Breanna Henry

Student: Loyola University New Orleans
Double major: Mass communication and English writing
Location: Louisiana

What interests you about copyediting?
I really enjoy reading other people’s work and editing it to make it better than it was before. I also like the idea of working with a fiction author on their masterpiece and helping it to be the best book it can be.

What area of copyediting are you interested in?
I’m interested in book editing, mainly because I want to write a few books of my own.

How are you nurturing your interest in copyediting, especially during COVID?
I am writing a lot: poems, stories, songs. I am also reading more. I feel like the more I read and write, the more I am exposed to what good and bad writing and syntax look like — and how bad writing can be improved.

What copyediting experience have you had so far, and what did you like about the project, organization, or tasks?
I was a copyeditor for my high school yearbook, and I am currently editor of the Meraki Literary Journal at Loyola University New Orleans. My experience with both involves proofreading, getting rid of unnecessary sentences and words, and suggesting a new way to say the same thing.

My favorite part is reading the author’s work and seeing how they got to the piece they’ve written. I definitely prefer fiction writing, because it’s fun to read, but I’m fine with fiction and journalistic writing.

What would most help young editors (and editors of color) enter the editing profession?
I think experience would help young editors (of color) entering the profession. Students should do lots of internships at different places, not just those at publishing companies. Working at magazines, newspapers, and literary journals helps with your own writing, and when you can strengthen your own writing, you’ll be able to strengthen others’ writing.

Anything else you might want readers to know about diversity in editing and publishing, or about starting out in this profession?
I definitely think there should be more people of color in editing and publishing, especially so they can support authors of color. Collaboration is that much easier when you have someone alongside you who can relate to your experiences. 

Also, I believe starting out in the profession, you have to be assertive. Be confident in your skills and get as much experience as you can. Ask lots of questions and do everything — not just books, but maybe academic essays, technical material, etc., just to be a well-rounded editor. In editing, similar to mass communication, it is best to be a jack of all trades rather than good at only one section of the field.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: