Interview 37: Gwendolyn Walker

Recent graduate: Louisiana Tech University
Major: English, with a concentration in creative writing
Location: Louisiana

What interests you about copyediting?
I love to fix things. Editing has been a passion of mine since I was in middle school, and I love to help transform work to convey a clear message.

What area of copyediting are you interested in?
I’m passionate about books and publishing books.

How are you nurturing/developing your interest in copyediting, especially during COVID?
I am doing a lot of research — reading a lot of copyediting, editing, and publishing books — and having informational interviews with people already in the publishing industry to understand the industry and editing. 

What, if any, copyediting experience have you had so far, and what did you like about the project, organization, or tasks?
I am an editorial intern for a local newspaper. The job has helped me focus on the skills that I need to edit and to make sure that the articles are appropriate for the audience and informative. 

In my senior year of college, I worked as a temporary editor for my alumni’s Her Campus chapter. This position also added more insight on making sure the edits match the tone of the publication and making the content enjoyable.  

What would most help young editors (and editors of color) enter the editing profession?
More “getting into publishing” seminars and seminars for beginners could be helpful. I’ve attended a few virtual ones, and I’ve found them to be useful. These seminars give young editors a peek at what it’s like to run and work in a company — whether its focus is book publishing or journalism. The seminars also help young editors narrow their passions. 

Anything else you might want readers to know about diversity in editing/publishing, or about starting out in this profession?
I consider myself a beginner editor, since I’ve been editing for fewer than five years. Since quarantine started, I’ve focused on learning about publishing and editing, listening to seminars, and preparing myself to work in the industry. This knowledge will come in handy, especially during interviews — and it’ll show my passion and dedication. 

I’ve noticed more companies are mentioning inclusion in their internship and job descriptions, and I think that this is a great start to having a more diverse staff. 

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