Interview 17: Tia Ross

Years editing: 35
Job title: Freelancer, business owner
Job description: Consultant, project manager, copyeditor (content, legal, technical), proofreader, writer, writing coach, and editor mentor
Location: Texas

EXPERIENCE

What copyediting training have you had, and what positions have you held?
I was an insatiable reader as a child and teenager, and I remember studying the structure of books I read, character by character. I paid attention to minor things, like the spelling of grunts — the “uh-huhs” and “mm-hmms.” I analyzed dialogue punctuation, tags, and beats. I noticed shifts in point of view, the key differences between first-person and third-person narrative, and the intricacies of internal dialogue.

I studied proofreading in grade school, but I didn’t get serious about it until the early ’90s. That was when I took my first college-level proofreading and editing courses.

I began freelance editing professionally in 1986 for United States military recruiters and classmates in high school, then for lawyers in 1989, but I didn’t start my first official editing business until 1995.

I moonlighted as an editor while working full time at law firms, advertising agencies, and telecommunications companies as a legal editor and proofreader, advertising editor, and technical writer and editor, respectively. I’m also skilled with software development and programming, and have worked as an intranet developer and content editor. 

DOING THE JOB

Are there any complementary skills that are important in your job?
As an entrepreneur, I wear all the hats, doing tasks myself or delegating them. My roles require skill in analytics, contract creation, email management/communications, graphic design, image editing, invoices/fiscal management, marketing, newsletter development, project management, search engine optimization, social media, and web design, to name a few. 

Then there are the critical soft skills one must have to be successful: active listening, flexibility, honesty, integrity, leadership, negotiation, optimism, reliability, responsiveness, time management, and transparency.

Do you use any editing tools to get the job done (e.g., PerfectIt, Adobe stamps)? 
I’ve tried PerfectIt, ProWritingAid, Grammarly, and Ginger. PerfectIt is my tool of choice right now, although it’s painfully slow. Grammarly is second. While recently editing the 140,000-word U.S. Civil Rights Trail guide for Moon Travel/Hachette Book Group, for example, I used PerfectIt to ensure consistency in acronyms and abbreviations. 

When proofreading galleys, charts, magazine pages, and other PDFs, I use iAnnotate. I’ve also used ProofHQ (now Workfront) and Ziflow for online corporate proofing that requires a team review.

COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS

How do you and your colleagues talk about editing with each other?
I currently have two editors working with me at WordWiser Ink, Brandy Patton and Sherian Brown. We have a great private group on Telegram. We also enjoy discussions with other Black editors in an online community, Black Editors Network, where we talk about business, projects, other opportunities, work-life balance, health and fitness, etc.

Do you participate in a community (or communities) that supports editors?
Only Black Editors Network at this time. It’s the only real community of editors I’ve ever been part of. It was originally created for members of the Black Editors & Proofreaders Directory but has recently been opened to all Black editors.

I was a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA). I served on the board of directors and as conference planner for its national conferences. I was a member of the email discussion list and forums, but I always felt like an outsider. I was also a member of ACES: The Society for Editing for one year, but I don’t know if they had a community where editors could discuss issues. 

Do you have any thoughts on the need for editors to network and talk about what they do?
For freelance editors, yes, networking and referring clients to other editors of your ilk can be worthwhile, particularly when other freelancers refer clients to you in return.

How might we get buy-in during the editing process from authors who may not be receptive to changes?
When I first started editing, it mattered more to me if authors were receptive, but not anymore. As a freelancer, I tell them what the rules of style are according to The Chicago Manual of Style, AP style, or whatever style manual I’m using. Whether they decide to reject that is not within my control, so I don’t concern myself with it.

BUILDING DIVERSITY

How diverse is your office? 
My firm is 100% Black-owned and woman-owned, with two Black female editors.

Have you faced any hurdles in getting into/advancing in the copyediting profession because you are a person of color? Or have you observed such barriers for others? 
No. I forged my own path as an editor, and I find that authors and other editors seek me out because I’m Black, experienced, and skilled at what I do. Companies (Black-owned and otherwise) want to work with me for the expertise I lend to their projects, and Black individuals want me on their teams because “we” like working with “us” when we find someone who’s capable, reliable, responsive, honest, and professional, and who operates with integrity. 

I am all of those things, and I discovered long ago that hurdles tend to move aside when I operate in my gift.

THE PERSONAL

Tell us about a project that you’re proud of.
I should preface this by saying that I absolutely adore sci-fi, mythology, and fantasy — movies, TV, and books. I am editing a speculative fiction series written by Carolyn Holland called Brothers of the Dark Veil. Its storylines infuse mythology, history, and science fiction in a way that is so engrossing that I have to remind myself while reading her work that I’m supposed to be editing it — despite doing pre-reads! She writes the kind of stories that make readers lose track of time and have ’em sitting up in the bed turning pages in the wee hours of the night. 

Her standards for the production of these books are top-notch. I’m so proud of her and this project that I seriously consider it an honor to be part of her team and to edit her work. I can’t wait to have the entire series grace my bookshelf. 

Any hobbies you’d like to share with us?
I enjoy cycling, yoga, Pilates, hi-fi audio, traveling, superhero films and shows, and sourcing venues for retreats and conferences for writers and editors. My next event will be a retreat for editors in conjunction with the next Writeful Places Writers Retreat at the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort, June 5–8, 2021 — if COVID-19 will let us be great — followed by the next EFA conference.

RESOURCES

What resources would you share with fellow editors?
Other than Blackeditors.net, another online community worth checking out or referring to is Blackwriters.org, an online community for Black creative and freelance writers. It offers job leads from employers seeking diverse applicants, calls for submissions, fellowship and grant leads, critique groups, and an accountability/writing tribe, to name a few of the benefits.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you or about diversity in the profession?
In the current environment, I see a strong, ongoing demand for skilled developmental editors and substantive editors of color. To aspiring freelance editors: Don’t be deterred by how many other editors are offering these services, and don’t believe that all of them are competition. What’s important is the distinction between quantity and quality. All editors are not equal. Strive to be the standout.

Also, be careful about with whom you affiliate as an editor. In this business, reputation is everything. Find your tribe. If you’re an independent, whether self-employed or the only Black editor in your office, you don’t have to be solo. We’re out here!

Interview 11: Melissa Brown Levine

  • Years editing: 9 years
  • Job title: Owner and senior editor at Brown Levine Productions
  • Location: Georgia

EXPERIENCE

How did you get your current job?
I created my job after working in corporate America for several years. I always had a side hustle when I worked for other people, so the foundation for the move from employee to business owner was in place. The biggest hurdle was making the leap from the perceived security of full-time employment to the often unstable world of freelancing. In essence, my fear presented as the largest obstacle. 

To get over it, I set a date to leave my job. I saved aggressively during the lead-up to the transition, and I confided in a close friend who held me accountable. Every time I doubted my decision or considered pushing my leave date back, she would challenge me to stay the course.

As I prepared to shift into freelancing full time, I created a résumé that featured the freelance editing and writing I had done over the years and developed a letter that I sent to publishers and other potential clients to introduce myself and outline my services.

What copyediting training have you had?
My entry into copyediting was not traditional. I was not employed as a copyeditor before I shifted into freelancing full time. While employed as a technical service librarian, I freelanced as a book reviewer and copywriter. The book review service I wrote for focused on the work of independent authors whose books were often in need of copyediting. So a lot of my efforts beyond reading the books and writing the reviews involved detailing for authors the problems with grammar and punctuation, as well as structure and organization, in their books. This led to requests for copyediting services, which meant that I needed to hone my editing skills.

Regarding training, I have a master’s degree in professional writing, but when I was preparing to freelance full time and afterward, I also took online courses that focused on copywriting and proofreading. However, I would say that the best training I have received as a copyeditor has come from client feedback. That can be a rare thing in freelancing (often, feedback will come in the form of not sending subsequent assignments if the first one wasn’t to the client’s liking), but those clients who take the time to remark on what went well with a project and what they expect for future assignments offer what amounts to valuable on-the-job training.

DOING THE JOB

Are there any complementary skills that are important in your job?
Marketing is an important factor in freelance copyediting. The initial introductory letters that I sent out during my transition to self-employment helped me build my client base. I maintain a website for my business, and I also have a presence on LinkedIn. In fact, the owner of Dragonfly Editorial found me on LinkedIn a few years ago, and I’ve completed work for the company on an ongoing basis since then.

Subject matter expertise is another tool that has helped me. My degrees and experience in psychology and counseling have been important when completing copyediting assignments for academic and nonprofit clients.

Flexibility and the willingness to learn are significant skills for copyeditors to hone. For example, editing government proposals and journal articles based on clients’ specific style guidelines requires copyeditors to be accommodating of their clients’ needs. Copyeditors may also need to learn unfamiliar software, such as SharePoint or a specific project management system.

Do you use any editing tools to get the job done (e.g., PerfectIt, Adobe stamps)? 
I have what I call a “setup process” when I begin a copyedit. I run PerfectIt first. This program does a great job of identifying inconsistencies in spelling, capitalization, and hyphenation. It does a fairly good job of identifying acronyms that have been spelled out in more than one place in a document. For government proposals that are often acronym heavy, running PerfectIt first allows the copyediting to flow smoother because I don’t have to keep stopping to run them down. And if the client requests that a list of acronyms be added to the style sheet, PerfectIt is an extremely valuable tool during a copyedit.

Next, I run spell-check. This helps me to clear out the obvious spelling and grammar errors before I begin reading the doc. If the program brings up hundreds of possible errors, then I know I’m in trouble. Once I complete that review, I do a search for any client-specific requirements. For example, number ranges that are separated by a hyphen instead of an en dash. More specifically, I have one client who does not allow the use of the ellipses symbol (…); instead, the preference is spaced periods (. . .). Some clients have macros that make the specific housekeeping changes to the document, so I will run those before starting the edit.

After the edit is complete, I search for extra spaces after punctuation and run spell-check again. Instead of running PerfectIt a second time, I often use the PerfectIt Consistency Checker, which is an add-in for Office 365. It covers the basics of the PerfectIt program (spelling, capitalization, hyphenation, numbers, etc.) but faster.

Finally, I plop the document into Grammarly. I have found that this program is really helpful when editing the work of writers whose first language is not English. Such writers often leave out definite and indefinite articles, and Grammarly catches the instances of this type of error that I miss because my brain filled them in during the edit. The program is also often better at spell-check than Office 365.

These programs help the editing progress faster, but they also serve as another set of eyes after I have completed the copyedit.

COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS

How do you and your colleagues talk about editing with each other?
I am the sole employee of Brown Levine Productions, so if I am facing problems or concerns about a project, I go directly to the client, offer my suggestions for how I think issues should be handled, and then ask for further guidance. 

When I work on group editing projects with Dragonfly Editorial, I have the opportunity to discuss editing with the lead editor and others on the project via chat, which helps the editing process move along faster and smoother, because I’m not making all of the decisions about the edit on my own.

Do you participate in a community (or communities) that supports editors?
Outside of my contact with clients and the editors I work with on specific group projects, I have taken classes with editors. This provided insight into how other people approach editing and broadened my understanding of how to respectfully approach a writer’s work when embarking on a copyedit.

Do you have any thoughts on the need for editors to network and talk about what they do?
I do think that a copyeditor’s work can and does speak for itself. In my case, doing good work means that I receive more projects from my clients and even have people seek me out to offer me work. 

I think networking and talking about the profession are important, but engagement should also be based on the individual’s preferences and personality type. I am a solid introvert, so the work I am doing now as a freelancer is pretty much my dream job. I don’t do a lot of networking, but I do happily respond to inquiries from people interested in getting into the field. I also consume quite a bit of information about copyediting from blogs, listservs, and articles.

How might we get buy-in during the editing process from the non-editor colleagues with whom we work?
I think we gain buy-in by positioning ourselves as part of the writer’s/non-editor’s team. This happens when we clarify the writer’s expectations before the edit, and during the editing process, when we ask questions and make suggestions about the material based on our experience and what we are seeing in the text. 

I also think that using the right language in queries helps to put writers at ease about the editing process. I use “we” a lot when asking questions about a document (e.g., “Should we include a quote from all five of the presenters mentioned in the text, instead of only two?”). I think this gives the author a sense of being supported, instead of feeling reprimanded for not being thorough. 

I do a lot of fact-checking and add live links for information that I introduce in a query, so the author can make a decision about information based on more than my suggestions. 

I think it’s important that we communicate to writers that they are still ultimately in control of their work; we’re simply here to make it better.

BUILDING DIVERSITY

How diverse is your office? 
My business is Black and woman owned, but I do work with clients and other editors who represent a diverse body in regard to race and gender.

Any suggestions on what offices/employers could do to increase diversity in your field of editing?
I find that the field of copyediting is not one that a lot of people are aware of outside of traditional book publishing. Perhaps more outreach to students at state universities and historically Black colleges and universities, as well as the creation of editorial internships, will increase awareness of this field for a diverse population.

Have you faced any hurdles in getting into/advancing in the copyediting profession because you are a person of color? (These can be systemic, personal, environmental.) Or have you observed such barriers for others? Tell us about that.
I think (perhaps naively) that this may be a problem that a person of color would encounter more often when applying for or seeking advancement in a traditional, direct-hire position, as opposed to freelancing. I am generally hired based on the successful completion of a copyediting test. 

Now, it is possible that I have submitted my résumé to a managing editor who looked at my website and my LinkedIn page and decided not to hire me because of my race, but frankly, that doesn’t touch me directly. There are numerous opportunities for work in this field as a freelancer, so if I am actively seeking clients, I just keep reaching out to organizations until I add the number of clients I feel able to handle at a given time. 

Ultimately, it’s my skill set that gets me hired and keeps clients coming back to me. If I haven’t been hired because someone took a look at my website and saw my Black face, then they did us both a favor, because that’s not the type of company I want to invest my time and skill in. 

I do think that it would benefit the field to have more people of color copyediting in businesses and as freelancers, because we bring different perspectives to the content that is being produced.

THE PERSONAL

Tell us about a project that you’re proud of.
I recently received an urgent request from a nonprofit client to complete a substantive edit of a personal account of one of the firm’s representatives who participated in the George Floyd protests in Minnesota. The representative, who lives in the neighborhood where Mr. Floyd was killed, reported several occurrences of outside agitators coming into the community with the intention of destroying property. The representative even found a car stocked with gasoline canisters. 

The story was relayed during a conversation over the phone. So I was given an extremely rough draft, with instructions to bring all of my skills to the project and to return the edit as soon as possible. Three hours later, I’d restructured the piece and completed a copyedit. 

I am proud of that assignment because I was able to help an activist in Mr. Floyd’s community express her version of what was happening on the ground, as opposed to the mix of often-distorted stories that were provided by the media.

Any hobbies you’d like to share with us?
I am currently working on a novel. I’ve been writing the book for almost two years and hope to have a readable draft by the end of the summer. Most people probably don’t engage in their “hobbies” between midnight and 3:00 a.m., but that is the time that works best for me: there are no emails, no text messages, and no calls — just me and the characters and their stories.

RESOURCES

What resources would you share with fellow editors?
The current edition of the style guides your clients require you to use, as well as AP vs Chicago, Conscious Style Guide, Copyediting-L, and Power Thesaurus.

Interview 9: Tiffany Cole

  • Years editing: 9 years
  • Job title: Editorial assistant of product development, Goodheart-Willcox
  • Job description: Market research, copyediting and proofreading, manuscript reviews, and general administrative support for agricultural, child development, college success, and nursing textbooks
  • Location: Illinois

EXPERIENCE

How did you get your current job?
When I joined Chicago Women in Publishing last year, I approached the previous president, an educational consultant for Goodheart-Willcox, and set up a few informational meetings to learn more about the publisher and her experience getting hired there. She guided me through the interview process. I was also a mentee with the Representation Matters Mentor Program for six months (the organization partners with editors from publishing houses to advance diversity in publishing). My two mentors — one from Penguin Random House and one from Sourcebooks — helped me understand how to write a cover letter and résumé that would appeal to publishers.  

Previously, I’d spent months applying to dozens of publishing industry jobs and only making it to the first interview — if that. I was frustrated with the hiring process for becoming an in-house editor, especially because I thought my years of experience as a freelance editor would’ve been more helpful. In publishing, it often feels like you need to know someone to get in. However, the mentors I had and the informational interview with someone who actually worked at the publishing house I was applying to helped me immensely.

Even though I had years of experience as a writer, freelance copyeditor, and freelance developmental editor, I applied for the entry-level role because I didn’t have experience working in the acquisitions department of a textbook publisher and wanted to start in a beginning role to learn as much as I can about textbook publishing and acquisitions.

What copyediting training have you had?
When I first started, years ago, my training came from a variety of experiences: taking free online courses, copyediting for my university newspaper, taking on freelance clients for cheap rates to gain experience, and job shadowing editors as a volunteer editorial assistant/intern. 

What positions have you held?
I’ve been a freelance copyeditor, a freelance developmental editor, a freelance writer, a book reviewer, the lead copyeditor for my university’s award-winning newspaper, and an editorial assistant of product development. 

DOING THE JOB

Are there any complementary skills that are important in your job?
In my role as an editorial assistant, having project management skills and being a good writer — for the many emails I send — have been very important. The ability to be both a team player and a leader is also important. In most publishing environments, a team of people is working on a project, from acquisitions to copyediting to marketing and onward. So for a project to be successful, you need to be able to help others working on the projects while being able to take charge of your portion of the project. 

For instance, I take the lead on the peer review process and regularly report my progress in weekly meetings with the team.  

Do you use any editing tools to get the job done (e.g., PerfectIt, Adobe stamps)? 
The only editing tool I use is Microsoft Word. In some of my previous roles, I’ve worked in InDesign for proofing.

COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS

How do you and your colleagues talk about editing with each other?
Even though the Acquisitions Department is new, my team consists entirely of editors, so there are about six to eight of us. Talk about editing is mostly regarding collaboration. This is a mixture of weekly status meetings with the team (when we make sure we’re all on the same page about our projects) as well as comments and notes within documents for editing purposes, to help whoever will receive the document next. 

Do you participate in a community (or communities) that supports editors?
Yes, I’m involved in a few communities that support editors. I’m now the president of Chicago Women in Publishing, which has a big editorial community. Though the organization is located in Chicago, it offers a cheaper membership option to those living outside of the city, with all the same benefits. I also attend events hosted by the Freelancers Union and ACES: The Society for Editing.

Do you have any thoughts on the need for editors to network and talk about what they do?
If you’re a freelance editor, I highly recommend networking at conferences your clients will attend, by being active in the audience and trying your best to get on a panel. Showing my expertise on stage or in the audience helped me consistently get clients when I was a full-time freelance editor. 

If you’re an in-house editor, it is very important to give back to the publishing community as a mentor, continue to network at events, and continually look for opportunities to advance your career and knowledge. 

BUILDING DIVERSITY

How diverse is your office? 
In terms of gender, my office is very diverse. In terms of race, Goodheart-Willcox is working to have a more diverse office. I feel welcome and accepted, even though there aren’t many African Americans in the office and no other people of color on my team.

Have you faced any hurdles in getting into/advancing in the copyediting profession because you are a person of color? Have you observed such barriers for others? 
When I was freelancing full time, many people didn’t know my race when they worked with me, and I felt that was empowering — people were choosing to work with me solely because of my expertise and weren’t applying any preconceived notions to my work. 

For the most part, I felt like the companies I worked for that were aware of my race were happy to work with someone of color because there has been a movement in publishing to get more people of color in the field. (I experienced this movement as a mentee with Representation Matters, and when I was hired at Goodheart-Willcox, the mission for more diversity was mentioned in an email. Furthermore, before I was hired at Goodheart-Willcox, I was interested in the Mellon Foundation’s Diversity Grant and highly recommend it.)

The main hurdle was that at most publishing events, I was often the only person of color in the room. It’s been that way for a while, so I’ve become used to it, but it can be uncomfortable and disheartening. I instinctively felt like I had to code-switch or alter my appearance or way of speaking to match everyone else in the room, and subconsciously, it makes you feel like you don’t completely belong. It’s not that I experienced any outright racism or even unkindness, but there was a sense that I stood out for reasons I didn’t want to stand out. 

Any suggestions on what offices/employers could do to increase diversity in your field of editing?
In terms of recruitment, offices/employers should reach out to organizations dedicated to people of color in editing, such as Editors of Color

THE PERSONAL

Tell us about a project that you’re proud of.
When I was lead copyeditor, the Purdue University Northwest student-run newspaper won many awards from the Illinois College Press Association. Many of the articles which won first and second place were articles I edited extensively. I learned a lot from that experience.

Any hobbies you’d like to share with us?
I’m still a freelance editor. I now accept only projects that are 5,000 words or less, if I can fit them into my schedule. I’m transitioning to becoming a YouTuber, and I really like helping people work smarter with business tips and, coming soon, advice about getting hired in the publishing industry. You can watch my videos at BusinessAtTiffany’s

I also love going on hikes, trying out new breweries and craft beers, and experiencing different cultures through food and fashion.

RESOURCES

What resources would you share with fellow editors?
Take advantage of the events at organizations like Chicago Women in Publishing and ACES. If you’re a person of color new to the industry, I highly suggest you try out a mentorship program, like Representation Matters Mentor Program or the mentorship program for members of Chicago Women in Publishing.

Interview 8: Crystal Shelley

  • Years editing: 3 years
  • Job title: Freelance editor
  • Job description: Edit tech blog posts written by developers and engineers / provide line editing, copyediting, proofreading, and sensitivity reading for fiction authors
  • Location: Utah

EXPERIENCE

How did you get your current job?
I’ve been editing full time since 2019. Before that, I worked as a licensed clinical social worker and edited on the side. Now I edit full time and practice social work on the side.

I’m the owner of Rabbit with a Red Pen. I primarily do line editing, copyediting, proofreading, and sensitivity reading for fiction authors. I specialize in conscious language use and in representation and diversity in media. I also work with several companies as a contractor. One of these jobs involves editing tech-related blog posts written by developers and engineers.

I applied for the tech blog editing position through the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) job list because I wanted to diversify my experience. I’d only ever worked with independent authors, and this opportunity would allow me to edit a different type of material and to work for a company with other editors and a house style. The onboarding process was smooth, and it’s been a pleasant experience.

What copyediting training have you had?
I started out as a beta reader who worked closely with a copyeditor. Since developing my editing career, I’ve done trainings through the EFA, Poynter, and the Publishing Training Centre (UK). I also absorb as much information as I can through watching webinars and reading articles.

DOING THE JOB

Are there any complementary skills that are important in your job?
As a freelance business owner, I’ve found that producing content marketing and working on social media have been the key skills I’ve had to develop to attract new clients and network with other editors.

With tech blog editing, an inquisitive mind is particularly important. Since I’m not a developer or an engineer, a lot of the terms and concepts I come across while editing are unfamiliar to me. Therefore, I’m always consulting the style guide and search engines. If I can’t find an answer, I work directly with the writer on what would work best.

Do you use any editing tools to get the job done (e.g., PerfectIt, Adobe stamps)? 
I use PerfectIt to check consistency in Word documents. For the tech posts, which are hosted online, I use the free Grammarly plug-in as an extra set of eyes, and I’m able to ignore it when it’s wrong.

COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS

How do you and your colleagues talk about editing with each other?
I’m the only editor for my freelance business. There are about 10 other editors for the tech blog, and we communicate through Slack. The conversations in Slack usually relate to the treatment of tech terms, such as capitalization, hyphens, and plurals. The tech world has so many terms that aren’t covered in the style guide (though they do update the guide frequently with best practices) that we have to use our judgment, but it’s nice to be able to talk to other editors to see how they would handle the issue. The results of these conversations are often incorporated in the style guide.

Do you participate in a community (or communities) that supports editors?
I’m a member of the EFA and its Diversity Initiative, ACES: The Society for Editing, and Utah Freelance Editors. I’m also part of the various Facebook groups for editors (e.g., Editors Association of Earth and its affiliates, as well as Louise Harnby’s group), the Editors Lair, and the #Edibuddies and #StetWalk communities on social media.

Do you have any thoughts on the need for editors to network and talk about what they do?
Networking and content marketing have been invaluable for me to grow my business. I joined Twitter as part of my marketing strategy, and it has led to my most significant professional opportunities. I think talking in public spaces about what editors do is important, because there are many misconceptions out there (that we’re sticklers who strip away a writer’s creativity and voice, for one). 

Because I specialize in conscious language use and representation, I write about it on social media and in my blog. There have been ongoing discussions about how editors can play a role in working with writers, publishers, and businesses to push for language change, especially around inclusive and representative language. I believe editors can and should be at the forefront of these conversations.

How might we get buy-in during the editing process from the non-editor colleagues with whom we work?
I’m fortunate that I haven’t had to deal with much pushback from non-editors. I mostly work directly with writers or other editors, and the writers have all valued how I and other editors help them improve their content.

If I was working with a non-editor and needed to get buy-in, I’d frame how editing benefits readers, which then benefits them in whatever measure is important (profits, reviews, increased site traffic, etc.).

BUILDING DIVERSITY

Have you faced any hurdles in getting into/advancing in the copyediting profession because you are a person of color? (These can be systemic, personal, environmental.) Or have you observed such barriers for others? Tell us about that.
I haven’t faced any hurdles because I’m a person of color, but I’ve seen conversations from editors about whether to anglicize their names for business purposes because clients may question their English proficiency otherwise. It’s an unfortunate reality that I haven’t experienced because my married name is of English origin. 

I have, however, experienced microaggressions in person, where I’ve been asked if I understood a phrase or idiom just used, which usually then leads to questions about my ethnicity and comments about how well I speak English. 

THE PERSONAL

Tell us about a project that you’re proud of.
Because I work directly with writers, I’m proud anytime they’re able to get their writing out into the world. Most of the developers and engineers I work with aren’t writers, but they’re experts in their fields. Many of them are also English language learners. I’m glad to be able to help them share their knowledge with readers in a clear and concise manner.

Any hobbies you’d like to share with us?I enjoy playing video games, reading, watching TV shows and movies, and spending time with my dog. I’ve also started writing a novel, which is a bit scary but also fun. I’m not sure what will come of it, but it’s a story I’m excited to tell.

RESOURCES

What resources would you share with fellow editors?
I know previous interviewees have mentioned Conscious Style Guide, but I want to reiterate its importance, especially when thinking about how we can help writing be more inclusive and empowering. The Editing Podcast with Louise Harnby and Denise Cowle is a great resource for editors of all types. Great to listen to if you’re going for a #StetWalk!

Interview #7: Maisha Maurant

  • Years editing: 20
  • Job title: Chief corporate editor at Health Alliance Plan of Michigan
    (last editing role)
  • Location: Michigan

EXPERIENCE

How did you get your last editing job?
My last full-time editing role was chief corporate editor at Health Alliance Plan (HAP). I had previously worked with HAP’s vice president of marketing and community outreach. He encouraged me to apply. It was a great opportunity for me to move into a management role while being a hands-on editor. I looked forward to developing other writers and editors. It was a new function for the company, so it was also exciting to be responsible for implementing it. 

What other positions have you held?
Most recently, I was manager of culture and engagement at Beaumont Health, the largest health system in Michigan. Because of the impact of COVID-19, my position was eliminated in April.

I started out as a newspaper journalist. I left journalism to work in community development at  Focus: HOPE, a civil rights organization. After that, I was a project manager on the philanthropy team at the communications firm Williams Group, public affairs and events associate at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, communication coordinator at the Michigan Community Service Commission, and senior communications specialist at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. 

In addition to being chief corporate editor at HAP, I was also the manager of communication and creative services. I led a team of writers, graphic artists, and strategists. We worked on external marketing communications as well as internal communications. The latter included supporting corporatewide culture, engagement, and continuous improvement initiatives.

DOING THE JOB

Are there any complementary skills that were important in your jobs?
When I first joined Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, I knew very little about the healthcare industry. I had to get up to speed quickly.

At HAP, I learned a lot more about developing online content from working with our social media team. I also had a great opportunity to build skills in user interface and user experience design when I led the content teams for our website and intranet redesign projects. 

Because I was also responsible for internal communications, my team worked collaboratively with the Human Resources Team. That work included a focus on workplace culture and employee engagement. 

Together, all these experiences have also made me a better leader, facilitator, and educator. 

Do you use any editing tools to get the job done (e.g., PerfectIt, Adobe stamps)? 
I use the online version of the AP Stylebook the most. I love the Ask the Editor feature. It’s likely that someone has already asked the question you have. I also consult Grammar Girl, The Chicago Manual of Style, and Grammarly

Conscious Style Guide is another important resource I use. You’ll find style guides and articles that cover a wide spectrum of topics that include age, ability/disability, gender/sex/sexuality, ethnicity, religion/spirituality, and plain language. The Conscious Style Guide is a great technical resource, but the other great value it provides is discussion of how language evolves and why conscious language matters. 

And, when I was working in healthcare, I found that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a robust tool kit of plain language resources. Communicators have a critical responsibility to help individuals understand and navigate the healthcare system, so it’s encouraging that the CDC takes it so seriously. 

COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS

How did you and your colleagues talk about editing with each other?
I was fortunate to collaborate with a great team of editors with diverse backgrounds. We learned a lot from each other, whether it was in a formal editorial meeting or just a stand-up conversation. As a result, we all contributed to evolving our style guide and editing approach. 

I remember there being a discussion about if we should capitalize “Deaf” in a publication. It turned out that someone on our team had worked at an organization that supports the Deaf community. He shared his insight from that experience and also did some additional research. It led to us capitalizing Deaf when discussing the community and including that in our style guide.

Do you participate in a community (or communities) that supports editors? 
I am a member of ACES: The Society for Editing, and I’m on its Executive Committee. It is a great community of all types of editors. Our members work at newspapers, magazines, book publishers, corporations, colleges and universities, and other types of institutions. They also own freelance businesses. We learn a lot from each other. 

Editors of Color is another fantastic means of connecting with other editors.

Do you have any thoughts on the need for editors to network and talk about what they do?
I think it’s extremely important to promote and share your expertise. This can be done by educating internal audiences, presenting at conferences, or consulting for individuals and organizations that can benefit from editing support.  

Networking is critical to an editor’s growth and development — and not just from a business standpoint. It helps us become better editors to engage with others who are passionate about this craft and adept at it. I highly recommend either joining an organization that supports editors or simply participating in events and activities with other editors. I’ve benefited so much from learning from editors, particularly those whose work is different from my own. 

Any advice for editors on getting buy-in from the non-editor colleagues with whom they work?
My primary tip is to explain your editing approach. I have had great success in getting support from non-editors when I’ve taken the time to talk about the edits or style choices I’ve made. It gives them a chance to learn, ask questions, and provide feedback. And once you start to do that, these colleagues often become your advocates with others in the organization. 

BUILDING DIVERSITY

How diverse was your office? Any suggestions on what offices/employers could do to increase diversity in your field of editing? 
In my department at HAP, our team was diverse in race and ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and work experience. 

I think that recruitment and career advancement are key areas that greatly affect whether a team is diverse. Those in a position to hire and promote for editing positions should consider candidates who may not reflect the status quo. It is also important to have a diverse leadership team. They are in positions to ensure that diversity and inclusion are values inherent to all aspects of the organization. It’s also key that the environment supports team members having a voice and holding each other accountable for living up to those values. 

THE PERSONAL

Tell us about a project that you’re proud of.
I have really enjoyed being a member of the Executive Committee of ACES. I’ve had the opportunity to work on initiatives that support our members and contribute to the field of editing. 

One example is the launch of our Diversity and Inclusion Committee in 2018. I currently chair the committee. It’s been great to work with the ACES leadership team and our members to ensure our programs, training, conference, and other activities reflect and support the diversity of our membership. 

I’m also proud that ACES continually creates new opportunities to promote the expertise of the editors in our organization. 

Any hobbies you’d like to share with us?
I love movies and books. When theatres were open, I went to the movies almost every weekend. I also read a lot across a variety of genres. I completed a master’s degree last year, so my reading was devoted to school for quite some time. I have a backlog of books and TV shows to catch up on. That’s the only upside to recent events: I now have more time to get through the list. Lol.

Interview #6: Aliza Amlani

Years editing: 20 years
Job title: Freelance editor and writer
Job description: Update and refine technical, business, and educational content
Location: Toronto, Canada

EXPERIENCE

How did you get your current job?
I connected with two of my current clients via social media (one through a Facebook group and another via Twitter). I mainly work with guides, intranet content, and online learning materials. Some of my social media projects include editing content for a Europe-based organization and adapting it for North American audiences.

What copyediting training have you had?
In a way, I got into this line of work accidentally. I helped write simplified English content for promotional pamphlets at a summer job, which led to full-time work as a technical editor. Since then, I’ve written and edited technical guides, edited online-focused educational content, and worked on a lot of business content geared toward social media. I’ve also been taking part-time classes at George Brown College and Ryerson University for the last few years to help enhance my copyediting and writing skills. 

DOING THE JOB

Are there any complementary skills that are important in your job?
Writing plain-language and concise content for social media is super-important. So much content needs to be tailored for online audiences and social media. I’m also working on technical skills to boost content accessibility (e.g., adding subtitles to video, describing video and visual content, and ensuring that web copy can be read by screen readers [assistive technology]).

Do you use any editing tools to get the job done (e.g., PerfectIt, Adobe stamps)? 
Nope! I’m a little old school this way. I tried one of the popular tools once and it missed so many big things. So I didn’t think it would be all that useful for my work. 

COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS

How do you and your colleagues talk about editing among each other?
Right now, I’m flying solo. On a previous in-house project, I had a great team of editors, and we’d often discuss issues or questions on Slack or in-person chats. I still keep in touch with many former colleagues and am always learning from them, as well as other friends who are freelancers or in-house writers and editors. It’s always good to surround yourself with other word nerds.

Do you participate in a community (or communities) that supports editors?
I occasionally participate in communities on social media, but I often do more reading than chatting within many of these (e.g., Facebook groups, Twitter chats). Some examples of Facebook groups I enjoy are EAE Backroom, Editors of Color, and Writing the Other.

Do you have any thoughts on the need for editors to network and talk about what they do?
Networking is vital, especially for work like mine, which often involves internal or proprietary content that can’t be shared in a standard portfolio. I also find it’s helpful to talk about the details of what I do. I have found that many people mix up proofreading and other types of editing, and often think of any form of editing as either unnecessary or a bonus, but not essential.

Any advice for editors on getting buy-in from the non-editor colleagues with whom they work?
I think it’s important to focus on the fact that editors can help organizations perfect and enhance their messaging, especially in this current moment when (I’m hoping) more people understand how much their words matter.

THE PERSONAL

Tell us about a project that you’re proud of.
On a recent project, I helped to update an internal style guide with content and guidance around writing about different communities to promote inclusivity. Some of the advice included using an uppercase “B” in “Black” and using the singular “they.” I’m proud of any opportunity to improve language in this way and to help others understand how small changes can make a big difference to many people.

Any hobbies you’d like to share with us?
I love listening to many different types of music — I’m getting back into the Hamilton soundtrack these days (it’s the last show I saw before the lockdown)! I also love travel and will be excited to get back to that when it’s safe to do so. I think much of my work has been influenced by my interest in and exploration of different parts of the world.

RESOURCES

What resources would you share with fellow editors?
Conscious Style Guide is an excellent resource, and its offshoot, Editors of Color, is a great database if you’re looking to diversify your editorial staff.

Interview #5: S. Dorothy Smith

  • Years editing: 10 years
  • Job title: Copywriter, scopist, copyeditor, proofreader, translator
  • Location: Virginia

EXPERIENCE

How did you get your current job?
I edit stenographers’ legal transcripts, and I write copy. I also do French-to-English subtitles and translations, and edit books. For many years, I got editing clients from my ProZ.com translation profile. Then I joined the Editorial Freelancers Association and the Christian Editors Network and began to gain clients from those profiles. I also get clients from Facebook groups.

What copyediting training have you had?
I have a strong linguistics background and am self-taught.

DOING THE JOB

Are there any complementary skills that are important in your job?
Marketing, graphic design, and social media skills are important. You need to have a little of each to be a successful freelancer — unless you are blessed to have dedicated staff to take on these roles. It also helps to be familiar with the subject matter. Whether you’re scoping the deposition of a handwriting expert or a criminal trial, it helps to be familiar (or you can use Google to help you to be familiar) with the subject matter you are scoping and its associated vocabulary.

COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS

Do you participate in a community (or communities) that supports editors?
I am a member of Facebook scopist groups. Most are private and by invitation only. Just for Scopists is one private Facebook group composed of working scopists who support each other in both work and play.

Some think the editing speaks for itself, that the hard work alone will advance their careers. Do you have any thoughts on whether editors need to do more (e.g., networking and talking about what they do)?
It depends on what you want to get out of editing. If you want jobs, then network and market. I was never in it for the acclaim. I consider it a solitary profession.

Any advice for editors on getting buy-in from the non-editor colleagues with whom they work?
Writers who are not receptive to being edited might be unwittingly shooting themselves in the foot. Even the best writer can benefit from a second pair of eyes. Yet I do not push my services on others. I offer my availability and expertise. If it is not wanted, then I leave it at that.

BUILDING DIVERSITY

How diverse is your office? 
It’s just me. I’m a black woman, but I network with people of all races and backgrounds. My best writing friend lives in Sweden.

THE PERSONAL

Tell us about a project that you’re proud of.
I recently scoped a court hearing where John Bolton was present. That was a career highlight for me.

Any hobbies you’d like to share with us?
When I’m not editing, I am a Keen psychic advisor.  

RESOURCES

What resources would you share with fellow editors?
Scoping is a facet of editing that can be very lucrative. A recent article in Times of Entrepreneurship discusses the thriving court reporting market and its associated editing roles.

One of my colleagues provides a training course at Internet Scoping School. In addition, my Overview of the Scoping Profession course will be launching soon on Udemy. Readers can email me at scopist@stenomagic.com to be alerted when it goes live.

Interview #4: Antonn Park

  • Years editing: 5 copyediting, 1 line editing
  • Job title: Owner of Blue Flower Editing
  • Job description: Primarily edit economic and financial papers and reports; other content areas: cannabis market research reports and criminal justice/law papers
  • Location: Massachusetts

EXPERIENCE

How did you get your current job, and what positions have you held?
I officially started my company almost three years ago. Before that, for two years, I worked as an assistant site director at an assisted living facility for previously homeless elders. I wanted direct service work experience. While working there, I became a board member of the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition, took a grant-writing class, and wrote (and partially won) my first grant for the organization.

I then started writing more grants as a volunteer and doing prospect research for nonprofits. I eventually left the living facility and became an educational programs assistant at a company that managed educational trips to Africa, where I wrote and edited itineraries and educational material. I also briefly worked at the Greater Boston Food Bank as a grant writer. 

I realized I enjoyed editing more than writing. I wanted to copyedit but couldn’t find any copyediting jobs. So I looked for something that wasn’t just copyediting.

I got a job as a production coordinator at a transcription company and was tasked with duties that included editing a variety of transcripts: finance, legal, academic, medical, government, marketing, and history. I persuaded the director to let me copyedit their training manuals, operational documents, and marketing materials. While I was at this job, I got more involved in the editing community, worked on getting a copyediting certificate from University of California, San Diego (UCSD), did volunteer copyediting, and set up my business. The day I quit, I was informed that I passed a copyediting test for a journal and was offered a weekly amount of work that paid close to what I was being paid at my employer. So I was thrilled!

What copyediting training have you had?
I completed the UCSD copyediting certification program and have taken numerous webinars. I also read a lot of books on writing, editing, and grammar. 

Before I started my company, I took the Freelance Accelerator Workshop led by Laura Poole (of Archer Editorial Services) and Erin Brenner (of Right Touch Editing), which really helped me learn how to run an editing business. 

DOING THE JOB

Are there any complementary skills that are important in your job?
I have a B.S. in economics and an M.S. in crime and justice studies. Since I mainly edit in those areas, having that education really helps me understand the material.

Do you use any editing tools to get the job done (e.g., PerfectIt, Adobe stamps)? 
I use PerfectIt, and I use Adobe stamps when I am marking up text in PDFs.

COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS

Do you participate in a community (or communities) that supports editors? 
I am part of a mastermind group that consists of three other women who are similar in age (late 30s to mid-40s). Two editors in the group came up with the idea and invited me and another editor. We meet once a month and discuss a topic, e.g., professional development, marketing, websites, systems, and metrics. 

I am also a member of ACES: The Society for Editing and the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA). I was a chapter coordinator for the EFA Boston chapter for two years. I’m also part of Facebook groups for editors: Editors of Earth (public), EAE Backroom (private), Business + Professional Development for Editors (private), and Academic Editors (private).

Some think the editing speaks for itself, that the hard work alone will advance their careers. Do you have any thoughts on whether editors need to do more (e.g., networking and talking about what they do)?
Networking is helpful, but learning how to market yourself is really important. I had a business mentor (a fellow editor) who helped me figure out how to market myself to my ideal client. So finding a mentor, clarifying what makes you stand out, finding where your clients are, engaging with them, and finding a niche can really help your business. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to marketing.

THE PERSONAL

Tell us about a project that you’re proud of.
There’s not one in particular. I mainly do academic editing, so when I see a published paper that I’ve worked on, I get pretty happy.

Any hobbies you’d like to share with us?
I enjoy swimming, biking, and spending time with my husband and seven-year-old dog.

RESOURCES

What resources would you share with fellow editors?
The EFA and ACES and their Twitter chats, along with Facebook groups.

Interview #2: Adaobi Obi Tulton

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Years editing: 6 copyediting, 20 developmental editing
Job title: Owner of Serendipity23 Editorial Services
Job description: Provide developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading services
Location: New York City

EXPERIENCE

How did you get your current job?
I was laid off from my job as a developmental editor in 2013, when the publishing company I worked for went through a restructuring. I had been thinking about becoming a freelancer for a while before then, but that spurred me to finally take the plunge. I decided that instead of risking going to work for another company and having my job outsourced again, I wanted to be the one the work was being outsourced to. I was lucky enough that I could still work with my former company as a freelancer, and I was able to network to get additional editing work. From there, I was able to branch out beyond books to projects like white papers for a medical device software developer and K-12 STEM education materials.

What copyediting training have you had?
I took copyediting courses through New York University’s publishing program and the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA). During my early years as a freelancer, I worked with a client that required all edits be justified by a reference to The Chicago Manual of Style, so I became well acquainted with that guide. I also spend time researching other online sources while I’m editing, including sources on AMA Manual of Style.

DOING THE JOB

Are there any complementary skills that are important in your job?
It helps to be familiar with tech and programming. Being familiar with the field and the jargon makes it easy to understand what I’m reading. For instance, when I encounter the word “method” I know it’s referring to a block of code and not its typical definition of “a course of action.” I learned most of the things I know over time rather than through classes or other training.

Do you use any editing tools to get the job done (e.g., PerfectIt, Adobe stamps)?
I typically use the tools available in Microsoft Word, including Editor and Track Changes. Once I’ve completed my edits, I run Editor to check for anything I might have missed. Sometimes I have to check for any accessibility issues as well, so that feature in Word definitely helps. I use stamps a lot for my proofreading work. I mark up PDFs with proofreading marks. It would take forever—and look really messy—if I had to draw those by hand with my mouse. So it’s really helpful to already have the stamps available.

COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS

How do you and your colleagues talk about editing among each other?
For some clients, I’m the only editor they’ve ever brought on, so I don’t have someone to compare notes with. For other clients, I’m one of a few editors, but I’m the only one of color. Because all my colleagues are also freelancers, we don’t interact a lot.

If we need to, we’ll communicate over email or meet up over Zoom. For example, one project involved peer review, and we saw over time that the process for obtaining the reviewers and getting the reviewers to return their comments on time needed to be revamped. So all the editors contributed ideas over email on what would work best to make the process and the quality of the reviews better.

Do you participate in a community (or communities) that supports editors?
I’m a member of EFA and ACES, and I’m listed in the Editors of Color database. I also recently started connecting with a few Black women in publishing, and I’m hoping (crosses fingers) that this will turn into a professional organization supporting Black people in all aspects of publishing.

Some editors think the editing speaks for itself, that the hard work alone will advance their careers. Do you have any thoughts on whether editors need to do more (e.g., networking and talking about what they do)?
I’ve been really lucky that word of mouth through my networking contacts has worked for me. I haven’t had to really hustle hard to find work because whenever my contacts come across someone in need of an editor, they give that person my name. The person already trusts my contact, so I have an instant primary reference. So build those networks! You never know where your next job will come from.

When I first started, I couldn’t guarantee that I was going to have work to keep me going through the year, so I made sure my resume was updated, built my website, registered with job sites like Indeed for work, and listed myself on sites like Reedsy. Now that I have clients who provide steady work, I don’t worry much that I’ll see a lull in projects, but I’m not fooling myself into thinking that everything will keep running smoothly. Things happen.

Editors should also make it a point to talk about themselves when the opportunity comes along. A lot of us are introverts and don’t always enjoy being the center of attention, but don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Talk about everything: the type of editing you do, the type of projects you work on, who you’ve worked with. You never know who’s listening.

Any advice for editors on getting buy-in from the non-editor colleagues with whom they work?
Editing is mostly solitary work for me, both now and when I worked in-house, so getting buy-in wasn’t necessarily something I needed to worry about. I guess I would say that you should work from the very beginning to establish trust and reliability with your group so you can leverage those qualities as you need to get your colleagues to listen to you.

BUILDING DIVERSITY

How diverse is your office? Any suggestions on what offices/employers could do to increase diversity in your field of editing?
When I worked in-house, the editorial staff was not diverse at all. There were no more than two, maybe three, people of color at a time in my group—including me—in the 13 years I was with the company. Employers need to make a greater effort to think outside the box to find potential employees. Going to the usual sources will only get them the same type of employee. Thank goodness for databases like Editors of Color. It makes it easier for employers to find us. I would even go as far to say that employers should start with diversifying their Human Resources departments. More diversity in the group in charge of hiring means more ideas about where and how to hire and a likelihood that they’ll see more diversity in the candidates.

THE PERSONAL

Tell us about a project that you’re proud of.
I recently worked on a book called Women of Color in Tech: A Blueprint for Inspiring and Mentoring the Next Generation of Technology Innovators. I was so excited to be part of this project, and the experience was everything I wanted it to be. I worked with an awesome author and felt good about working on something that would bring attention to the dearth of women of color, and specifically Black women, in tech.

Any hobbies you’d like to share with us?
During the COVID-19 outbreak, I discovered that I’m not a plant killer, so I now spend time tending to my quarantine garden. I also started and restarted (and restarted) teaching myself how to knit. You’d think I’d include reading as a main hobby, but reading has gotten hard! I keep trying to edit everything! I still pick up a book when I can, though.

RESOURCES

What resources would you share with fellow editors?
Grammar Girl is one of my favorite resources for general grammar and usage questions. I also use Purdue OWL pretty often, especially when it comes to how to style citations for the curricula and white papers.

Interview #1: Tamira K. Butler-Likely, PhD


Years editing: 3
Job title: First-line editor, freelancer
Job description: Editing research grant summary statements according to AMA format
Training: Poynter certification in copyediting, job experience 

EXPERIENCE

How did you get your current job?
I saw the job listing posted and applied because I wanted to stay up-to-date in the science field without actually working in the lab. I was not as familiar with AMA style, which was the guide that was used, so I had to study up on it and learn the internal style guide.

What positions have you held?
I own Likely Write Editing, so I have served as a freelance editor for books, academic grants, dissertations, and more.

DOING THE JOB

Are there any complementary skills that are important in your job?
My background in biological sciences and research is definitely important in my job. Understanding scientific terms helps me better identify errors.

Do you use any editing tools to get the job done (e.g., PerfectIt, Adobe stamps)? If so, which ones and can you give us an example of how?
I always do a full read-through myself, but I do use PerfectIt to improve my accuracy. For instance, PerfectIt will catch any inconsistencies in capitalization, spelling (grey vs. gray), etc., that I may have missed.

COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS

Are you the only editor in your department? If not, how do you and your colleagues talk about editing among each other?
I am not the only editor. The first-line editor position is a part-time position, so I believe most of the other editors also have other jobs. Each project is assigned a manager that communicates with the assigned editors on that project.

We don’t really communicate with each other, but we do with the manager of the project. The manager will then send out communications to the group as needed. We also have a team share page where updates are posted. Following the internal style guide is very important, so the communications that are sent are mostly feedback about any edits made that were against the style guide. An example of the error is given and the location of the direction in the style guide and the AMA manual is given.

Do you participate in a community (or communities) that supports editors? If so, what is it / what are they?
Yes, I am a member of ACES: The Society for Editing. I am also in a few Facebook groups (Editor Alliance, Business + Professional Development for Editors).

Some editors think the editing speaks for itself, that the hard work alone will advance their careers. Do you have any thoughts on whether editors need to do more (e.g., networking and talking about what they do)?
I do believe networking, posting on social media, attending conferences, etc., is important to grow and advance your career. While your hard work may also open doors for you via referrals, advertising for yourself is crucial as well.

THE PERSONAL

Tell us about a project that you’re proud of.
The Making of Some Kind of Feminist: A Poetic Journey of Reflections and Revelations, by Dana L. Perry. It is the first book of poetry that I’ve ever worked on and it really spoke to me.

Any hobbies you’d like to share with us?
I love to garden, spend time with my family, and travel, which is why I have a travel business on the side lol. I also love to bake and read non-work-related books.

RESOURCES

What resources would you share with fellow editors?
Poynter is great, and they have some free training courses (www.poynter.org). ACES is also great for networking and finding jobs, as well as training (www.aceseditors.org). The Purdue OWL is a great resource for different style guides (https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/resources.html).