Editing and writing resources
Baroque Cycle manuscript.
Photo by bestbib&tucker.
Some rights reserved.
Photo by bestbib&tucker.
Some rights reserved.
Help with hiring a freelance editorFrom Editors Canada:
- Definitions of editorial skills: find out what kind of editing you need.
- What do editors charge?
- Professional Editorial Standards: a detailed description of what an editor can be expected to do at each level of editing.
- Find an editor through the Editors Canada Online Directory of Editors.
Editors’ organizationsThese editors’ associations offer support for both freelance and in-house editors, including advocacy, networking, job postings, conferences, accreditation, learning resources, and professional development.
- Editors Canada has branches throughout Canada. Members can advertise through the Online Directory of Editors.
- Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island (PEAVI)
- Northwest Independent Editors Guild: an organization of editors in the Pacific Northwest. Their Red Pencil conference is excellent.
- Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading: based in the UK.
- The American Copy Editors Society offers news and information, a conference, training, an editing certificate in partnership with Poynter News University, and a job bank.
- The Indigenous Editors Association is formed by Indigenous editors and publishing professionals in lands claimed by Canada.
- Association of Canadian Publishers Book Publishing Freelancers from Diverse Communities Database lists publishing professionals who self-identify with BIPOC communities, LGBTQIA+ communities, those with a disability/disabilities, and others.
- People of Color in Publishing is a group of book publishing professionals of color. Their programs include mentoring, networking, and job listings.
- Dictionaries: Oxford Dictionaries; Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.
- The Canadian Oxford, 2nd ed., is often used as the spelling reference for Canadian English projects. If you need to look up word breaks, make sure you get the hardcover edition.
- The Vancouver Public Library provides cardholders with free online access to the full Oxford English Dictionary, as well as a number of other amazing resources.
Style guides and editing references
- Editing Canadian English, 3rd ed., published by Editors Canada, is a short, readable overview of what a Canadian editor needs to know. The tables comparing US, UK, and Canadian spellings are worth buying the book for in themselves.
- Chicago Manual of Style is the bible of North American editing. Access to the online version costs a very reasonable $41 a year, and there is a 30-day free trial available.
- Proofreaders’ marks: a short guide to the standard set of symbols used to proofread on paper.
- The Government of Canada’s Writing Tips Plus is an online guide produced by the Bureau of Translation.
- Subtleties of Scientific Style by Matthew Stevens. This is a great guide to the special considerations for editing science writing.
- GLAAD Media Institute monitors media to promote acceptance, understanding, and equality for LGBTQ people. The GLAAD Media Reference Guide provides guidance on writing about LGBTQ people.
- The Diversity Style Guide has a comprehensive list of entries on race/ethnicity, ability status, gender and sexual identity, drugs, and geography.
- The Conscious Style Guide collects many articles to help writers and editors think critically about language: “We study words so that they can become tools instead of unwitting weapons.”
- The AP Stylebook does a great job of offering good style advice on respectful language and has recently updated its entries on race and gender identity, including the singular they.
- Inclusive language is plain language. The Province of BC has an introduction to plain language as a short, self-directed course.
- Editors Canada’s list of resources for inclusivity in language
Learning to edit or improving your skills
- The Copyeditor’s Handbook by Amy Einsohn and Marilyn Schwartz comes with an associated workbook of exercises.
- Meeting Professional Editorial Standards produced by Editors Canada. A set of exercises with sample solutions and discussion. Available in four modules: proofreading, copy editing, stylistic editing, and structural editing.
- Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers by Scott Norton
Grammar and writing
- Peck’s English Pointers: A collection of clear and entertaining articles on English grammar, punctuation, usage, and clarity. Most sections include a short quiz.
- Diagnostic Grammar Test used by Ryerson University in their publishing certificate program. Marking sheet.
- The Writer’s Toolbox from Geist magazine
- George Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language”