Poetry Writing tips – What does an editor do?


Hi, it’s Anna here from Girls on Key. How are you? Today this video is about, what does an editor do? Some of you are really curious about what is an editor and there are actually five different types. Believe it or not some people get really confused about the difference between them. So Girls on Key, we create opportunities for women and non-binary poets. Girlsonkey.com. This is all content about poetry so if you’re into poetry, you’re into writing. We’re gonna have master classes. We’re gonna have spotlights on various poets, so today’s is part of a series called Editor Speaks. I’m an editor with over 15 years experience and also a poet. So today’s topic is what does an editor actually do and how do I work with an editor? So let’s get started. Hey everyone Anna from Girls on Key. Today we’re talking about what does an editor do? Getting to the bottom of what is an editor. If you have ever been interested in being an editor we can also talk about that and what sort of pathways you could take to get into the field because it’s a really fun profession, I love it personally. So we’re talking about it particularly in relation to poetry and writing, not other types of editing like film today. So the first type of editor that exists is a proofreader. So what a proofreader does is they go through and they look at grammar. They look for typos. They look for anything small on the page that needs to be changed or taken out. Some of the things that they might check for, they might check for inconsistencies with numbering. They might apply a house style from a publisher for example if they use various style guides, like the Chicago style guide, they will match things up to that. They will go through with a fine-tooth comb, really fine-tooth comb. So these are the real detailed people. These are the people who you can trust to check your grammar, to know where there’s a dangling modifier or if there’s a typo, they’ll bring it to the attention. And so proofreading is very important and as a writer, you should also learn how to proofread your work, and maybe look online. There’s lots of tips, but we’ll also do another video, which I’ll put a link in the description, how to proofread your work. So what to look for if you’re a bit worried about grammar. A lot of people are worried that they think, I’m a creative person I write a poem, but I’m really scared I didn’t do well at school. I’m not so good at knowing about the grammar rules, and that’s okay. And that’s what editors are there for at the end of the day. You’re the creative person, you’re the poet But also and you can learn and it’s a skill that can be taught and there’s a lot online that you can find to improve on that side of it. So number one was the proofreader. The second type of editor that exists is a curator or an online editor. So if for example you were the fashion editor of Elle magazine online, for example, you would be in charge of creating an edit, what they call an edit, where you bring together a fashion edit of all the coolest robes for winter. And so you would go and you select online, you would select a collection that this represents the trend of robes winter. And so you would put that together on the page and you would work with the designer and work with the sub editor and how to present that collection. So that’s called an editor as well, someone who curates an online collection. So the third type of editor is a substantive editor. Now if you’re working for a major publisher you would have a substantive editor who would work on really getting into the text, so really shuffling things around and paragraphs around and it’s more on a higher level, so it’s thinking, ‘maybe we need to cut this entire part of this chapter or this entire character out in order to make this work’. And so they really get in depth into your work and you won’t necessarily always work with substantive editors and sometimes different editors will work together on a project but substantive editing basically means getting into the guts of the work and even sometimes really shuffling things around. And it can look quite different by the end of it if they’re really in-depth. Yeah, and don’t be afraid. I mean I’ve done another video which I just linked here. We did last week, which is called ‘how to edit your work’ and also about ‘how to work with an editor’, so have a look at those videos as well. So that type is a substantive editor. The fourth type of editing is a sub editor or a desktop publisher. Now I’ve I’ve done a lot of sub editing for magazines. I’ve worked with Pacific Magazines and many other publications. Sub editing is working with text that has been laid out already from a designer so, for example in a magazine. Magazines have subs or sub editors who work on Adobe programs to refine the work on the page so they create the captions, they check the layout of paragraphs flow correctly on the page and if there’s a specific word count then they’ll cut it down so it matches on the page and so sometimes that’s called a desktop publisher or a desktopper or a sub. And so magazines always have those and so that’s called sub editing. It’s a really fun job. If you want to look into it as a career, I love it. I seriously have gone as a freelance sub to many magazines Women’s Day, Australian Women’s Weekly, New Idea, all of those and I love it as a job. And so the last one, number five, is technical editing. Now a technical editor might work with a lot of technical information, for example, if there was an engineering report or a manual of some kind or something that has in-depth diagrams or mathematics involved in it. They are people who are normally experts in that field, for example, they might be an engineer themselves or a mathematician and they work with very technical information. So they are obviously good at the other types of editing as well but then there’s a technical element to what they do. Quite often they’ll use specific software or programs in order to edit that material. So that’s a technical editor. So if you have some of those skills it might be worth looking into if you’re interested in the profession and you want to see how you could get into it? Maybe you can match up some of your other skills in the technical side of what you do with editing because there is definitely a market for it, and there is definitely jobs out there so maybe check that out. So a couple of books that I’ve edited of poetry. I’ve just popped the link in the description check those out. I’ve also edited quite a few educational books as well, so yeah, and if you want to ask me any questions about those types of editors or any other videos that you’re interested in in relation to Editor Speaks pop them in the description and I’ll see what I can do. I’ll try and create some videos for you guys that reflect some of the questions that you might have and ask an editor, ask me. Just ask me. I have a lot of experience with it so I’m keen to help in any way that I can. And yeah check out girlsonkey.com Don’t forget to subscribe, so every Friday these Editor Speaks videos will be coming out and I’m happy to interact with you guys and see any feedback or anything that you want out of this community and I look forward to seeing you in the next video. After this video I realised that I’ve made an omission. Now, there are also managing editors that we need to add to this list and managing editors sometimes do not actually edit text, but they might be responsible for managing the budgets and the overall publishing strategy. But they are also called editors so managing editors. Now the seventh one that I want to add to that is called an acquisitions editor. Now an acquisitions editor is someone who acquires a book or a manuscript from an author. So their job is to look at an overall series for a publication and publisher and they get to choose which books go into that series, so that’s an acquisitions editor. So I just wanted to add that little bit in. Goodbye. This is the other Anna speaking. I’m her clone, so I just wanted to add that thanks.

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