‘What exactly does an editor do?’ It’s not an easy question to answer. Editors are craftsmen, ghosts, psychiatrists, bullies, sparring partners, experts, enablers, ignoramuses, translators, writers, goalies, friends, foremen, wimps, ditch diggers, mind readers, coaches, bomb throwers, muses and spittoons — sometimes all while working on the same piece.
Gary Kamiya, Salon.com

I’m a writer first, something important for you to know; my commitment to excellent writing is professional and personal. I proofread and edit using standard style guides* and dictionaries. I make suggestions to help you clarify your message to meet your reader’s needs and will research a subject to ensure that your expression is clear and accurate.

With 20+ years of (in-house and freelance) editorial experience, I’m adept at adapting to different levels of editing, including ESL editing.

My specialties, aside from grammar and spelling,  include:

► Correcting writing that has been translated and/or written by non-native English speakers (ESL/EFL editing). I find creative and elegant rewording solutions for sentences in which the syntax has disappeared into the hazy “who did what to whom” realms …;

► Localizing your English language variant for your specific target audience;

► Editing business, non-fiction, fiction and children’s book manuscripts;

► Technical editing for handbooks, user guides and webpages;

► Editing creative writing and writing about the arts including film, poetry and architecture;

► Writing and editing travel and tourism marketing materials; editing advertising copy; and

► Writing, editing and proofreading ESL/EFL language learning materials.

I am curious and open to learning about new subjects. I am patient and recognize how challenging it is to write (and to be edited). I am tactful when writing queries and I know when to guess about the meaning of something from the context provided so that I don’t overload you with queries.

* Chicago Manual of Style, AP Stylebook, Words into Type, Plain English, Simple English, The Economist Style Guide, GIZ Style Guide, et al.

A bit of history: After receiving my degree in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University in 1981, I naturally gravitated toward editing. I took proofreading classes and found work with independent small presses and arts organizations in San Francisco, CA.

That was followed by several years of legal proofreading as part of the midnight or “graveyard shift,” for those of you who don’t know the terminology. We did cold proofreading, comparison reading and team reading (reading legal briefs aloud and substituting verbal clicks, closed-fist table knocks and other sounds for written punctuation). These duties were interspersed with literary discussion, mid-shift (French Roast) coffee breaks and, thanks to one colleague, popcorn breaks.

In 1993 I received a one-year paid poetry grant and I moved to southern Mexico where I spent time working on my own projects until the money ran out. I then moved to Mexico City and worked on staff for 2 newspapers where I sharpened and broadened my editorial skills.
The first of these was an (now defunct) English language newspaper. I proofread all of the copy and wrote subheads and photo captions. At the second (Spanish language) paper, El Universal, Mexico’s oldest daily, I was hired along with 2 other copyeditors to create an English language section. My job entailed selecting wire stories and copyediting them to fit our layout, writing headlines, subheads and photo captions and doing a final proofread before the issue went to print.

A few years later I moved to NYC where I worked for two international finance firms as a proofreader on their graveyard shifts; I was subsequently hired as an editor for one of those firm’s emerging markets newsletter.

At the same time, I taught 2-week (24-hour) Proofreading intensives for The Actor’s Fund Work Program. I developed and delivered original teaching materials and worksheets. In that role I also led discussions about current trends in American business English usage and addressed the importance of developing “soft skills”: gentleness and tact when addressing the author of a document.

My editorial education continued. I took courses in magazine copyediting and freelanced for a number of lifestyle magazines for several years.

I’ve worked on literary manuscripts (pre-publication; one of these is an award-winning published novel by an American author), business book manuscripts, textbooks, technical manuals and user guides and a multitude of other kinds of print and web copy for large and small business and arts organizations, ad agencies and individuals.

My primary interest is the English language: its peculiarities, its norms and its possibilities.

Concurrently I’ve pursued my own writing and having it published. I have a second full-length book of poetry that was published by Lunar Chandelier Press (a small press in Brooklyn, New York) in February/March 2013.

Radio at Night by Laurie Price (book design: Julie Harrison)

It can be ordered from this webpage, top, right-hand side, in case anyone’s interested:

Member, CE-L (Copyediting-L is a list for copy editors and other defenders of the English language.)

Disclaimer: I am a former member of the EFA but because of reasons only WordPress might understand, I cannot delete the graphic below.

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