About Editing

Feb. 11, 2010 • Posted in FAQ

Q: Are you available to read my manuscript?

A: Sorry, but my editorial work is presently limited to projects I’m hired to do for royalty publishers.

Q: What should I do if I want to become an editor?

A: Read everything you can get your hands on. Read broadly across genres and media. Read books about how to write well.

Keep a journal or blog about what you read. Name what you like and dislike about the material and (more important) try to examine why. Learn how to name techniques, strategies, styles, devices and so on, as well as the effects they create.

Learn how to write well. Write, write, write!

Learn about the different kinds of editorial careers. There are dozens. Not all editors are proofreaders. Apply yourself to a category that matches your skills.

Pay attention in English class–learn all the grammar rules.

Look for opportunities to put your skills into practice. Take jobs and internships that require you to communicate in writing. Join yearbook and newspaper clubs. Take creative writing classes. Learn how to tutor your peers (much of being a good editor is about being a good teacher).

Write to editors of your favorite books, publications, and Web pages. Get their advice on pursuing the career and make professional contacts at the same time.

If possible, seek a degree from an accredited institution that has well-rounded journalism, publishing, or English programs. The amount of schooling you need depends in part on the kind of books you want to edit. If you want to edit academic works, you should seek a Ph.D. in a field you love. If you want to have a hand in theological material, pursue an MDiv or a ThD. If literary fiction, you’ll want a masters or doctorate in literary theory or creative writing or specific literary era, and so on.