So you want to be an editor…
When you really think about it, everyone is an editor in some way or another. Every single day we edit – a writer revises his manuscript, a teacher stops mid sentence to enhance clarity in his coherency, a students edits their assignment.
But a professional editor doesn’t just do the tasks above, they have to focus on much more, asking questions such as:
- Is the spelling, grammar, punctuation correct and clear?
- Does it fit into the wider concepts?
- Is it interesting? Would strangers want to read this?
There are many types of editors – book editors, magazine editors, copy editors, and deputy editors just to name a few. Editors work across all kinds of industries from corporate to creative.
So what do need to be an editor? Well generally most editors have a university qualified degree in journalism, communications or professional writing and editing. Universities like RMIT, Monash, University of Technology in Sydney and University of Queensland all offer degrees in these fields.
The job of an editor significantly extends beyond the normal proofreading and spell checking tasks, in fact editors must be able to immediately organise ideas quickly and efficiently while recognising patterns and categories that may otherwise hinder the value of the work they are editing. Fact checking and research is another task they do – as accuracy is one of the first and foremost concerns that editors must pay attention to.
In addition to that, editors are familiar with the importance of deadlines. In fact, a good editor should be able to keep up with several deadlines at the same time, keeping an eye on important dates and events while keeping their clients in the loop about their editing progress. A creative streak is paramount as well – editors should not only edit, but be able to add to the written piece if they feel it lacks something.
The Review Review also has an interview article with Stephen Corey, editor of the Georgia Review. Check out the article here.
And just for fun, here are some clips of the ever so graceful Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in the Devil Wears Prada, because lets be honest, we all want to be badass editors like Miranda Priestly. Links here and here.
Best of luck folks!
Opportunities and events
Very exciting opportunity for third year journalism students – the Herald Sun have opened applications for their Sir Keith Murdoch scholarship, which awards one lucky student a paid three month internship at the Herald Sun and Weekly Times. Sounds amazing right?! More details are here if you’re interested.
Got an eye for fashion? Then read on – Style Magazine are currently seeking a full time journalist and stylist to work across their print and digital platforms. This is an excellent first step in the fashion journalism industry, so if you’re keen all the details are here.
“If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.” -Tennessee Williams