by Leo Wiles
27 June 2018
Hi Rachel and Leo. I’ve found myself in a position lately where I’m doing more and more freelance editing and copywriting jobs. I know I’m good at both, but I feel too unqualified to apply for any advertised jobs (like the great cookbook editing job you had on the jobs board recently), even though I think I’d be capable. So my question is this: is it essential to have a degree behind you to be eligible to apply for these positions or are there other kind of shorter editing courses I could do to bump up my creds? I just don’t have the luxury of time to start a degree right now! D
Editing may be one of the greatest hidden avenue streams of our changing times as more and more corporate clients and SME’s produce their own copy only to find it falls short of the desired sales funnel mark. However, be warned, editing is more than spellcheck and Grammarly, chopping copy from the bottom to make it fill that pretty white space or peppering a feature with SEO.
Great editing is letting a story breathe through the proofreading and polishing stages. While maintaining the unique voice and integrity of the writer, and staying true to the client’s house-style and the interviewee. Also, it’s about ensuring you don’t change the original meaning and get your client sued! Therefore my hat is off to you for taking this leap and recognising you need more formal training.
While I cannot personally vouch for a particular editing course, Australia’s highly esteemed Institute of Professional Editors Limited (IPEd) has an extensive list of editing courses including Editor Canada’s webinars and the UK’s Society for Editors and Proofreaders online training.
Closer to home, Rach opened this question up to our Gold Community and the good people there made the following recommendations (thanks Carrie, Jacqui, Helen, Katherine and Karen!)
Nicola O’Shea’s structural editing course Not for beginners. You should have a good grasp of copy-editing. Ideal if you want to work in book publishing. O’Shea not only offers an eight week course, beginning this October, she also has a whole page devoted to fabulous resources for those wishing to start or enrich their editing.
The UK’s College of Media and Publishing has a range of courses including in proofreading and copywriting.
Whitireia New Zealand provides a part-time online editing course that leaves you with a graduate certificate in editing.
If you’re in Melbourne, RMIT offers a day-long copy-editing course that comes highly recommended, as well as a grad dip in editing and publishing.
In Sydney, Deb Doyle’s one-day editing course at the Australian Writers’ Centre gets the thumbs up.
The NSW Writers’ Centre also has a range of courses – we couldn’t see any on editing but it might be worth chatting to them to see what’s coming up.
Hope that helps!
Listers – have you done a good editing course, preferably online, that you’d recommend? Let us know about it in the comments.