Upcoming Seminar: Microsoft Word for Editors

**UPDATE: This seminar has been rescheduled for November 18, 2017. Registration is open!**

How to make Word work for you

Date: Saturday, May 27

Time: 9:30­ a.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: Tett Centre, Kingston

Instructor: Adrienne Montgomerie


before May 13     $160 Editors Canada members     $195 non-members

after May 13        $185 Editors Canada members      $220 non-members              

Includes lunch by Epicurious!

Register online.

Are you editing character by character? Are you slogging through documents, givi313251851ng your fingers more of a workout than your brain? Learn to turbo-boost Word and lighten your workload. Get the software to do the heavy lifting, leaving you to tackle meatier and more interesting editorial issues. Learn skills that make editing faster, more accurate, and efficient. You may even end up liking Word (just a little bit).

During the course, you will be guided through the steps on your own familiar laptop. There will be opportunities to practice and trouble-shoot. Coffee and lunch breaks will give you time to network and process what you’ve learned.

Workshop Topics

  • Search-and-replace magic with wildcards and more
  • Custom and built-in shortcuts that speed up editing
  • Add-ins and customizations that speed up editing
  • Methods and uses for Word’s Styles
  • macros to automate the most complicated or tedious tasks
  • Customizing the workspace to maximize productivity

All registrants will be surveyed before the course to determine which topics they most want to focus on. Any material not covered in the workshop will be included in a 90-page reference document with demo video support, so you can keep learning on your own time and review what we covered when it comes time to put it to use.

Registration will is limited to 25 attendees.

What You Need

  • Mac or Windows laptop loaded with MS Word—preferably Word 365 or Word 2016, though efforts will be made to support a couple of versions prior. (Note: For this workshop to be useful, you must have a version of Word that includes track changes and comments. Web-based programs such as Open Office are not sufficient.)
  • Good understanding of basic Word functions such as menus and ribbons, cut, copy, paste, undo, save as, spellcheck, bold, italic, and indenting.
  • Good fundamental computer skills such as mousing, keyboard navigation, and file management.
  • Good night’s sleep and confidence that you can make Word work for you!

About the Instructor

Adrienne MAMontgomerie medontgomerie has been teaching people to make nice with Word since 2003. This specialized editors’ course has been a sellout since she first offered it in 2012. She is a Certified Copyeditor and a 20-year veteran of freelance editing. She used to work mainly on high school science materials, earning her the moniker of scieditor, and today she can be found on the roster of Canada’s largest remaining publishers when she’s not teaching and writing about editing. The Right Angels and Polo Bears blog is her home base.

Click to register now!

For additional information, contact Elizabeth d’Anjou at elizabeth@danjou.ca or Nancy Wills at nancwills@gmail.com

For more about Editors Kingston, see www.editorskingston.org

Editors Kingston is a part of Editors Canada, Canada’s national professional editing organization.

Keyboard photo by John Ward. Used through Creative Commons licence.

Coming Up April 12: A Kingston Author Talks Editing

by Ellie Barton


Diane Schoemperlen   (Photo Credit: Mark Raynes Roberts)

Our Authors Talk Editing event last spring was so popular that we’ve decided to launch an annual series. Our guest on Wednesday, April 12, will be Diane Schoemperlen, an award-winning Kingston author of twelve books of fiction and non-fiction. Diane will be interviewed about her editing and writing life by twig coordinator Ellie Barton.

Diane is the author of seven collections of short fiction, three novels, a novella, and two works of creative nonfiction.

this-is-not-my-life-low-resIn her latest book, This Is Not My Life: A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications, she takes a close and candid look at her relationship with a federal inmate serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. This memoir was longlisted for the BC National Book Award and shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize.

Her other fiction includes Red Plaid Shirt: New and Selected Stories, In the Language of LoveOur Lady of the Lost and Found, and At a Loss For Words. Her collection of illustrated stories, Forms of Devotion: Stories and Pictures, won the 1998 Governor General’s Award for English fiction. Diane’s work has been adapted for the stage and also translated into French, German, Spanish, Swedish, and Chinese. She received the 2007 Marian Engel Award from the Writers’ Trust of Canada.

04-rpsDiane runs her own manuscript evaluation and editing service, specializing in short fiction and novels. Her latest project, a book of short stories by Ottawa writer Barbara Sibbald, will be published this spring by The Porcupine’s Quill. Diane is a member of Kingston Wired Writers, an association of internationally published writers who offer mentoring, manuscript evaluation, and editing. She has worked on manuscript at all stages of editing, from substantive and line editing to finessing grammar and punctuation.

02-fodDiane also mentors students on book-length manuscripts as a faculty member of the Humber School of Writing correspondence program. She was recently writer-in-residence at Queen’s University in Kingston and at St. Mary’s University in Halifax.

Diane will have books for sale—bring cash and take home a signed copy!

For more about Diane, visit her website: www.dianeschoemperlen.com.

Come Join Us!

Wednesday, April 12

7 to 9 p.m.  Doors open at 6:30.

Ongwanada Resource Centre, 191 Portsmouth Ave., Kingston

Both Editors Kingston members and non-members welcome.


Editing Theses—March Meeting Report

by Stephanie Stone


Twig Seminar: “Word for Editors and Writers”—Elizabeth d’Anjou started off the meeting by announcing this much-anticipated seminar, to be presented by Kingston editor Adrienne Montgomery. It will take place on Saturday, May 27,

Adrienne Montgomerie

at the Tett Centre, with a comprehensive, “interactive” handout and catering by Epicurious (which runs the Juniper Café). Attendance will be limited to 25 people, so watch this space for details about how to sign up.

Book Draw—Wade Guyitt, fast becoming a regular visitor, donated his copy of the first edition of the Oxford Guide to Canadian English Usage for a draw. (He’s now acquired the second edition.) Thanks to Wade for suggesting the idea and donating the book, and congratulations to Angela Pietrobon, one of our speakers, who won it. We’ll consider doing more such draws at future meetings.

Webinars —Don’t forget about the Editors Canada webinar series! On April 4 is “How to Evolve Your Writing from Print to Online” and on April 27 “A Linguist’s Guide to Grammar” with Editors Canada institution James Harbeck.

Angela Pietrobon and Reena Kukreja on Editing Theses

When Angela agreed to speak to us about her work as a thesis editor and writing coach, she asked Reena, whose thesis she had edited, to accompany her and give her point of view. Reena spoke first, providing an overview of her thesis edit from her point of view. Angela then followed, describing both the business and editing aspects of her work with academic thesis clients.


Reena has been a documentary filmmaker since 1988. A few years ago, she decided to turn her research on migrating brides in India into a PhD thesis. (You can read more about her research in this Globe and Mail article.) Coincidentally, her first job in the film industry was as a film editor.

While she had written film scripts in the past, she found the transition to writing her thesis difficult and the writing itself difficult and stressful; she wrote several drafts.

Reena crouches beside her camera to speak to a woman in a headscarf on dry, sunny ground.

Reena speaks to an interview subject in India

When her thesis was ready for editing, her supervisor recommended Angela. Because of the length of her thesis (approximately 465 pages, with 50 pages of references), the tight time frame (two to three weeks), and the fact that she would be in a different time zone (she was leaving for India), Reena wanted someone who could keep to a strict timetable and give clear, constructive feedback. She also wanted to be able to relate to that person because she needed to have her “baby” treated well. She needed to see her copy editor as her ally. She and Angela met for coffee, and this meeting reassured her that Angela was the right person, that they were on the same wavelength.

Reena found working with Angela to be “fantastic.” Her feedback was diplomatic; she could appreciate all the work Reena had done; and while she wasn’t familiar with the specific topic, she reassured Reena that the thesis made sense. She also brought valuable experience to the project – for example, she insisted that social science terminology had to be explained and ensured that all statements were backed up with facts from the interviews. Working long hours together at a distance, Reena and Angela met the tight deadline.


Angela strives to create a relationship with her clients, and she takes her role as their copy editor very seriously. Like Reena, she stressed the importance of being an ally. As an editor of a range of academic and other material, Angela thinks of editing a thesis edit not as a one-off project but as her first job with that client: a thesis often leads to a journal article, book, or both, and an editor the client has worked with successfully before is the obvious person to copy edit those projects, “investing in the client’s scholarly well-being.”

Angela began by reading through Reena’s thesis in one go, then copy edited it chapter by chapter. She sent each chapter to Reena as she finished it, and Reena reviewed it while Angela worked on the next chapter. She used Word’s Track Changes feature to track every edit and insert queries to Reena. She does more than just fix the grammar, but she also doesn’t go ahead and rewrite anything; she ensures that every edit has a purpose, and when she’s unsure about something, she inserts a query. Reena rejected only three or four of her suggested changes.

If the information in a manuscript is sensitive, Angela explained, it’s important that the copy editor keep her own cultural values, bias, and opinions out of the work. Confidentiality is also key in thesis work, even if no official confidentiality agreement has been signed.

Angela talked about the types of students and supervisors she’s worked with. Some students don’t know anything about punctuation or formatting. Some don’t know how to write footnotes or even what their purpose is—and sometimes the supervisor doesn’t know this either. She needs to spend time educating these students, and this is where her skills as a writing coach come in.

The most problematic kind of thesis for Angela is one that isn’t ready: the student has written a rough draft of the chapters, and the supervisor has told him to “go get it edited”; copy editing this type of thesis could drag on for up to 10 years. The best type of thesis is one for which the supervisor has signed off on all the content; the defence has been scheduled; the thesis is approximately 300 pages long; Angela has two weeks to copy edit; the student is a good writer, is writing in his first language, and understands heading levels and footnotes. The average situation is somewhere in between: the thesis is 250–320 pages long; the defence date is two to six months away; and the supervisor has been moderately helpful.

Angela uses a contract with thesis clients adapted from Editors Canada’s Standard Freelance Editorial Agreement (a contract template) and its Guidelines for Ethical Editing of Theses / Dissertations, and she insists on being acknowledged as the copy editor. She generally uses the Chicago Manual of Style. She doesn’t check facts, but queries anything that seems odd. She subcontracts formatting of the file to her husband, Rob (who was also in attendance that evening).

Rarely able to provide a firm quote before starting a project given the huge number of factors in a thesis edit, Angela gathers as much information as she can about the project and its status beforehand and gives an estimate. She keeps her client informed; for example, on a 40-hour contract, she’ll let the client know how the copy editing is going after 28 hours.

When she started out, Angela went to her local university and put up notices about herself on all the bulletin boards. She ran a business as a writing tutor for 10 years,  registering at the university as a tutor and talking to people in all the Graduate Studies programs, and also offered editing services. She noted for those starting out in this area in Kingston that Queen’s Education will take an editor’s information and pass it on. Now well established, Angela takes thesis work only on referral.

Coming Up April 12—Author Diane Schoemperlen Talks Editing

Award-winning Kingston author Diane Schoemperlen, author of 13 books of fiction and non-fiction, will talk about her experiences being edited by publishing houses and working as an editor of short fiction, novels, and memoir.

Wednesday, April 12

Ongwanada Resource Centre, 191 Portsmouth Ave., Kingston

7 to 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30)

Open to both Editors Canada members and non-members