A Kingston Author Talks Editing—April Meeting Report

this-is-not-my-life-low-res

Diane Schoemperlen’s memoir, the most recent of her 12 published books, was longlisted for the BC National Book Award and shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize.

“It was my life, and so everything seemed important,” Diane Schoemperlen said by way of explaining why her editor at HarperCollins told her to cut 40,000 words from the draft she submitted initially. Nods and chuckles from the Editors Kingston members and friends who had gathered on Apil 9 to hear Diane talk about her experiences with editing.

While it was hard work, Diane looks back on  this round of cuts to This Is Not My Life as a good experience; she is grateful to her HarperCollins editor, Jennifer Lambert, for the guidance she provided at this point and through five subsequent rounds of structural editing.

The copy edit, however, was another story.

Read about Diane’s unfortunate editorial experience—a cautionary tale that reminds us all of the first principle of editing, Respect the Author—on Ellie Barton’s blog in the post “The Best and the Worst of Edits.” 

 

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