Fun with Hard-Copy Marks

The sound of pencils scratching on paper filled the boardroom of the Ongwanada Centre as the editors of the Kingston twig delved into a task that was once the mainstay of the editorial profession but is rare today: marking up paper manuscript pages. I had brought along an exercise for practising hard-copy marks that I use with students in my Ryerson editing class, and everyone gave it a try. Some younger attendees were new to this task, while some veterans (myself included) found themselves a bit rusty. But everyone seemed to find it satisfying to produce a physical product by their editorial labours for a change.

While almost all editing is done onscreen these days, traditional paper marks for copy editing and proofreading still have a strong association with the editing profession, and are still used in some contexts. Editing students still learn the basics in most programs, and the proofreaders’ symbols especially are finding new life in onscreen PDF markup in the form of custom stamps.

Before breaking out the homework, we looked at various sample lists of marks and discussed the differences (which are either trivially minor or startlingly significant depending on whom you ask), shared stories of the last time we used them, traded tips for making them clear, and theorized about when certain more esoteric examples might be used (hair space, anyone?).

And I, showing off a decades-old example of my own hard-copy markup, was astonished at how neat it was! My skills have sadly deteriorated through disuse.

Announcements from National

Stephanie shared some news from Editors Canada:

  • Editors Canada’s second international conference will be held in Montreal at the end of June
  • Stephanie participated in the most recent meeting of twig and branch
    co-ordinators, which are now being held fairly regularly; there was a good exchange of information and ideas, with the overall lesson being that many other local groups face similar struggles to ours of fewer members or volunteers as they’d like
  • A number of national committee positions and National Executive posts are open; if you’re considering volunteering at the national level, contact past chair Gael Spivak for more information

 

More Great Guest Speakers Coming Soon!

March 11: Shelley Tanaka, award-winning Kingston writer and editor, especially known for children’s and young adult literature

April 8: David Sweet of Books and Company, beloved indie bookstore in Picton

Join Us

Ongwanada Resource Centre
191 Portsmouth Avenue
7 to 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30)
Free for Editors Canada members
$5 for visitors

Find Us on Facebook

Whether or not you come to our gatherings, feel free to join our Facebook group and chat with other Kingston-area editors and assorted word nerds.

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POSTPONED: Shelley Tanaka Talks Children’s Books

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUPDATE: Shelley Tanaka’s visit has been postponed (poor Shelley has broken her ankle). The March 11 meeting has been cancelled, but we’ll be sure to have Shelley come speak to us when she’s up and around again!

On Wednesday, March 11, Editors Kingston will welcome Shelley Tanaka at the twig gathering.

Shelley Tanaka is the long-time fiction editor at Groundwood Books, an independent Canadian children’s publisher based in Toronto, where she has edited more than a dozen Governor General’s Award–winning books. She also teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts, in the Masters of Fine Arts program in Writing for Children and Young Adults.

As well as sharing tales from her career in editing, Shelley will talk about how editing for young readers differs from editing books for adults. She’ll also describe how the children’s book business has changed over the years.

More about Shelley

Climate Change - Tanaka, ShelleyShelley is the author of more than 20 non-fiction books for children and young adults, including seven titles in the award-winning I Was There series (examples are On Board the Titanic, Attack on Pearl Harbor, and Climate Change). She has  won numerous other prizes, and her books have been translated into nine languages.

WhiteAsMilk-coverBShelley is also a translator and has twice been nominated for the annual German Children’s Literature Award. A recent translation is White as Milk, Red as Blood, a collection of 19th-century German folk tales. She not only translated these stories but  also developed the proposal to have them published in English.

Shelley lives in Kingston. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and German from Queen’s University and a master’s in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto.

Coming Up April 8

David Sweet of Books and Company, beloved indie bookstore in Picton, will speak at our April gathering.

Join Us

Ongwanada Resource Centre
191 Portsmouth Avenue
7 to 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30)
Free for Editors Canada members
$5 for visitors

Find Us on Facebook

Whether or not you come to our gatherings, feel free to join our Facebook group and chat with other Kingston-area editors and assorted word nerds.

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Coming Up February 12: Fun with Hard-Copy Marks

The pointy symbol on the Editors Kingston logo is …

  • (a) an upside-down letter V, illustrating how editors put language right when it has gone awry
  • (b) a tent, symbolizing a snug home for every word in the wilderness of text
  • (c) a witch’s hat, because editors work deep magic
  • (d) a caret mark, used in traditional paper copy editing to show exactly where in a line of text a change written above the line applies

While all of these frankly seem plausible to us (good editing surely has something of the magical about it!), we are told that the Editors Canada logo designers had (d) in mind. Clearly, while almost all editing is done onscreen these days, the traditional marks that copy editors used for most of the twentieth century to show changes on a paper manuscript still have a strong association with the profession.

These marks are still used in some contexts, and editing students in most programs are required to at least become familiar with them. The related (but not quite identical) marks used traditionally at the proofreading stage are used perhaps even more often, and are finding new life in onscreen PDF markup in the form of custom stamps.

So we thought it would be fun and instructive to spend the next twig gathering exploring these squiggles together! We’ll have some hands-on paper exercises for everyone to try, an onscreen demonstration of downloading stamps for pdf markup, and plenty of time to share experiences and opinions. If paper editing is new to you, come to learn;  if you are an old hand at it, come to share your knowledge—and perhaps discover some variations on it

If you have a document that you (or someone else, with their permission) has edited on paper with traditional marks, bring it in to share—even better, scan it and email it to Stephanie (sstone4@cogeco.ca) by Tuesday, February 11, and we can compare editing “handwriting.”

More Great Guest Speakers Coming Soon!

March 11: Shelley Tanaka, award-winning Kingston writer and editor

April 8: David Sweet of Books and Company, beloved indie bookstore in Picton

Join Us

Ongwanada Resource Centre
191 Portsmouth Avenue
7 to 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30)
Free for Editors Canada members
$5 for visitors

Find Us on Facebook

Whether or not you come to our gatherings, feel free to join our Facebook group and chat with other Kingston-area editors and assorted word nerds.

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John Thompson on Editing Nunatsiaq News

by Camille Croteau

On Wednesday, January 8th, the Editors Kingston twig met for its monthly meeting. I’m a new member to this twig, and I was very eager to meet my colleagues and learn about the unique role that John Thompson plays as the web editor for Nunatsiaq News. Not only did we get a chance to hear about the intricacies of publishing for a multicultural and geographically massive region, but John also shared with us his experiences of working remotely.

Nunatsiaq News is the newspaper of record for Nunavut and the Nunavik territory of northern Quebec. It’s published online daily and in print weekly, and it’s been around since 1975. Nunatsiaq News is read by over 70,000 readers each week, many ­­of whom live in the Arctic.

It’s important to recognize that not all Indigenous groups are the same. Inuit, Métis, and First Nations peoples represent the three groups of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and each has a unique culture and history.

Inuit means “the people.” Some say that makes “the Inuit people” redundant. Also to be avoided is “Inuits.” Inuk refers to one person of Inuit descent. There was also some discussion around periods of word transitions and the debates around proper language usage. For example, some argue that Inuktut should be used as an umbrella term for different dialects of the language. The term Inuktitut has historically served this purpose, but it also refers to several specific dialects spoken in Nunavut. Either way, as an editor, it can be difficult to manage these words-in-flux so that readers understand the written content and so that the writer’s story is accurate.

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In addition to these uses, other uses of originally Indigenous words could be negatively received if written in the adapted (or stolen) English spelling. For example, in some circumstances it could be culturally insensitive to spell words such as iglu and qajaq using English spelling. It makes me wonder whether editors who are not writing for the Nunavummiut explicitly are considering these types of cultural concerns during the editorial process.

We also learned some rather humorous mistakes that can occur when working with the Inuit language. The crowd favourite was the word Iqualuit, a misspelling of Iqaluit (the capital of Nunavut) that means “people with unwiped bums.” I’m happy to finally have a word for that! Additionally, I hadn’t known about the historic implementation of syllabics in Inuktitut. Syllabics is a form of abugida, which is writing that is based on consonant–vowel pairs. The language is very intuitive, and, for many, using it is considered a part of the Inuit identity.

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John’s talk opened my eyes to the relationship between language and Inuit identities. This was also mentioned by Jim Penistan, who talked about the book he had recently purchased, Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writers by and about Indigenous People. Language, when speaking about the Indigenous population, is particularly important since language can convey importance, respect, and values. Respecting Indigenous language identity and ownership should be a priority for editors when discussing the Indigenous community.

Coming Up

February 12: Fun with Hard-Copy Marks—Let’s explore these retro editing squiggles together! Come to learn or to share your expertise (or perhaps a bit of both). We’ll have hands-on exercises and a discussion of contexts in which the marks are relevant today.

March 11: Shelley Tanaka, award-winning Kingston writer and editor

April 8: David Sweet of Books and Company, beloved indie bookstore in Picton

Join Us

Ongwanada Resource Centre
191 Portsmouth Avenue
7 to 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30)
Free for Editors Canada members
$5 for visitors

Find Us on Facebook

Whether or not you come to our gatherings, feel free to join our Facebook group and chat with other Kingston-area editors and assorted word nerds.

Editors_t_Kingston_EN_rgb

Elizabeth d’Anjou and Stephanie Stone

Editors Kingston coordinators

Coming Up January 8: John Thompson on Editing Nunatsiaq News

What’s the one typo you really need to avoid in Inuktitut?

To find out, join us on January 8 for the first Editors Kingston gathering of 2020, where John Thompson will share his experiences as web editor for Nunatsiaq News and other publications based in the North.

We’ll also learn about the editing process at an online news site, how staff residing thousands of kilometres apart collaborate, and what it was like to live and work in Iqaluit.

About John

John Thompson is a writer and editor who has spent more than a decade working as a journalist in Canada’s North. From his current base in Kingston, he serves as the web editor of Nunatsiaq News, the newspaper of record for Canada’s eastern Arctic.

John started his journalism career working as a reporter and assistant editor for Nunatsiaq News while living in Iqaluit, Nunavut. He then moved to Whitehorse, where he reported for the Yukon News and later served as that newspaper’s editor. Before returning to Nunatsiaq News, he spent a time serving as the managing editor of the online news startup Arctic Deeply.

More Great Guest Speakers Coming Soon!

March 11: Shelley Tanaka, award-winning Kingston writer and editor

April 8: David Sweet of Books and Company, beloved indie bookstore in Picton

Join Us

Ongwanada Resource Centre
191 Portsmouth Avenue
7 to 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30)
Free for Editors Canada members
$5 for visitors

Find Us on Facebook

Whether or not you come to our gatherings, feel free to join our Facebook group and chat with other Kingston-area editors and assorted word nerds.

Editors_t_Kingston_EN_rgb

Elizabeth d’Anjou and Stephanie Stone

Editors Kingston coordinators

Holiday Social

Old Man Winter tries, but fails, to stamp out editorial fellowship!
(Thanks to Matt for the photo.)

Food, fun, and friendship—and, of course, the highs and lows of editing—were all on display at the Editors Kingston holiday social.

Seven twiggers, both veterans and newcomers, gathered at Milestones on Princess Street in Kingston. More than twice that number had planned to come, but unfortunately, Mother Nature chose that day to snow and blow, keeping many people from making the trip from out of town and even across town.

But, as the song says, though the weather outside was frightful, inside it was warm and delightful.

Coming Up January 8

While the weather was disappointing for its effect on our social, the memory of it will set the mood for our January program!

Former twig member and continuing “friend” John Thompson will share his experiences working for Nunatsiaq News, editing in and about the Canadian Arctic!

Watch this space for more details.

More Great Guest Speakers Coming Soon!

March 11: Shelley Tanaka, award-winning Kingston writer, editor, and translator

April 8: David Sweet of Books and Company, beloved indie bookstore in Picton

Join Us

Ongwanada Resource Centre
191 Portsmouth Avenue
7 to 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30)
Free for Editors Canada members
$5 for visitors

Find Us on Facebook

Whether or not you come to our gatherings, feel free to join our Facebook group and chat with other Kingston-area editors and assorted word nerds.

Editors_t_Kingston_EN_rgb

Elizabeth d’Anjou and Stephanie Stone

Editors Kingston coordinators

Coming Up December 11: Holiday Social

Free Clipart Of New Year Celebrations Image
Let’s celebrate together!

Looking forward to sharing some winter cheer with friends and colleagues at our Holiday social on Wednesday, December 11, from 6:30 p.m. at Milestones, 27 Princess Street at Ontario.

We’re expecting an excellent turnout; as of Monday midday, 14 people had RSVP’d to Nancy!

Pay as you go. Partners and friends welcome.

Coming Up January 8

You think Kingston is cold in January? Join us for a talk from twig member John Thompson about his work for Nunatsiaq News, editing in and about the Canadian Arctic!

Our usual date, time, and place: Wednesday, January 8, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Ongwanada. Watch this space for more details.

In the Desert Together: Author Iain Reid Talks Editing

by Cat London

Iain Reid talks editing, film adaptations, and camels at Editors Kingston on November 13.

I don’t think anyone predicted that the November meeting of Editors Kingston would take place as a snowstorm was settling us all into winter, but living in Kingston does come with the occasional weather surprise. We were particularly excited to come together for this meeting because it is not a regular occurrence for our gatherings to feature renowned, award-winning authors — but then, another surprise that comes with living in Kingston is the extraordinary literary scene it boasts for a town this size.

Our guest for the evening of November 13 was Iain Reid, a Kingston-based author of memoir, essays, and, more recently, novels. Surprisingly humble in light of his impressive and continued success — his books have been published in multiple countries to excellent reception — Iain spoke frankly about his writing journey so far and his experiences working with different editors on each of his books, including, in one case, with two editors in two far-flung countries at the same time.

The meeting took the form of a relaxed conversation, and it was made even more interesting by the presence of Alex Schultz, an editor with over two decades’ experience in book publishing, who was an acquiring editor at Penguin when Iain began to explore the process of getting his books into print — with a submission to Penguin. Hearing the story of Iain’s initial contact with the publishing world from the two perspectives was fascinating.

Iain had many kind things to say about his experience of the collaborative relationship between authors and editors, of which this one was clearly the crowd favourite:

It’s like you’re on riding a camel on a journey in the desert, out of water, and you can’t quite make it on your own, but then someone rides up on another camel with fresh water, and they help you get the rest of the way there.

When Adrienne Montgomerie pointed out that sometimes the editor tells the author to go back another 10 kilometres into the desert and travel it again, Iain agreed, but pointed out that at least the editor has more water.

Iain described the skill set of an editor as being different from his own as an author: an editor brings a new level of thoroughness to the table, and an ability to quickly grasp the big picture of a book and identify ways to improve it.

He also talked about where and how he has found and developed ideas, as well as about his recent experiences in the filmmaking world — both his novels, I’m Thinking of Ending Things and Foe, are being turned into movies. Iain is co-writing the screenplay for Foe.

With the usual lovely array of snacks and beverages and a sizable turnout of editors, would-be editors, and other word enthusiasts, the meeting was a bright spot in a gloomy, early winter night. Thanks so much to the Editors Kingston coordinators for bringing Iain to talk to us, and many, many thanks to Iain for coming, and for all his kind words about editors. (He even wrote a short essay in praise of editors for the National Post a few years ago.)

I’m looking forward to our December fête at Milestones.

Announcements

Webinars

Don’t forget to check out the upcoming Editors Canada Webinars: short, practical training units you can attend from anywhere with an internet connection. Registration includes a webinar recording (so you can review it any time, or catch up if you miss part or even all of it) and digital copies of any handouts. Elizabeth can particularly recommend Graphs 101 with Toronto Editor Robin Marwick on Wednesday, December 6.

Conference

It’s not too early to start thinking about attending the Editors Canada annual conference, which will be in Montreal, June 19 through 21 (much closer for twiggers than last year’s conference in Halifax or the previous year’s in Saskatoon). The theme is From Papyrus to Pixels: International Editing Trends. Building on the success of its first international conference in 2015, which included presenters and attendees from the U.S., the U.K., and as far afield as India and Australia, the association expects a full weekend of learning, networking — and fun! The conference is also a great volunteering opportunity for Editors Canada members: contact conferencevolunteers@editors.ca.

Coming Up December 11

Come share some winter cheer with friends and colleagues at our Holiday social on Wednesday, December 11, from 6:30 p.m. at Milestones, 27 Princess Street at Ontario.

Please RSVP to Nancy Wills (nancwills@gmail.com) by Monday, December 9.

Pay as you go. Partners and friends welcome.

Coming Up January 8

You think Kingston is cold in January? Join us for a talk from twig member John Thompson about his work editing in and about the Canadian Arctic!

Our usual date, time, and place: Wednesday, January 8, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Ongwanada. Watch this space for more details.

Coming Up November 13: Meet Iain Reid

Iain Reid
Iain Reid visits the twig to talk editing and more on November 13.

Iain Reid, well-known Kingston writer of both delightful memoir and chilling suspense, will join us for our November meeting. We’re excited that he’s able to fit us into his busy schedule!

We first tried to book Iain for our 2016 Authors Talk Editing event. At the time, he had recently won the $10,000 RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award for The Truth about Luck, his second book of memoir, which tells the story of a five-day “staycation” he took, at age 28, with his 92-year-old grandmother. Unfortunately, our date conflicted with an appearance he was booked for at an authors festival.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things

Since then, Iain’s literary star has done nothing but rise. He made a major switch in genres, producing two bestselling suspense novels: I’m Thinking of Ending Things, which Vice calls an “unsettling sensation” (and almost every reviewer calls “impossible to put down”) and Foe, which Goodreads calls “an eerily entrancing page-turner.” Both are being turned into films.

So we’re honoured that he was able and willing to come to our November meeting for his own Authors Talk Editing event. (Read about the great authors who did join us that night and the sequel with Merilyn Simonds and Wayne Grady.)

Foe

We can’t wait to ask him about his experiences of being edited and more—such as the differences in writing two such very different genres, and what it’s like for a former employee of the Screening Room in Kingston to have his novel adapted for Netflix by Oscar-winning director Charlie Kaufman.

Come join us! Whether you’ve read Iain’s work or not, you’ll hear a smart conversation about books and editing. (Read more about Iain Reid in the Kingston Whig Standard, in Maclean’s, or in Vice.)

As always, there will also be news from Editors Canada, networking, and snacks.

We’ve also invited Iain to bring books for sale; please come with cash if you think you might like to shop.

Join Us!

We’ll meet at the usual place and time: Ongwanada Resource Centre, 191 Portsmouth Avenue in Kingston, 7 to 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30). Light refreshments, coffee, and cold drinks. All are welcome. Free for Editors Canada members; $5 for visitors (first meeting free)

Hyphens and Compounds: ECE3 Book Club

The second meeting of the Kingston Twig’s ECE3 Book Club, held on October 9, 2019, at the Ongwanada Resource Centre in Kingston, was a success:

  • Shockingly, everyone in the group was discovered to have opinions—in some cases, even feelings—about at least some hyphens to some degree.
  • The hyphen in attributive adjective compounds (a hyphen use discussion / a hyphen-use discussion), on which the Associated Press recently changed its guidelines, was discussed.
  • The suspended hyphen (e.g., three- and four-year-old children) was examined.
  • The en dash was praised.
  • The hyphen table in Chicago was consulted.
  • Style variations in different types of publications were explored.
  • The first two editions of ECE3, brought for show and tell by Lee, were admired.
  • There was a side trip to discussion of the famous spelling variants table, wherein it was revealed that Elizabeth had been responsible for the most recent version thereof.

Clearly, editors know how to have a good time!

Two newcomers to the group—Carolyn, a one-time FEAC member who now works at Queen’s and is updating her skills with the Standards courses, and John, who described himself as someone who currently edits only recreationally—were welcomed.

Snacks were consumed.

The location of the June Editors Canada national conference, its second with an international theme, and expected to have speakers and attendees from the U.S., Europe, and beyond as well as Canada, was announced: Montreal.

An invitation is extended to all: join us next month!

Join Us

Ongwanada Resource Centre
191 Portsmouth Avenue
7 to 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30)
Free for Editors Canada members
$5 for visitors

Find Us on Facebook

Whether or not you come to our gatherings, feel free to join our Facebook group and chat with other Kingston-area editors and assorted word nerds.

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Stephanie Stone and Elizabeth d’Anjou

Editors Kingston coordinators