I was fortunate to get a chance to hang out for a few hours on Saturday at the 2016 AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) Conference and Bookfair at the Los Angeles Convention Center. AWP is like Disneyland for writers and writing professors and writing students.
I spent most of my time there extolling the virtues of the Editorial Freelancers Association. Joining EFA was one of the first things I did when I decided to set up eDitmore Editorial Services a little more than five years ago. Being an EFA member has brought me clients—both directly and indirectly—and allowed me to be part of a broader community of like-minded editorial specialists.
So I was happy to sit in the EFA booth for a few hours on Saturday at the AWP Bookfair and answer questions about this important organization. It was fun to talk with other people who were passionate about writing and editing and publishing. Plus, getting a chance to meet several fellow EFA editors and swap stories about our ups and downs was a real treat. (Thanks for putting up with my persistent questioning and overall chattiness, Kristen Havens, Isabella Furth, and Lorre Levy!)
As a bonus, I was able to attend an AWP session, “Think Like an Editor,” with a panel of distinguished magazine and book editors, including Mary Norris of The New Yorker. Norris has been one of my personal heroes since she made editing seem at least semi-cool in her book, Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen.
It was fun just to listen to editors discussing their thought processes and the ways they interact with authors. I also picked up some great practical advice:
- the word “somesuch” can be invaluable when making editorial suggestions to authors;
- changing the typeface in an electronic file to look like the printed page will help you see problems you previously overlooked; and
- an editor should never be afraid to say “I don’t get it” to an author.
When you can pack all of that into one day, who needs Space Mountain?