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What Editors Do Examples


"The best editors," says Marion, "have an instinct for what looks right, sounds right, and rings true." They also, she adds, have a strong sense of how much is enough, understand the power of the em dash, and know the difference between "systemic" and "systematic." They never take the spelling of a proper name for granted, they respect the authors with whom they work, and they are fearless in the face of any topic.

The best of the best generally come from the cauldron of educational publishing. Glamorous? Not as a rule, but often intellectually demanding, always challenging, and usually very satisfying. You know when you've done a good day's work.

By total coincidence, Marion's first job in the publishing industry was as Assistant Editor, Technical Education, McGraw-Hill Ryerson. Her first assignment was a Grade 12 text on machine tool technology. From technical education, she moved to reading and language arts, health education, consumer education, mathematics, the sciences…. She worked on educational books and programs for students ranging from Kindergarten to undergraduates.

She quickly learned that every good editor has to be a good writer, too, and also know where and when to draw that line. It's often blurred and always a moving target. But it's also one reason why editorial work can be so interesting.

Of course, these assignments were spread over some years. After reaching the dizzying heights of Managing Editor, Trade and Education, General Publishing, Marion took the leap into freelance work. It was an excellent decision. Marion quickly acquired a solid list of book publishers as clients and an impressive portfolio.

Interested in getting a sense of the educational programs on which she worked as a freelancer? Click here.

Eventually, Marion's skills as an editor and project manager led her to corporate clients who valued her skill at getting to the essence. She evolved into a business writer. But that's another story….
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