The 2018 ACES Conference is packed with great sessions and speakers, bringing you the latest tools, resources and tips in copy editing. Check out some of the incredible offerings below.
9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
User Interfaces to User Manuals: Technical Editing in the Software Industry
Patrick Gray, technical writer, Argo AI
Working as an editor in the software industry requires unique skills and knowledge. Technical editors are often asked to wear many hats within a development organization. Are you interested in working for a software company? Do you want to understand the challenges and expectations of a technical communicator working with a development team? Are you looking to expand your freelance editing business to include software development work? This session will go over the skills and experience necessary to work with software developers, integrate well into a software company, and develop as a technical communication professional.
Breaking into Academic Editing
Sarah Grey, owner, Grey Editing; Cathy Hannabach, owner, Ideas on Fire; Summer McDonald, editor, Ideas On Fire
What is academic editing all about? In this intro-level session, three freelance academic editors walk you through the ins and outs of scholarly publishing, including editing journal articles, dissertations, book proposals and books. How do academics' needs differ from those of other clients? What do university presses look for from their authors, and how can editors help them provide it? How much specialization do you need to do different kinds of academic editing? If you're interested in breaking into academic editing or making the transition from academic life to freelance editing, this session is for you.
How Much Editing is Too Much?
Rob Reinalda, executive editor, Ragan Communications
Amid today's avalanche of words, what approach should an editor take? Is the author's "voice" more important than the reader's time? I'm an aggressive editor. I'm also a deft linguistic surgeon. A quarter-century of newspaper editing and eight years as executive editor for Ragan Communications have taught me how to wield machete and scalpel. Let's look, for example, at when "conversational tone" devolves into sloppy writing. (That's a favorite topic: Check it out!)
Slaying the Chimera: Diagramming Some of the Worst Sentences Ever Published
Hillary Warren, professor and T&C media adviser, Otterbein University
These sentences laugh at subject-predicate structure, active voice and parallelism, but we will make the subjects and verbs agree and have some fun at the same time. I've collected the worst of the worst in print. Together, we will subject them to the kind of scrutiny that would make my high school writing teacher beam with pride. If you miss the pleasure of sentence diagramming, join us. If you have only seen these unnatural acts on YouTube, you are particularly welcome.
Leadership in the Workplace
Rebecca Dyer, copy editor, digital producer, night editor, Arizona Republic; David Brindley, senior vice president and managing editor, National Geographic magazine; Teresa Schmedding, managing editor, Rotary International; David Yontz, senior editor, Creators Syndicate
Four seasoned managers share leadership skills and techniques that will help you maximize the performance of your team of editors. Get tools for managing your boss and learn how employee-manager relations can foster mutual respect, with both sides acting as leaders in the workplace. Learn how to lead from the heart, earn respect, effectively teach skills and make your department the best it can be.
2 - 3:15 p.m.
The Human Connection: Bring Your Presentations to Life!
Judy Straalsund, presentation coach, Graceworks Inc.
You've been asked to leave the comfort of your office and give a presentation. Now what? If you want to face that prospect with confidence, this fun and interactive session is for you. Helping our readers is the foundation of our editing work. Helping your listeners is equally important in presentation skills. You'll learn to engage and energize your audience. We’ll help you focus on what your sole task is as a presenter, as well as the power of body language and how to use visuals wisely, so you can breathe easy and breathe life into your presentations!
Reaching the fact-resistant audience
Jane Elizabeth, Director, Accountability Journalism Program, American Press Institute
Why do people continue to support and share misinformation even when journalists have repeatedly reported the facts? It's tempting to give up on the fact-resistant. But in this interactive session, we'll discuss strategies -- supported by brain research and media studies -- that every journalist could deploy to reach and engage fact-resistant/partisan audiences.
Lisa McLendon, Bremner Editing Center coordinator, University of Kansas
You've mastered agreement; you know how to make a sentence parallel; pronouns give you no problems. But do you know what a fused participle is, how to use the hortatory subjunctive, when you need a double genitive or how to phrase a nominative absolute? The inner workings of grammar don't have to be a mystery. This session delves deeply into the mechanics of English, so that when you encounter a sentence that "just doesn't sound right" you'll know why -- and you'll know how to fix it.
Editing and Emotional Labor
Isabella Furth, owner, Bluefish Editorial Services; Sarah Grey, founder, Grey Editing LLC; Heather Saunders, owner, Just the Write Type Editing
It is easy to overlook the amount of emotional labor involved in editing the unrecognized, sometimes uncompensated and often gendered work of managing others' emotions, maintaining relationships and monitoring our own responses in the name of professionalism. This panel will look at how emotional labor functions in the editorial relationship. How can we understand and anticipate the emotional arc of a project? How do we set and maintain appropriate boundaries? What are strategies for self-care and resilience when we encounter difficult material? And how do we account for emotional labor in our pricing strategies?
Editing for Inclusion
Pam Hogle, freelance editor and writer
Creating accessible, digital content should become a core skill for copy editors. It is much easier to verify that content has the proper HTML tags, includes alt text for images and is formatted in a way that screen readers can accommodate during production than to go back and fix things after the fact. This session will also address issues of language use: How and when to describe disability. But the emphasis will be on editing for inclusion — making sure that ensuring accessibility is as much a part of preparing digital content as fact-checking.
3:30 - 4:45 p.m.
How Does a Copy Editor "Pivot to Video"?
Ali Killian, copy editor, Mic; Kaitlyn Jakola, copy chief, Mic
So your company is taking the plunge into producing video content. Want to stay relevant, keep up with the terminology and be able to copy edit any text, no matter the platform? This session will include a brief tutorial on the stages of video copy editing, discuss how copy editing elevates the quality of videos and delve into the specifics about what sets video copy editing apart from traditional copy editing and proofreading.
Going rogue: Using (and Breaking) Style Rules to Create a Culture of Conscious Editing
Ali Killian, copy editor, Mic; Kaitlyn Jakola, copy chief, Mic
Words matter. From seemingly small instances, like whether to capitalize "internet," to larger decisions, like whether to include a trans person's dead name (pro tip: don't), the words we choose to publish have repercussions in society, public policy and beyond. So what happens when traditional style guidance clashes with an outlet's morals, values or mission? This session examines how to navigate that conflict and successfully implement change for more nuanced and representative journalism. Going beyond creating a house style guide, it covers how copy editors can be cultural leaders and influence newsrooms to ask thoughtful questions about the language they use.
Yoga for Editors
Stretch it out with Evelyn Rodriguez, a seasoned yoga professional, who is convinced of yoga's power to change lives. That's why she shares her passion teaching, adapting her classes based on the needs of her students with special attention to breathing and alignment focusing on the mind-body connection, so more people can benefit from this wonderful discipline.
9 - 10:15 a.m.
Janice Lee, freelance copy editor
How does copyediting comics differ from copyediting text alone? What exceptions can we make to standard style and usage rules, and what additional sorts of errors do we need to watch out for? In this session, we’ll discuss best practices for copyediting several different types of comics, including graphic novels and manga, as well as both hard-copy and PDF markup techniques.
Getting Student Journalists to Care About Editing in the Digital Age
Kay O’Donnell, assistant professor of journalism and student media adviser, North Central College
Today's student journalists see an erosion of editing skills at the personal level -- involving "social media" communication -- and at the professional level where incorrect grammar, factual inaccuracies and just plain bad writing are readily available. As a journalism educator and media adviser, it is a continual challenge to encourage students to be not only aware of, but also passionate about editing and fact-checking. This session will offer some strategies to help combat editing malaise.
How Do I Say That?!
Laura Poole, director of training, Copyediting.com
Editors work with words but often find it difficult to say things that might be seen as bad news. How do you raise your rates, fire a client, turn down a project, apply for something you're not fully qualified for or deliver bad news? Learn how to spin things to your advantage, focus on the positive and be firm when necessary. We'll cover actual examples and invite discussion of your experiences.
What’s New in the AP Stylebook
Paula Froke, lead editor, AP Stylebook; Colleen Newvine, product manager, AP Stylebook
Paula Froke, lead editor of the AP Stylebook, gives a sneak preview of some of what’s new in the 2018 Stylebook, which is now at the printer and due out May 30. Some of these changes will take effect today on AP Stylebook Online, and ACES members will be the first to know. Colleen Newvine, AP Stylebook product manager, will share some highlights of recently digitized AP reporter’s handbooks dating to the early 1900s to contrast how the news business has changed – and what remains the same. Tweet your style questions to @APStylebook or stop by the AP Stylebook’s sponsor table to get your AP style question to the top of the list.
10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
Editing for the Federal Government
Helen O'Guinn, senior editor, HighPoint Global
Uncle Sam has his eyes on your commas! Thanks to the Plain Language Act, all government documents must be in plain language. If Jane Public is going to read your work, you better make the language simple and easy to understand. Enter the editors. Whether you work for a government agency or a subcontractor or as a freelancer, you may have discovered that streamlining government canon is tough. In this session, we'll arm you with ideas that work: -How to apply plain language to government editing -Why established editing procedures are your best friends -That a style guide is just a guide -- when to use it and when to back down -How to communicate artfully with someone who last thought about grammar in seventh grade.
One on One: Working with Independent Authors
Christina M. Frey, co-executive, Editorial Freelancers Association; senior editor/literary coach, Page Two Editing
The publishing landscape is continually evolving as more and more indie authors seek professional support to publish their best book possible. Where do professional editors fit in? In this session, we'll discuss strategies for attracting and working with independent authors, self-publishing clients and small presses:
Financial Strategies to Grow Your Freelance Business
Melanie Padgett Powers, owner, MelEdits; Sea Chapman, freelance editor; Michelle Lowery, owner, Sevillana Publishing, LLC
You've heard you need to spend money to make money. This is true, but for it to work, you must become savvy with your finances and in the ways you earn and spend money. Your success depends on it. In this session, you'll hear from three freelance editors who will share some of the financial philosophies and strategies that have led to their success. They'll cover hiring and becoming subcontractors, diversifying and specializing services, outsourcing both business and personal tasks to free up time and building the confidence to do what it takes to help your business grow.
An IRL Reading and Q+A! A World Without "Whom": The Essential Guide to Language in the BuzzFeed Age
Emmy Favilla, global copy chief, BuzzFeed
Emmy Favilla reads from her new book, A World Without “Whom”: The Essential Guide to Language in the BuzzFeed Age, followed by a Q+A. With an irreverent and comical tone, AWWW encourages a staunchly descriptivist "follow your heart" approach to many of the "rules" of language and grammar we were once taught to hold dearly as hard-and-fast. It explores recent language and punctuation trends that have been influenced by the omnipresence of social media and digital communication in addition to practical advice for writers and editors—such as tips for editing content across various English-speaking regions.
Computer-Assisted Copy Editing: Using Tansa's Products for Clear, Concise and Consistent Copy
Chris Grimm, managing director at Tansa Systems USA
Software may not be able to identify alternative facts, but it can save editors a tremendous amount of time by checking for spelling, style, word usage and proper names. Editing tools like Lingofy, StyleGuard and Tansa go far beyond spell-checking. See how today's technologies can help writers and editors follow a published style guide, like the AP Stylebook or an organization’s inhouse style.
1 - 2:15 p.m.
Cookbook Editing from Soup to Nuts
Karen Wise, freelance copyeditor
What do you need to know to edit a cookbook, for either a traditional book publisher or an individual looking to self-publish? We'll first look at the different types of cookbooks, and what that means for the copyeditor, plus a rundown of the typical outline of a cookbook. Then we'll dig in to the nitty-gritty—all the required and optional components of a recipe, including sequence, style conventions, and the many do’s and don’ts. We'll also talk about which reference works to rely on, and what to do when they don’t agree.
What to Know Before You Send Your Copy for Translation
Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo, CEO, Accessible Translation Solutions
In this session, attendees will learn what they should consider before sending a text off for translation. They will also learn how to work closely with a professional translator and editor who specializes in a specific content area and what questions to ask to ensure that the spirit of the text is maintained after it is translated to the target language.
Streamline Your Editorial Business with Systems
Jodi Brandon, president, Jodi Brandon Editorial
Editing is a craft, but you’re running a business. More time = more money. Efficiency = more money. Systems and automation = more money. Setting up templates, processes and systems enables you to work more efficiently and spend your time doing what you love (manuscript reviews, editing, working with authors), rather than admin tasks. We'll review project management programs like Trello and Asana, discuss Google Drive as a storage portal, and more. What works for one person won’t work for another. Use trial and error to find what works for you, and then run with it!
Why Is English Spelling So Wierd?
James Harbeck, senior medical editor, MediResource Inc.
English spelling, with its caprices and vices, has often put its users through tough thoughts. But no language is an island, and we owe our words and their weird orthography to many sources, and to our own greed, laziness and snobbery. Come hear the tale, by turns subtle and obtuse, of how our forebears' designs and ignorance have bequeathed us this dog's breakfast.
Save time and your sanity: Increase your efficiency with Microsoft Word
Rhonda Bracey, managing director, CyberText Consulting Pty Ltd
Many of us use Word regularly. But are we using it efficiently? Learn practical tips to help you become more efficient with Microsoft Word for Windows, including:
NOTE: This session focuses on Word for Windows. Mac users should be able to do similar things, but there are no guarantees.
Women in Management
Courtney Rukan deputy multiplatform editing chief, The Washington Post
This session aims to foster conversation about being a female manager and all that goes with it: navigating workplace dynamics and politics, taking over a team and learning how to lead it, and figuring out how to get ahead in your organization. It’s designed to be interactive, so please show up with questions and comments.
2:30 - 3:45 p.m.
"French toast" vs. "french fries": The Wild West of Food Editing
Wendy Allen, editor, Organic Valley / CROPP Cooperative
Despite the popularity and abundance of cookbooks, online recipe sites and food blogs, food-writing style is still a Wild West. Cheddar (uppercase) or cheddar (lowercase)? Is it farmer's, farmers' or farmers market? Oddities like these equal opportunities for sharp copy editors who can spot the holes in recipes, make so-so copy sizzle, and keep a company out of the legal frying pan. In this session, we'll review some frustrating (and amusing) inconsistencies, clichés, and red flags running amok in this field. But never fear, we'll also share resources and tips to help you tame the chili…or is it chile?
"Mother" or "Pregnant Person"? Why Words Matter When Covering Reproductive Rights
Regina Mahone, managing editor, Rewire; Kat Jercich, managing editor, Rewire
Is it "mother," "pregnant person" or "woman"? What about "pro-life" or "anti-choice"? As managing editors at Rewire, a nonprofit online publication, we ask ourselves these questions and dozens of others every day to ensure we're minimizing harm and being as accurate as possible. For example, when an outlet refers to "the health of the mother" with regard to abortion laws, it sends the message that all pregnant people keep their pregnancy and raise their offspring, which is not true. In this session copy editors will learn how to get it right when reviewing articles on reproductive health, rights and justice.
Outsourcing Editing: Getting the Best for Them and for You
Jane Hurge, in-house editor and reviser, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH)
You need editing help — fast! Beyond core competencies, what else do you need to consider?
Learn how to get the best editor and keep them in this “how to” workshop. Discussion encouraged.
Macros 201: The Shell Game
Amy J. Schneider, owner, Featherschneider Editorial Services
Already using basic macros in Microsoft Word? Now learn to use three simple but effective macro "shells" to power up your current tools. Learn to (1) run a macro through an entire document, (2) automate turning off tracking as needed and (3) set up a dialog box to access and categorize your favorite macros. Attendees should be familiar with creating and editing macros, using the Visual Basic Editor and creating keyboard shortcuts in Word. Various useful individual macros will also be demonstrated during the session.
4 – 5:15 p.m.
Style Guide Superjam
Panelists: Colleen Newvine, project manager, AP Stylebook; Peter Sokolowski, editor at-large, Merriam Webster
Editors from the AP Stylebook, Chicago Manual of Style and MLA Formatting and Style Guide, and maybe other major stylebooks, compare and contrast their style rules and how they approach their roles.
9 - 10:15 a.m.
Is This Resource Reliable?
Gerri L. Berendzen, editorial adviser, University Daily Kansan
Where and how do you find the best verification resources, both online and in print? This session will give editors tools for determining whether a resource is reliable, help them build a list of the best online resources for fact checking and develop best practices for doing accuracy checks.
10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
Editing Children's Books
Christine Ma, owner, Christine Ma Editorial Services
In many ways, children's book publishing can be quite different from the adult market. This session will explore those differences and focus on copy editing fiction written for readers ages eighteen and under, such as middle grade and young adult novels, and picture books. Topics will include the different types of editing and reading levels, as well as diversity and other issues.
Jennifer LaFleur, data editor, Reveal and The Center for Investigative Reporting; Scott Pham, news applications developer, Reveal and The Center for Investigative Reporting
Just like words, databases need editing. This session will cover editing data from the source to the product. It will cover how to spot problems in data and how to deal with editing data interactives.
Sharpening Your Skills: A Headline Workshop
Andy Bechtel, associate professor, UNC-Chapel Hill; Teresa Schmedding, managing editor, Rotary International; Vicki Krueger, system web communication coordinator, The Poynter Institute
This session is a hands-on workshop about writing headlines for digital media. We will begin with a short discussion of trends and techniques. Then participants will write headlines for news stories and press releases. The session will conclude with a critique.
Keeping Current Amid Evolving Editing Skills
Sue Burzynski Bullard, associate professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Lisa McLendon, coordinator, Bremner Editing Center, University of Kansas
Editing jobs have been changing at an ever-increasing pace, both because of technology and because of the changing nature of the workplace. A majority of ACES members no longer work at newspapers; instead, they edit across a variety of disciplines and on a variety of platforms. In this session, two editors-turned-editing professors will share research on how both professionals and academics view editing skills today. They'll also provide resources for editors wanting to master new skills and polish traditional ones, plus a few hands-on exercises that can be used in a classroom or a workplace.
Creating a Pro-Editing Culture in a Corporate Environment
Kristen Legg, managing editor, Floyd | Snider
This session will look at ways to make your editing team an essential part of any corporate office. From encouraging project managers to utilize your skills to developing new initiatives to keep editing fresh in staff members' minds, we will discover how to go from being a disconnected and rushed pass at the end of document development to an integral part of the project team. Additional topics will include schedule management, dealing with resistance and learning to let go.
1 - 2:15 p.m.
Conlangs: Languages with Stories to Tell
Sea Chapman, freelance editor
If you edit speculative fiction, you have probably encountered invented languages in some of the manuscripts you have worked on. Most invented languages are poorly designed from a linguistic perspective. Readers do pick up on the problems and inconsistencies after a while. Learn about the history of conlangs (constructed languages), what makes a conlang believable, where to begin in creating a language and how to help your clients create languages that are effective for their purpose in a story.
Are Two Heads Really Better than One?
Brian Cleveland, multi-platform editor, The Washington Post; Jim Webster, multiplatform editor, The Washington Post
Facebook and Twitter and print. Search engines and shareability and home pages. There's so much to take into account when writing a headline now. Display type that sings on the front page may not work so well on the home page, and it may make no sense at all on social media. In this session, we'll discuss writing headlines for different platforms and look for ways to make them work on many at the same time.
Perfectionism in editing (and how to let it go)
Alysha Love, multi-platform editor, CNN Politics
As editors, we're prepared to correct every misstep and smooth every line of writing until it's perfect. But what happens when you're up against deadlines and time constraints? Practical tips from one perfectionist to her fellow editors on how to triage your edits, manage your perfectionism and learn to let it go.
Google News Lab Fundamentals
Andy Boyle, director of platform architecture, Axios
Attend this talk to get an overview of how Google's tools can help you do research, fact-check, find what's trending and locate and quickly visualize useful datasets on any project. The workshop will highlight: Advanced Google Search techniques and refinements, Google Trends, Immersive Journalism tools and Google Maps.
Rookie Mistakes That Even Veterans Make
David Yontz, senior editor, Creators
With stylebooks, dictionaries, the internet and usage manuals galore, all the information editors need is at their fingertips. However, sometimes you don't know what you don't know. Carrying the torch of legendary editor Bill Walsh, David Yontz, senior editor at Creators, highlights some common errors that often slip through the cracks.
2:30 - 3:45 p.m.
The Ins and Outs of Freelancing for Publishing Houses
Natalie Nyquist, freelance editor
This fast-paced workshop discusses the unique aspects of freelancing for publishing houses versus private clients, what experience publishers look for in freelancers and the power of third-party vendors. We will also brainstorm how to find work, what to do (and not do!) on editing tests, and how choices can maximize the rate of repeat clients. Finally [AM8] we will focus on proofreading, often the doorway to other work with a publisher. Using an extensive checklist, we'll walk through the types of proofreading publishers may request, including first pass, second pass, formatting check and final proof.
The Tycoon’s Secret Werewolf Bride: Copy editing for Romance Novels
Sara Brady, freelance editor and copy editor for Inside Higher Ed
Romance novels make up 34 percent of the US fiction market and accounted for $1 billion in sales in 2013. Like any genre, romance has idiosyncrasies and quirks: When you’re talking about werewolves, is “alpha” capitalized? What part do restrictive commas play in ménage? Did that author really mean to use “lathe” as a verb? This session will focus on what to expect when editing romance, from creating style sheets to maintain consistency across every single vampire’s story to managing pronouns in an orgy. It will also cover working with self-publishing clients, including finding them, managing expectations and getting paid.
79 Tips for On-Your-Feet Editing
Mark Allen, president, Mark Allen Editorial LLC
Compiled over 30 years of copy editing, these 79 tips will help you be a better editor. Even if you are already great, many of these tips will help you think on your feet and spend less time looking things up. (Note that Tip No. 1 is "Look it up."). There are some big concepts and some quick tips, with time left over for you to share your own best tips. Also included: some favorite mnemonics.
Editing for Engagement
Sue Burzynski Bullard, associate professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Today’s audiences have plenty of choices, which makes engagement essential. Find out how to build trust and connect with your audience. Provide content the way your readers want it on the platforms they’re using.