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ACES ANNUAL

NATIONAL CONFERENCE

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Below is the current list of sessions and times for the ACES 2019 National Conference. Sessions will continue to be added, so check back later for more information.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

10:30 – 11:30 am

Developmental Editing of Fiction and Creative Nonfiction

Presenter: Tanya Gold; freelance editor

Want to work with authors of fiction or creative nonfiction on the bigger picture, analyzing how story elements work together to create a compelling narrative and finding ways to make stories even more captivating?

Come learn about the process of developmental editing. This session will cover:


Save time and your sanity: Increase your efficiency with Microsoft Word

Presenter: Rhonda Bracey; Freelance editor

Many of us use Word regularly. But are we using it efficiently? Learn practical tips to help you become more efficient with Microsoft Word, including:

NOTE: This session focuses on Word for Windows. Mac instructions are included, as necessary. It is a shorter version of similar sessions presented at ACES2016, ACES2017, and ACES2018.


Editing for Readability

Presenter: Samantha Enslen, owner, Dragonfly Editorial

In today's distraction-filled world, clear writing is more important than ever. We want readers to understand our messages — not be distracted by jargon and confusing copy. This session discusses the basic principles of readability and provides editors with a path to plain writing. You'll learn how to define readability, measure it with easy-to-use tools and improve it using straightforward editing techniques. We'll also discuss additional resources for learning more about readability.


Internal Style Guides: Find Your Direction

Presenter: Michelle Rosenfeld, senior writer/editor, America's Essential Hospitals

It's one thing to tell employees that an in-house style guide exists and they should use it, but getting them to understand its value is quite another. An internal style manual serves as an important guidepost to ensure a consistent voice across the organization and adherence to editorial standards. Publishing the style guide is only the first challenge; the next is championing an officewide culture change … easy, right? This session traces the journey through maintaining an internal style guide and gaining buy-in from leadership and a variety of content editors. Attend this session to learn about the process for developing, applying and maintaining a style guide for your organization.


Invest in Quality: Five Ways to Elevate Editing in Your Organization

Presenters: John Braun, editor, Vanguard; Deb Gehron, editorial manager, Vanguard; Njeri McGill, brand editorial manager, Vanguard; Madeline Shores, proofreader, Vanguard

Unlike in a lot of corporate America, editing is big at Vanguard: We’ve got nearly three dozen editors and proofreaders on six copy desks across the company. Let us show you what we do and how we got here, with an eye on how you can apply it to your organization. We also want to hear about your setup and what we can learn from you!


From the Failure Files: Learning from (Big) Mistakes

Presenter: Laura Poole, freelance editor

This session is in a "campfire discussion" style: I begin two stories of major failures and lessons learned, then attendees will be invited to discuss on their own failures, mistakes, lessons and takeaways. This will be about freelance business mistakes (a referral gone bad, a demoralizing project).


Copy Editing in the Government During a Crisis

Presenters: Lisa and Paul, in jobs so top-secret we can’t reveal their last names

An editor at the CIA will discuss editing longer papers in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and during the Arab Awakening. An editor at the FBI will discuss editing documents in high-stress environments or during crises, such as the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings or the failed Times Square bombing. The editors will provide a brief context of their working environments and then discuss best practices and lessons learned in dealing with stress, in editorial triage, and in balancing workloads and competing deadlines when saying “no” to more products or to shorter deadlines is not an option.


Thursday, March 28 2019

1:30 - 3 pm

A Conversation about Diversity/Inclusion with Editors of Color

Moderator: Steve Bien-Aimé, assistant professor, Northern Kentucky University

We will discuss and debate questions about editing, diversity and inclusion, drawing on our experiences in the workplace, with clients and in ACES. No PowerPoint presentations. Just honest talk about the importance of visibility and sensitivity, the need for conscious language (not just in the work but in our personal interactions) and the role of allies.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

1:30 – 2:30 pm

A Farewell to Ibid: Editing Footnotes

Presenters: Sarah Grey, freelance editor, Grey Editing; Cathy Hannabach, founder and CEO, Ideas on Fire

Part instructional session, part love letter to literature's favorite hangers-on. Two nonfiction editors discuss how to decide between footnotes, endnotes and a mix of the two; discursive footnotes and the subtle art of informing without distracting; how different style manuals see the purposes of notes and style their citations accordingly; and a few examples of witty authors having a little fun with their footnotes. (Plus a farewell to our old friend Ibid.)


Intelligent Rule-Breaking

Presenter: Russell Harper, principal reviser of The Chicago Manual of Style (16th and 17th editions) and editor of the CMOS Online Q&A and Shop Talk blog

Editors and proofreaders solve problems and correct errors. To this end, most of us follow a standard set of rules. For example, separate city and state (or province) with a comma. Place a comma between two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction but not between compound predicates. Use spaced ellipses. Write “less stuff” but “fewer things.” Be consistent. Okay, but sooner or later any one of these rules will need to be broken to suit a specific case or context (or because some other rule works better). This session will take a close look at specific recommendations in the latest edition of The Chicago Manual of Style and explore intelligent and maybe even creative exceptions to the rules.


Is This Resource Reliable? 2.0

Presenter: Gerri Berendzen, Kansas University, lecturer

Where and how do you find the best verification resources, both online and in print? My 2018 ACES session looked at basics for finding reliable online tools. This session will go beyond the basics, including how to verify information found on social media accounts and tricky websites and how to crowdsource information safely.


Maximize Your Time: Growth and Balance for Your Freelance Editorial Biz

Presenters: Julie Wilson, freelance editor; Melanie Padgett Powers, owner, MelEdits

Want to feel refreshed and energized so you can tackle each day with clear priorities and reasonable goals? Want to fit in more billable work while also having ample time to refresh and rejuvenate in other areas of your life? As a freelancer or solopreneur, sometimes the hardest thing to do is get your butt in the chair and start working. You've tried to-do lists, time tracking, and pomodoros, but you're still not as effective or productive as you could be. In this highly interactive session, two experienced freelance editors (who also happen to be uber productivity nerds) will lead you through exercises to analyze your typical daily tasks and priorities. You will discover your peak productivity times, what motivates you, how to best organize your day, and more. You will leave this session with a personalized plan to maximize effectiveness in all areas of your life.


Social Media 101

Presenters: Deena Zaru, deputy digital editor, ABC, and Alysha Love, content editor, TSheets by Quickbooks

How to get outside your own head and put your followers first: An introduction to the unique uses of each social media platform, self-editing for social, and the do’s and don’ts of developing a voice for your account


Getting the Math Right

Presenters: Sara Ziegler assistant sports editor, FiveThirtyEight; Colleen Barry, general editor, FiveThirtyEight

Two copy editors from the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight talk math and fact-checking in the age of fake news.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

3 – 4 pm

Edit Sober: 55 Tips That Make Editors Better

Presenter: Mark Allen, owner, Mark Allen Editorial

Compiled over 30 years of copy editing, these 55 tips will help you be an even better editor. Many of these suggestions will help you think on your feet and spend less time looking things up (Tip No. 1: "Look it up."). There are some big concepts and some quick hits, with space for you to share your own tips.


Slack Hacks and Other Tips for Managing Digital Workflows

Presenters: Laura Browning, executive editor, The A.V. Club at Onion Inc.; Regina Mahone, managing editor, Rewire News; Caitlin PenzeyMoog, managing editor, The A.V. Club at Onion Inc.; Megan Paolone, copy chief, BuzzFeed News

Digital editing workflows can create as many problems as they solve, especially when companies don't have the resources to give us specialized tools. Panelists from Onion Inc., Rewire News and Buzzfeed News discuss the tips and tricks they use to manage copy from pitch to publish using widely available tools like Slack, Google Docs and Trello. Bring your own ideas and questions!


Raging Silence: Confronting Death in the Written Word

Presenter: Sea Chapman, freelance editor

Death is a topic relevant to all industries — journalism, technology, medicine and even fiction publishing — but it’s still taboo enough in Western society that we don’t communicate about it well. How people write about death and its aftermath can perpetuate taboos and complicate things for both the dying and their survivors. This session will cover the anthropology of death, the sociopolitical inequalities tied to how we die and grieve, the rise of murderino podcasts, the modern death positivity movement and more to explore how these things help or hinder effective writing (and editing) about dying, death and grieving.


The Serious, Serious Comma: Legal Cases Featuring Serial, Non-Serial, and Nonexistent Commas

Presenter: Yashmyn Jackson, freelance editor

In this session, we’ll talk about various uses of this punctuation workhorse, which has helped determine winners and losers in disputes involving legal text. Specifically, we’ll look at cases in which the use or omission of a comma influenced — or (despite the losing party’s best arguments) failed to influence — a court’s construction of a contract, patent, or statute. In each instance, let’s determine whether the panel of judges got it right.


Ways Words Get Made

Presenter: Emily Brewster, associate editor and lexicographer, Merriam-Webster

Words are the editor's tools of the trade, and there's no better way to know your tools than to know their origin stories. We'll take a look at the various ways English words come to be, beginning with the language's oldest Anglo-Saxon roots, moving through several infusions of Latin, examining cases of outright theft from hundreds of languages, and meeting up with metanalyses, portmanteaus, back-formations and rhyming slang along the way.


Language: Barrier or Bridge?

Presenters: Helen Eby, owner, Gaucha Translations; Helaine Lasky Schweitzer, senior editor, WatchingAmerica.com; Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo, owner, Accessible Translation Solutions

When we see the world through the eyes of others, we get to know what we don’t know. It takes a translator to capture the cultural and linguistic dynamics that drive foreign content, and it takes an editor to make the translated content as accessible as possible. How do we know that our foreign language message hits the mark? How can we make sure this translated content reaches our audience where it is?


Hard News, Joyous Cynicism: What did editing used to mean, and why does that matter now?

Presenters: Alex Cruden, former copy desk chief, the Detroit Free Press; Bob Kerr, chief local columnist; the Providence Journal; Jim Willse, former managing editor, The New York Daily News and top editor, The Star Ledger in Newark

A conversational session with veterans of the newspaper wars who happen to have been friends for half a century: Alex Cruden, former copy desks chief of the Detroit Free Press and a leader of 26 sessions at ACES national conferences; Bob Kerr, who was chief local columnist of the Providence Journal, where he worked for 43 years, and Jim Willse, whose career included serving as managing editor, editor and publisher of The New York Daily News and top editor of The Star-Ledger in Newark.


How Athena Made Me a Better Copy Editor

Presenter: Mary Norris, copy editor and author

Many references to Greek were inexplicably deleted from Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, about copy editing at The New Yorker. Greek to Me remedies that situation, celebrating the ways that Greek, both modern and ancient, enhances one’s knowledge of English. Etymology, orthography, lexicography, and mythology all come into play, as well as fraternities, skinny-dipping, and classic Greek diners.

*This session will be followed by a book signing at 4:30 p.m.


Friday, March 29, 2019

9 – 10 am

Women in Management

Presenters: Courtney Rukan, deputy multiplatform editing chief, The Washington Post; Dana Sitar, lead editor, The Penny Hoarder; Maisha Maurant, chief corporate editor, Health Alliance Plan of Michigan; Samantha Enslen, owner, Dragonfly Editorial; Jevon Bolden, CEO, Embolden Media Group

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 organizations. It’s designed to be interactive, so please show up with questions and comments.


Joining the Profession — Basics of Editing (and Proofreading)

Presenter: Ruth Thaler Carter, freelance editor

If you are interested in working as an editor or proofreader and have strong skills in grammar and a sharp eye for typographical errors and clunky writing, or you want to improve your basic editing and proofreading skills, this is your session. Learn about necessary skills and characteristics; marks and symbols; style manuals; editing vs. proofreading; levels of editing; using Microsoft Word and Acrobat/PDFs; working well with clients and colleagues; and helpful resources, including publications, organizations and more. This practical overview will benefit both freelance and in-house colleagues.


Beyond Editing: Coaching Writers

Presenters: Tanya Gold, freelance editor; Christina M. Frey, Page Two Editorial, developmental/line editor and literary coach

Sometimes writers have needs beyond the scope of the typical editing relationship. Maybe they are stuck on a scene or a chapter's direction--or perhaps they struggle to write authentic dialogue. Instead of telling them to come back when they are ready for an editor, you could offer to guide them through the next steps.

This session will cover various approaches to coaching and how to select an approach that fits your style and the needs of your writer-client. You'll learn how to hone your coaching technique to help writers improve their writing and self-editing skills. We'll also discuss the business aspects of coaching, including finding work, setting boundaries, and dealing with client challenges.


Small Changes, Big Difference

Presenter: Lisa McLendon, University of Kansas journalism school as the coordinator of the Bremner Editing Center

One often-overlooked aspect of editing is the small “cleanups” editors do to make copy smoother, clearer and more concise. Many of these micro-level changes -- such as changing phrasing to eliminate words, being aware of "secret handshake" words and words in the midst of change, and not being a slave to style -- will never be noticed by either the writer or the reader, but they can make the writing shine just a bit more and give readers a more enjoyable, informative reading experience.


The Art and Science of Digital Editing

Presenter: Teresa Schmedding, managing editor, Rotary International;

Digital content is both an art and a science. This session will cover the research you need to merge the two to successfully connect with readers.


Plain Language 2.0 for Editing: Clarity with Style

Presenter: Romina Marazzato Sparano, freelance editor/translator/educator

Good writing is compelling. It is always clear. And it has pizzazz. Plain language (PL) champions good writing, yet its efforts often fail because it mistakes oversimplification for clarity and style for verbosity. Alas, some PL maxims are ill-suited to fix the problems we face: articulating complex ideas and solving the tension between search engine optimization and drawing the reader in. Ditch the passive voice is hardly a solution. We'll share writing secrets that will boost your clarity and enhance your style! We will work on coherence and cohesion strategies (recasting, topicalization, fronting, etc.) that double up as editing techniques.


Handling Distressing Content

Presenter: Heather E. Saunders, owner, Just the Write Type

How do you approach subjects that can be deeply disturbing, such as violence, death, loss and abuse? This session will discuss resources for writing and editing distressing content and explore ways to handle this content effectively. Attendees will learn about guidelines and preferred language, as well as when and how to include such content. We’ll discuss self-care procedures and how to establish a balance between a passion for the work and the ability to detach. Please note: the session focuses on subjects that are distressing in nature.


Friday, March 29, 2019

10:30 – 11:30 am

Be the Helvetica of Ergonomics

Presenter: Ashley Bischoff, freelance editor

Many of us spend our workdays hunched over our laptops and maybe that seems fine? Or is it? We might not give much thought to ergonomics, and it’s easy to put out of mind. But as we all use computers for a living, our ability to continue typing can make all the difference in whether our livelihood remains within reach. Conveniently, the typeface Helvetica contains a number of handy mnemonics toward workaday ergonomics. I’ll go over not only how one can pick out Helvetica from its sans-serif doppelgangers but also how Helvetica’s aesthetics can make many ergonomic guidelines more approachable.


The Tycoon's Secret Werewolf Bride: Copy Editing for Romance Novels

Presenter: Sara Brady, copy editor, 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 menage? 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.


Holy $%#@: Religion and Conscious Language

Presenters: Aleksandra Sandstrom, copy editor, Pew Research Center; Besheer Mohamed, senior researcher, Pew Research Center; Rhiannon Root, universal desk afternoon slot editor, The Washington Times; Alex Kapitan, freelance copy editor, Radical Copyeditor

Are you a conscious editor when it comes to religion and spirituality? In this illuminating session presented by Conscious Style Guide, panelists will discuss the ways "religion" and "Christianity" often become synonymous and best practices for being more sensitive to spiritual diversity. Advice will include style-guide considerations, guidelines for checking facts, acknowledging atheists and other nonreligious people in your copy, recognizing how spirituality intersects with other identities, Pew Research Center findings on how religious groups view themselves and one another, and the importance of community feedback. Bring your questions about terminology and framing; ground your work in accuracy and respect.


How to Identify and Deal with Red-Flag Clients

Presenter: Jake Poinier, freelance editor

Run your own freelance business for long enough, and you're going to get burned by a client. In this session, Jake Poinier outlines a real-world approach to screening prospects as well as bringing challenging clients back into line. Topics include:


When to Use Bad English

Presenter: James Harbeck, freelance editor

Is grammatical propriety your highest priority? Do you abhor rude language? Perhaps it's time to think different and ask what you should really give a damn about. Our job as editors is to make sure the text has the best effect on the intended audience. Sometimes that means breaking rules because the rules we're used to aren't the right rules for the game at hand. Let's look at what works when and why.


Creativity as a Copy Editing Core Competency

Presenters: Matt Tompkins, copy editor, S&P Global Market Intelligence; Matthew Schick, copy editor, S&P Global Market Intelligence

If asked to name core skills of the copy editor, what would you say? Great grasp of grammar? Dogged attention to detail? Ability to play well with writers? In this session, we make a case for creativity as one of our most fundamental — and valuable — professional competencies. We will also explore how foregrounding creativity in our work can enhance our job satisfaction and how our personal creative pursuits can broaden and deepen our professional toolkit.


Editing at the speed of news: Producing top-quality videos for social

Presenter: Allison Morrow, senior producer for social publishing,CNN

How CNN turns out timely, engaging videos across social platforms without sacrificing accuracy or quality.


Friday, March 29, 2019

1 – 2 pm

Recipe Editing Workshop

Presenter: Karen Wise, freelance editor

In this workshop, we will work together to edit several recipes provided as handouts. As we edit, we will discuss the conventions and standards of recipe editing, strategies for ensuring clarity and consistency, and useful references to turn to for guidance—plus what to do when those references don't agree. The recipes will be chosen to show the most commonly encountered errors that need to be addressed, as well as some trickier situations that require special treatment. Bring your favorite Frixion pen or Col-Erase pencil!


10 Bad Things Good Editors Do

Presenter: Nick Jungman, director of student media, University of Oklahoma

For a profession that's all about holding work to standards, editing has a surprising lack of standards that really apply to every editor. What's standard in one situation may be unacceptable in another. And in the end, what qualifies as "well edited" is largely subjective. These observations of 10 bad habits that many of us indulge might also be subjective, but it will at least be valuable as food for thought. The session will aim to engage editors across the broad swath of disciplines that ACES members represent.


What’s New in the 2019 AP Stylebook?

Presenters: Paula Froke, lead editor, AP Stylebook; Colleen Newvine, product manager, AP Stylebook

Paula Froke, lead editor of the AP Stylebook, returns for the Stylebook’s popular session to update us on changes to AP style in the past year. AP Stylebook Online is updated throughout the year, and some of these changes will take effect today online, with ACES members being the first to know. They will also appear in the 2019 Stylebook, which is due out May 29.

Colleen Newvine, AP Stylebook product manager, will show you how to claim your ACES member discount on an AP Stylebook Online subscription. 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.


Be Bold! Making Your Own Opportunities

Presenter: Laura Poole, freelance editor

In this session you'll learn how to create opportunities for your freelance business beyond traditional marketing and cold calling. Learn how public speaking, writing, and simply asking bold questions can propel your career and open up more chances for growth. Stop waiting for others to hand you the keys to the kingdom and start making things happen yourself!


Professional Editorial Standards and Certification

Presenter: Elizabeth d’Anjou, freelance editor

What exactly does a professional editor do? How can you tell when they’re doing it well? There's no single answer to these questions. But with its Professional Editorial Standards, Editors Canada provides one way of describing and categorizing editorial knowledge and skill that has proven invaluable to editors at all skill levels, as well as to those who hire, work with, and train them. And Editors Canada Professional Certification, based on these standards, offers a way editors can demonstrate excellence. Learn more about these activities of our neighbo(u)r association and how they can be relevant and useful to American editors.


Headline Hoopla

Presenters: Andy Bechtel, professor, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Teresa Schmedding, managing editor, Rotary International; Vicki Krueger, communications specialist, BayCare health system

This is a pop-up contest in headline writing for editors in news and public relations. We give participants news stories and press releases, and they write headlines that are judged on the spot. The best headline writers win fabulous prizes, including ACES swag.


Genre Copyediting: Bridging the Bifröst between Author and Reader

Presenter: Richard Shealy, freelance copyeditor

The public often seems to believe that copyediting consists solely of unwavering application of the reigning style guide, yet any copyeditor can tell you—at length—that this is not the case, that there are nuanced choices that populate every job or project. However, fiction in general (and genre in particular) makes the guide’s primacy more nebulous (if you’ll pardon the genre pun), to the point that even such fundamentals as the long-held literary standard of “the death of the author” are called into serious question. In this session, we will examine the crossroads between authorial intent, reader expectations, genre standards and the style guide and how that crossroads is an elusive moving target. Audience engagement is not only allowed but encouraged.


Friday, March 29, 2019

2:30 – 3:30 pm

Style Guide Superjam, or is it Super Jam?

Moderator: Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large of Merriam-Webster

Panelists: Paula Froke, lead editor, The Associated Press Stylebook; Russell Harper, editor of the “Chicago Style Q&A” at CMOS Online and editor of the CMOS Shop Talk blog, Chicago Manual of Style; Benjamin Dreyer, copy chief, Random House; Pete Blair, editor, Flexible Editing Desk at The New York Times; Emmy Favilla, senior manager of brand voice, BuzzFeed

Editors from the AP Stylebook, Chicago Manual of Style, Random House, The New York Times, and Buzzfeed compare and contrast their style rules and how they approach their roles.


Saturday, March 30, 2019

9 – 10 am

“Jimmy’s World,” the Classic Fabrication Case

Presenter: Bill Connolly, retired senior editor, The New York Times

A hands-on exercise that shows how the greenest intern on the staff could have averted a journalistic disaster.

*Registration for this session is required.


Editing Children's Books

Presenters: Christine Ma, freelance editor; Erin Stein, publisher, Imprint

This session will shed some light on how the children’s book publishing industry works. We’ll discuss the different types of children’s books, their age ranges and the ways children’s book publishing differs from the adult market. We’ll end with a Q&A, so bring your questions!


How to Check Consistency and Enforce Your House Style: Using PerfectIt for Faster and Better Results

Presenter: Daniel Heuman, creator of PerfectIt and the CEO and Founder of Intelligent Editing

No one became an editor because they like checking for consistency of hyphenation and capitalization. Equally, spending hours checking every detail conforms to a style manual is time-consuming and it can distract you from the most important work of substantive editing. Thankfully, there is a better way! Thousands of editors around the world use PerfectIt to fix these small details so they can focus on the work that matters. PerfectIt is an add-in for Word that speeds up checking while still leaving editors in control of every decision. This session will show both the Mac and PC version (including Version 4 which is due for release in March 2019) to show how PerfectIt makes it faster and easier to correct errors.


Whether You Have 1 Idea or 10, Help Revise the AP Stylebook’s Numbers Guidance

Presenters: Paula Froke, lead editor, AP Stylebook; Colleen Newvine, product manager, AP Stylebook

Confused by the AP Stylebook’s guidelines on numerals? We hear you. And we’d love to hear more. Stylebook editor Paula Froke will share a preview of tentative revisions in the numerals entry, which we aim to include in the 2020 Stylebook, and we invite you to share your thoughts and suggestions in real time as this work is in process. We have so many exceptions to the 10 and below rule now, including ages and measurements. How can we simplify it?


The Plagiarism Police: Why Should Editors Care about Attribution?

Presenters: Aileen Brenner Houston, technical editor, Naval Postgraduate School; Rebecca Pieken, thesis processor, Naval Postgraduate School

What do Melania Trump, Martin Luther King Jr. and The New York Times have in common? They've all been called out for plagiarism. But what exactly is plagiarism? Is attribution as black and white as traditional newsprint, or is its colorful web of intricacies being overlooked by writers, editors and institutions alike? And how do we learn and teach the details? This presentation gets into the gritty implications of misattribution and sloppy citations, and introduces editors of all types to tactics and tools that can bolster their credibility.


Beyond SEO: How to Use Links for Style and Clarity

Presenter: Dana Sitar, lead editor for brand content, The Penny Hoarder

Getting links in the right anchor text (and knowing what "anchor text" means) is important for more than ranking in Google. What you link to and how can affect the quality and clarity of what you publish as much as word choice and punctuation can. How do you know whether you're doing it right? Style and punctuation guidance for links is sparse, and conventions change quickly. This session will offer a framework for getting the right links in the right places, including questions to consider to create a style guide for linking at your organization.


Hey Guys: Navigating Gendered Language and Avoiding Unconscious Bias

Presenters: Megan Paolone, copy chief, BuzzFeed News; Kory Stamper, author and lexicographer; Kat Jercich, vice president and managing editor, Rewire.News; D. Anner Mitchell, sales support representative, Stericycle

Is it offensive to say "Hey, guys" to a group of women? What's the gender-neutral form for "fisherman"? Why do words like "hysterical" and "badass" typically describe only women? Is using the singular "they" actually OK? (*Shakes you into the 21st century* Yes!) This session will dive into gendered and gender-coded words, how to avoid sexism and bias in editing, and the importance of gender-neutral, inclusive language.


Saturday, March 30, 2019

10:30 – 11:30 am

Beyond Readability Formulas: The Editor as an Advocate of Whole Text and All Readers

Presenter: Romina Marazzato Sparano, freelance editor/translator/educator

You've embraced readability: you mind your sentence length, check your grammar, watch your jargon. But you know that formulas don't assess structure, design, or the degree to which content is meaningful or interesting. In this session, we will delve into the inner workings of textuality to identify the specific strategies that build cohesive, coherent, and inviting text. Do you know all the recasting techniques that English has to offer or how to make links to prior knowledge seamless? Do you use data visualization meaningfully? Have you boiled down all your logical relations tags to three categories that fit in a cheat sheet? Join me as we draw examples from writing arenas in urgent need of plain language makeovers beyond word counts jargon censorship.


How to Edit Marketing Copy

Presenter: Erin Brenner, freelance editor

Editors often cringe at promotional language. Do marketers have no respect for the English language? Of course they do. But marketers are working to build trust and help close the sale. In this session, you'll learn specific tips for editing marketing copy to be error free and trustworthy.


Butchering Copy: Cut Away the Fat, Bone and Gristle for Leaner Text

Presenter: Rob Reinalda, executive editor, Ragan Communications

With time at a premium and distractions increasing daily, readers demand clear, lean text.

The editor is their best friend, their protector, the nutritionist who ensures they consume only grade-A prime verbal sustenance.

Join veteran editor Rob Reinalda as he slices, dices and juliennes real online copy, explaining how to spot and eliminate redundancies, ambiguities, needless qualifiers, overwrought text, bloviation, maundering and other verbal suet clogging so much of today's writing. This session will provide dozens of editing takeaways, with scores of examples and generously seasoned with laughs.


Grammar Is Power

Presenter: Jennifer Rowe, associate professor, Missouri School of Journalism

Learn how understanding the basic power structure of grammar, from types of clauses, phrases and sentences to specifics that help you use commas and punctuate correctly and consistently. Exercises and clear guidelines will help you brush up on what you once learned but might have forgotten. If you are still unsure about who vs. whom and lie vs. lay, go here, and take notes.


Utterly Correct: A Conversation with Benjamin Dreyer

Presenters: Peter Sokolowski, editor at large, Merriam-Webster; Benjamin Dreyer, copy chief, Random House

Benjamin Dreyer's new book, “Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style,” gives us an insider’s view of copy editing in mass-market, literary and trade publishing. We will discuss his book and his career, including the writers he has worked with and his advice for writers and editors. From Wan Intensifiers to Throat Clearers to finicky points of grammar, we will explore the mechanics of copy editing and the challenges of improving the writing of others with clarity, common sense and grace.

*This session will be followed by a book signing at Noon.


Working with Survey Data: Best Practices for Editors and Fact Checkers

Presenter: Aleksandra Sandstrom, copy editor, Pew Research Center

Ever wonder how 44 percent and 46 percent are sometimes the same, or why 53 percent isn't always a majority? How come you can't just stand on a street corner and poll passersby to find out who will win a national election? In this session, you will learn how to evaluate survey quality, read a methodology, understand the basics of weighting and why it's important, and learn some of the common mistakes writers make when they write about survey data.


How to Get Hired (or Fired) as a Freelance Book Copyeditor

Presenter: Cindy Howle, copy chief, Penguin Random House

So you want to copyedit manuscripts for a traditional book publisher, and a production editor is willing to give you a chance to show off your skills. What should you do to keep them calling and not put you at the bottom of their contacts list (or, worse, remove you from it permanently)? Here are the dos and don’ts from a twenty-year publishing veteran. This session will include some basic performance expectations; common missteps; and unfortunate truths about the industry and your competition.


Saturday, March 30, 2019

1:15 – 2:15 pm

Understanding Your Freelance Pricing Feedback Loop

Presenters: Erin Brenner, freelance editor; Jake Poinier, freelance editor

Do I charge enough? How many more clients do I need to make the money I want? Your ideal rates can’t be found in an industry survey — and they’re not restricted by what you’ve charged in the past. In this session, you’ll learn: 1) the strategic way to price and estimate, and 2) how to decode your business’s black box, using the data from past projects to earn more and maintain your sanity. Your business goals are unique, but using a feedback loop to make smart decisions for your company is universal to every editing business … and the math isn’t hard!


Choosing the Right Words

Presenter: Nicole Koester, program manager, National Center on Disability Journalism

Attend this interactive workshop and feel more comfortable choosing the right words when creating content about the disability population. Together, we'll examine the historical context of a variety of words and phrases found in the recently updated National Center on Disability and Journalism's Disability Language Style Guide. We'll explore the current conversation of disability terminology in the United States. Attendees will receive a hard copy of the NCDJ's style guide, which covers more than 200 words and terms related to disability and offers guidance to help communications professionals make choices that are accurate, clear and avoid stigmatizing a large portion of the population.


We Contain Multitudes: Examining Alternative Career Choices Using Universal Skills of Editors

Presenter: Dilane Mitchell, sales support representative, Stericycle

Editors have a unique set of universal skills that apply to a host of positions in a variety of fields. During my session, I want to identify the universal skills that most editors have. Then we will analyze several job descriptions that are not traditionally held by editors. My goal is to identify other jobs that use the same skills. The target audience are editors who may be struggling to find work in an area specific to editing.


Copyediting and Corpus Linguistics

Presenter: Jonathon Owen, editor, Brigham Young University

Language is always changing, and print dictionaries and style guides sometimes have a hard time keeping up. Should "data" be singular or plural? Is "comprised of" okay? Can we finally ditch the hyphen in "e-mail"? Thanks to publicly available corpora such as Google Books Ngrams and the Corpus of Contemporary American Usage, editors can see what's really going on in print. This session will explain what a corpus is, what kinds of usage questions can be researched with one, and why editors should care.


Conference News

AP Stylebook adds new umbrella entry for race-related coverage, issues new hyphen guidance and other changes

Which Dictionary?

Five tips for building an in-house style guide

A Two-Carat Post

A Heart-Rending Usage Tip

Chiasmus X Marks the Spot