ACES: The Society for Editing is delighted to bring a fantastic program of 50 sessions to ACES 2024 San Diego this April. These sessions will be led by expert speakers who will guide you in unleashing your creativity and developing your skills and knowledge. The session lineup and details are subject to change.

In order to help you plan you conference, each session is categorized into one of four topic areas:

Each category is also tracked into one of three audience levels: introductory, intermediate, and advanced.

Click on a track, below, to see the sessions in that subject area.

Information about the speakers is now available.

Core Editing Skills


Authenticity vs. Sensitivity
with Phoenix Raig
The stigma around sensitivity reading is due for a much-needed shift. From the fear of censorship to the acknowledgment of refreshing authenticity opportunities, this discussion will take a hard look at how authenticity reading, when done well, is used to empower rather than silence. Attendees can expect to:
• Break down the mentality shift from sensitivity reading to authenticity reading.
• Look at examples where authors felt their voice was taken away and discuss alternative solutions.
• Break down the difference between outsourcing responsibility and asking our authors the hard questions.
• Discuss being an authenticity reader as someone who doesn't belong to a minority group, what this looks like, and why it's important.
• Talk about finding your reading areas and discuss being authentic about what it is we each can offer.

Editing for Einstein: Practical Tips for Editing What You Don't Understand
with Kelsey Gaston
Subject matter experts in a number of scientific and technical areas rely on editors for help in clarifying, organizing, and improving their writing before it goes on to change the world. But how can you provide confident feedback on topics you know little about? What should you do if you're struggling to read their specialized content, let alone understand it? As editors, we could be asked to edit procedures for performing a carotid endarterectomy, new research related to computational nuclear science, or discussions on the principals of modern biomedical engineering, and somehow, we must be able to read it, understand it, and manage to make it better. This session provides practical tips and best practices for confidently editing what might be far outside your area of expertise. After attending this session, participants will be able to:
• Communicate with subject matter experts with confidence.
• Analyze unfamiliar information and determine where to prioritize editorial input.
• Create an editorial plan for approaching specialized texts and providing feedback.

Promoting Plain Language and Digital Accessibility
with Jill Russell, Juliana Figueiredo, and Bill Warhop
Plain language and digital accessibility both have the goal of ensuring equal access to information, especially for those with physical disabilities, with neurodiversity, or from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Plain language and digital accessibility are mandated by law for federal publications, but the tips and guidance discussed by the panelists can be applied in any sector to ensure inclusivity and clarity for all audiences. Join the panelists as they draw upon their expertise in government writing and graphic design to discuss practical ways of translating complex concepts and information into plain communication.

Tools for Fact-checking
with Gerri Berendzen
Making sure the facts are correct is part of the job for most copy editors. Fact-checking can be as easy as finding the right website, but some types of fact-checking can take much more time than you have when the deadline is tight. Learn about the tools available that can help out with fact-checking and the red flags you should look for in both text and visuals. This session will cover doing fact-checking for all types of editing without falling down the information rabbit hole.


Collaboration, Not Correction: Balancing Creativity and Authorial Voice
with Christina M Frey
Like the pirate code, editing is more like a set of guidelines than hard-and-fast rules — especially at the developmental and line editing level. Editorial judgment always comes into play when deciding what to edit, when to edit, and how to edit in a way that serves the reader but also preserves the author’s voice and intention. In this interactive session, we’ll discuss developing editorial awareness and how to maintain a balance between editorial suggestions, our duty to the reader, and the need to preserve and honor the author’s vision and voice. We’ll also consider ways to check ourselves as editors to ensure we’re not overstepping our role. We’ll cover the role of clear, collaborative, and encouraging but honest feedback as both a way of keeping ourselves steady and of motivating the writer and giving their revisions focus. And, of course, we’ll finish by discussing how to convey bad news, from small — “this beautiful description isn’t working” — to bigger — “the manuscript isn’t ready for line editing” — how to frame that information in an honest but supportive way, and what to do when clients come back with a challenge.

Crafting Effective AI Prompts: The New Essential Skill for Editors
with Erin Servais
The new must-have skill in the modern editor’s toolkit is AI prompting. Writing the right prompts means the difference between getting a response that saves you hours of work and one that makes you want to pound on the keyboard. In this session, you’ll learn what prompts are, how they work with ChatGPT or your AI tool of choice, and how to format them to get the most relevant, accurate, and useful output. You’ll also learn practical applications you can begin using right away. We’ll cover three prompt-writing techniques:
• Instruct: beginning with specific directions
• Contextualize: adding the right details and nuance
• Refine: tweaking to achieve a tailored response
Incorporating these core prompting skills into your editorial workflow will make your editing process more efficient, your edits more precise, and your feedback more actionable — benefiting copyeditors and content editors alike.

Embedded Indexing: What Editors Need to Know
with Heather Pendley
As more publishers and authors turn to digital publishing, embedded (hyperlinked) indexes — whether in Word, InDesign, or a markup language — are in demand. You may not understand their importance, know how to explain them to your clients, or feel intimidated by their technology. In this session, you’ll see examples of several kinds of embedded indexes, a quick overview of some of the tools used in creating them, and how embedded indexing differs from back-of-the-book indexing — in terms of both book production and process.

Empowering Educators: Crafting a Comprehensive Writing Toolkit for Faculty Publishing
with Amy Minix and Mary Hannah-Griebel
In this session, the presenters, a writing and editing coordinator and a neuro-health librarian, will describe how they developed a Writing & Publication Toolkit to help students and faculty of all levels to publish their research more efficiently. They will discuss how editors can develop and use a writing and publication toolkit to work through the academic writing and publishing process. Elements of the toolkit will address how to identify journal selection and scope, editing and proofreading skills, general information about the publishing process, and other resources available to support authors. The session will also discuss how creating new partnerships with others who have similar vested interests can lead to new solutions that support similar goals. Finally, presenters will discuss the application of the toolkit within an academic lens, but will also share how this tool could be helpful in other contexts.

Focusing on Document Accessibility: A Style Guide Workshop
with Griffin Zimmerman
Editors, writers, and other documentation professionals are at the heart of any communication effort, and part of ethical, effective communication is ensuring accessibility. However, most current accessibility tools and practices are reactive, focusing on remediating documentation or using built in tools to accommodate the use of screen readers, both employed without a clear understanding of what documentation practices actually impact accessibility. In this hands-on workshop, attendees will have the opportunity to enhance their understanding of core accessibility issues within documentation while applying these principles to their own editing practices. By leading attendees step-by-step through the creation of an accessibility-focused style guide, this workshop will assist attendees in moving their accessibility knowledge from a reactive to proactive stance. Within the workshop, attendees will first receive an overview of the core accessibility issues as they impact documentation. While we review these categories, attendees will have the opportunity to review their own materials to identify needed considerations. Then, attendees will be led through developing specific style guide language to provide guidance on creating accessible documentation from the start.

From Meh to Memorable: How to Edit Content that Stands Out From the Crowd
with Jillian Stephens and Steph Halchin
How many articles, emails, or posts clamor for your time and attention each day? And how many do you actually stop and read in their entirety? What makes the difference between ones that spark your interest and those that fall by the wayside? Editors are well-placed to help authors deliver writing that breaks through this noise and connects authentically with audiences. This session will encourage discussion of the elements that can transform written work from routine to truly remarkable. We’ll share how voice, unique data, and original insights can distinguish your content from the flood of competitors and auto-generated text, and put those editing strategies to the test with practical examples.

Harness the Power of Neurodiversity to Maximize Your Potential as an Editor
with Rhonda Kronyk
For many neurodiverse editors, meeting deadlines, keeping up with administrative work, and maintaining focus are well-known barriers to doing their jobs more effectively. But editors with ADHD often haven’t been taught that they also gain strengths, such as a propensity toward empathy, an ability to hyperfocus, and creative problem-solving skills, that they can use to excel at their work. Using her experiences with managing (and mismanaging) ADHD, the presenter will briefly outline the challenges and opportunities posed by ADHD and how they impact our work as editors. Participants will learn proven strategies that they can use to minimize their ADHD challenges and maximize their potential as editors. Despite its ADHD focus, the strategies shared in this session can benefit all editors, especially those with other neurodiversities and chronic illness.

How to Build an In-House Style Guide (From the Ground Up)
with Lorraine Delp
As editors, we need to be comfortable following style guides — whether that’s an established style guide like Chicago or AP, or an organization’s in-house style guide. But what do you do if your organization doesn’t have a style guide — and asks you, the editor, to build one? Based on my own experience building style guides for two different companies, this session will cover steps, resources, and tips for building an in-house style guide from the ground up. We’ll talk through starting points, common challenges, and how to distribute and promote your in-house style guide so you can get everyone on the same page about hot topics like the serial comma, curly vs. straight quotation marks, and the singular “they.”

ISO's Plain Language Standards: How They Can Enhance Your Editing Even If You're Not a Plain Language Expert
with Samantha Enslen
In 2023, the International Organization for Standardization released the final version of their standards for plain language. These standards set the bar for creating content that's accessible and easy to understand. They address everything from audience definition, to language choice, to layout. Knowing these standards can help all editors increase the accessibility and clarity of the content they're handling — even if they're not officially doing a “plain language edit."

More Efficient Editing in Google Docs
with DeAnna Burghart
Google Docs is rapidly eating away at Microsoft Word’s market share. Savvy editors, especially in corporate environments, will be wise to maximize their efficiency in both environments. This session will help editors brainstorm ways to translate their most valued Word efficiencies into workable substitutes in Docs. We’ll discuss productivity tips, wildcard searches, and out-of-the-box solutions. With a little creativity and determination, you can find efficient ways to use familiar keyboard shortcuts, wildcard searches, even query templates. Our goal is not to turn Docs into Word; it’s to make peace with Docs as a primary software and find ways to recapture some of our lost efficiency. While this session will be useful for editors of all experience levels, Word power users and the technologically curious will find it most valuable.

Plagiarism and Copyright in an Age of Content Recycling, AI, and Global Discourse
with Caitlin O’Brien and Vee White
The same weighty word, plagiarism, is applied to everything from confusion about proper paraphrasing to cultural differences to genuinely unethical behavior. This complexity is only amplified by AI, yet almost half of editors have never received professional training on the topic. Join us to discuss plagiarism and copyright myths and assumptions. Learn about the types of plagiarism, possible causes including cultural considerations, and approaches to identifying and communicating about it. Discover what fair use and public domain actually entail, how to evaluate permission needs, the difference between ownership and copyright, and how AI muddies the waters.

When Shorter Is Sweeter . . . and Smarter
with Connie Mayse
In a world of short attention spans, skimming headlines, TikTok clips, and podcasts, standing out requires knowing how to both be brief and grab attention. This session is designed for those editing business communications, emails, online articles, and similar vehicles. Learn how (and when) to use Axios' Smart Brevity method to ensure clear, concise communications, yet give the reader the chance to dig deeper and learn more if they like. While this method was developed for news and email, the presenter has successfully used Smart Brevity across all types of written communication, including book editing. A past participant called this information "life-changing" and immediately began applying it in her work. Try it yourself in this hands-on session and see if you agree.


Achieving Harmony: The Goldilocks Principle of Developmental Editing
with Nadia Pupa and Rachel Stroup
This presentation focuses on editors in management roles with projects that require developmental editing and working with subject matter experts. The Goldilocks principle is about finding the "just-right" level of revision that a document may need at any given time. Learn how to facilitate cross-functional collaboration by managing expectations among subject matter experts, clients, and staff members. Participants will walk away empowered to create balance in their developmental editing projects. The presenters will role-play realistic scenarios that illustrate real-world challenges between the editor and the subject matter expert, in addition to the editorial manager and the staff member. In doing so, the presenters will share how to achieve harmony by meeting the Goldilocks principle.

The Beloved Editor, and Other Mythical Creatures: How to Be a Writer's Editor While Still Putting the Reader First
with Bill Graf
Editing is not just grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It is also human relations. In this session, a veteran editor from the communications office of a top-10 research university shares amusing and instructive anecdotes about improving the work of writers with such tact and respect that they say "thank you" instead of "[blank] you" for all those tracked changes.

Mistakes That Often Slip Through the Cracks
with David Yontz
Being a copy editor entails knowing a whole lot, so it's only natural that some things fall through the cracks. In this session, seasoned editor David Yontz will go over some common grammatical, usage, and factual errors that even advanced editors sometimes miss. He'll go over parallel structure, correlative conjunctions, and many other tricky devils.

Words and Language


Empowering Multilingual Writers: Using AI to Support Authors Writing Beyond Their First Language
with Karen Turtle and Brigitte Phillips
In this session, editors will explore the use of AI to enhance their collaboration with multilingual writers Recent research has underscored the significant challenges faced by authors working outside their first language, including prolonged writing and revision times and higher rejection rates. Despite being leading experts in their field, multilingual writers often have to work harder just to keep up. We highlight how AI emerges as a transformative tool that can help editors support multilingual writers in addressing these challenges. We explore how AI can enhance fluency, improve language accuracy, and ensure readability — all while respecting the author's voice. By demonstrating the application of these tools, editors will see firsthand how AI enhances efficiency while also fostering greater inclusivity in fiercely competitive fields such as academic publishing. An interactive segment will allow for the exchange of experiences and strategies. This will be an opportunity to address ethical considerations and best practices in AI use.

Englishing the World: How the Renaissance Shaped the First English Dictionary
with Peter Sokolowski

The earliest dictionaries of English served as guides to the words used by nobles, clergy, and bureaucrats, many of them anglicized French, Latin, and Greek words. These books were produced at the same time as the King James Bible, and with the same motivation: to take English outside of hearth and home and into a bigger world. This session is a look at the context and the culture that produced dictionaries in England, and an answer to the question: Why didn't Shakespeare have a dictionary?

How to Build an Inclusive Language-focused Style Guide
with Leanne Yuen
While many of the style guides we editors follow focus on grammar, syntax, and formatting, equally as important is sharing and upholding solid inclusive language principles. An inclusive language-focused style guide helps ensure we write, communicate, and edit in ways that promote equity and inclusion. Informed by firsthand experience in developing an inclusive language center, this session will discuss how to craft a multipurpose style guide/resource hub that specializes in the tenets of inclusive language. We'll cover everything you need to build an inclusive language style guide: how to identify tentpole values, responsibly source guidance, drum up collaboration and support from your team/organization, and more.

What Are You Trying to Say? Plain Language in Technical and Academic Fields
with Katherine Yaun and Mukta Jayanth
In this session, we will discuss applications of plain language to editing in technical and academic fields. We will begin by providing an overview of plain language as both a style and service: its origins, key features, and uses related to the democratic dissemination of information to the public. We will provide before-and-after examples of plain language applications in a technical industry (engineering) and academic field (social and life sciences research), highlighting key strategies to convey technical content as accessible ideas. This session will have strong appeal to newer editors, but is suitable for editors with varying experience levels.

When You Catch a Cliché . . .
with Lisa McLendon
Common practice among editors is to root out cliches in writing. In this session, we’ll talk about the origins of common cliches, why they’re often a sign of stale writing — and when you can actually stet them. We’ll also take a look at eggcorns and why they occur frequently with cliches.


APA Style Copyediting FAQs, Modern Guidance, and Myths to Avoid
Timothy McAdoo

Copy editors need to learn and remember multiple writing styles at once, not only knowing the important differences between styles but also remembering what’s new in each. In this webinar, an APA style expert will provide a refresher on seventh edition APA style guidelines, with a focus on frequently asked questions most relevant to copyeditors, and will discuss how the guidelines have changed in key areas from earlier editions. This will include a detailed discussion of guidelines that changed over time and editions (with definitive guidance about current, seventh edition APA style best practices) and APA style myths (“guidelines”) that copyeditors may be able to drop from their checklist.

Beyond Pronouns: A Crash Course from the Trans Journalists Association
with Graph Massara

Transgender people are in the news these days, both because they’re increasingly visible members of U.S. society and because debates about their lives have become a major political flashpoint. But the constantly changing lexicon of sex, gender, and sexuality can make editing trans-related content intimidating, even for seasoned LGBTQ+ editors. Though targeted at journalists and other nonfiction editors, this session will leave editors of all backgrounds and experience levels feeling better equipped to handle sensitive editing questions around trans-related issues and topics.

Beyond Terminology: Zooming Out to Focus on Bias
with Karen Yin
Conscious editing involves much more than flagging potentially harmful words and phrases. The truth is, our language choices can be free of slurs and other questionable terminology yet still contribute to societal patterns of bias. Join this session to explore the power of context and how it can influence the meaning of words, sentences, and stories. By zooming out of the word level and examining the bigger picture, we can learn to recognize and remedy the many subtle (and not so subtle) forms of othering, including unequal styles, prejudicial narratives, and inadequate representation.

Can Language Control Thought?
with James Harbeck
We all assume that the words we choose can affect how people think of things — in fact, writers of advertising, marketing, and political speeches rely on it. And we know that the words a language has seem to affect how its speakers think of the world: Speakers of different languages may disagree on whether two things are the same color, for instance. We also know that different languages grammatically highlight different aspects of reality, which we might expect would influence how people think. But the euphemism-to-dysphemism treadmill, seen for example in terms related to disabilities, shows that changing the words doesn’t reliably change the world. And while there have been various proposals that the grammar of a language can affect how people think of and act on the world — for instance, that the verbal tenses of a language can influence people’s tendency to plan — linguists have always been ready and willing to rebut them. So exactly how far does it go? Let’s have a look.

The Grammar of Greenwashing
with Laura Standley
You can tell by a person's grammar if they have bias toward people, places, or things — including plants and animals or capitalism, colonialism, and every other "ism" you can shake a stick at. You can also use grammar to predict who is implementing their stated environmental policies and who isn't — you can spot greenwashing. And with Gen Z being the generation most concered with environmental issues, companies, and people need savvy grammarians like us to help them spot the red flags. And in this session, I'll show you how.

Tools and Brains: Why They Must Work Together
with Merrill Perlman

Put a hundred editors in the room, they say, and you get a hundred different edits. Let's put that to the test: We will group edit some copy using some of the automated tools that are available. Would you make this change? Why or why not? This is a discussion where everyone can learn something, we hope. No fisticuffs, please.

We Know Ethical and Inclusive Language Matters. How Can You Get Your Whole Team to Use It
with Caitlin Hernández and Laura Davis
Ethical and inclusive language can increase trust, improve accuracy, and reduce the harms that media can cause. But new terminology and habits are sometimes met with pushback. This session will cover research and best practices for developing your own ethical and inclusive language guidelines and give you tips for getting everyone at your organization to adopt them.

What's New in AP Style?
with Colleen Newvine and Paula Froke
Paula Froke, editor of the AP Stylebook, presents updates and additions to AP style in the last year, including what’s changed and why. Colleen Newvine, AP Stylebook product manager, will show you how to claim your ACES member discount on an AP Stylebook Online subscription.

What’s New in Chicago Manual of Style?
with Russell Harper, Mark Allen, and Heather E. Saunders
Russell Harper from The Chicago Manual of Style joins editors Mark Allen and Heather E. Saunders of That Word Chat to discuss what’s new in Chicago style, with an eye toward the future — the forthcoming 18th edition.

Business of Editing


The Art of Networking With Ease
with Emily Primeaux
Have you ever been caught at a professional event when the networking cocktail hour strikes? Do you ever look aghast at the room, full of people you don’t know, and wonder how to even begin mingling? Professional networking is key to making connections, finding potential clients, and expanding your business. But talking to people at events can feel draining, downright uncomfortable, or awkward, especially for those who aren’t naturally inclined. Join this interactive session to learn about tools for building meaningful connections, explore strategies to make socializing with strangers feel less daunting, and brainstorm conversation starters. We will discuss:
• Comfortably joining group conversations.
• Navigating awkward exchanges or silences.
• Gracefully exiting conversations when you’ve hit your limit.
• Being authentic while promoting your skills and business.
Join Emily as she draws upon her decades of experience interviewing subject-matter experts and mingling at countless conferences to help you feel more confident working a room and break through the barriers that may be holding you back from networking with ease.

Effective Website Content That Sells You
with Katie Chambers

As a freelancer, your website can be your biggest marketing tool and indicator of your brand. If your website content sounds like every other editor and/or doesn’t give enough information, you may be missing out on potential clients. Learn how to write website content that effectively markets you, helps you stand out, and streamlines your project intake stage. Using other editors’ websites, I will teach you three general principles of good marketing copy and tips for each section/page that you should have on your website, whether you’re an academic editor, a book editor, or a business editor. At the end of the presentation, you will receive a website content checklist and my Create Your Brand worksheet to help you revamp your website.This presentation will help you create your website content if you don't have any and help you level up your content if you do.

Get It (and Keep It) Together: Project Management Basics for Individuals
with Lori Paximadis

The phrase “project management” might evoke images of large teams working on complex projects governed by Gantt charts and daily stand-up meetings. But the foundational principles of project management are just as useful for individuals working on their own. We’ll discuss these principles, how they apply to successfully planning and completing deadline-driven editorial projects, and how they can be applied to different work styles. We’ll also look at some common project management pitfalls and what to do when things go wrong.

Marketing Your Freelance Business Like the Boss You Are
with Suzy Bills

Marketing is vital to building and maintaining a business, but many freelancers don’t know where to start, what strategies are most effective, and how to avoid sounding salesy. In this session, we’ll discuss effective strategies for finding and connecting with your ideal clients. We’ll also discuss techniques for positioning yourself as the best choice so that you can win more projects and achieve your financial goals.

Social Media and Website Accessibility Workshop
with Ashley Nyaley and Lauren Appelbaum

Today’s website is our front lobby, and social media is fast supplanting the more traditional ways that we connect with the public. Research conducted by the disability advocacy nonprofit RespectAbility shows that organizations are not yet meeting basic requirements for accessibility, like captioned videos, screen reader-friendly designs, and photo descriptions / alt-text. This session will provide an overview on how to open your digital door, including how to write alt text descriptions and add captions to videos using free online tools. Attendees also will learn how to make social media posts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok accessible to people with disabilities.


The Editor's New Algorithm: Crafting Careers in an AI World
with Marni Molina

“The Editor's New Algorithm: Crafting Careers in an AI World,” equips professionals in the editorial and writing industries with strategies to adapt and excel in the AI-driven landscape. We will explore skill adaptation, new career opportunities, and maintaining a competitive edge, balanced with traditional editorial values. Attendees will also receive valuable supplemental materials to enhance their learning experience. These may include a Career Development Guide in the AI Era, Case Studies of AI Integration Success Stories, and AI Trends and Future Predictions in Publishing, providing practical tools and insights for navigating an AI-integrated industry. Through this session, we aim to empower attendees with the tools and knowledge to confidently navigate the new frontier of AI in the editorial world, ensuring they are well-equipped for the future of editing and writing.

Is Becoming an Editorial Agency for You?
with Erin Brenner

Working as a freelance editor effectively means you’re selling your hours to your clients. But each of us only has so many hours to sell — and we still need to sleep! Once you sell all your available work hours at your top rate, you have to think differently to grow your income. In this session, we'll look at what it's like to run an agency, including the benefits and drawbacks, leaving plenty of time for questions. Attendees will also receive a worksheet to help them navigate this important decision.

Maximizing Book Marketing With Editorial Expertise
with Elizabeth Suggs
Discover the dynamic relationship between authors and editors and how it can be harnessed to create a powerful book marketing strategy. In this enlightening class, you will explore how you as an editor can play a pivotal role in helping authors effectively market their books, from fine-tuning the manuscript to crafting a compelling narrative that resonates with readers. Highlights:
• Editorial collaboration: Refine manuscripts for marketability through author–editor partnerships.
• Understanding the audience: Editors aid in engaging the target readership.
• Structural and content edits: Enhance a book's appeal by refining its structure and flow.
• Crafting captivating blurbs: Help authors create compelling book descriptions.
• Measuring impact: Analyze interventions' effects on sales and refine strategies.
Discover how editors significantly contribute to authors' success, gaining deeper insights into shaping marketable books by the end of this workshop.

Nurturing Emerging Writers: The Business of Editorial Mentorship
with Maria Weir and Nicole Brooks

In this interactive session, Nicole and Maria, who edit content creators and emerging writers, guide participants through the first stages of the mentor-mentee relationship to empower young writers to develop new proficiencies in writing. This session will provide participants with open discussion and tips on guiding mentees across different content — marketing pieces, feature stories, and research articles — to observe strengths and weaknesses in their writing and how to help them improve without bleeding red ink. Participants will leave with a toolbox of editing approaches, including positive communication scripts and time-saving techniques, that help writers sharpen fellow writers. The session will include a slide deck showcasing the writing of college-age interns (first draft and post-edit) that we as a group can examine and edit in real time. We will save time for open discussion and questions about the art of mentoring and editing budding writers and our fellow, more seasoned writers.

Quantifying Your Editing Impact
with Letitia Henville
In "The Subversive Copyeditor," Carol Fisher Saller outlines three principles crucial to developing a good relationship with an author: carefulness, transparency and flexibility. Carefulness involves adhering to the “first do no harm” principle — that is, not implementing changes that you can’t cite a reason for making. Flexibility has to do with a willingness to break the rules if doing so aligns with your author’s needs and expertise, and if it won’t create a problem for the reader. But it’s her middle term, transparency — arguably under-discussed among editors — that we’ll focus on in this session. After reviewing what transparency means for Saller, we’ll discuss an expanded definition of transparency, and consider how sharing key measures of changes in your edited text can increase clients’ understanding of editing and trust in your work. Drawing on the free online text analysis tool, we’ll discuss which numbers you can share with which kinds of clients, and how to use after-edit metrics as a marketing strategy to increase the number of testimonials and referrals you receive. This session is targeted at freelance developmental, structural, and stylistic editors, but will contain tips for copyeditors as well.


The Business of Getting — and Keeping — Freelance Editing Business
with Ruth E. Thaler-Carter

Being a freelance editor involves more than being a trained, experienced and skilled professional; it means being in business, and that means finding clients, connecting with colleagues and prospects, marketing and promoting ourselves, setting limits, managing billing and time, and more. This session will cover important aspects of being in business as an editor, including invaluable resources and how to expand an existing freelance editing venture.

Panel Discussions


Freelancing Success: Where Networking and Volunteering Meet
with Kellie Hultgren, Linda Ruggeri, Pamela Hines and Marcella Lopez
Volunteering plays a key role in the success and professional development of many freelance editors, helping them develop beneficial relationships, overcome imposter syndrome, and attract the kinds of clients and projects they seek. Today we have four editors who will share their extensive experience with volunteering and explain how it can fit into your approach to networking and career building. In this panel we hope to inspire editors to build their networks through volunteering, while they contribute to causes and organizations that align with their values and interests.

The Peril and Promise of AI for Editing: A Q&A With Four Industry Experts
with Corinne Jorgenson, Erin Brenner, Erin Servais, and Samantha Enslen, and moderated by Christian Wilkie

Artificial Intelligence is reshaping the editing industry, raising concerns about its role in our professional futures. It makes sense we all have questions. This panel Q&A is your opportunity to ask what’s on your mind and get answers from industry experts. We’ll tackle the big issues:
• Is AI going to take our jobs? Or just make us better, more efficient editors?
• Does using AI devalue our human expertise and experience? Or augment it and redefine our editorial roles?
• Is AI coming to kill us? Or can we get on its good side?
Join this panel of editorial agency owners and AI researchers and educators as they debate these contrasting perspectives, challenging and supporting the role of AI in editing. The discussion will cover AI editing tools and uses, AI’s impact on the editing profession now and in the near future, and the many ethical implications surrounding this technology. Be part of the conversation. Bring your ideas, concerns, and questions. Let’s explore the challenges and opportunities AI presents together. Whether you're excited or apprehensive about AI, this session will provide a deeper understanding of its evolving role in our field.


Academic Editing: Opportunities, Challenges, Futures
with Akiko Yamagata, Bailey Harrington, Jennie Seitz, Letitia Henville, and Rees Storm

While populism and funding priorities threaten post-secondary and research institutions existence, academic writing, and therefore academic editors, persist. Why are we academic editors, how did we find our career path, and where do we see opportunity for ourselves and others. Our panel will discuss the scope of work that we do, the breadth of clients we serve, the opportunities available to editors interested in serving academic clients, and possible future directions for academic writers and the editors who support them.

Making the Invisible Visible: Editors as Changemakers
with CaTyra Polland, Crystal Shelley, Cynthia Williams, and Vee White

Culture "does not just passively exist. . . . It has continually to be renewed, recreated, defended,” according to academic Raymond Williams. As editors, we often think of our work as invisible and even as intended to be so. Join us to discuss how we can be visible and create positive change within our profession, including making book publishing and the wider editorial profession more equitable, diverse, and inclusive. We’ll focus on creating a profession we all find value in and feel valued in, and on exploring the role editors play in renewing, re-creating, and defending our professional and wider cultures.

Managing AP Style Expectations: What Journalism and Mass Communications Students Are Learning in College and How That Impacts You
with Brian Delaney, Gheni Platenburg, Jennifer Burger, and Jessica Walsh

Gen Z journalism and mass communication students are learning to edit for AP style in a very different way than previous generations. There is less emphasis on memorization and fewer stand-alone editing classes, plus the AP Stylebook has increased in size. Our research shows editing instructors are struggling to identify the best methods to teach AP style to these students. In this panel session, you will hear from an industry hiring editor as well as journalism practitioners turned professors who study the learning science behind teaching AP style to help you better understand the evolutionary changes going on in colleges right now, and how that can or should impact your expectations.

One for Everyone: Editing for a Broad Public Audience
with Judie Evans, Kim Cragg, Leslie Poster, and Melissa Cichantek

How do you make the best decisions for your audience when your audience is, well, everyone? Kim Cragg, Melissa Cichantek, Judie Evans, and Leslie Poster have spent their careers as public servants, editing in myriad formats and on multiple topics to ensure all readers can benefit from the education, enrichment, and entertainment offered within. They will speak on the challenges and rewards of working with text intended for a broad public audience; offer anecdotes for edification (and empathy) from tough calls and sticky debates; and give practical tips and tricks on four fundamental elements of editing for everyone: inclusive and conscious language, plain language, accessibility, and tone.

ACES 2024 Conference Central