Katharine O'Moore-Klopf named 2013 Robinson Prize winner

March 22, 2014 By Neil Holdway Contests and Awards

Many copy editors know Katharine O’Moore-Klopf even though they’ve never met her.

O’Moore-Klopf has been a resource for copy editors long distance through her Copyeditors Knowledge Base online.

That contribution to copy editors everywhere is among the reasons freelance copy editor O’Moore-Klopf was selected as winner of the American Copy Editors’ 2013 Robinson Prize.

The prize recognizes substantial contributions to the craft of copy editing and excellence in overall copy editing skills. O’Moore-Klopf received the award during the 18th annual ACES national conference Friday, March 21, in Las Vegas.

O’Moore-Klopf, of Long Island, N.Y., has made helping others an intricate part of her job since she established her full-time freelancing business in 1995. She has focused on medical editing, and she has a reputation for working with foreign-language doctors and other scientists to publish important work in English-language journals. In late April, she will teach at the Jishuitan Orthopaedic Forum in Beijing, helping young physicians write better English and navigate the U.S. journal-publishing system.

Maintaining and clarifying the client’s voice, she says, is key to copy editing, she says on her website biography:

”In my first professional job, I was a reporter for a midsize Texas newspaper, where I observed talented editors polishing writers’ prose, including mine, without removing their voice from it. When I moved to the publishing industry, I was determined to do the same.”

Her clients say her work reflects that determination.

“Kathy is sensitive to giving my voice its fullest expression while she also skillfully and meticulously edits my work,” wrote author Gen LaGreca. “She is a great communicator, as well, making it a joy to work with her. When Kathy has finished editing my work, I can be confident it will meet the highest professional standards and also reflect exactly what I want to say.”

O’Moore-Klopf’s regularly updated Copyeditors’ Knowledge Base website contains hundreds of annotated links; it may be the most useful index of its kind. One of the judges noted that “her website is a treasure trove of information from which editors the world over can benefit.”

O’Moore-Klopf actively contributes to several copy-editing organizations, including ACES, the American Medical Writers Association, the Editorial Freelancers Association, and the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences, for which she is a certified editor. She has contributed newsletter articles to these organizations, and she runs the Twitter account for BELS. She has presented and written columns on the business of copy editing for Copyediting newsletter. In December, she took over as co-owner of the Copyediting-L email list, for which she has been one of the more active participants for years.

O’Moore-Klopf has worked closely with writer, designer, editor and publisher Dick Margulis, and they are currently collaborating on medical textbooks.

“Katharine is generous not only in the time she devotes to serving on the volunteer boards of national organizations, mentoring new editors, and curating her amazing collection of resources for editors, but also in the distribution of real paying work to colleagues whose work she trusts to meet her own high professional and ethical standards,” he wrote.

Mark Long, for whom she edited several technical books when he was publisher at Texas State Technical College, wrote: “I can think of no better ambassador for the copy editing profession than Katharine O’Moore-Klopf.”

The Robinson Prize, which was first awarded for the 2005 calendar year, is named for Pam Robinson, a cofounder of ACES and the society’s first president. The winner receives $3,000 and an engraved glass plaque.

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