Yin received $3,000 and an engraved glass plaque.
The Robinson Prize, named for ACES co-founder and first president Pam Robinson, recognizes an exceptional copy editor who helps further the craft in an era of increased competition. Nominees are evaluated on a combination of elements, which can include editing, design, mentoring and training, fostering a sense of teamwork and pride among colleagues, and anything else that furthers the craft of professional editing.
"A lot of editing is about sensitivity and nuance and spotting language mines before they explode. Karen seems to have done this. I give her big points for innovation and risk-taking.”
Yin was a standout among this year’s nominees. The judges agreed that the combination of her entrepreneurial talent and ability to be inventive in a changing industry made her a deserving winner. In a politically divided nation, Yin has stepped in with thoughtful ideas about inclusion on her blogs. One judge noted that “a lot of editing is about sensitivity and nuance and spotting language mines before they explode. Karen seems to have done this. I give her big points for innovation and risk-taking.”
She founded Conscious Style Guide in 2015 to raise awareness of compassionate, empowering and inclusive language. The creator of AP vs. Chicago and a style columnist for Copyediting since 2014, Yin has been invited to speak on androgyny, sexist language and racist language at universities, conferences and community events.
When detailing her own philosophy regarding conscious editing, Yin wrote: “Mislabeling people does more than just misunderstand; it erases identities and invalidates experiences. It’s not fun to be shoehorned into categories at every turn, socialized to fulfill cultural expectations, and then be criticized for being that way or not being that way. Nobody wins. To paraphrase Booker T. Washington, you can’t hold someone down without staying down with them.”
In 2013, Yin founded Quiet Press to provide editorial services for clients in education, publishing, advertising and research. She is also an award-winning fiction writer, a 2014 Table 4 Writers Foundation grant recipient, and a Lambda Literary Foundation fellow in 2015 and 2016.
Freelance copy editor Jamaal D. Pittman led this year’s judging panel. Rounding out the panel were Betty Ann Bardell, editor and proposal writer, Lockheed Martin Energy; Raymond P. Simon, Editor of Games-World of Puzzles magazine; and Matthew Crowley, Assistant City Editor of Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The Robinson Prize is one of two prestigious honors presented annually. The Glamann Award, named for ACES co-founder Hank Glamann, recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of editing. The 2017 Glamann Award was presented on March 10 to renowned copy editor Bill Walsh, who died March 15.