April 28, 2018 --- ACES: The Society for Editing has awarded Karen Conlin, co-owner of Grammargeddon, the 2018 Robinson Prize. She was presented the award at the Friday night banquet of the 2018 ACES national conference in Chicago. The Robinson Prize honors a “copy editor of the year” whose work exemplifies the values ACES promotes.
Conlin is a freelancer who does more than just fix grammar and punctuation – she maintains a steady stream of clients and participates actively in the community of online editors. In 2017 she wrote about understanding and using register for aceseditors.org, and hosted an ACES Twitter chat about it.
Conlin said her philosophy on editing is: “Working with me should be an enjoyable experience, not a chore. I aim to teach while I polish my clients’ prose.”
The judges agreed that, although they had a talented group of nominees, Conlin was an exceptionally impressive candidate and a worthy winner of the award. Her experience and reach represent much of what the Robinson Prize is meant to promote in the field of editing.
“She’s a fantastic resource for the editing community, and her work with indie clients represents a lot of where our field is headed. Strong technical chops, a head for the linguistic aspects of the work, and a really clear sense of what authors need from editors.”
Conlin is co-owner of the Grammargeddon blog, which offers clear explanations of grammar, usage, mechanics, writing, and editing. Her engagement in copy editing has transferred to social media as well, where she offers thoughtful and educational perspectives on language.
“[Conlin] is direct and pulls no punches. She also honors the creative process and is incredibly supportive,” one reference said. “It makes the hard work of considering her edits and having to make difficult changes so much less painful knowing that she understands what I'm trying to accomplish and supports my vision for the work.”
The prize is named for Pam Robinson, a founder and past president of ACES. One of Robinson’s goals was to make copy editors more visible in the workplace and to encourage them to take a constructive role in the publishing process. Robinson Prize nominees are evaluated on a combination of elements, including editing, design, mentoring and training, fostering a sense of teamwork and pride among colleagues, and anything else that furthers the craft of professional editing. The winner of the Robinson Prize receives $2,000 and a crystal trophy.
This year, the judging panel consisted of Jamaal D. Pittman, freelance copy editor; Karen Yin, proprietor of Conscious Style Guide and AP vs. Chicago, and the 2017 Robinson Prize recipient; Andy Bechtel, associate professor of journalism at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Matthew Crowley, digital desk editor at the Arizona Republic; and Sarah Grey, proprietor of Grey Editing and the 2016 Robinson Prize recipient.