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Creativity as a copy editing core competency

Creativity as a copy editing core competency

March 19, 2019 By Matt Tompkins Resources

Where do copy editing and creativity intersect?

That’s the question my colleague Matt Schick and I will be discussing at the ACES conference in Providence later this month, where we’ll lead a session titled Creativity as a Copy Editing Core Competency.

As copy editors who also happen to be fiction writers, creativity is a subject especially near and dear to our hearts. But we had noticed that in the copy editing trenches — particularly in the world of business journalism where we spend our professional lives — the concept of creativity is easily overlooked. It’s often overshadowed by terms such as clarity, concision, and readability — all of which are critical to our mission as copy editors, but none of which are the least bit at odds with a creative mindset.

When we considered ideas to pitch for a session, we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to break out our figurative Venn diagrams and take a good, close look at the overlap between copy editing and creativity.

In our conference session, we will...

We also hope to strike up a lively conversation and learn how our peers are going about identifying and focusing on creativity in their own work. Because why else do we attend the conference, if not to exchange ideas and gain inspiration from our fellow language lovers?

For those who will be in Providence, please consider joining us for what we hope will be a fun and informative session. And for those who can’t make it to the conference, we would be happy to hear from you! Reach out and let us know what your creative passion projects are, how creativity informs your professional editing prowess, or how you keep a creative mindset at work — no matter what kind of editing you do.


Matt Tompkins has worked as a creative writing instructor, literacy tutor, barista, and library collections coordinator. Now, he works for S&P Global Market Intelligence in Charlottesville, Virginia, copy editing financial news. He writes fiction in his spare time and lives with his wife, daughter, and cat, all of whom are passionate about word choice.


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