Recently, the Society for Editors and Proofreaders ran a profile of me on their website. Find out how I got trapped between the pages, some editorial bugbears, how I got into freelance editing, and about some perhaps surprising non-wordworking interests.
Why did you choose an editorial career, and how did you get into it?
I like to think I fell into it by accident, but ink is really in my blood. My mother was a teacher and journalist and my father was a news editor and journalist and together they published two local newspapers in Johannesburg. I grew up under tables as they laid out the weekly editions with scissors, glue and broadsheet. I had no plan to go into wordworking and I only realised I was helplessly trapped between pages when I started working as a bookseller. Being a buyer for a major bookshop was an excellent introduction to the publishers who later hired me as a freelancer. I started by moonlighting for Random House South Africa, building their website, then assessing manuscripts, then proofreading and editing.
What training have you done to get your editorial career up and running?
I did most of my training on the job, with ten years' worth of freelance jobs for repeat publishing clients, consolidating my knowledge with workshops and forum discussions of the Professional Editors' Guild. When I came to the UK and joined SfEP, I took the SfEP level 2 courses in copyediting and proofreading to calibrate and formalise my skills.
What work are you most proud of?