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Meet a Certified Structural and Stylistic Editor: Sara Goodchild

Make this the year you join the ranks of editors certified by EAC's landmark certification program. For more information about EAC Certification or to register, visit

Certified Structural and Stylistic Editor Sara Goodchild undertook EAC Certification as a personal challenge. After years of rising through the ranks at various publishers, including McGraw-Hill Ryerson and Pronk & Associates, she saw certification as a way to quantify and promote her skills in the marketplace. "It was also a good way to ensure I wasn't getting complacent about my work," she says.

While some editors feel apprehensive about returning to the world of studying, for Sara it seemed natural: "It was like being back in school, in a good way." Recognizing the importance of preparation, she created a study schedule—"complete with a coloured highlighter code," she notes—and did her best to stick to it. Her approach to the test was slow and steady. "I thought it was important to do a little bit of work a few times a week, if not every day."

She combined academic resources with practical experience to create a winning formula for success. She remembers, "I worked through the Certification Study Guide, and also did the relevant exercises in Meeting Professional Editorial Standards. At the time, I was working in house, so my day job was preparing me for the tests, too."

Her certification has brought unexpected benefits. "It has led to a number of opportunities to work with EAC on various certification-related initiatives," she says, "which I have appreciated and enjoyed."

Sara now focuses on freelance work, mostly with educational publishers, where she can marry her experience as an editor with her love of science. She extols the benefits of freelance work and talks enthusiastically about her experience in the industry. She finds the editorial field rewarding, and enjoys being part of a "diverse group of people who all care passionately about learning, teaching, and clear communication."

Ultimately, certification has helped her appreciate the value of her own skills. Because her career has changed and evolved so much, she explains, "it has been gratifying to have concrete evidence that I know what I'm doing."

What advice does she offer to those still on the fence about certification? "Go for it!" Sara feels the tests are challenging but fair. She stresses the importance of committing to preparation and supporting your studying with work experience. In her view, the satisfaction gained from meeting this challenge is well worth the hard work you put into it.

Register today to see how EAC Certification can help your career.