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Copy Editing II: Judgment Calls and Added Value

Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 09:00

Registration Information Venue Information | 2017–2018 Seminars

Thursday, January 11, 2018
Capital Hill Hotel & Suites, 88 Albert St., Ottawa
Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Registration fees (includes lunch, snacks, and HST):

  • Editors Canada member: $275
  • Non-member: $400 

Seminar Description

“Superb copyeditors need good judgment as much as language skills, and they must vary their decisions depending on the author they are working with and the conventions of this particular subject area.” (Rosemary Shipton in Darcy Cullen, ed., Editors, Scholars, and the Social Text)
Copy editors constantly need to make editorial and process decisions. Not only does the English language allow a variety of ways to edit most texts, but also clients’ needs vary from project to project. Copy editors can also offer value through their wide knowledge of language and content, as well as their skill with electronic editing tools.

You’ll leave with the confidence to tune your edit appropriately and sensitively, customizing each document to its genre and situation. You’ll also leave with a detailed handbook that covers the seminar content and more.
In this seminar, you’ll practice on a variety of documents and learn tips and tricks from two experienced copy editors. You will learn:

  • where copy editing fits in the editorial process
  • when and how to make decisions on grammar, punctuation, tone, length, language level, etc.
  • what value add-ons you can offer, such as creating a style sheet, checking facts, correcting usage, and formatting documents
  • to work efficiently using checklists, consistency-checking software, and Word’s editorial tools
  • to interact constructively with clients
  • how to edit your own writing

We encourage you to bring a laptop (PC or Mac) equipped with MS Word 2007 or newer. Exercise files will be distributed at the seminar.


Elizabeth Macfie has 21 years’ experience as a freelance editor, proofreader, and indexer for government departments, university presses, research organizations, and authors. She is an Editors Canada certified copy editor, stylistic editor, and proofreader, and she is a past chair of the Editors Ottawa–Gatineau branch. Elizabeth presents popular seminars and conference talks on editing, proofreading, and business networking.

Moira Rayner White entered the work world as a social worker and later moved into social policy. In both professions, she found that her organizational skills, attention to detail, and love of words were pointing her in a new direction—the world of editing. Currently a freelance editor, writer, and trainer with both public and private sector clients, she has decades of experience editing print and electronic publications. Moira is past president of Editors Canada.