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Posts Tagged ‘editing’

Sunday, March 23, at 2 p.m. will be another of our great Writing Workshop Workshops. As usual, we’ll be gathering downstairs at Olive’s in Cincinnati’s Clifton Gaslight District.

Bring seven minutes’ worth of your writing to read, $5 for the kitty, your books to sell, any publishing or writing questions you’d like to ask, and a friend or two. I hope I will have a big announcement for you!

Head’s up for April: on Sunday, April 27 (same time, same place), at our Writing Workshop Workshop, we’ll be joined by Carol Topp, CPA, author of Business Tips and Taxes for Writers. It’s too late for your 2013 filing, but Carol will have lots of great advice for your 2014 return on how to be a professional writer, in terms of what’s deductible and what’s not.

So put April 27 on your calendar, and in the meantime I hope to see you Sunday, March 23, at 2!

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Hey everybody! If you’re looking for a warm place to gather and share your writing with a great group of people, join us Sunday for this month’s Writing Workshop Workshop. We’ll be meeting at Olive’s on Ludlow Ave. in the Clifton Gaslight District.

We officially start at 2 p.m., but if you’d like to order from the breakfast buffet, you might want to get there at 1:30. Just tell them you’re with the writing group.

Bring seven minutes’ worth of writing, $5 for the kitty, money for munchies, and a friend or two who might be interested in writing.Those of you who have recently published books might want to bring them, too. ;-)

I hope to see you there!

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Today I’ll be talking with the Sisters in Crime of Columbus, Ohio (SiCCO). Don’t you just love that acronym?

We’re going to talk about how to get your writing in the best shape for submitting it to editors and agents (and contests, too!). I read some great stories and can’t wait to meet the authors. Some of the things we’ll be discussing are manuscript format, action verbs, punctuation and style guides.

For example, did you know that you’re supposed to put only one space at the end of a sentence and after a colon? Do you know when that standard changed? In the mid-1980s. Want to know why? Well, you’ll have to invite me to talk to your group to find out!

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Hi folks! It’s that time again. We’re meeting this-coming Sunday at 2 p.m. at Olives at the Ludlow Garage in the Clifton gaslight area for our monthly “Writing Workshop Workshop.” For the uninitiated, our gathering is where you can learn the gentle art of critiquing other people’s work and having your own work critiqued in return. Bring about seven minutes’ worth of material to read or just come to listen to everyone else, and bring $5 for the kitty. We usually end by 4:30 or 5 p.m. All genres welcome; just remember that you’re going to be reading it out loud in a public place. (more…)

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Last-minute notice! Operators are standing by! OK, no they’re not.

Today, August 5, at 2 p.m., we are holding our monthly Writing Workshop Workshop at Olive’s at the Ludlow Garage. If you’re interested in workshopping a sample of your writing, please come. If you’d like to hear some great writing, please come. If you’re thinking about writing, please come.

Please come.

Bring seven minutes’ worth of material to read, $5 for the kitty and (most important) you.

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Hey folks! This summer I’m going to be giving some talks and conducting workshops around the Tristate, if you’d like to catch me without signing up for a multi-week class. Check out these great opportunities to hear me!

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Editing a document for someone is a lot like dating: there is a relationship between the two of you. However, it is unlike dating in that no matter how much a friendship might develop, the relationship is still based on professionalism and one of you is still going to be paid.
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Thanks to everyone who came to the Write On! Workshop Cincy Style yesterday. Judging from the evaluations, and speaking for Val and me, a great time was had by all! And didn’t Colleen Zuber at the Refuge Coffee Bar serve us a great lunch? Steve Gillen’s presentation on Copyrights and Contracts (and all the extra tips he gave us!) is surely going to save many of us a lot of headaches.

For yesterday’s participants: did you feel as if your head was spinning and you couldn’t write fast enough? For those who couldn’t make it: are you kicking yourself now? Never fear! Sign up now for the Write On! Workshop that we’re holding in Dayton on March 31, 2012. See you there!

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Are you looking for a place to share your writing in an atmosphere of trust? Where you can get good, constructive feedback? Please join us for learning the gentle art of critiquing others’ writing and being critiqued. Bring seven minutes’ worth of manuscript and $5 for the kitty (more if you plan on eating!).

Please note that this month we will be starting a half hour earlier than usual.

Olive’s on Ludlow:

342 Ludlow Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45220
Neighborhood: Clifton

That building has been many things. The last restaurant in that place was Uno’s. It is also known as the Ludlow Garage. They’re giving us a private room. If you arrive a few minutes early, you can try the all-you-can-eat buffet for $9.95, get yourself settled and then not worry about talking to a waiter!

Please let me know if you will be joining us — and feel free to invite a friend!

See you Sunday, December 18, at 1:30 p.m. at Olive’s!

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I’m about to conclude another year as a judge in the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Competition.

As in other years, the entries represent a range of what’s good and bad about self-published books. From each batch of 25 books, I must choose the top two to “bubble up” to the next round of judging. The choice is often difficult because I have too many that really are good. (Only one year was I overwhelmed with mediocrity and ultimately chose based on which two books had the fewest errors.) But, as always, I find myself thinking over and over: “Oh, this book could have been so good if only the author had hired an editor.”

I’ll back up a little. With self-published books, the author is paying to produce the book. So to produce a very clean, error-free book at the end, the author should have someone edit the book. But to hire someone means that the editor’s fee has to come out of the author’s own pocket.

Over the years, I have intuitively known that I cringe every time I see that the author has thanked someone for editing his or her book right up front in the acknowledgments, because I frequently turn the page and find a mistake right off the bat.

The clean, error-free books usually don’t have any editor acknowledged. This year I had an epiphany: that’s probably because the author hired an editor or proofreader and had to pay for the services. The author probably wasn’t feeling grateful but got a clean book out of the deal.

One year, an author thanked his mother for editing his book. I died a little inside. On the next page was the “forward” (which was spelled “foreward” on the cover of the book itself). It was a fantastic book! The mistakes killed me — it killed the book, too.

Another year, an author thanked his former English teacher for correcting the manuscript for him and gushed about what a great job she did. (I’ll save for another day my diatribe about the paradigm of “correcting” a manuscript and the implication that the author is wrong.) Sure enough, mistakes immediately followed.

English teachers are skilled in the “genre” of English classes. By chance, they might also know something about publishing. If you needed your taxes done, would you take all your receipts back to your old math teacher? He or she might, coincidentally, be an accountant — but that’s not what math teachers are trained to do.

The publishing world is different from the English classroom. For example, the “Bible” for the English teacher is the Modern Language Association’s MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th Edition. Most publishers do not use MLA for their style guide; they’re more apt to use Chicago, Associated Press, Words Into Type or one particular to their industry.

The WD contest is not the only place I see this confusion over roles. In my own business, I often encounter clients or potential clients (or people I don’t want as clients) who say, “Oh, I don’t need your services. I’ll just ask my _________ to read my manuscript.” You can fill in that blank with the aforementioned English teacher or English grad student, secretary, wife or mother.

When I was studying for my master’s degree in English (with a concentration in editing and publishing), I learned that some studies have shown a connection between the association (in people’s minds) of women having neat handwriting and the assumption that therefore they make good writers. This assumption then, according to the research, has carried on throughout several decades. That is why we supposedly find more women in the writing professions.

It’s an interesting thought and I don’t know if I buy into it. I do know from practice, however, that whenever people say they don’t need me as an editor, it’s a woman’s name they offer up.

Bodie Typewriter courtesy of PDPhoto.org

Some people's knowledge of today's publishing standards is as up to date as this typewriter.

Nevertheless, to these people I advise: before you hand her your manuscript to edit, ask her how many spaces she puts after a period. If she says “two,” tell her to go back to her typewriter. She’s not the editor for you.

And if she says “too” and signs it “love, Mom,” tell her you don’t want to add to her work load. Take her out to dinner instead.

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