Copy editing and editing

Why do I copy-edit (or, as some prefer to write, copyedit or copy edit)?

Because I’m good at it! It’s easy for me.

Mistakes on a page of print often jump out at me as if they were flashing red neon. To me they look a bit like this (don’t worry, this text doesn’t actually blink):

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, an vis kimono voluptua tacimates, ad sit hinc eligendi. In sea eruditi reprimique complectitur. An illud iisque suavitate mea, aliquam molestie repudiandae ei est, diam eruditi disputando ne zit. Te ius suas audire voluptatibus. Alterum oporteat perfecto ei qui, eligendi suscipiantur sea et.

When I copy-edit your text, I notice things like spelling and grammar mistakes, typos, inconsistencies, factual errors, and punctuation problems. I have an eagle eye for names (they’re one of my hobbies), read widely in history and science, and speak and write quite a few languages. All of these things come in handy for copy editing. Don’t get your names, dates, facts, and quotations wrong!

My Background

My father was a spelling champion (represented Massachusetts in the National Spelling Bee) and became an English professor. He used to let me correct his freshmen English students’ papers.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 17.52.47Some of my earliest memories include trips to the library and my father’s reading to me and my brother and sister. I was a bookworm from the moment I learned to read. That’s me in the shade, below.

JulieReadingca1960My first real job after graduating from Yale was as a copy editor for Saturday Review magazine, which was once a major general interest magazine on the lines of Harper’s or the Atlantic Monthly. I was lucky enough to be trained by a lady named Dorothy Humanitzki, the chief copy editor. I remember being surprised that I had to care about fonts matching, page numbers and titles, and “widows”– those little pesky two- or three-letter leftovers that make a page look bad. Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 18.03.41

Years later, I worked as a freelance copy editor for big New York publishers, including McGraw-Hill, Simon & Schuster, Harcourt Brace, and Macmillan, but mainly for Random House and Knopf. I copy-edited work by Barbara Tuchman, Maya Angelou (she couldn’t spell), Joyce Maynard, Marina Warner and many others. The books included fiction and nonfiction, reference books and textbooks, Bible stories for children, and one long book about wines of the Côte du Rhône.Julie-CO-desk-11 copy 3

After working for the Cousteau Society and the Foreign Policy Association as a writer and editor, I stopped working for a number of years to marry, raise children and move many (31) times, mostly around Europe and the U.S.A.. It was fun, but exhausting. Now the little ones are grown and I have gone back to work. As we haven’t stopped moving, I now work online– thus the name “Webwight.”

Feel free to get in touch about copy editing, writing or translating. You will be in good hands.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *