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How to become an Editor?

Lend your expertise: what does it take to become an Editor?

Note: Given the growing interest in the publishing field, we're inviting our experienced professionals to share their knowledge.

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Sara’s Answer

First, a college level education is required to build a good foundation in writing and editing. Second, I recommend looking into freelance work, either while in college or right afterwards. This way you can attain a number of writing examples and experience. These kinds of examples are critical as most writing-related job interviews will ask for samples.

Another thing that interviewers look for is how well you respond to feedback. Throughout your career as a writer, you are going to receive feedback from people on your work, and sometimes you might not agree with the feedback. So, when you start receiving feedback early in your career, take a moment to think about how it makes you feel before reacting, and then determine when is it appropriate to accept the feedback or when to push back. This is something that will take years to learn, so try to be aware of it early on and don't stress too much over negative feedback - it happens to everyone.

Note that this advice can apply to a writing career in the publishing field or corporate. As someone who works in the corporate world, I can tell you that writers are truly valued!
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Holly’s Answer

Since you mentioned the publishing industry, I'm going to assume you mean an editor for books. I've never actually worked as a professional editor, but I do have some knowledge about how the editing process looks.

To become an editor, you're going to need a lot of attention to detail to spot mistakes or things that need changing. You are also going to need a critical eye, and the ability to provide feedback that is both constructive and helpful.

A university/college degree in English isn't technically necessary, but it might help give you a boost and to land editing jobs in the future.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello CVOH,

To become an editor, one typically needs a strong foundation in writing, grammar, and communication skills. Here are some steps to help you pursue a career in editing:

Education: A bachelor’s degree in English, Journalism, Communications, or a related field is often required. Some employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree in editing or publishing.

Gain Experience: Start by building a strong foundation in writing and editing through internships, freelance work, or volunteer opportunities. This will help you gain practical experience and build a portfolio of your work.

Develop Specific Skills: Editors need to have a keen eye for detail and the ability to identify errors and inconsistencies. Familiarize yourself with various style guides such as AP Style, MLA Style, and Chicago Manual of Style. Additionally, learn how to use editing software like Microsoft Word or Adobe InDesign.

Networking: Building relationships with other professionals in the publishing industry can lead to job opportunities. Attend industry events, join professional organizations like the Editorial Freelancers Association or the American Copy Editors Society, and connect with others on LinkedIn or other professional networking sites.

Stay Updated: Keep up-to-date with industry trends and best practices by reading industry publications and blogs, attending conferences, and participating in online forums and webinars.

Build a Portfolio: Create a portfolio of your work that showcases your editing skills. Include before-and-after examples of your edits to demonstrate your ability to improve written content.

Apply for Jobs: Look for job openings at publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, or digital media outlets that fit your interests and skillset.**

Authoritative References Used:

Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA)
American Copy Editors Society (ACES)
Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP)

God Bless You,
Jimmy.
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Steve’s Answer

If you're keen on becoming a VIDEO EDITOR, then this is for you. If not, this might not be helpful...

Video editing tools exist in the form of computer software. Your first step is to watch some tutorials from ADOBE or on YOU TUBE. Begin experimenting with a basic editing system - for instance, iMovie (if you're using a Mac). Pay close attention to the editing styles in movies and TV shows.

If you have the opportunity, consider enrolling in FILM SCHOOLS for a structured learning experience. A specialized course in film can provide insights into the intricacies of crafting a video narrative from the viewpoint of the director, the cinematographer, and the editor.

You might also want to develop a short film idea, use your iPhone to capture your story, and then stitch it together on your editing platform.

The more you immerse yourself in the process, the more skilled you'll become. Network with industry professionals who can mentor you and provide constructive criticism. Welcome this with an open mind and heart. There might be times when you disagree with the feedback, but give it a try anyway and evaluate the different edits to identify what resonates best. Your audience's feedback is crucial as they are the ultimate critics of your content.

Best of luck.
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Joanne’s Answer

You are off to a great start ! People who ask questions make great editors!
To become a good editor:
Ask questions
Research
Read
Write
Play puzzles, word games, math games, etc.
Be curious
Learning not only the what but the why
THEN:
Read and write more
Study language - English and another, or another
Edit now - for fun, for family, for peers
Be a creative and critical thinker, always
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LuLu’s Answer

An editor should hold at least a Bachelor's degree, ideally a Master's, in English, journalism, or communications.
Rigorous proofreading, including reading the document aloud, having AI read it aloud, and reading it to another person, is essential.
Editors need top-notch writing and communication skills to proficiently edit and revise text. Ensure that the text is actual content and not just filler to reach a word count.
They must also have a sharp eye for detail and a solid understanding of grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
Fact-checking requires them to be keen researchers.
Editors should ensure the document is consistent and flows smoothly.
Familiarity with editing software and tools is necessary, as is knowledge about the publishing industry.
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