Article: “How to Copyedit The Atlantic”

If you’ve ever been curious about the copyediting process for magazines and journals, this is the article for you!

We start the process by reading each piece four times among ourselves. I might read the piece on my monitor, read it again on a printout, and then pass it to one of my fellow copy editors to repeat the process. We alternate reading onscreen and on page because we tend to catch different things with each method—stylistic errors jump out on the screen; timeline issues or abrupt shifts in narrative are clearer on the page. On my first read of Ross’s piece, for example, I flagged its abundance of metaphors: The satellite dish looked like an inverted mushroom cap and like God’s fingerprint; its surface looked like a taut bedsheet. Metaphors can bring vividness to image descriptions, of course, but like salt sprinkled over a finished dish, they’re best used in moderation. On the page, meanwhile, I found myself confused between the two extraterrestrial-research teams we mentioned, so I left a note asking the editor to clarify.

How to Copyedit The Atlantic by Karen Ostergren

Article: “Not Busy, Focused”

Did you wake up this morning, immediately turn on some kind of technology—your phone, your computer—and get down to work? Me too.

I’ve spent the last few years trying to be far more mindful of slowing down, taking my time, and being present. But sometimes I slip, and these past two weeks have been fast, quick, and over before I knew it.

Life is not a race, and just because we’re busy doesn’t mean we’re being productive or even doing things to our best ability. Here is an article that never fails to remind me of that—and what to do about it:

“Take a look around: everyone is multitasking. We’re doing more than we’ve ever done, attempting to fill every interstitial zone with more work. Every downtown scene is the same: heads tilted downward, faces lost in glowing screens, technology turning people into zombies …”

Trigger Warnings in Books

I’m finishing up the copy editing of a YA novel about the power of women to rise up, speak against, and defend against sexual assault.

There are scenes of groping, voyeurism, and an older man making unwanted advances toward a teenage girl. Though nothing graphic is described, I’ve still had nightmares.

Currently, there is no content warning in the front of the book, and this has me wondering:

Do you feel that publishers and authors have a responsibility to readers to make a book’s content clear through trigger warnings?

Leave a comment, and let’s get a conversation going!

Instagram for Writers

I’m currently working with a wonderful writer who is setting up her first Instagram account. It can seem intimidating, but if you’re not taking advantage of the unique social media platform, then you’re missing out. And once you get going, it’s nowhere near as complicated as you might think!

Here’s some help to get you started …