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Demystifying developmental editing
Happy June, Manuscript Workers!
Did you know that June is developmental editing month? Probably not, because I just made it up!
I’ve decided to spend this month in the newsletter raising awareness and providing education around academic developmental editing. I think there’s more understanding of what developmental editing is (and that it exists) than there was 7 years ago when I launched my editing business. But what better way to celebrate Manuscript Works’ 7th birthday (it’s today!) than by talking about developmental editing and spreading even more knowledge about it?
I’ll be speaking to two kinds of readers this month:
(1) scholarly authors who want to learn about developmental editing as a service and how it can benefit them in their writing projects
(2) people who aspire to work as developmental editors for scholarly authors and would like to sharpen their skills in this area.
If either of those types of reader, or both of them, sounds like you, I’m excited to share lots of useful info with you this month!
Want a quick overview of what developmental editing is and how scholarly authors can make use of it?
Check out this post I wrote for Feeding the Elephant, a forum for conversations about scholarly communications in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Here’s a highlight:
A developmental editor is a professional who assists an author with “developing” their ideas and writings into a manuscript that will hit home with the author’s target readers. As a self-employed developmental editor, I work with scholarly authors on big-picture matters of argument, structure, narrative, and style in their book manuscripts. I help writers refine these aspects of their projects so that their research takeaways can have the biggest impact with the audiences the scholar wants to reach. A prospective author may be at any point in the writing and publication process—just starting to think about a book idea, working up a book proposal to take to publishers, readying a manuscript for submission, or revising a manuscript for publication after it’s been through peer review—when they seek the help of a developmental editor.
I’ll be sharing more short posts in the coming weeks to help you figure out how to find a good developmental editor, when to bring one in on your project, and even a little bit about how you can DIY some developmental editing for yourself or with your friends. Those will be coming right to your inbox if you’re subscribed to this newsletter.
I’ve also got two live webinars planned for this month
One is aimed at authors and one is aimed at editors.
The first webinar, “How to Work with a Developmental Editor,” will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, June 15th, at 10am Pacific and will illuminate for authors what the process of working with a developmental editor is like. It’s free to register and all who register will get access to slides, recording, and transcript after the fact. You must register in order to attend and get access to the materials.
The second webinar will happen on Wednesday, June 22 at 10am Pacific. This one is a nuts-and-bolts introduction to the practice of developmental editing and earning income from it. It’s intended for people who are already working as editors or people who are contemplating an editing career or side gig (you can be very vaguely contemplating it).
This one is also free, however I have a voluntary payment option ($35) for those who are able to afford it. All proceeds from these payments will go into a scholarship fund for underrepresented editors who enroll in my Developmental Editing for Academics course.
You must register (free or paid) in order to attend, and all who register will get access to slides, recording, and transcript after the webinar.
I’ve also opened enrollment for my Developmental Editing for Academics online course, which I’ll talk more about here in a couple weeks.
Do you have questions about developmental editing that you’d like to see answered in this newsletter or at the webinars? Send them my way!