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Training and Its Many Benefits


Training and Its Many Benefits

Professional associations such as the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) and ACES: The Society for Editing offer many resources that help editors excel in their work and run successful businesses.

I particularly appreciate the access to quality training provided by these organizations, which offer courses at discounted fees to members. 

Courses are generally either learn-at-your-own-pace (where you’re given access to the materials for a set period, typically six months) or instructor led (in which instructors deliver training materials each week for a designated stretch, providing students with weekly feedback on graded assignments).

The EFA and ACES have also made free webinars available to members during the pandemic.

The benefits of training are many:

  • Refresh your knowledge
  • Stay current with trends in the profession
  • Expand your editorial offerings
  • Get feedback from world-class professionals
  • Meet other editing professionals
  • Reinvigorate your enthusiasm for the profession
  • Fill gaps in your schedule in a positive way 


Refresh your knowledge

Most editing skills are picked up through hard-earned experience, and basic courses may seem below your current skill level. But even 101-type courses can fill a gap in your knowledge or cause you to rethink an aspect of your editing business.

Stay current with trends in the profession

Language is always changing, along with electronic tools, editing trends, and publisher requirements. Continued training keeps you current and enables you to incorporate new tools and fine-tune your processes.

Expand your editorial offerings

Proofreading is very different from copy editing, and copy editing is different from line editing, and line editing is different from developmental editing. Training lets you get your feet wet in new areas under the guidance of a seasoned professional.

Get feedback from world-class professionals

Your instructors are generally respected members of the editing community (and in my experience they care deeply both about the profession and about helping others). Learning from the best is never a bad idea.

Meet other editing professionals

Most classes contain forums where you can meet your classmates and learn from those at all levels. The editing community is wide and welcoming, and the fellow editors you meet will prove invaluable for sharing both knowledge and work opportunities.

Reinvigorate your enthusiasm for the profession

Learning something new almost always fires you with enthusiasm for putting your knowledge into practice. It’s easy to get caught up in the grind of job after job, and stepping back for a moment can remind you of what you love about editing.

Fill gaps in your schedule in a positive way 

For those running their own businesses, any downtime between jobs can feel like lost time and fill you with anxiety. Though there is never a shortage of marketing, accounting, or other nonediting work to tackle, training is a particularly satisfying way to bridge gaps between jobs.

The following is a selection of courses I’ve taken from my professional organizations (and from the amazing Jennifer Lawler):

Copyediting: Beginning (EFA)

Copyediting: Intermediate (EFA)

Copyediting: Advanced (EFA)

Developmental Editing of Fiction: Beginning (EFA)

Developmental Editing of Fiction: Intermediate (EFA)

Developmental Editing of Mystery, Thriller, Suspense (Jennifer Lawler)

Editing the Romance (Jennifer Lawler)

Essentials of Conflict (Jennifer Lawler)

Truby’s Masters Studio: Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy (Audio)

How to Edit Marketing Materials with Savvy and Sense (ACES/Poynter)

The Art and Science of Editing (ACES/Poynter)

The Web’s Best Editing Resources (ACES/Poynter)

Language Primer: Basics of Grammar, Punctuation and Word Use (ACES/Poynter)

Writing Online Headlines: SEO and Beyond (ACES/Poynter)

Getting It Right: Accuracy and Verification in the Digital Age (ACES/Poynter)

Fundamentals of Editing (ACES/Poynter)

Clarity Is Key: Making Writing Clean and Concise (ACES/Poynter)

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