On Friday I had the great pleasure of speaking with Shannon Gerard and the students in the Publications undergrad program at OCAD University. I focused on what it was like to edit in house (“corporate publishing”) for eight years, and my experiences as a freelancer, in which I mostly edit at home. Venn diagram much?
One of the key differences is that before, I focused on acquisitions and substantive edits, and now I have all the jobs of an editor, including managing editorial (keeping track of my own workflow and schedules), copyediting, and proofreading. I also do developmental editing in my position at Page Two.
I offered a few suggestions for how to land a job in publishing after graduation, ideally avoiding the now standard “three internships” route.
I gave an overview of the publishing landscape in Canada, outlining the major differences between the “big” publishers and independent houses (avoiding the term “small press,” of course).
I showed how the students could find a place for their passions in publishing. In my case, I’ve combined my twin interests in sustainability and storytelling by acquiring and editing a lot of books about activism and social change, steering corporate social responsibility by heading the Green Committee and partnering with Canopy, and working on community initiatives like The Reading Line.
I am always keen to chat with students, and to help demystify the writing, editing, and publishing process. Thanks to Shannon and her class for hosting me!