Book Review: The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase Explores What Makes Good Writing Great

Written by Sarah Mitenko; copy edited by Karen Barry

Review of “The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase” by Mark Forsyth (Icon Books, 2013).

The image displays the cover of Mark Forsyth's book "The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase."Have you ever wondered what makes Shakespeare’s writing so darn good? Or Wordsworth’s, for that matter? And have you ever wondered how musical artists, like Katy Perry and Alanis Morissette, create lyrics that are catchy and memorable (sometimes annoyingly so)?

Notable author Mark Forsyth, also known for his blog, The Inky Fool, answers these questions and more in his third book, The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase. Throughout the book, he explores the fundamentals of classic rhetoric, using examples drawn from both renowned classical works and modern-day popular culture. Most of the chapters include examples from Shakespeare, as Forsyth argues that he likely learned rhetoric in school, a subject that was abandoned not long after Shakespeare’s time.

Continue reading

Meet the Instructor: Ruth Wilson

Written by Carl Rosenberg; copy edited by Adrienne Munro

Photo of Ruth Wilson smiling while dressed in a dark blue jacket and light blue top and wearing a necklace.

On Saturday, October 27, Editors BC presents Ruth Wilson’s seminar on structural editing. At the end of the seminar, participants will know the following:

  • How to assess a manuscript to identify structural issues
  • How to use an outline to reveal structure
  • What questions to ask when analyzing problems
  • How to avoid over-editing and respect the writer’s work
  • How graphics and design can support structural editing decisions
  • Why diplomacy can be just as important as editorial skill
  • How to estimate how long editing will take

This seminar will help anyone wishing to advance their structural editing abilities, broaden their skills base, or study for the structural certification test offered by Editors Canada this fall. It will be most useful for participants who already have some experience and understanding of structural editing, although editors at all levels are welcome. All course materials will be supplied. See the registration page for more details.

Ruth Wilson has more than 30 years’ experience editing trade books, professional journals, association publications, and corporate materials at all levels. She first honed her structural editing skills working at Vancouver book publisher Self-Counsel Press, and since then, she has shared what she has learned, having taught substantive editing in SFU’s Writing and Communications program for 15 years, along with other skills-based courses.

Ruth is a partner in West Coast Editorial Associates and has served on several national committees of Editors Canada. In 2011, she was honoured by Editors Canada as a recipient of the President’s Award for Volunteer Service, and in 2014, she was recognized as a Certified Professional Editor (Hon.) for her work in developing and launching Editors Canada’s world-class certification program.

Carl Rosenberg, a volunteer on Editors BC’s communications and social media committee, spoke to Ruth about her work on structural editing.

Continue reading

Rows of desks face a projection screen in a classroom-like environment.
Image

October 27, 2018: Skilful Structural Editing

What: Editors BC professional development seminar
When: Saturday, October 27, 2018, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Room 464, 4th floor, BCIT Downtown Campus, 555 Seymour Street, Vancouver | map
Cost: $165 for Editors Canada members ($135 early bird), $230 for non-members ($200 early bird), and $100 for student affiliates. Advance registration required. Registration closes October 23; early-bird rates are in effect through October 9.

Many editors are intimidated when they are asked to do a structural edit. Unlike other stages of editing, structural editing has fewer “rules,” and there is never just one way to solve structural problems. Structural editors are called upon to clarify, reorganize, and even rewrite. Negotiation with the author is also often part of the job.

This one-day workshop will deepen your existing skills by examining a sure-fire approach and process. You will learn how to break down structural editing into manageable tasks and resolve imbalance in content and ensure the manuscript is appropriate for the intended audience. At the end of the workshop, participants will know

  • How to assess a manuscript to identify structural issues
  • How to use an outline to reveal structure
  • What questions to ask when analyzing problems
  • How to avoid over editing and respect the writer’s work
  • How graphics and design can support structural editing decisions
  • Why diplomacy can be just as important as editorial skill
  • How to estimate how long editing will take

Continue reading

Meet the Instructor: Jessica Somers

Written by Carl Rosenberg; copy edited by Maggie Clark

Photo of Jessica Somers with long black hair smiling at the camera while dressed in a jean jacket, low-neck black top, and a number of black necklaces.

On Saturday, September 29, Editors BC presents Jessica Somers’ seminar on tax and finance for freelancers. This six-hour seminar will give an introduction to basic tax and finance issues for freelancers, including GST/HST registration, bookkeeping and record retention, and building financial stability without a salary. For editors new to freelancing, the seminar covers the basic essentials. And veteran freelancers will learn tips and tricks, have their questions answered, and clarify the details. See the registration page for more details.

Jessica Somers is a chartered professional accountant (CPA, CGA) with over 10 years of experience advising freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in Vancouver on tax, accounting, and business process. She is the founder of Cordova Street Consulting, a new firm in Gastown, which focuses on knowledge sharing, outreach, and taking the stress and mystery out of tax. Jessica is a facilitator and session leader at the CPA Western School of Business, where she teaches the next generation of Vancouver accountants and tax advisors.

Carl Rosenberg, a volunteer on Editors BC’s communications and social media committee, spoke to Jessica about her work on tax and finance issues for freelancers.

Continue reading

Image

September 19, 2018: Season-Opening Wine and Cheese

What: Editors BC monthly meeting
When: Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 7:00–9:00 pm
Where: Welch Room, 4th floor, YWCA Health + Fitness Centre, 535 Hornby Street, Vancouver | map
Cost: Free for Editors BC members, non-members, and students.

Please join us as we kick off the 2018–19 Editors BC season with a wine and cheese social!

Come ready to mingle with fellow editors, share your stories, and enjoy wine and snacks. Our returning and new executive members will be on hand to answer questions and listen to any suggestions you might have for the coming season.

Continue reading

Rows of desks face a projection screen in a classroom-like environment.
Image

September 29, 2018: Tax and Finance for Freelancers

What: Editors BC professional development seminar
When: Saturday, September 29, 2018, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Room 481, 4th floor, BCIT Downtown Campus, 555 Seymour Street, Vancouver | map
Cost: $165 for Editors Canada members ($135 early bird), $230 for non-members ($200 early bird), and $100 for student affiliates. Advance registration required. Registration closes September 25; early-bird rates are in effect through September 11.

So you’re a freelancer. What do you need to know to keep track of finances and file your taxes? This six-hour seminar provides an introduction to basic tax and finance issues for freelancers, including GST/HST registration, bookkeeping and record retention, and building financial stability without a salary. The day will be a mix of conversational learning and hands-on training, using a variety of helpful tools and apps to keep your finances on track.

Continue reading