Event review: #LFMF

Couldn’t attend EAC-BC’s #LFMF event? Don’t worry. Programs co-chair Frances Peck has compiled a list of the “editing lessons learned”—editors’ true confessions, if you will—that were shared that evening.

At EAC-BC’s first meeting of the season (on September 19, 2012), about 35 of us gathered at the YWCA in Vancouver to drink wine, nibble cheese, catch up with fellow editors, and confess our failures. Humility was the watchword of the evening as we tweeted editing lessons we’ve learned the hard way (using the hashtag LFMF, learn from my fail) or described our embarrassing moments to the group.

See slide show.

The “winning” #LFMF lesson

The (unofficial) winner, for its black humour and high “uh-oh” factor:

Always turn off autocorrect. My instructor’s last name, Vigna, was autocorrected to vagina without my noticing.

More #LFMF lessons

The various lessons—about the importance of proofreading, the need for careful estimating, the pitfalls of technology, and more—were too valuable to keep to ourselves, so we’re sharing them with WCE readers. A big thank you to those who laid bare their biggest gaffes so that others needn’t repeat them.

“Materiel” isn’t always a misspelling. Learned the hard way from a military client.

Always review the document, or a good sample of it, before estimating. What’s described as an easy edit may really be a nightmare.

Proofread every invoice. I once tweaked my template and got my postal code wrong! Delayed payment, red face.

Say yes to every project and you’ll sacrifice quality. I look back on work from hectic times and know it wasn’t my best. Ouch.

If you’re sending an attachment, attach it BEFORE you write the email and forget to do it.

Before sending a style sheet to the client, don’t forget to give it one last A-to-Z sort.

Proofread your invoice template. There is no such thing as the GSH tax.

Mix estimate with educate for big jobs. Itemize the tasks you’ll do at each stage. Helps client appreciate the value for the $$ estimate.

Make sure all comments to self are deleted from final edit. Author should never see “Boring!” or “Gibberish.”

Always estimate based on word count—never on page count.

I edited a dissertation in LaTeX. When the (now) prof gave me the published copy (in person), I saw I’d edited no footnotes.

Your awesome new time-tracking software doesn’t do much good if you don’t press the “start” button.

Sent out a resumé several times mentioning articles I had published in a “newpaper.” Applying for copy-editing jobs.

When signing off with “Regards” in a memo to an author, keep in mind that the G and T keys are in close proximity.

See slide show.


EVENT LISTINGS: September 2012

Do you have an event planned (or know of one) that you’d like to appear in these listings? Send us the details.

September 19, 2012: EAC-BC meeting: #LFMF

When signing off with “Regards” in a memo to an author, keep in mind that the “G” and “T” keys are in close proximity. #LFMF

Join us for a casual wine and cheese evening on Wednesday, September 19, 2012, where you’ll chat and mingle with your fellow editors and meet this year’s executive. The theme of this meeting—the first of EAC-BC’s 2012–2013 season—is Learn From My Fail (yes—we know it’s bad grammar). Live-tweet your editing lessons learned—your most memorable, not-to-be-repeated moments—to @EditorsBC using hash tag #LFMF, and we’ll display the Twitter feed for all to see. The evening is an opportunity for all editors—whether in-house or freelance, whether seasoned veteran or just starting out—to drink, nosh, and learn from each other.

Not on Twitter? Email us your “lessons learned” before September 18, 2012, and we’ll tweet them on your behalf.

  • Time: 19h00–21h00
  • Cost: FREE for EAC members; $10 FREE for non-members; $5 FREE for students
  • Location: YWCA on Hornby, 535 Hornby Street, Welch Room, 4th floor, Vancouver
  • Registration: Not required


September 22–23, 2012: Vancouver Book Fair 2012

Don’t forget! The Vancouver Book Fair of antiquarian and modern books—sponsored by The Alcuin Society—is fast approaching. It will feature more than 20 of BC’s Top Booksellers. To determine how susceptible you may be if you sashay into the book-fair fray, take this Test: Are you a hopeless bookworm?

  • Time: 10h00–17h00
  • Cost: $5 (good for both days)
  • Location: Robson Square, 800 Robson Street, Rooms C150–C180, Vancouver
  • Registration: Not required


September 22, 2012: EAC-BC seminar: Advanced Proofreading

This seminar will be helpful to those of you wishing to upgrade your proofreading skills, prepare for job advancement, or study for EAC’s Proofreading Certification test this fall. You should have some proofreading experience and be familiar with conventional mark-up. Course material will be supplied, but bring a current dictionary, pencils and pens, and a ruler or other measure that you use on the job.

This exercise-based seminar focuses on beyond-the-basics proofreading skills. It offers you the opportunity to examine excerpts from complex documents and learn how to fine-tune your proofreading eye to catch every error. Using documents ranging from maps to menus, catalogue pages to journal pages, instructor Ruth Wilson will challenge you to use your judgment to weigh the pros and cons of making changes, querying authors, or making no changes at all.

Time will be spent discussing the process a proofreader must follow when part of a larger production team. Examples of process checklists from various publishers and organizations will be provided.

About the instructor: Ruth Wilson has more than 25 years’ experience editing and proofreading trade books, professional journals, association publications, and corporate materials. She worked for many years with Vancouver book publisher Self-Counsel Press, but in 1997 she decided to spread her wings as an independent consultant. She is now a partner in West Coast Editorial Associates. Ruth is also a respected instructor in the Writing and Communications Program and Summer Publishing Workshops at Simon Fraser University, where she teaches proofreading, editing, and Plain Language skills. She has also served on several national committees of EAC. In 2011, she was honoured as a recipient of EAC’s President’s Award for Volunteer Service.

  • Time: 9h00–16h00
  • Cost: $140 for EAC members; $200 for non-members
  • Location: SFU Vancouver, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • Registration


September 24, 2012: National Punctuation Day

Take a moment on September 24, 2012, to celebrate National Punctuation Day. Salute all things punctuation related and—if you happen to have an exclamation-point-shaped or question-mark-shaped loaf pan lying around—cook the Official Meatloaf.

This US holiday was founded in 2004 by a former newspaperman to remind American school children and business people that the “semicolon is not a surgical procedure” and that poor punctuation can cost businesses millions of dollars.

  • Location: online


September 28–30, 2012: Word on the Street

It’s time again for Word on the Street, Canada’s annual book and magazine festival. While at the festival, drop by the EAC-BC booth. Even better, contact PR chair Jessica Lowdon to volunteer to staff the booth for an hour or two.

  • Time: 10h00–17h00
  • Cost: free
  • Location: Library Square and CBC Plaza, Vancouver