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.

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

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A Tribute to Nancy Flight

By Lucy Kenward

During the monthly meeting of November, Editors BC was happy to honour Nancy Flight and other longtime members, Peter Colenbrander, Ann-Marie Metten, Peter Moskos, and Ruth Wilson, for their significant contributions to the association. To start off the meeting, Lucy Kenward gave the following tribute speech to Nancy Flight.

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November 15, 2017: A Tribute to Nancy Flight and the Builders of Editors BC

What: Editors BC monthly meeting
When: Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 7:00–9:00 pm
Where: Welch Room, 4th floor, YWCA Health + Fitness Centre, 535 Hornby Street, Vancouver | map
Cost: Free for Editors Canada members and student affiliates, $10 for non-members, and $5 for non-member students with valid ID. Registration at the door.

This evening we will honour longtime Editors BC member and editor extraordinaire Nancy Flight, who retired from her full-time role as associate publisher of Greystone Books on October 16, 2017—forty-five years to the day after she started her first job in book publishing in San Francisco.

Throughout her career as a highly respected and award-winning editor, Nancy made significant contributions to the editing profession and to our national association and local branch. We’re delighted she will be with us on November 15 so we can thank her in person.
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Rows of desks face a projection screen in a classroom-like environment.
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October 27, 2017: Inclusive Style Guides

What: Editors BC professional development seminar
When: Friday, October 27, 2017, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Where: Room 840, 8th floor, BCIT Downtown Campus, 555 Seymour Street, Vancouver | map
Cost for a full-day: $150 for Editors Canada and ABPBC members ($120 early bird), $215 for non-members ($185 early bird), and $90 for student affiliates.
Cost for a half-day: $90 for Editors Canada and ABPBC members ($70 early bird), $155 for non-members ($135 early bird), and $60 for student affiliates.
Registration: Advance registration required. Registration closes October 23; early-bird rates are in effect through October 13.

Co-presented by Editors BC and the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia

Writers, editors, and publishers share a responsibility to be mindful of terminology and inclusive language in their publications, particularly in light of recent discussions of cultural appropriation in media and literature. And with the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style published this fall, this is an opportune time for editors to think through these issues when considering updates to their house style guides.

This professional development event, split into two three-hour sessions, will encourage participants to think through and navigate the complexities of inclusive language in the context of stylistic editing decisions. Continue reading

Meet the Instructor: Ruth Wilson

Interview by Erin Parker; copy edited by Meagan Kus

RWilson_2016-06On Saturday, September 17, Editors BC will present Ruth Wilson and her full-day workshop Advanced Proofreading, which teaches participants how to take their proofreading skills to the next level, navigating the “process, policies, and even politics” of a manuscript with ease.

Erin Parker, co-chair of Editors BC’s professional development committee, recently picked Ruth’s brain about the wonderful world of proofreading, the work she’s done on Editors Canada’s certification committee, and the books she took on vacation this summer.

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Event Review: The Art of the Query

Written by Susan Grant; copy edited by Emma Caplan

Review of the workshop The Art of the Query with Ruth Wilson (offered by Editors BC on March 19, 2016)

Ruth Wilson, who recently retired from teaching copy editing and substantive editing in SFU’s Editing Certificate program, was inspired to create her seminar, The Art of the Query, by the struggles of her students to query effectively. But as Ruth noted throughout her presentation, even more experienced editors can make beginners’ mistakes, to the detriment of their relationships with authors and publishers. Drawing on her own experiences and her observations of students’ struggles, Ruth developed this comprehensive seminar on the underrated and oft-neglected skill of the effective query.

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