Day of Meeting: January 14, 2013

Topic: Anyone remember the classic book Editors on Editing: An Inside View of What Editors Really Do? Well, if anyone knows “what editors really do” these days, we at the Editors Guild do. This meeting enabled members to brush up on areas of interest via friendly, facilitated roundtable discussions. Topics included fiction editing, food editing, web editing, marcom editing, editorial project management, writing coaching, and proofreading.

Preamble: Kyra Freestar gave an introduction to the evening, and Elizabeth Johnson announced upcoming Guild events:

  • On Thursday, January 24, at 7 p.m., two editors from the Guild’s speakers bureau, Jason Black and Jennifer D. Munro, will speak at the University Book Store on “When to Get Edited: How to Know What Your Book Needs This Year.”
  • There will be a Guild happy hour in Southend Seattle on Wednesday, January 30, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Join Guild members Andrea Ptak and Elisabeth Rinaldi for cocktails and snacks at Lottie’s Lounge in Columbia City.
  • The next Guild meeting will be on Monday, March 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in iLeap‘s East Hall in the Good Shepherd Center.

In addition, new board officers were announced:

  • Helen Townsend — president
  • Mary-Colleen Jenkins — vice president for member engagement
  • Kyra Freestar — vice president for board development
  • Carrie Wicks — secretary
  • Waverly Fitzgerald — treasurer

Board member Helen Townsend presented a preview of the (beautiful!) new website, which should be live soon. Current members will have the information from their profiles on the old website transferred to the new, then will be able to go in and customize their profiles themselves through individual log-ins. A new search function will allow a user of the site to find editors based on a number of different categories, including type of work, type of project, subject/genre, and style manual.

The remainder of the evening was divided into two sections of roundtable discussion.


  • Academic Editing, facilitated by Kerrie Maynes
  • Advertising/Marketing Editing, facilitated by Anne Moreau
  • Fiction Editing, facilitated by Sarah Martinez
  • Project Management, facilitated by Ingrid Emerick
  • Proofreading, facilitated by Pat Welch and Carrie Wicks
  • Web Editing, facilitated by Vicki Grayland
  • Writing Coaching, facilitated by Corbin Lewars
  • Food Editing, facilitated by Lisa Gordanier

Social media reactions have been compiled via Storify here, and other notes from editors and facilitators are below.


The facilitators, Pat Welch and Carrie Wicks, worked together as proofreaders in earlier days.

Key takeaways:

  • There is still proofreading work out there, but it might be worth approaching authors directly, since this work is now often authors’ responsibility.
  • Local employers who have offered proofreading work: Creative Circle, The Creative Group
  • Proofreading uses different “muscles” than copyediting, and people at the table would like to find more of this work.
  • Onscreen and paper proofreading each have their fans. Most onscreen proofreading experience at the table was in Acrobat.
  • Nordstrom is still looking for a proofreader (part time!).

Web Editing 

The facilitator, Vicki Grayland, has a steady web editing gig at AT&T.

Key takeaways:

  • What’s important in web writing: to be concise! Tone is conversational.
  • How much coding knowledge is required? Not as much anymore, but you may need to use a CMS (content management system) like Adobe CQ or MS Sharepoint.
  • SEO is on its way out, but is still used.
  • Blogs — are they a must for writers? Consensus: useful, but only if you will write every day; more a tool for writers to stay sharp.
  • Some discussion about social media and how it can get traffic to your site

Good resources:

  • The Yahoo! Style Guide
  • Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, by Steve Krug
  • Occasional e-newsletter from Jakob Nielsen
  • Various resources by Kristina Halvorson

Food Editing Notes 

The facilitator, Lisa Gordanier, recommended the following resources for cookbook editors.


  • Recipes into Type, Joan Whitman and Dolores Simon
  • The Recipe Writer’s Handbook, Barbara Jo Ostmann and Jane Baker
  • The New Food Lover’s Companion, Sharon and Ron Herbst
  • Will Write for Food, Dianne Jacob


  • Editing Food Writing workshop, taught by Guild member Kris Fulsaas, on February 9; offered by the Seattle chapter of the Editorial Freelancers Association
  • Editcetera cookbook editing course


  • Website offering equivalents for many food items


Meeting organizer: Carrie Wicks, board member
Dana Armstrong (Project Management and Web Editing – takeaways), Sherri Schultz (Web Editing – resources), Lisa Gordanier (Food Editing)
Location: iLEAP’s East Hall, Good Shepherd Center (first time)