The Ethics of Truth-Telling

Writers of creative nonfiction have widely different views on how much they can make up and still call their work "nonfiction." Investigative journalists, for instance, believe that it's fine to use the techniques of fiction — characterization, dialogue, sensory description, and such — as long as they stay true to the facts. But for writers … Continue reading The Ethics of Truth-Telling

The Curious Mind of a Copy Editor

Should it be “short, balding man” or “short balding man”? “Bad hair day” or “bad-hair day”? Mary Norris, a copy editor at The New Yorker for over thirty years, relishes these sorts of editorial decisions. “If commas are open to interpretation,” she writes in her literary memoir Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, … Continue reading The Curious Mind of a Copy Editor

Book Review: The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

A curious mind probing for truth may well set your scribbling ass free. Poet, writing instructor, and author of three memoirs, Mary Karr has been messing around with memoir all her life. Messy – that pretty much describes her approach to writing and teaching. “I’m a passionately messy teacher,” she writes. And, no surprise, her book … Continue reading Book Review: The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

Book Review: Editorial Niches

When Editors Canada decided to update Editing Canadian English, now in its third edition, the twenty-four authors and their team of editors generated so much material that they decided to create a companion volume, Editorial Niches. What’s in it? Editorial Niches consists of two long chapters, each divided into many subsections with report-style enumeration to preserve … Continue reading Book Review: Editorial Niches

Preparing for Certification … No More

Here I am making a fool of myself in public. Two weeks ago, I announced that I would study for the Editors Canada copy-editing exam coming up in November 2015 and blog about what I’m learning. Today, I’m announcing that I’m not taking the exam. The idea is just too stressful. And it’s only August. … Continue reading Preparing for Certification … No More

Preparing for Editors Canada Certification: Week One

For the next 14 weeks, I will be studying for the Editors Canada copy editing test on November 14. I haven’t actually signed up for the test. I hope that if I blog about studying, I will actually study and take the test. I learn by writing. I figure I will have to study three … Continue reading Preparing for Editors Canada Certification: Week One