Academic Editing: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Academic Editing: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly with Lesley Erickson

Countless adjectives—“impenetrable,” “stodgy,” “abstruse,” “turgid,” and more—have been assigned to academic writing. And what we consider good writing often bears little resemblance to what academics produce: books, articles, and theses with an alphabet soup of documentation styles; 700-page tomes that contain more footnotes than text; and prose that tells rather than shows and often leaves readers flummoxed.

Confronted with this, what’s a conscientious editor to do?

Designed to promote a better understanding of what’s at stake for academic authors and how editors can help them achieve their goals, this workshop is open to editors and writers at all stages of their careers. Through lectures, discussions, exercises, and real-life examples, participants will learn how to meet editorial standards for clarity, consistency, and correctness while still respecting academic authors and the writing conventions of their disciplines.

During this six-hour workshop, we will discuss the following topics:

  • Understanding scholarly publishing and academic authors
  • Assessing manuscripts and agreeing on the scope of work
  • Editing text with academic audiences in mind
  • Editing references, tables, charts, and photos
  • Helping scholars write for general readers

By the end of this workshop, you will understand

  • the differences between academic and trade publishing
  • the advantages and disadvantages of working for the author or the publisher
  • budgets and what’s up for negotiation in contracts
  • the art of the query and how to deal with difficult authors
  • different documentation styles and when you can deviate from them
  • what constitutes a good style sheet
  • the importance of checklists
  • when to intervene and when to just let it go

Lesley Erickson has more than 20 years’ experience as an author and editor in scholarly publishing. She has worked as a freelance copywriter, substantive editor, stylistic editor, copy editor, and proofreader for individual clients and university presses, and she is currently a senior editor in the Production Editorial department at UBC Press. As a production editor, she focuses on books in history and Indigenous studies. As a substantive editor, she edits trade and trade-crossover titles and is passionate about helping academic authors make their research more accessible to the general public through well-edited, jargon-free prose.

She holds a PhD in Canadian history and is a graduate of SFU’s Master of Publishing program. She is the author of Westward Bound: Sex, Violence, the Law, and the Making of a Settler Society and co-editor of Unsettled Pasts: Reconceiving the West through Women’s History.

Date & Time: Nov 25, 2017 10:00 AM to
Nov 25, 2017 05:00 PM
[America/Vancouver UTC -8]


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Location: BCIT Downtown Campus
Room 410
555 Seymour Street
Vancouver B.C.

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Registration Closes: Nov 21, 2017 11:59 PM

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EAC-BC Branch Coordinator
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