Monday, October 4, 2010

Step one: submissions and editing

The ten students that produce Thrust are part of CRWR 521. This year they tried not to choke when I told them that their submission to the book was due the following week. Eyes popped and rolled. Tongues went numb. Such is the schedule for a book made--from start to finish--in just three months.

What students submitted were pieces that they've had in their filing cabinets for a while, maybe a crushed racket of papers they found when moving the living room couch. What all the submissions have in common is that they were troublesome, unruly and needed an editor's firm guidance.

Now, working in partners the grad students have put on their spectacles to edit each other's work. Next week they submit their first assignment, an editorial report looking at structure and style, as laid out in the Editors' Association of Canada Professional Editorial Standards and Maron L. Waxman's classic article, Line Editing: Drawing Out the Best Book Possible.

Once finished the report, they will sit down with their author to begin the delicate discussion about "necessary, felicitous and meticulous" changes. After that, it's revision time. Then we run like headless chickens to publish a book in record time.

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