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Copy-Editing Skills

A three-day course in London £795+VAT

31 October–2 November 2011, 16–18 November & 7–9 December 2011 20–22 February, 14–16 March, 23–25 April, 16–18 May, 18–20 June, 18–20 July, 13–15 August, 19–21 September, 15–17 October, 14–16 November & 10–12 December 2012

Copy-Editing Skills, the Publishing Training Centre’s flagship course, aims to: •

give you a clear overview of the copy-editor’s role in the publishing process

• give you a firm foundation in the core skills of copy-editing •

give you the opportunity to practise using these symbols on a variety of texts.

First delivered more than 30 years ago, the course has had many upgrades and revisions over the years, but the simple essence of the course’s success – comprehensive learning through a series of paper-based exercises with a highly experienced practitioner – has remained the same. Of course, many of the copy-editor’s decisions will today be effected fully or partly on screen, but we ensure that editors are confident in ‘what’ needs to be done and ‘why’ first. The ‘how’ follows on from that. This process allows you to develop a keen editorial eye, and the use of paper-based material gives you the opportunity to practise marking up copy for others to follow without the additional distraction of grappling with word-processing software.

Copy-Editing Skills focuses on 20 key activities, including a thorough explanation of how to use the BSI standard marks for copy preparation. You will be given the opportunity to practise using these symbols on a variety of texts. You will also receive detailed instruction on the correct use of many frequently misunderstood features, such as italic text and quotation marks. Advice is also offered on tricky editorial problems, such as notes, bibliographies and figures.

The majority of exercises focus on one particular skill, but incorporate other incidental errors, mimicking real life copy-editing work. The final day’s consolidation exercises bring together everything you have learnt. You will be surprised to see how far you have come in a short time and how much your confidence has increased.

There are no definitive answers in copy-editing, but you will come away with three exercises marked-up by an experienced editor, a full set of exercises used throughout the course, and handouts on key areas such as copyright, terminology, notes and references.

This course is a springboard onto many of The Publishing Training Centre’s well known editorial offerings, such as Editing Illustrated Books, Editing Scientific, Technical and Medical Texts, Editing in Word, Advanced Copy-Editing, etc.

Who will benefit from this course?

Editorial assistants, copy-editors, assistant editors, desk editors and production editors working in book and journal publishing. If you are not working in these industries, please have a look at Editing for Business.

Your tutor

Each course is led by one of a team of seven editorial and publishing experts. Crucially, each is currently working as a copy-editor, either for a major publisher or as a freelance. They bring a wealth of experience to the course, and are up-to-date on the latest trends and issues in the industry.

Programme • Proofreading

– Ensure the difference between proofreading and copy-editing is fully understood

• Marking up copy for keyboarder or designer – Using BSI international symbols correctly – Mark up headings and code different types of material

• Checking contents – Focus on consistency

– Other matter that might be expected in a particular book • Editing prelims • Editing tables • Changing text to another format

– Changing text to a list, table or other alternatives – Formatting and consistency

• Editing and keying in figures – Importance of checking visual as well as verbal material for accuracy, consistency and clarity

• Using quotation marks

• Italics – Different uses of italics: taxonomic classification, citation of legal cases and foreign words

– Importance of house style

• Numbers and numerals – Conventions and house style

• Editing specialist texts – Issues about editing poetry, drama, technical instructions and specialist areas

• Copyfitting – Wider issues when cutting text: even workings, numbering prelims in Roman numerals, stages of production, balancing columns, overall appearance, positioning and size of illustrations, and costs and effects of different types of alteration

• Editing notes, references and bibliographies • Editing indexes.

Additional online support at

“The course was well structured, building on skills as it moved through. The tutor was very approachable and there was plenty of class work, which helped.” Freelance delegate

“Really great tutor – pace, variety of teaching elements, useful exercises and general advice throughout. Really enjoyed the course. It will be both immediately useful in my current role and give me the long-term confi dence to progress as an editor.” Scholastic Children’s Books delegate

“Very useful course, would recommend to anyone starting out in editing.” Oxford Pharmagenesis delegate • 020 8874 2718


EDITORIAL COURSES: Editorial Skills for Publishers

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