Then came the rise of the freelance and the near extinction of in-house copy-editors and proofreaders in publishing. This was coupled with the emergence of desk-top publishing and an army of non-publishing publishers (NGOs for example), which created the need for taught training courses. The Publishing Training Centre (PTC) and the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) between them developed a variety of reliable and respected courses in editorial skills for the beginner through to the experienced practitioner.
To take a full day from the office costs a freelance in terms of lost income and expenses incurred. An employer loses a day’s work, and an employee may feel unreasonably stressed by taking a day off while work piles up.
The perceived stress and expense of attending a course have given rise to a variety of distance learning courses. The learning is imparted with varying degrees of efficiency but the missing ingredients are face-to-face interaction with a tutor who can give instant answers and advice, and discussion with others about how to solve tricky text problems.
When we developed a new PTC course about preparing text, we chose a hybrid notion – two chunks of distance learning sandwiched between a half-day in the classroom.
It was challenging to balance tutor input and exercises, but we are confident that the finished product – which gets its first outing on 12 March in London – will provide an attractive and useful introduction to essential text editing skills.
More details and booking information at www.train4publishing.co.uk/courses/editorial/item/essentials-of-text-editing