Perhaps you have some time on your hands during lockdown and you’re interested in learning more about proofreading and editing, or maybe you have your eye on a career change. We’ve put together a selection of recommended reading so you can get a sense of what we do and how we do it.
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The Editing Blog by Louise Harnby
This blog gives a great overview of many areas of the profession, and you can even listen to The Editing Podcast if you’re not in a reading mood. Harnby also shares loads of useful stuff on her LinkedIn profile.
The CIEP is a membership organisation for editors and proofreaders which promotes excellence in English language editing. The website provides stacks of resources including factsheets, guides, the blog, standards and recommended books – and if you decide to become a member there’s even more on offer.
This is the classic UK style guide for editors and proofreaders, and often the first port of call when we’re faced with a grammar issue we need to solve.
The Pocket Book of Proofreading: A Guide to Freelance Proofreading and Copy-editing by William Critchley
A helpful short introduction to the field.
The Penguin Guide to Punctuation by RL Trask
Take some time to get to grips with your dashes and semicolons with another slim volume packed full of detail and examples.
Rediscover Grammar by David Crystal
In fact, read anything by David Crystal, it will be worth it! He’s a writer and linguist, and has written more than 100 books. In a delightful case of nominative determinism, Crystal has a knack for making issues around language crystal clear and engaging. He is also honorary president of the CIEP and was awarded the OBE for services to the English language.
A contemporary take on the often-outmoded editorial style guides that can be held up as inarguable, fixed sets of rules. Pinker – a cognitive psychologist, linguist and Harvard professor – argues for a less rigid, more adaptable approach to codifying the so-called ‘rules’ of language and grammar.
Troublesome Words by Bill Bryson
An entertaining trip through the problems of English usage and spelling from the always-witty Bryson, who is a journalist and bestselling travel writer.
Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris
Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash.