How does an editor present a portfolio?

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 - Uncategorized

Lisa asks: As I am looking at changing jobs, I need to understand how to create a portfolio to show my editing work. I thought this would have been easier to figure out, but I’m not so sure anymore. Gathering my writing samples has been fairly easy – there aren’t that many (I mainly edit). It’s simple to say, “Yes, I wrote this,” though. How do you really say, “I *edited* this?” I’ve included a before, revised, and final version of a document as an attempt at an editing sample, but is there a more elegant way I’m missing?

In answer:
In job applications and interviews, publishers will often require copy editors to pass a test prior to an engagement: such a test could involve the edit of a short sample of text to demonstrate editing style. Unless other wise given an in-house style guide, use the Chicago Manual of Style.

For your printed portfolio, show a before and after pages (one page ideally per example) with comments – here is why I changed this, here is why I changed that. You can use the track changes function in MSWord to show this. For online examples – every creative person needs an online portfolio – again post excerpts of edited products online, and create links for them. In all cases you will need the original writers permission and to cmply with their copyright.

In future, as you edit a project, look for pages that would be good “snapshots” and ask permission from the original writer when the final version is agreed.

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