TEC Blog

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The Online World of Grammar and Usage: Reliable Online Editorial Resources

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style

Although you’re unlikely to find many writers or editors willing to give up the hard copies of their dictionaries or style and usage guides, working as a writer or editor in the 21st century has its perks: the list of reliable online editorial resources gets longer every year. Here’s a great listing to get you started.   Online Style Guides Online bastions of editorial integrity include well-known editorial authorities such as...

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The Return of Confusables: Part IV

Writing / Writers Support Group / Usage / Language & Editing

Our blog series on confusables (a. k. a. , easily mixed up words) has remained popular throughout the years, so we thought we’d revive it and take a look at some more tricky word pairings!     I. e. vs. E. g. These are both Latin abbreviations that we often see switched around. “E. ...

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A Guide to Decluttering Your Writing, or The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Writing / Writers Support Group / Language & Editing

When I first considered this blog post, I had a brilliant idea. I’d compare it to Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up! I’d call it “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Your Writing”! How clever!   As I learned by turning to Google, Grammarly already has a blog post with that exact title. And The Writing Cooperative has a similar post by Teresa Ingalls, titled “De-clutter Your Writing...

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What’s the Hook? It Reels in Your Reader’s Attention

Publishing / Editing & Marketing

So you’ve finished your book — congratulations! If you want to pursue the route of traditional publishing, it’s time to start thinking of how to put together your submission information. One part of that process (for both fiction and non-fiction) is crafting what’s known as “the hook. ” The hook is an important part of the marketing process, and it’s a step you don’t want to rush.   The Hook:...

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7 Steps to Writing Good Online Content


Different publishers have different demands. One doesn’t submit the same article to both The New Yorker and the Toronto Sun. These two periodicals have wildly different editorial standards and wildly different readerships. Similarly, writers must make important formal considerations when writing online content, rather than print.   Writers who fail to take advantage of the unique opportunities that online publication present could be stunting the editorial development of...

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4 Sessions and 2 Keynotes: Soaking Up Book Buzz at Book Summit 2019

Event / Editing & Marketing / Language & Editing

On June 18, 2019, we attended Book Summit 2019 at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. It was a gorgeous day to be on the waterfront — breezy, warm, and not a cloud in the sky. At last, the first hint of summer weather. Such a great setting for this annual event celebrating Canadian book publishing. In this blog, we cover the key points (and more) about the sessions...

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EditorCon: Reflections on the Editors Canada 40th Anniversary Conference

Publishing / Event / Language & Editing

On June 7, a perfect, sunny, 20 degree day, I arrived in Halifax. I breathed in the sea air after many months of life in Toronto, headed straight to the waterfront to say hello to my favourite ocean, and then prepared for the actual reason I’d arrived — the Editors Canada 40th Anniversary Conference.   Each year, the Editors’ Association of Canada (or Editors Canada, for short) hosts a conference...

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From the Archives: The Art of Synopsis Writing

Editing & Marketing

A few weeks ago an author approached The Editing Company for some help with rewriting the synopsis of her manuscript. I was lucky enough to be put to the task.   Writing a synopsis is quite the creative challenge. It requires you to sculpt the manuscript down to its best and most vital parts and make them flow as tightly as possible. As I worked through our client’s...

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Behind the Scenes at the Anansi Bookshop

Publishing / Books And Reading

When I moved to Toronto three years ago to become a part of Canada’s publishing scene, I got a job working at the Anansi Bookshop, and it was surreal. “Anansi publishes very good books” is their slogan, and my time at the bookshop has shown me how and why.      Anansi at a Glance House of Anansi Press was founded in 1967 by writers Dennis Lee and Dave Godfrey. ...

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Pondering the Meaning and Role of Archaic Words — And, Yes, We Can Still Use Them

Usage / Language & Editing

A few years ago, I decided to celebrate my love of Regency and Victorian literature by getting a tattoo of the word “ardent,” paying homage to Pride and Prejudice and Middlemarch and every other nineteenth-century novel that uses “ardent” as an evocative and powerful descriptor. My favourite university professor describes Middlemarch as a battle between the words “ardent” and “petty. ” And who can forget Mr. Darcy’s passionate...

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Submissions Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts When Submitting a Manuscript

Publishing / Editing & Marketing

 So, you've finished your manuscript. Congratulations! Now, it's time to think about next steps. If your dream is to be traditionally published, then you have a bit more work in your future — creating submission packages. If you're not sure where to start with this process, read on!  We'll help you through it step by step.   Do Your Research   This step can entail quite a bit of work. ...

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Editors Canada: Forty Years of Editorial Vigilance

Editing / Editor/writer / Event

Editors Canada’s website describes its mission statement thus, “Editors Canada promotes professional editing as a key in producing effective communication. ” This admirably concise mandate describes well the Association’s ongoing efforts to promote the fine art of editing. This 1,300-member professional editorial membership group didn’t spring up overnight, though.   What started in 1979 as a loosely knit but fiercely dedicated group of 50 or so Toronto-area editors has evolved...

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You Need Permission to Reprint That! What This Means & Why Authors Must Pay Attention to It

Copyright And Permissions

Anyone writing a manuscript — be it a book, a journal article, a blog, a newsletter — has to understand only one thing about wanting to reprint material that has already been published: You need permission to reprint that material. That is, you need to ask permission from the owner of that material if you can use it in your own work. Copyright holders are most often publishers,...

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What Editors Do: The Art, Craft, and Business of Book Editing — A Review

Book Reviews

What Editors Do: The Art, Craft, and Business of Book Editing, edited by Peter Ginna and published by U of Chicago Press (2017), takes on an ambitious task: it provides a comprehensive overview of the state of book editing today. Ginna, whose three decades of editorial experience include major positions at trade and academic presses, has assembled an impressively credentialed roster of editors, publishers, agents, and writers. The...

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The Value of Having Your Thesis or Dissertation Edited by a Professional Editor

Editing / Grammar

Having your thesis or dissertation edited by a professional editor can be an incredibly valuable investment. After all, a graduate degree is typically a once-in-a-lifetime venture, and is meant to be foundational to your future career. A professional editor is paid to spend substantial amounts of time and energy (something even the best supervisors don't have a lot of) reading your work and providing thorough editorial feedback on...

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How to Use the Semicolon to Connect Your Thoughts & Clarify Your Meaning

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Language & Editing

As an icebreaker activity in one of my publishing courses, a teacher asked us to give our names, what we liked to read for fun, and what our favourite punctuation marks were—something editors are likely to feel strongly about, even if no one else does. Ampersands were praised for their aesthetic appeal, em dashes for their versatility, and the Oxford (or serial) comma for its unfailing commitment to clarity....

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Publishing Plans for Authors: Why Managing Your Journey Is Important

Publishing / Writing / Writers Support Group / Social Media / Editing & Marketing

What is a publishing plan? Here at TEC, we’ve created many publishing plans for our non-fiction authors who have contracted us for our Publishing Consulting services.   A publishing plan is exactly what it sounds like: it involves scheduling and planning for the writing and publishing of your manuscript, from start to finish. Publishing can be an amazing journey, but also an overwhelming one. A well thought out plan...

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Editorial First Steps: Looking Back on “Encourage Young Writers Day”

Writing / Writers Support Group

Starting an editorial career can be a complicated undertaking. Whether pursuing a career as an employee at an established company or starting out on one’s own as a freelancer, it’s important for young writers to show prospective employers and/or clients that doing editorial work comes naturally.   Working as a writer often involves managing a multi-faceted schedule composed of a variety of editorial tasks and deadlines. So, depending on...

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A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Writers & Editors

Publishing / Editing & Marketing / Social Media / Editing & Marketing

From its role in political elections, influencing fashion and beauty standards, launching careers, and empowering the activists of today, social media has become a tool that is powerful, fascinating, and sometimes quite daunting. As a writer or editor, social media gives you a lot of room to experiment, connect, build, and grow. If you are working in the literary fields and are still feeling hesitant about dipping into...

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Possessives: Some Basic Rules on Using “s” and an Apostrophe

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style

The most common mistakes with grammar often involve seemingly simple things. In English, possession is indicated using an apostrophe and, usually, an added “s. ” But maybe because spoken English doesn’t mark the difference between plurals and possessions, such as in “dogs” and “dog’s,” it is common even for experienced writers to make mistakes. This blog reviews some of the basic rules that can help you avoid these...

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Editorial Women: Then and Now

Editing / Editor/writer / Publishing

A famous editor might sound like a contradiction in terms to some, but for those plugged into the literary world there are a few names that pop up time and again. In the past, as with many professions, most well-known editors’ names have historically been those of men, but thanks in part to the pioneering efforts of some very intelligent and driven women, there are now more well-known editorial...

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To Friend or Unfriend? The Evolution of Nouns into Verbs

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Usage

In 2009, “unfriend” was the Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year, leading to teeth-gnashing of grammar purists across the world. How could this be? How did “unfriend” become a word at all, when “friend,” until not so long ago, wasn’t even a verb, but merely someone with whom you enjoyed spending time?   The English language, like all languages, is constantly evolving. “Unfriend” may still seem strange to us,...

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Freedom to Read Week: Fighting Censorship for 35 Years

Event / Books And Reading

Whether the instigating factor in a book-banning campaign is religion, sexual expression, “anti-establishment attitudes,” or some other vague concern, books may as well be picked at random for all of the consistency with which campaigns to ban them are approached.   Freedom to Read Week (February 24 to March 2, 2019) continues its 35-year fight against book-banning campaigns by reminding the book-buying public that the censors are still at work, even...

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How Canadian Cities Are Celebrating #BlackHistoryMonth

Event / Books & Libraries

Cities across Canada are celebrating #BlackHistoryMonth with film screenings, gallery exhibitions, dance parties, and galas. If you’re wondering what kind of events are happening in your city, we’ve helpfully compiled a list of some of the events you can attend this month.     VANCOUVER Vancouver offers a diverse array of events for all kinds of interests. Starting on February 5th, The Vancouver Film Festival is showcasing a series of...

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