TEC Blog

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The Nuts and Bolts of Strong Prose: Semicolons, Colons, and Dashes

Usage / Language & Editing

Punctuation marks are the signposts of prose. They indicate what’s important and where to pause. They add rhythm to your sentences. They help your readers follow the twists and turns of your thoughts.   But there are so many different kinds of punctuation marks that it can be tricky to decide which one to choose. Periods and commas are the most common, but trying to write with...

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How to Improve Informal Writing in Business Emails

Business / Language & Editing

Chances are, you have had a lot of experience or contact with business writing: compiling expense or business reports, writing up contracts, and crafting proposals. Whether you work for yourself or for a small or large business, many aspects of your job will involve writing. When most people think about "business writing," they probably think of the type of writing I listed above — more formal, structured types of...

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Editing Business Writing for Precision and Clarity

Business

We have had a few calls recently from clients looking for help with business writing projects, so we thought we would re-post this timeless blog to help others improve their business writing as well!    *****   Good business writing is clear and succinct. There are no unwanted words. The meaning is delivered with precision. The right tone, correct usage, and elimination of jargon strengthen the message. Rene Cappon, former...

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smallbiztrends.com: Helping Small Business Owners Stay Informed

Business

Being a small business owner demands a great deal of dedication and energy. Growing a business has never been easy, and as successful online marketing becomes an increasingly important part of growing a small business, staying informed on the latest business trends becomes similarly important.   There is a wealth of information online for those looking to start or grow a small business so finding websites that curate and consolidate...

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It's your first draft, right?

Writing / Writers Support Group

When a writer shows her/his work to someone and asks them to read it, there is the inevitable dread that she/he might hear those infamous words, “This is your first draft, right?”   This phrase can be said in two distinct ways. If the person reading your work looks at you and grimaces as she says, “It’s your FIRST draft, RIGHT?” what she really saying is, “This is your first draft,...

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

Publishing / Editing & Marketing

This week, we took a look at some of our popular archived posts and decided to share this one with you one more time! We hope it helps you achieve your publishing goals, and remember, you can always give us a call if you need guidance.   *****   So, you've finished your manuscript. Congratulations! Now, it's time to think about next steps. If your dream is to be traditionally published,...

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Why You Should Read Toronto Trailblazers: Women in Canadian Publishing

Book Reviews / Books And Reading

Recently, Beth saw that the University of Toronto Press would be launching a very interesting book in September: Toronto Trailblazers: Women in Canadian Publishing by Ruth Panofsky. She and I were so intrigued, in fact, that we actually contacted the University of Toronto Press to request a copy for review! I was excited to review this book, which covers a topic that has not gotten much focus or recognition...

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Editing Acronyms and Initialisms: Tips on Using Them Effectively

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Writing

As anyone who edits (or writes) non-fiction knows, few things are as frustratingly difficult to keep straight as acronyms and initialisms. Two weeks ago, TEC editor Ronnie Morris broke down the difference between, and history and uses of, acronyms and initialisms. For anyone who needs a refresher on what those are, read Ronnie’s blog post on acronyms and initialisms, and then check back in here for some tips...

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5 Up-and-Coming Independent Canadian Publishers: Attention New Authors!

Publishing

New Canadian authors working without the benefit of representation are probably familiar with House of Anansi and Douglas & McIntyre as being Canadian publishers that continue to accept unsolicited manuscripts. But if you’ve already received rejections from these two houses, don’t give up: there are many independent Canadian publishers that accept unsolicited work. The following list features five up-and-coming Canadian publishers that publish groundbreaking work in a variety...

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Editing Acronyms and Initialisms: The Almost Impossible Task of Keeping Them Consistent

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Usage

It has been considered a usual style to shorten words in order to save time or space for some time now. Some of us will remember acronyms and initialisms used by bands (XTC, AC/DC, KMFDM, R. E. M. , U2,  the KLF, and the Notorious B. I. G. ), by television shows (M. A. S. ...

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Book Review: Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks, by Wendy Laura Belcher

Writing / Writers Support Group / Book Reviews / Language & Editing

For academics across disciplines, writing and publishing journal articles is an unavoidable part of professional life. Anyone who’s been or been close to a scholar starting out in their career, struggling to find work, or approaching tenure knows that the need to publish can be a tremendous source of stress. The huge field of journal publishing can seem arbitrary and impersonal, and the connection between quality of thought...

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12 Things I Learned Working with TEC’s Editing Team

Editing / Editor/writer / Language & Editing / Guest Blogger

Over the years, TEC has grown, acquiring new editors and a new office. One of TEC’s greatest strengths is that its editors work together in the same room, creating a collegiate space of teamwork and collaboration. During my time at TEC, I learned more than I could have imagined by spending my days in a team of outstanding editors. In honour of TEC turning 12 this September,...

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Finding Your Flow: A Self-Study Approach to the Academic Writing Process

Writing / Writers Support Group / Language & Editing / Guest Blogger

Though I can agree with the adage that anyone can write, we seldom take the time to unpack how people come to the writing process. In my world of academia, writing is not a choice but an expectation. Because of this, one has to quickly find their flow and stick to it. Everyone has their own style when it comes to writing. I’ve had the good...

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Writers & LinkedIn: 5 Tips on How to Build Your Presence

Social Media / Editing & Marketing

As I discuss in my earlier blog, “7 Steps to Writing Good Online Content,” ensuring that your online content meets SEO guidelines will help ensure that your writing gains some publicity, but there’s more to online marketing than just counting your key phrases and checking your subheadings for relevance. Social media gives online writers opportunities to market their content directly to their target demographics, and although Facebook, Twitter, and...

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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

Publishing

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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