Never Miss a Beat

National Be Kind to Writers and Editors Month



Did you know that September is National Be Kind to Writers and Editors Month?  I didn\’t know such a month existed. But I like it 🙂

National Be Kind to Writers and Editors Month\

I think when people hear the word \”Editor\” they get an image of an older, balding man with a pencil tucked behind his ear and a manual typewriter on his desk. Very Lou-from-Mary-Tyler-Moore-ish. But the truth of that matter is that editors are peeps just like you and me. They are moms, daughters, husbands and sons. So with this in mind, I thought this would be an awesome opportunity to tap into the brilliant minds of three Editors and find out from them what we (as writers/bloggers/authors) can do to make their jobs easier. ENJOY

Bernadette Emerson\

#1-Bernadette Emerson: Bernadette has been a guiding light and top editor for Audrey Press. Bernadette was the editor for the wildly successful Ultimate Guide to Charlie and The Chocolate Factory enhanced digital e-book for kids and can be found working her writer/editor magic over at Rhythm of The Home. I personally love that she is a \”laugh-snorter\” like me and is an amazing Editor and a good friend. Here\’s her take on making the editing process an effective one:

The right editor for you:Before the editing process even begins, be certain you and your editor are well-matched. You\’ll need to feel comfortable communicating with your editor, and more importantly trust their advice and intentions.

Set clear goals: Establish what you need from the editing process, and what your editor can provide.
Know your style manual: Your editor\’s job is to help your work shine, and part of that job includes adopting a consistent style. Make sure you\’re familiar with the key components of this style manual before you begin your writing or revising. This will cut back on the amount of red ink you face in the first round of edits and allow your editor to focus on other elements of your writing.
Watch your tense and voice: As you\’re writing and revising, remember to keep voice, tone, and tense in mind.
Be open: It is often hard to face a round of edits (especially the first)! Take time to reflect on your editor\’s suggestions, and be prepared to offer defense of edits you decide against. A good editor will always respect your decisions. Keep communication open and compromise, understanding that the end result is a polished work that is uniquely your own.

K. Adventure Boggs\#2 Kitten \”Adventure\” Boggs: K. Boggs has been doing professional editing in one form or another off and on for close to 15 years.  He\’s edited poetry, magazine and newspaper articles, books, and a wide variety of web content.  He\’s also a musician, composer, and illustrator. K. Boggs is new to the Audrey Press team and he is currently editing the upcoming Audrey Press/ Rhythm of the Home: The Book which is due to be released in the Fall of 2013. Kitten is one funny guy, I know you\’ll love his take on this subject.

Be Kind to Your Editor – The Four T\’s :When I was asked Kitten to give a brief list of things you — writer, publisher, wealthy benefactor — should do to appreciate your editor during the holy month of NBKWEM, it put me in mind of the four T\’s so familiar to every freelance editor:

1.         GifTs.  The best way to be kind to your editor during this sacred time is to give.  Lavishly.  Nothing writing-related.

2.         CommunicaTion.  Drop your editor a note just to say something special.  Some holiday standards include \’these changes are perfect\’ and \’I\’m done early.\’  Whether the dog slobbered on your hard drive, thieves broke into your secure underground tunnel complex and stole nothing but your hard drive, you\’ve developed an irrational fear of your hard drive, or even (perish the thought) something non-hard-drive-related puts a hitch in your situation, let your editor know!  It\’s our job to help de-whelm you and come up with a workable plan when the sometimes daunting obligations of professional writing start to mount.  Hey, that\’s a great segue to point 3:

3.         FaiTh.  Trust your editor.  Lean on your editor.  The emails, phone calls, texts, IMs, calendar reminders, tweets, singing telegrams, graffiti, lawn signs, billboards, radio song requests for \’You Better Work\’, notes tied to bricks thrown through your apartment window admonishing you to write, write, write and, more importantly, submit, submit, submit are our sincere attempts to help your work be its best by getting you to your deadline intact and sane.  And the sooner you hand the pages over to your editor, the sooner you can relax for a bit.  Let go and let Gordon, as they say, if your editor\’s name is Gordon.

4.         Did I say four T\’s?  Okay.  For the fourth T, we go with gifTs again.

 Jodi Scwhen\

#3 Jodi Schwen: Ah, my dear friend Jodi Schwen. Jodi is editor-in-chief of the Lake Country Journal Magazine and the proud owner of an award-winning, 14-year writing career.  Lake Country Journal is a lifestyle pub based out of lovely Brainerd, Minnesota (my home turf ). Jodi was the one who so wisely spouted one of my favorite creativity quotes : \”Creativity is not always clear. Sometimes it sneaks in on little cat feet.\”  Love.IT. I may have to have that made into a t-shirt someday 🙂

Be Kind To Editors-Jodi Schwen: Here are a few helpful things to make my job easier:

1. Stop in to see me once in awhile — really! Since the days of digital communication have taken over our lives, I see way fewer live bodies than you might imagine. It helps to call first, but if you\’re in the neighborhood, stop in anyway. I love an excuse to go out for good coffee and conversation. After thirteen years as editor of Lake Country Journal, I still have writers I\’ve never met face-to-face.

2. When you submit your work, please don\’t ask for a critique. I often just have time to determine if it works for me or not. I encourage you to connect with a good writers\’ group or even a writing mentor to help you along your journey of crafting words. Above all, keep writing!

3. Always make sure you research your market before submitting. I once had a writer submit a fiction piece involving a nest of hibernating rattlesnakes in central Minnesota\’s Lake Country. Not in my neck-of-the-woods!

4. Referencing #1 above, please keep me in mind as a speaker for your group or organization. I\’m not speaking for all editors in this regard, but I was blessed with a mutant gene that leads me to love public speaking. Let me talk about writing and publishing and I\’m in word-heaven.

5. Last but not least . . . let me post statuses on Facebook that may have a typo or two. After all, a girl\’s gotta let down her graying hair somewhere!

Are you an Editor? We\’d love to hear YOUR thoughts.

Are you a writer who would like to guest post on this blog? Awesome. Give me a hoot-n-a-holler and we will see what we can do 🙂



Rebecca Flansburg, a.k.a The Head Elf at Audrey Press is also a Hardcore Mommy Blogger, WAHM, & Virtual Assistant. Being a mom is The.Best.Thing.Ever & Team Family is #1. I love social media, naps,and food. You can reach rebecca at