Being an Editor

Jessie, and the silence of the monkeys.
Jessie, and the silence of the monkeys.
I am a very bad editor. It’s true, I can’t deny it, and everyone I know knows this. Yet I am spending a week of the school holidays at Busybird Publishing. But that is the core of experience, to undergo something and learn.

And thus so far is my experience: the publisher of this enterprise, Blaise, has a smiley nature and reads books to publish and relax. The illustrator, Kev, is a self-taught guitarist and can juggle like a trained circus employee who draws very well on the side. The chief editor, Les, does not believe he is a nerd (which is not a bad name to be branded), yet speaks very fondly of the name Hobbits, and they all consume a number of cups of tea and chocolate biscuits daily.

There are many various stages of editing to consider, but the general gist of it appears to be this: stories are marvellous. They create images and characters and allow people to explore ideas and thoughts in their heads. But stories are only effective if the person you communicate them to can understand what you are saying. Lavishly draped sentences do not make an impact on a person; writing needs to be accessible. This is what an editor does. They will correct your punctuation and grammar and tell you how to spell words you butcher, but they will also praise a story and help you create a version that people can see and respond to accordingly.

Music plays in the background, and lunch at Busybird publishing is break time, walking being quite good to break up long segments of reading and recognise you still have legs. There do appear to be many monkeys that eye you whilst working, but they are so far harmless, and sum up the publishing house quite nicely.

The perception of a publisher’s life at Busybird publishing is very charming. It is one of editing and publishing others’ works, and is not at all a bad way to spend a week of one’s holiday.

Jessica Ridgeway
Work Experience student.