Image of directional road-sign with Editor written on it.
Image by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0

Are you looking for a career pivot? Have you considered becoming an editor? Editors help to make writing readable, and in a world with increasing content, editors are needed in a variety of contexts:

  • online learning
  • traditional book publishing
  • academic publishing
  • medical, legal and science publishing
  • self-publishing
  • digital and print magazines
  • government websites and publications
  • company communications, websites and blogs
  • theses and dissertations

How do you know if editing is for you? Watch this two-minute video with James Harbeck to see if you have the editor’s mindset:


If you think editing is for you, read on…

To get a clear view into the world of the editor, and to imagine yourself in this world, spend some time with these old and new editing classics:

  • The Subversive Copyeditor by Carol Fisher Saller
  • The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications by Amy Einsohn
  • Grammar Girl podcast with Mignon Fogarty
  • The Parlour blog by Louise Harnby

Can you see yourself as an editor? In the next step, you’ll find out what core skills editors need.

What do editors do? What do they need to know? Read Editors Canada’s Definitions of Editorial Skills to get an overview of the core skills that editors develop.

Not sure what the core skills mean but interested in finding out? Take some how-to courses to learn the language and skills of editing.

Explore the Education and Additional Training Opportunities for Editors page at the Editors Canada site. Courses are a great way to work on authentic editing projects and try on your editing skills. See 3 Kinds of Editing Courses: Which Kind is Right for You? to find a course that’s the best fit for your situation.

Still invested? Your next step is to connect with other editors.

Online groups are a great way to connect with editors. Think of them as a watercooler—a place to ask and answer questions, and to grapple with the challenges of editing with the support of a community. There are a variety of editing groups on Facebook. If you think you might be interested in setting up a freelance editing business or engaging in professional development, Business and Professional Development for Editors is worth exploring.

Editing organizations also have discussion forums. Read on to find out which organizations you can join.

Editing organizations offer the benefits of networking, and some of them have job boards, discussion forums, mentorship programs and discounts on in-house professional development offerings. They are also a great place to network with other editors. Below is a short list of editing organizations that can support you as you develop your editing career.

We have professional development opportunities for editors, too. See our online course offerings at Queen’s Professional Studies.