Guest Blogger – Bridget Campbell
Thank you to Guest Blogger Bridget Campbell and Black Phoenix Publishing Collective.
“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”
As a literate society, we owe a great debt to the many wise, profound, and clever witticisms of writer Mark Twain. Many a viral meme with his name tacked to the bottom of it, rightfully or otherwise, may cross a book lover’s social media feed, and many knowing smirks may be had. In the case of this quote, however, we have to raise an eyebrow and play the assumption that this was intended very tongue-in-cheek, as anyone involved with writing and book production will know there’s a little more to it than this!
At Black Phoenix Publishing Collective, nearing the finish line of our latest literary release The Weekend by debut author Suzy England, we are rather sharply aware right now of how much more, and how many different sets of eyes it takes to ‘cross out the wrong words’ to create the best version of the book that it can be. Following numerous edits with the author, and following several rounds of edits with our publishing students, our proofreader Bridget Campbell might have thought that her task would be basically already done! Below she discusses some of her experiences and learning as part of this project, and in particular the distinctions she noted between the roles of editors and proofreaders.
Words from Bridget
As an aspiring English teacher, it was an absolute honour for me to be a part of bringing an author’s book to life. I love nothing more than helping others achieve their vision when it comes to writing an essay, a short story, a poem or even a song. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to work as either a teacher or editor because I took so much joy from helping my sister with her English projects. Even today she will text asking me to think of a word that will help her convey the point she wants to make. So, when I was presented with the opportunity to join the team and publish the talented Suzy England’s work, I had to say yes!
My role was as proofreader. This meant I could enjoy being immersed in the story and the characters without having to think from an editor’s perspective. There was no wondering: Does this sentence need adjusting, or could the structure of the narrative be changed here? Instead, my main focus as a proofreader was to fix any typing errors and make 100 percent sure that every detail of the writing and formatting was consistent throughout the novella. To do this successfully you have to be observant. This was my biggest challenge because naturally my brain skips over errors like a small word missing or misspelling. Plus, when I’m reading, I often become so enthralled by the story that I forgot to think about these details. To help overcome this I made sure I was editing a hardcopy as it is much easier to pick up on small details that way. Then, armed with my red pen I set out to proofreading. I kept reminding myself to look at what was actually written on the page and re-read so nothing slipped through. My aim was to make sure this copy was of a high quality before Suzy did her final read through.
I am so grateful to have been involved in this project and worked with such a dedicated and enthusiastic team. Another blessing was that I adored the novella itself. This made working on the project that much more fulfilling. I heartily recommend people read this book.
The Weekend in launched!
The Weekend is available now in print and ebook from Amazon, published by the efforts of Black Phoenix Publishing Collective, and you can follow the author Suzy England on Facebook, Twitter and on her website.
About Black Phoenix Publishing Collective
Black Phoenix Publishing Collective is a volunteer-run small press with members based across Australia and internationally. Our mission is to publish quality works of fiction through project-based learning ventures that enable editing, marketing and publishing students and graduates the opportunity to develop real-world industry skills on real projects that reach real audiences. Please show us your support by following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.