While convalescing, I have a question for my writer and editor readers: how does one go about finding genuine slush-reading or copy-editing gigs? They don’t need to be paying jobs, which I expect opens up the opportunities immensely, but while I am healing (which I’m told will take months), I’d like to be doing as much as I can to expand my writing and editing abilities. I’ve been told that being a slush reader or first layer of copy-editor can give a ton of good experience in many areas of writing (including what not to do) in spades).
I can’t take on a large workload in such areas, as I have a lot of other things on my plate to juggle (first, that dedicated healing, as well as kid-care, and my own writing) but I think I have time and energy for a handful of stories per month. What I don’t have time or energy for is wading through the spammish ads and websites out there for such things to find out where the genuine opportunities in such areas are. That most definitely saps more time and energy than I have to spare while healing myself and being a mom and writer and household manager and all the other wonderful things I’m regaining as I continue to live and beat cancer.
So I ask you, faithful readers, if you have suggestions on how to narrow down that search, or even better, know of who might be looking for such people? I’d probably do my best work in the realms of horror, science fiction, fantasy, and mystery, but I’m also a fast learner. I appreciate the help!
The Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition) is one of the most frequently recommended technical reference books for writers and editors. My copy was given to me a while back by a dear friend, though I only skimmed it upon initial receipt. Under professional recommendation I started reading it today, and have already had several insights which I will proceed to share with you in no particular order:
- Only the sort of disturbed individual that enjoys things like reading a dictionary would enjoy reading this book.
- I am that sort of disturbed individual.
- I really hope the indexers of this book get laid regularly, as they are obviously demi-deities among humankind.
- I find this book comforting: all of the incredibly detailed, nit-picky “rules” for everything, combined with a nice little statement at the beginning by the publisher, that “users should break or bend rules that don’t fit their needs, as we often do ourselves.”
- Either this book isn’t meant to be funny, in which case I’m more disturbed than we thought as I’ve giggled in amusement or delight several times already only 40 pages in; OR, there are secret, dryly witty phrasings that I’m tuning into that most people not of that mindset wouldn’t get. I’m enjoying it so far.
- My initial reaction upon seeing a word I’ve never encountered before isn’t intellectual bliss at getting to expand my vocabulary; it’s a surge of rampant irritation at not already knowing ALL THE WORDS EVARRRR. I get over it quickly, but it’s funny all the same.
Also, I encountered again a resurgence of my old irritation at English as a language. You’d think with over 300,000 discrete vocabulary words, we wouldn’t have such joy in using one word to mean five different things depending on context. That would make sense in a language with a vocabulary a tenth the size of ours, but not with the plethora of terms actually available to us. In case you didn’t know, “colophon” can mean not only the publisher’s symbol found on the external spine of the book, but also the last page of the book with an inscription detailing the facts of production of that volume.
Time for breakfast, then maybe the computer will let me get some writing in!