The American Copy Editors Society
18th National Conference, Planet Hollywood
by Leslie E. Hoffman
Thank you, Gregory Kompes and the entire membership of Henderson Writers’ Group, for gifting me with a one-day pass to the ACES 2014 Conference, with honorable mention to Loraine Erickson who won the first draw. The adrenalin rush lingers.
The ACES conference is for copy editors, but since most authors function as their own editor when writing initial drafts, the following topics are pertinent to all HWG members. Also, when you do hire a copy editor, it’s wise to have an idea of what to expect for your hard-earned money.
Following are brief descriptions of the sessions I attended on Friday, March 21:
Bill Connolly, retired from The New York Times, discussed how the greenest intern could have prevented one of journalism’s great disasters: the fabricated story that led to the revocation of a Pulitzer. (Janet Cooke, The Washington Post, September 28, 1980)
Competing With Integrity in a Buzzfeed World
Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl, and Craig Silverman, The Poynter Institute, discussed whether or not editors have a role in ensuring the accuracy of what appears online?
Why Style Guides Matter and How to Create Them
Shana McNally, Costco Wholesale. Holly Ashworth, Redbox, and David Brindley, National Geographic: “A style guide or style manual is a set of standards for the writing and design of documents, either for general use or for a specific publication, organization, or field. The implementation of a style guide provides uniformity in style and formatting within a document and across multiple documents.” (Journalists use The Associated Press Stylebook; novelists use The Chicago Manual of Style.)
Developing Your Eagle Eye
Eric Althoff, Amnet Systems, discussed “how to train your mind to spot pesky miner (like that one!) errors that might fly by on first pass. Learn to trust yourself when something just…doesn’t…look…right.”
Libel-Proofing for Copy Editors
Charles DeLafuente, Libel Consultant, discussed the most common traps writers fall into: lack of attribution, implication, and peripheral libel.
Along with the excellent learning opportunities, a major highlight of my day was [literally] running into The Baltimore Sun’s John McIntyre when turning around to exit Grammar Girl’s session. I am such a nerd.