Upcoming Events


  • July 20: SD/PEN presents “To Attend or Not to Attend: Choosing the Right Writers Conference for You,” with Antoinette Kuritz, founder of the La Jolla Writers Conference. For more information, see bit.ly/2t9ptwT.
  • August 26: The first ever San Diego Festival of Books will be held at Liberty Station, hosted by the San Diego Union-Tribune and KPBS. The free event will run from 10 AM to 6 PM, and is expected to draw thousands of book lovers. This year’s “One Book San Diego” selection will be announced at the festival. Author signings, discussions and appearances, along with food, music and children’s activities will be featured at the event. Those interested in booking an exhibitor booth may contact events@sduniontribune.com for more information.
  • September 23: The Northwest Independent Editors Guild hosts Red Pencil 6: Tracking Changes in Editing conference in Kenmore, WA. Keynote speaker is Karen Yin of the Conscious Style Guide and AP vs. Chicago websites. SDWEG members receive a $20 affiliate discount with the code RPCALI17, as well as an additional $30 off when registering through the early-bird deadline of July 31. For more information, see bit.ly/EdsGuild2017.

Northwest Independent Editors Guild Invites SDWEG to Conference

On behalf of the Northwest Independent Editors Guild, Jill Waters, Guild President, invites San Diego Writers and Editors Guild members to Red Pencil 6: Tracking Changes in Editing conference on September 23, 2017, in Kenmore, WA, just north of Seattle. The Washington Guild is making an effort to reach out to other regional editing groups.

The Editors Guild (www.edsguild.org) is a nonprofit professional organization, based in the Pacific Northwest, with a membership of more than 300 editors of the written word. Every other year, the Guild hosts more than 200 editors and publishing professionals at the Red Pencil conference in Seattle—the largest regular editing conference on the West Coast.

This year’s full-day conference will offer sessions that appeal to editors of all experience levels and genres: from fiction to academic, cookbooks to comic books, and everything in between. Both freelancers and in-house editors, and those who do a little of both, are welcome.

Our 2017 keynote speaker is Karen Yin of the Conscious Style Guide and AP vs. Chicago websites. Additional presenters include Carol Fisher Saller of the Chicago Manual of Style, Barbara Fuller of Editcetera, Laura Poole from Copyediting.com, Wendy Barron of Editors Canada, and many more.

The Washington Guild offers SDWEG members a special affiliate discount on registration for the Red Pencil conference. Use discount code RPCALI17 to get $20 off your registration fees. Save an additional $30 on top of your discount with early bird registration from June 23 through July 31. (Registration opens Friday, June 23.)

You can find more information about the conference, additional events, and lodging and transportation options at the conference website: bit.ly/EdsGuild2017.

Red Pencil 6: Tracking Changes in Editing Conference
When: Saturday, September 23, 2017, all day
Where: On the campus of Bastyr University, 14500 Juanita Dr NE, Kenmore, WA 98028 (about 10 miles north of Seattle)
Learn more at bit.ly/EdsGuild2017

Freelance Editor Opportunity

From the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild Mailbag:

An educational non-profit that focuses on researching innovative approaches to education seeks a freelance editor. Once a week they produce an article to help educators learn new techniques to address our education system challenges. Each piece is between 400 and 700 words, will be published mostly on Forbes, with an occasional longer article.

If interested, contact Jabez Lebret directly at jabez.lebret@gmail.com with rates for the work.


Editor Sought


The following message arrived in the Guild’s mailbox and is being provided to our members for information.

The Health Optimizing Institute, Del Mar, CA needs reference to an experienced editor for preparing the director’s manuscript for publication. Flexible hours, pleasant working conditions (your office or ours) and pay commensurate with experience and ability. No other duties, such as receptionist or clerical person, will interfere with your focus. This task will be interesting and well suited to a self-employed person. The director, a senior citizen, worked with Abraham Maslow, founder of the Human Potential Movement. He was also Chairman and Moderator of the groundbreaking Holistic Health conferences at UCSD, the first of their kind at a major U.S. university.

Call: David J. Harris at (858) 829-1337

E-Mail: votewin@gmail.com

Postal: Health Optimizing Institute
P.O. Box 1233
Del Mar, CA 92104

What Is Grammarly?


grammarly_logoHave you heard of Grammarly?

According to its website, “Grammarly is the world’s leading automated proofreader. It checks for more than 250 types of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, enhances vocabulary usage, and suggests citations.”

And it’s free.

Or at least a version of it is free.

There are two ways to use the free version of this editing tool.

  • Upload the text you wish to check on the grammarly.com website. (Or you can use the grammar checker access offered by Jennifer Frost to paste text into a “check your text” box. Jennifer offers this option as part of her website of grammar tips and handy infographics to help remember the tips. Watch out for the “Deep Check” option which will take you to the Grammarly Premium version which has a cost.)
  • Download a free extension for Chrome or Safari that will check your text online as you type. The extension does not, however, check what you type offline, such as in Word documents.

There is a Premium version which comes at a subscription price ranging from $11.66 per month (if paid for annually) to $29.95 per month. If the Premium version looks like what you need, Grammarly offers a 30% discount for those who go through Jennifer’s GrammarCheck.net website. Her website is also listed on the Resources page of the Guild’s website.

A caveat: no application to check grammar, spelling, or punctuation is foolproof. As an example, Grammarly highlighted the word “errors” and the comma that follows it in the first paragraph with the notation “improper comma between subject and verb.” Grammarly correctly notes the comma is between a noun and the verb that follows it, but the two words, “commas enhances,” are not subject and verb. Grammarly also offers the option to mark instances of apparent errors to be ignored.

What Are Beta Readers and Why Should You Care?

From the August 2016 newsletter

“Beta Reader” means someone who evaluates a manuscript – a term probably adapted from the software industry, where programmers release a “beta” version of a new program to people who will test it.

Beta readers are not editors but are volunteers who can give you feedback about your book. Best friends, significant others and family members aren’t likely to be the best beta readers – they’re predisposed to loving whatever you write.

Beta readers are not the same as a read-and-critique group. A beta reader will read your entire manuscript, on their own, and develop a personal response to it. Some online writers suggest arranging three+ beta readers, individuals who are honest, give constructive comments, and have the time.

Give them the very best writing you can produce on your own, not your first draft. Let your beta reader know what questions you would like answered. Do you want comments on the strength of the characters, the organization of the concept, the flow or pace of the action, or on areas where they felt something was missing? Ask them to note their thoughts as they read. Provide them with the book in the format they would prefer, digital or paper.

When you receive a beta reader’s comments ask yourself, “Will addressing this comment make for a better book?” If so, take their advice and apply it to your next revision. If not, thank them: don’t defend yourself. You don’t have to accept every piece of advice you get.

If you would like names of possible beta readers from SDWE/G or you’re available as a beta reader, contact Sandra Yeaman at sandiegowriterseditorsguild@gmail.com.

Source: results of a Google search.

“Genius” – A Film about Writing

From the July Newsletter


genius……. by Gered Beeby

Based on the book Max Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg, the film “Genius” presents the story of Maxwell Perkins during the time when he edited the works of prolific South Carolina author Thomas Wolfe.

It opens at the start of the Depression. Max Perkins is the pre-eminent editor for Charles Scribner’s Sons publishing house in New York City. Played with consummate restraint by Colin Firth, Perkins agrees to do a “quick read” of the massive manuscript from this monumentally unrestrained upstart. The read encompasses the entire book, which would eventually become Look Homeward, Angel. Having previously introduced such literary greats as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Perkins has his hands full.

Wolfe, played with brilliant exuberance by Jude Law, operates with no known boundaries to his lyrically beautiful prose. But how to convert these mountains of sheets into cogent and complete novels? The film shows these diametric opposites as they labor with each other’s objectives and inherent needs. In time the two men try to blend and gain fuller insight into the process of producing fine literature.

Filmed mostly on location and displayed in muted sepia tones, “Genius” is an unabashed art house film. This story is about writers, and the joys and agonies of writing, and has Oscar written all over it.

……. by Mardie Schroeder

“Genius” is a film that only the English could have made so artistically. Hollywood would never have considered it worthwhile to budget.

Max Perkins, editor for Scribner’s, and Thomas Wolfe, author, were both word fanatics. Perkins wanted to make things more concise; Wolfe thought every word he wrote was sacred. The contrast between calm and serene Perkins and bombastic Wolfe made for interesting viewing in what otherwise could have been slow moving, which it never was.

Perkins was the only editor to take on the task of editing “Look Homeward, Angel” which was 333,000 words long. At first, Wolfe was beholden to Perkins when the finished book became a best seller, but eventually Wolfe resented Perkins and accused him of changing so much of it that it became more his (Perkin’s) book.

Because of their mutual absorption with words, Perkins neglected his wife and five daughters, Wolfe his lover and patron. Perkins and Wolfe had an intense relationship over many years. After publication of “Of Time and the River,” Wolfe parted company with Perkins and traveled around Europe and California. After Wolfe died at the age of 37 of tuberculosis of the brain, Perkins received a letter that Wolfe wrote on his deathbed in which Wolfe spelled out his love and appreciation for all Perkins had done for him.