JoAnn Cleaver, BA, MA

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I am a long-term, voting member of the Editors’ Association of Canada who recently relocated from Calgary to Richmond, BC. Many of my clients are researchers from Mount Royal College and the University of Calgary. Given the current state of long distance communications, however, I have also often worked with writers from across Canada, with the occasional international client thrown in for good measure. One of this website's purposes is to help guide the decision-making process regarding whether we might work together effectively, even if we cannot meet. Thus, this page outlines how I approach the business of editing. My overall philosophy of work is followed by a bit more personal information and concludes with someone's version of an editors' "Serenity Prayer."

Overall Working Philosophy
A well-structured, well-organized set of information leaves nothing to block a readers’ ability to absorb that material quickly and easily, and that’s the whole point of effective communication. My aim is to facilitate that type of communication, both with my clients and colleagues and on behalf of my clients, and to do it quickly, efficiently, and fairly.

“The process of publishing consists of an elaborate set of details,
no one of which is important unless it is overlooked or poorly executed."

(Editorial, Journal of Scholarly Publishing, 1996, p. 3)

I am a detail person; it comes with the territory. You cannot know which type of error – spelling, grammar, structure, or content – might distract readers. My job is to ensure you have a clean, well-organized, effective document that enhances your message and that is as quickly and easily understood as possible. I am not necessarily the best editor for every project, though I like to think that any time we spend discussing your project is unlikely to be wasted, even if we do not reach an agreement to work together.

There is an art to creating a well-crafted sentence/paragraph/document, and editing is one of the few creative outlets I have. Editing, family, gardening, tennis, and decorating/renovating-that’s it! (Editing is the only one that I’m really any good at, but I enjoy them all.) I’d like the chance to discuss your project to ensure that our goals, time-lines, and values are complementary, as the editor/client relationship can impact the process. Depending on the material, editors walk a fine line between improving the flow, clarity, and purpose of the piece while yet preserving the author’s voice.

            Grant me the serenity to recognize the prose I should not change,
            the ability to improve the prose I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. 
                                                    (S. Sturges, from "Joe on Editing" blog site, 17 Oct. 2008)