Want to become a Saint Paul Almanac Community Editor?
Community editor requirements: a love for writing and reading, and you live/work/or attend school in Saint Paul. Potential community editors must submit a short application, including a brief essay on why they want to be an editor. Each community editor must commit to reading at least 200 selections. Small stipends are paid to community editors for their hard work. Persons age 15 or older are welcome to participate. Contact executive director Kimberly Nightingale at email@example.com for more information.
Community Editor Apprenticeship Project
During the course of 14 weekly Monday meetings, between November 4, 2013 and February 17, 2014, community editors/apprentice editors will:
- Learn how to gather poems and stories in their communities
- Help people they gather stories from send in their best work
- Determine collectively what goes into the Saint Paul Almanac, based on criteria of quality and inclusiveness
- Learn copyediting marks, tools, and resources
- Learn how to "build a manuscript"
- Learn the steps in publishing a book
- Improve their own writing and editing through workshop sessions with professional writers
- Build confidence and trust in their abilities through participating in the community editor process
- Develop relationships with professional writers that may not have occurred in other contexts
Specific strategies of the community editor apprenticeship project include:
- Thirty-minute mini-lessons focused on the nuts and bolts of editing and book production:
- parts of a book
- types of editing
- The Chicago Manual of Style
- the editorial process
- permissions and copyright
- how to "build a manuscript"
- book design
- paper, types of binding, ink, and covers
- printers and distribution
- working with authors
- Four established diverse writers work as community editors
- The writing workshop method is the same process universities use to strengthen writers’ and editors’ skills—critiquing other peoples’ writing in a group environment and defending your analysis enhances your own writing and editing abilities
Before each workshop editors rate each writing piece on a rating sheet with a number and comment, "1" being a low rating and "4" being highest. At the meeting each editor gives their rating and analysis to support it. The numbers for each piece are added up and averaged. At the last few meetings, the top-rated 200 pieces are reviewed one more time. As a result of the workshop process, new community editors’ concepts of quality and inclusivity are refined. Apprentices often re-rate work that early on in the process they rated differently.
We will have a total of 21 community editors each year—4 professional editor/writers as community editors, 10 new community editors, and 7 returning community editors. Since there is much to learn, the opportunity to repeat the process is helpful.
Our goal is for more people of diverse backgrounds to be actively participating in literary arts activities in Saint Paul.
Dates/time for the next community editor project:
Mondays, 5:30 to 8 p.m., AZ Gallery
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