Become an Editor or Proof Reader.

A good editor is always in demand; with the internet, today’s editors can often work from anywhere in the world. Editors work for publications both in house, and as contractors or freelancers.

In this course, you'll learn about different styles of editing, how to mark up manuscripts, the importance of layout, and more.

Our tutors are professional writers and editors. Our principal John Mason has worked as editor for four print media magazines, and has over 40 published books - experienced in working with some of the worlds leading publishers ranging from Simon and Schuster to government publishers. 

Learn the fundamentals of editing and proofreading. Working with our experienced academics, you'll markup manuscripts, discuss layout, analyse existing texts, and more.



1. Introduction to Editing

2. The Mechanics of Clear Writing

3. Assessing Manuscripts

4. Copy Editing I   What the copy editor does; basics of copy editing, the procedure (check manuscript, read, edit text, edit other components); style sheets, house style, introduction to mark up, marking up copy.

5. Copy Editing II

6. Preparing Copy for Printing

7. Proof Reading

8. The Final Stages

Indexes, preparing an index; blurbs; checking final proofs, bromides, dyelines, etc.

100 hours


  • Discuss the role and scope of editing.
  • Understand the importance of clear, effective writing throughout all stages of the publishing process.
  • Describe the procedure of manuscript assessment.
  • Describe the procedures used by copy editors.
  • Explain procedures used to prepare copy for printing.
  • Describe the checks and procedures used in the final stages of preparing and printing publications.



Very few people can immediately write a lucid and well-expressed piece of work. In most cases, the final draft is smoothed and polished so that others can readily understand the writer's message.

It is the editor's role to improve the quality of the writing, whether it is their own or someone else's work.

The scope of editing ranges from self editing, where the writer examines their writing and improves it as best they can, to professional editing, where an expert is employed by a publishing company to improve the quality of a piece of writing prior to publication.

There are many other facets of commercial publishing that require the skills of professional editors. These include commissioning publications; reviewing manuscripts; overseeing manuscripts through the production process; liaising with writers, publishers, printers and agents; writing blurbs, captions and press releases; and researching and organising pictures. In smaller organisations the editor may also be responsible for the design and publication of documents, newsletters, reports, magazines and books using desktop publishing software and equipment.

Editing involves several stages, all of which will be examined in detail during this course. In summary, they are:

1. Reviewing the manuscript

2. Structural (substantive) editing

3. Copy editing

4. Proof reading

5. Checking proofs


Some publishing businesses are small with multi-skilled staff. Most medium to large publishing businesses, however, will employ a team of people, each with a well-defined role. Following are some of the people an editor may need to work with in a publishing business:

*The Publisher is concerned with planning and management of the publishing business. The publisher is often, but not always, the boss or CEO. The publisher's particular concerns are to commission new work, negotiate the acquisition of existing work (eg. out- of-print titles that have been released from another publisher), assess and decide on the future of existing titles, and develop new areas of work. The publisher also needs to deal with unsolicited submissions, and with agents of authors. The publisher should maintain contact with authors (though the extent of such contact varies between publishers). The publisher needs to liaise with other sections of a publishing business in order to do their job properly: the editor, the marketing department, etc.

*The Business Manager may be responsible for the day-to-day management of either part or all of a publishing business. Some large publishers employ a team of business managers, putting each one in charge of a different group of publications (eg. a business manager for non-fiction and another for fiction, one for women's magazines and another for business magazines).

*The Production Manager or production assistant is responsible for coordinating and overseeing each of the physical stages in the production of a publication. A small publishing business may assign this task to an editor, or the publisher. A large business may employ several production managers.

*The Designer has the task of taking instructions from the editor and producing the final layout.

*Marketing Staff have the task of selling a publication. The editor should explain to these people the concept of the publication . The editor and author will have developed the book with a particular market in mind, and those thoughts must be conveyed to the marketing staff.