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S. Robin Larin

Ask an Award Winner: An Interview with Naomi Racz

Naomi Racz
Naomi Racz
Copyright: Spencer Cappallo

This is the final post in a series of interviews that the Editors Canada student relations committee completed last year with Editors Canada award winners.

This month, S. Robin Larin shares the committee’s interview with Naomi Racz (Cumberland, B.C.), who was the winner of the 2020 Claudette Upton Scholarship. (This interview has been lightly edited.)

What inspired you to become an editor?

Naomi Racz: My first taste of professional editing was as a student, when I did an internship with an educational NGO. I was in charge of running their bookshop, but they also often needed someone to proofread and edit various documents. I found I really enjoyed puzzling over why a particular sentence didn’t work and how I could fix it, and I loved spotting typos and errors that no one else had spotted.

Since then, I’ve done various jobs that involved editing, which confirmed for me that it’s something I love. I also founded a literary magazine called Stonecrop Review, which has given me the opportunity to work closely with writers to edit their pieces. I also signed up to do the Ryerson publishing certificate and have focused on editing courses, which I’ve gotten a lot out of — especially getting to connect with other word nerds! 

What has been your biggest challenge in your editing career? 

NR: Well, I’m still fairly early on in my career! I think the biggest challenge I’m facing is just figuring out how to break into the world of freelance editing. There’s a lot of advice out there, sometimes conflicting, and it can be hard to know where to start. I would definitely recommend watching Greg Ioannou’s Editors Canada webinar on how students and new editors can find work. Editors Canada and other editing students have been great resources for information on how to get into freelance editing. 

Who has been one of your biggest influences in the editing world? 

NR: The teachers of the editing courses I’ve taken have really inspired me. Not only are they professional working editors, so living proof that it is possible, they’ve also always been more than happy to help with references and share their own experiences of breaking into the field. 

What is one of your favourite editing-related resources? 

NR: I’m a big fan of The Chicago Manual of Style! I use it a lot and always find the guidelines clear, logical and easy to follow. I also love my paper copy of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary.

What effect has winning this award had on your editing career? 

NR: The scholarship helped me to continue with my editing studies. More than anything, though, the award has confirmed for me that editing is the profession I want to work in, and it’s been a huge boost to my confidence.

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Previous post from S. Robin Larin: Ask an Award Winner: An Interview with Cathy McPhalen

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