We recently spoke to Talia, experienced editor, proofreader, and 2021 Rising Star Award winner, about how she’s progressing and the impact the award has made on her career so far.

What did your award allow you to do?

The award covered some of my training costs. So far, I’ve completed CIEP’s Getting to Grips with Grammar and Punctuation and Introduction to Fiction Editing; these courses have made the transition from non-fiction to fiction editing a lot smoother for me. I enjoyed the courses a lot and feel more comfortable taking on fiction books from authors and publishers. I’ve had positive feedback from clients, too. 

I’m currently a CIEP mentee – thanks to the award ­­– and am thoroughly enjoying the challenging tasks my mentor sends my way. I have some more training lined up, including PTC’s Creative Copywriting course, which will be new territory for me.

What skills do you feel that you’ve learnt from taking the course?

Getting to Grips with Grammar and Punctuation allowed me to brush up on grammar and punctuation standards, which means I can now provide more detailed information to my clients when they ask why I’ve made a certain edit (or why I didn’t change something!). 

Introduction to Fiction Editing felt like more than an ‘introduction’! I’ve learnt how to edit dialogue and how to spot and correct issues with points of view and story while being mindful of the author’s voice and style. The course taught me how to identify a story’s premise and plot type, and how to create a synopsis and keep track of timelines – this has been helpful in my copyediting work for self-publishing authors.

What differences have you noticed in your work since taking on the training/courses you chose?

The training has improved my efficiency. I still check multiple sources (that’s just a part of the job!), but I feel more confident in the decisions I make while I work now. Learning how to track timelines and what’s happening in each chapter has been an absolute game-changer for me; it takes a bit of time to do this, but it saves time in the long run because you don’t have to keep going back to check things.

What are your aspirations for the future of your career?

I’d love to do this work full-time and specialise in one or two areas. I’m currently interested in crime, mystery, fantasy, and historical fiction, but I’d like to narrow it down a bit more. I’m currently part of an accountability group with three other CIEP members – we’re all aiming towards becoming Professional members of the CIEP within the next two years.

Do you have any advice for other people looking at their career development?

Look for a mentor. Ideally, someone who is or has been where you want to be in your career. Aki Schilz was my mentor when I started out, and I don’t think I’d have gotten as far as I have if Aki hadn’t been there to guide me.

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