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Old 06-05-2008, 01:32 PM
 
153 posts, read 455,201 times
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Hello everyone! I'm currently a paralegal but not so happy with this career. I'm very interested in an editorial career, not so much writing but leaning more towards editing. I really don't want to go back to school at this time. Is it possible to get into editing or something similar without a degree in journalism. Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:29 PM
 
6,764 posts, read 20,952,224 times
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I have a degree in English (Writing Major) and I have applied at several publishing places and NEVER gotten a call. I actually have the skills to do proofreading and wonder what the heck DO they want?

I don't know. Maybe you can transfer some of your paralegal stuff (you must have to proof lawyer's writing....?) to editing.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:43 PM
 
Location: NYC
16,023 posts, read 24,601,449 times
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Start off with a small publications, even if it is volunteering; get your feet wet. You can slowly build on this and into bigger and bigger publications.
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Old 06-06-2008, 06:16 AM
 
153 posts, read 455,201 times
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Thanks guys. There are some small local newspapers and magazines in our area, I'll check them out. I also wonder about non-profits that produce newsletters, perhaps I could start there.
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:39 AM
 
5,244 posts, read 4,487,846 times
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I also have an English degree. I wanted to become an Editor and did some proofreading and copy editing early on in my career and found out it is a LONG road to Editor. It did not pay the bills and finally had to change careers. If you can afford to do it as more of a "leisure" job then do it and your meagerly salary will not make a difference. You will probably not be able to demand more money since you do not have an English or Journalism degree. If you are still interested, to get you started learn the AP style of grammar. Good luck!
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Old 06-06-2008, 04:15 PM
 
16,479 posts, read 29,443,031 times
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There are some options to edit from home, working online. It's not a full-time living, but it's a start. Google something like "edit jobs bid". A friend of mine found a couple of sites where you bid on jobs. She lowballs, gets the job, and hopes to work up regular customers.
Two of the best journalists I know have been out of regular work for two years (older men). It's brutal out there. I mean, everyone says "no one can spell/write/edit," and you see the evidence *everywhere*, yet still there's little work.
By the way, when I dropped out of liberal arts college, I got a newsediting job in public TV by acing a simple English test. Some 50 overeducated English majors and grad students couldn't correct a simple news story. I suspect that analyzing literature doesn't necessarily make one a speller or good at grammar.
I do think journalism is one of the few fields where schooling is less relevant rather than more. It can always help to have some expertise (science, business, etc.) but a degree is not required. It's one of the best jobs in the world for literate generalists.
Try craig's list in your area, or any area with "telecommute."
I spent seven years editing from home as a side job for public TV- editing/proofing/stylebook for a PBS website. It was the best work in the world. Then they hired someone to work in-house for faster turnaround time (and I suspect for short money) so I continue to slog on the night shifts at the psychiatric hospital.
Good luck- editing is one of the neatest jobs in the world if you can find it.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:20 AM
 
17 posts, read 49,428 times
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My wife is a senior editor at a major test publishing company. She graduated with a degree in Social Work but ended up not being happy with it. She started as a temp in 2000 and worked her way up. During our careers, we both have had the opportunity to work with editors, writers, and Language Arts professionals (aka teachers). One thing is certain---writers do not necessarily make good editors and vice versa. Go to any college website and look at the curriculum for an English major. Other than the basic Comp I & II, there is little emphasis on spelling, punctuation, or grammar. In fact, one could make the argument that a computer science or math major would be more beneficial. Editing is all about attention to detail, clarity, and cohesion. At this point, logic and reasoning abilities are more beneficial than creative writing skills. When applying for these jobs, make sure you focus on the skills that you have picked up during your paralegal career that can translate into editorial. Make sure you have a flawless resume and make sure to check out all of your local temporary employment agencies. You never know what will pop up.
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