Editors play a key role in every project. We’ve seen editors turn subpar stories into the most powerful pieces of a particular project. It is the job of the editors to make the stories and the writers look the best they can while maintaining the voice of the storyteller and the vision of the writer, to get the stories in on time, and to manage any conflicts in taste between writers and storytellers.
A single editor may oversee all of the storyteller-writer matches in a project, but we recommend dividing up these responsibilities among a team of editors led by one main editor.
Editors should make sure writers have received the “How to Write a Facing Story” PDF. And encourage them to attend the writers’ training. (Email email@example.com to set up a writers’ training with Kelsey or J.R.)
Once writer and storyteller have been matched, we recommend reaching out to the writer and storyteller at least twice: once to make sure they have connected and a second time a week before the stories are due to make sure the writer has written the story and is aware of the pending deadline. You should always pad your deadline by at least one week. Someone will always need an extension.
Once the stories are in, you’ll be ready to edit them.
Editing isn’t always easy. There’s a temptation to say, “this is how I would do it,” and just make the changes. But a good editor makes suggestions and recommendations while at the same time pointing out the things they like about a story.
We recommend that if time allows the writer turns in their story for edits before sharing with the storyteller. This way the storyteller reads something close to being finished and if there are any unanswered questions the editors had about a storyteller’s story, the writer can ask them.
Project organizers will submit their stories for a round of edits from our team of volunteer editors.
This first round of edits should focus on content, flow, narrative, and all of those other things we mentioned in the writing tips. Yes, correct any grammatical errors and copyedits if you see them, but you’ll focus on those during the next round of edits.
Editors need to make sure that the stories are powerful and well written while maintaining the voice of the storyteller captured by the writer. Sometimes grammatical areas or misspellings may be a decision a writer made to give a story a voice. For instance, maybe a storyteller uses the word “ain’t” or “fella” or some other word that gives them a unique voice. Don’t edit out the storytellers word choices or grammatical mistakes if they make their voice stronger.
After the writer has addressed the editor’s comments and corrections, copyedit the story for typos, punctuation, and grammar. Once this is done email the final story to both the writer and storyteller writing:
“This is the story as it will be published in the book. If you want any further changes let us know by X date, otherwise this is the version that will be published.”