Seminar: Stylistic Editing with Carolyn Brown – September 21 and September 22

This seminar is offered through Zoom over two days (Wednesday and Thursday) between 9am and 12pm EST.

Are you thinking about writing Editors Canada’s Stylistic Editing exam this November? Do you want to improve your editorial judgment with guidance from an experienced editor? Check out this timely virtual seminar offering from Carolyn Brown: Stylistic Editing, taking place on September 21 and 22.

This online seminar will involve lively discussions, tales from the trenches, and hands-on exercises. The content is based on the Editors Canada standards for stylistic editing, but this seminar will also look at how stylistic editing is done in a variety of publishing settings.

Whether you edit novels, reports, websites or magazines, stylistic editing is a key skill. It is the domain of those editors who want to communicate: to get the message from the author to the reader accurately, honestly, and even elegantly. It also relies on developing that rare commodity, editorial judgment.

Expectations for stylistic editing vary widely. How can editors adapt to the needs of their employers and clients? We’ll go over the context for stylistic editing, judgment in approaching editing decisions, the toolkit for stylistic editing and communicating with authors.

What we’ll cover

The context for stylistic editing:

  • Who are the readers, and how does that determine the approach to stylistic editing?
  • What is the medium, and how does that affect the approach?
  • What is the purpose, and how does stylistic editing help communicate that purpose?

Judgment in approaching editing decisions:

  • Paragraph-level decisions (length, structure, logical flow, connection with other paragraphs)
  • Sentence-level decisions (length, sentence construction, logical flow, connectors, as well ascommon problems such as passive voice, noun strings, etc.)
  • Word-level decisions (word choice geared to readers, omission of unnecessary words)

The stylistic editing toolkit:

  • Subordination and coordination
  • Affirmative constructions
  • Judicious use of passive voice
  • Disentangling noun strings
  • Resolving ambiguity
  • Strengthening verbs and correcting nominalizations
  • Reorganizing paragraphs and sentences
  • Gentle rewriting
  • Working with visuals (illustrations, photos, tables, graphs)

Communicating with authors:

  • When and who to query
  • Using Comments to query
  • Whether and when to use Track Changes 
  • Amount and level of editing
  • When to honour the author’s voice

Join us for an enriching and informative day devoted to our craft with a skilled professional guiding us along the way!

About the Instructor

Carolyn Brown is a Certified Professional Editor and Editor in the Life Sciences. She has edited a wide variety of material for 35 years, specializing in scientific and medical publications for the past 25 years. She is the author of the chapter on citation in Editing Canadian English 2nd edition and a perennial seminar leader.

Seminar: Stylistic Editing with Carolyn Brown

Schedule: Wednesday September 21 and Thursday September 22

Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm EST

For any other information, please contact, such as how to take advantage of student discounts on professional development seminars.

Looking for more professional development opportunities? See what other seminars are coming up and register today, before it’s too late! Our online seminars are live events and will not be recorded as webinar courses.

Registration Fees

Members: $225 + tax
Non-members: $350 + tax
Student members: $150 + tax

Not yet a member? Check out Editors Canada to see if membership is right for you.

Cancellation policy

If Editors Ottawa-Gatineau cancels a seminar, we will refund your paid registration fee in full.

If you wish to cancel your registration, the following terms apply: You must send an email to to notify us that you are canceling your registration. If you cancel before registration closes (up to one week before the seminar) we will refund 50 percent of your paid registration fee. If you cancel after registration closes (within seven days of the seminar), no refund is possible.

Contact for all seminar registration and cancellation enquiries.