Author Archives: Marieke Krijnen

About Marieke Krijnen

I am a self-employed researcher, writer and editor with a PhD in Political Science and a strong background in urban studies and geography. I specialize in the study of the gentrification and financialization of real housing, real estate and urban space, as well as in the political economy of the Middle East.

Canada trip: Meeting lots of editors and more!

It’s been a while since I updated my blog! I’ve been ridiculously busy in the past few months. I completed a bunch of large editing jobs, including a language and copyedit of a fascinating academic book manuscript and a copyedit of a wonderful dissertation. I also did a literature review for a political scientist and a number of smaller editing jobs, ranging from a market research report to some new sets of Arcmage cards! My testimonials page has been updated and should be updated again soon, as work keeps on coming in! I’m also taking the Fundamentals of Editing course at Queens University as part of the editing certificate I’m studying for. I meant to write something about this and the copyediting course I took a while ago, and I hope to get to this soon! I’m barely able to catch my breath these days. I’m also going to give you a report of the London Book Fair I attended mid-March, which has already led to new work (I will tell you how I did that!) and lots of new contacts with lovely editors.

As my new cover photo shows, I went on a fantastic, two-week trip to Toronto in the second half of January, where I met many lovely editors who took me in, showed me around, and generally made me feel very welcome. I’m not mentioning everyone here, but Greg Ioannou let me use a desk in his Iguana books office and invited me for dinner at his home, which was such a great gesture. I attended a meeting of Editors Canada’s Toronto branch, where I met more great people and had the privilege to see the amazing writer Esi Edugyan in conversation with her editors. It was a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into the work of copyediting. I read Edugyan’s book Washington Black right away and it definitely kept me up late a few nights because I couldn’t stop reading.

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Toronto at nightfall 😍😍😍

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My first year as editor and five tips for new editors

2018 has almost come to an end, and I thought that this would be a good moment to reflect on what I have achieved during my first year as a full-time, professional editor and look ahead to 2019. I have to say, I’m quite satisfied! I registered my company, created my website, learned how to run a business, joined Editors Canada and SENSE, took my first course towards obtaining my editing certificate, became a stakeholder in Peerwith, worked with dozens of kind and talented clients, met many amazing “edibuddies” online through various social media platforms, and, not unimportantly, managed to make enough money to have a fun and comfortable life. I hereby want to thank all the clients who chose to work with me and all the editors who have given me their time and advice.

In the new year, I am planning to complete my training, attend my first editing conference, and expand my client base to include think tanks and governmental institutions. I am now also a Permanent Resident of Canada and am going to explore what opportunities this might bring in 2019, beginning with a two-week trip to Toronto in the second half of January 2019 (where I’m planning to meet up with plenty of edibuddies!).

Here are five tips I have for new editors, based on my experience during my first year as a professional editor:

1. Join a professional association

My membership of professional associations no doubt made me look more professional, but for me the main benefit was that it provided me with (information about) many useful resources in terms of training (courses, webinars, books), business (contract templates, how to set rates), and networking (conferences, mailing lists, Facebook groups). These associations also usually have a directory where you can list yourself as a freelancer, so potential clients can find you. They also offer discounts on conferences, office supplies, and online subscriptions, and different editors’ associations offer discounts to each other’s members. There are usually different ranks for members, assigned according to experience, training, or exams, and one can move up the ranks over the years. Continue reading

Now also a member of SENSE!

It’s been a busy few months! I have finished my copyediting course at Queens University, completed a few large projects and started a new one. I will write more about these things soon.

For now, I’m happy to announce that I’ve become a member of SENSE, the Society of English-language professionals in the Netherlands. While I will remain a member of Editors Canada, it’ll be nice to have some networking opportunities and workshops closer to home. I can’t wait to attend the conference next year!

Meanwhile, I am going to meet up with some editors in Toronto in the second half of January 2019, and am already looking forward to hanging out with these colleagues. The virtual community of editors consists of truly kind, supportive people who are always ready to answer questions and help each other out. Can’t wait to meet some of them in real life! Virtual support communities are so important to the lone business owner!

Why you can trust me with your work

Giving your work to an editor is scary. I get it. I really do.

You’ve labored over something, thought about it for a long time, made an enormous effort to organize your thoughts and transform them into a coherent, well-structured text. And then you send it to a stranger, perhaps the first person who will look at it besides you, who will read it, change it, and leave her thoughts along the way. What is to say that an editor is not going to make your text worse? Why would you trust someone with it?

As someone who has several publications to her name, I understand this feeling. I’ve always been very reluctant to send my work out for commenting or correction. As an editor therefore, I am always humbled by the trust my clients bestow on me by sending me their manuscripts and allowing me to work on them.

I want to assure you that good editors do not betray that trust. As an editor, I follow three principles to make sure that your work is in safe hands: I am careful, transparent, and flexible. I am stealing these three principles from Carol Fisher Saller’s The Subversive Copyeditor, pp. 14–16. I purchased this book a while ago and we’re currently reading parts of it in my copyediting course at Queens University, Canada.

To be careful means that before I even start working on your manuscript, we clearly define the scope of my work together. Do you want me to improve your language and expression or just your grammar? What style should I use? Do you want me to format your headings? It means that I always use track changes so that you can see exactly what I’ve done and can accept or reject it.

To be transparent means that if I have to make a decision that affects the entire manuscript (about capitalizing headings, for example) and that we didn’t discuss beforehand, I contact you before I go ahead. It means that I will explain any changes I made if they’re not obvious. It means that for larger manuscripts, I will keep a style sheet where I record all decisions I made in relation to spelling, style, punctuation, and so on, and I share this with you when the job is finished.

Finally, to be flexible means that I will listen to you and negotiate. If a term shouldn’t be capitalized according to the style we are using, but you have a reason for writing it in that way, I will listen. If you don’t agree with a change I made, let’s talk about it. It is your work, at the end! My job is to make your writing accurate, consistent, and correct.

So, please don’t be afraid to send me your work, I promise that I will respect it and treat it the way I would want my own work to be treated!

The story of my PhD in one article: free download

I defended my PhD in May 2016. Before embarking on my postdoc in Lebanon in November 2016, I spent a few months looking for jobs and working on publications (you can check the most recent ones here and here). Among these was one article that tells the main story of my PhD, and that I planned to submit to the journal Antipode. It tells the story of how a large amount of capital found its way into Lebanon’s real estate and banking sectors after the global financial crisis of 2008, constituting a direct and indirect “spatial fix,” a term by David Harvey that I’ve discussed before.

During my postdoc, I worked on a draft and submitted it in June 2017. Five months later, I got four peer reviews back, and the news that I should do major revisions. The peer reviews were quite helpful in getting the article into better shape, and even though I was self-employed by then, I spent many hours revising the article and getting it into shape. I resubmitted it at the end of April 2018.

In July, I got four more reviews back from the same reviewers. While they were very satisfied with the revisions, some wanted me to engage more with the theory. At this point, it had been over two years since I defended my PhD. I decided that I would no longer spend time on the article and retracted it after mulling over my options for a few months. The people at Antipode were very nice about it and I decided to publish the article on my blog, to make it freely available to everyone interested in the story of my PhD. Please download it here or read it below! Anyone who can spot an error gets a free copyedit (up to 5,000 words)! An author can’t do her own proofreading 🙂

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Two new articles published on gentrification in Beirut, Lebanon

Last month, two articles that had been in the making for a while (welcome to the world of academic publishing) finally came out in the journal CITY. I authored one of them by myself, an opinion piece that constitutes my final two cents on the entire postcolonial urbanism debate in the context of gentrification and rent gaps. A friend has likened it to me putting a chainsaw to some of the postcolonial critique, so do read it if you enjoy polemics! The other article was co-authored with the formidable Dr. Mona Fawaz and Daria El Samad, and discusses the relationship between gentrification and property using the case study of the Mar Mikhael quarter in Beirut.

The single-authored article is called “Gentrification and the creation and formation of rent gaps” and free e-prints are available here and on my Academia page.

The co-authored piece is titled “A property framework for understanding gentrificationOwnership patterns and the transformations of Mar Mikhael, Beirut” and has free e-prints available here. If these run out (only 50 are provided), contact me via email or Twitter to request a copy.

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I am now a member of Editors Canada!

Excited to announce that I’m now a member of Editors Canada (check out my awesome member badge at the About me page)! I have my own listing in the directory and have explored the many benefits that membership brings, including a long list of resources, training documents, and guidebooks; courses for continuous professional development; discounts on style guides, courses, and events; and of course networking opportunities such as conferences and local meet-ups. Eventually, experienced editors can qualify for certification through an exam. I’m not there yet, but as I’ve mentioned earlier, I have registered for a copyediting course at Queens University, Toronto, that begins in thirteen days!