Macros, wildcards and editorial project management

Last updated 5 October 2023

I’m delighted to have been asked to contribute to three other blogs this year. This is a roundup of those posts and also serves to introduce my rewritten and redesigned website, now at a new home at I’d love to know what you think of the new design – please comment and let me know!

Macros and wildcards: essentials or added extras?

Back in April, I wrote a post for the Indian Copyeditors Forum introducing macros and wildcards. I suggested some reasons to give them a go and some ways to start getting acquainted with them. Here’s an extract:

On certain editing forums, few topics are more likely to inspire passionate debate than the use of macros and wildcards. For many years they have gradually been seeping into our editing practices, and they are now essentials for some editors while for others they remain irrelevant complications – perhaps even distractions from the ‘true’ business of editing: engaging with a text.

You can read the whole post on the Indian Copyeditors Forum here.

Editorial project management: what, who, how?

If you’ve ever wanted to know more about editorial project management, take a look at my post on the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) blog in June. Based on my experience managing projects totalling over 5 million words per year, I look at what editorial project managers do, who undertakes the various project management tasks and how to get started as a project manager.

Becoming a PM requires a lot of experience and knowledge, and excellent organisational skills. While publishers who hire PMs will almost certainly have their own comprehensive workflow documents for you to follow, it’s still important to have sufficiently broad experience and training to enable you to properly plan a project and manage issues as they arise; as the above list of tasks implies, project management is a lot more than following a checklist.

Read the whole post on the SfEP blog here.

Wise owls

Earlier in September, the SfEP posted the first hoots (or screeches?) from its ‘wise owls’ . This is a series that offers advice from a panel of SfEP Advanced and Advanced Professional members. The first topic was ‘one piece of getting started advice’ and you can read my snippet here alongside words of wisdom from three other owls: Liz Jones, Sue Littleford and John Espirian.

Our second post, in November, gave some topical musings on how to take time off at Christmas. You can find invaluable words of wisdom from eight wise owls here.

Most recently, we offered our thoughts on what editors with plenty of experience and qualifications can do to further develop their skills. Get inspired by clicking here.

Keep checking the SfEP blog for more posts in the new year!

(Update in 2020: the SfEP is now the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading.)

About Hazel Bird

Hazel delivers editorial services that empower non-profits, charities, businesses and authors to confidently share their expertise and impact. An editor since 2009, she aims to see the big picture while pinpointing every detail. She has been described as ‘superhuman’ and a ‘secret weapon', but until Tony Stark comes calling she's dedicating her superpowers to text-based endeavours.

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