Red pen fever

August 21, 2009

Speaking of magazine editors ….

Did you know some educational theorists suggest that teachers should not use red pens in correcting students’ homework and tests because the red ink is widely perceived as intimidating?

Well, no wonder.

Okay, I know it’s a bit political, but did anyone catch last month when Vanity Fair took to former Alaska Gov. Sarha Palin’s speech announcing her intention to resign?

If you watched Sarah Palin’s resignation speech, you know one thing: her high-priced speechwriters moved back to the Beltway long ago. Just how poorly constructed was the governor’s holiday-weekend address? We asked V.F.’s red-pencil-wielding executive literary editor, Wayne Lawson, together with representatives from the research and copy departments, to whip it into publishable shape. Here is the colorful result.

Colorful, indeed. Obviously, I have a lot to learn about editing a manuscript. I mean, I always feel like I’m nitpicking when I read through friends’ manuscripts. Heavens to bogosians, though—I feel so lame, now.

At any rate, don’t let it frighten you.



One comment

  1. I love these snippets of advice-and even wisdom-from authors keynoting at SCWC—hope you add more–the list of noted authors speaking @ SCWC is long and impressive.

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