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TLC Launches Editing Skills Training Scheme with PTC

Training and Events Offer Launches for Aspiring Editors

The Literary Consultancy (TLC) has announced a new scheme in association with the Publishing Training Centre (PTC), following a pilot in 2018 which offered free evening seminars to low-income and marginalised aspiring editors. This year, the offer has been expanded thanks to a donation from prize-winning novelist Jude Cook.

The Editing Skills Training Scheme will see up to 36 aspiring editors trained up over a series of workshops and events, and has been set up to encourage aspiring editors from all backgrounds to build key skills and confidence within publishing industry work settings, whether in-house or freelance.

The Scheme’s core offer is three free-to-attend intensive half-day workshops on core elements of the editing process. Participants will additionally be offered free access to a PTC e-learning module of their choice, as well as 50% off the flagship PTC Introduction to Editorial Skills course. Ongoing support from TLC will be made available to all students, and six travel and access bursaries will be available to participants coming from outside of London and/or with mobility issues. A Working with Publishers event will be held at TLC’s base, Free Word, in April 2020.

Head of the PTC, Petra Green, said: “We are delighted to partner with the TLC again on this scheme to help under-represented and inexperienced editors develop their skills. At a time when training budgets are being cut and publishing is changing fast, it’s more important than ever to encourage learning and personal development.”

TLC Director, Aki Schilz, said: “It is a joy to once more partner with the PTC to support aspiring editors. We were interested to find that around a third of applicants for our pilot initiative were already working in publishing, but felt that they lacked confidence and skills. This supports research into the lack of diversity within the editorial workforce. Our aim is longterm impact, and we look forward to developing this offer further.”

The Editing Skills Training Scheme welcomes applications from those interested in working in publishing, already working in junior publishing roles but keen to access skills training, or interested in any other aspect of editorial work. Applications from low-income and otherwise marginalised aspiring editors are particularly encouraged and will be prioritised.

Applications will open at 9am on Monday November 4th 2019. The application deadline is 5pm on Wednesday December 4th 2019.

How to Apply

This scheme is open to anyone based in the UK* who is interested in developing their editorial skills in order to work in publishing, either in-house or as a freelancer. Applicants must be over 18 to apply. There is no upper age limit. You must be able to attend the workshops (see below for dates, and terms). There is no entry fee and workshops are free to attend.

To apply for a place, please send an email with the subject header ‘Editing Training Scheme’ to with a brief personal/professional biography (up to 150 words), and a 250 word (maximum) statement on why you would like to attend, plus a completed Equality Monitoring Form. Please specify the workshop you are interested in attending. You may apply to attend a maximum of two workshops. Please also let us know if you are a member of one of the communities we are particularly interested in reaching with this initiative i.e., BAME, disabled, on low-income, or a member of the LGBTQ community. Please note we will not share any of your personal details; this is for monitoring purposes only. You are welcome to contact us ahead of submitting an application for a confidential chat.

*NB: If you are able to cover your own costs to attend the workshops, which take place in London, you are welcome to apply to this scheme from anywhere in the UK. If you are applying for a Travel and Access Bursary, you must be ordinarily resident in England, as the funding that enables TLC to provide these bursaries is provided by Arts Council England.

Travel and Access Bursaries

A maximum of six Travel and Access Bursaries are available thanks to TLC’s Arts Council England funding. Please clearly indicate if you are applying for a Travel and Access Bursary. This may be used for travel expenses, childcare expenses, accommodation, or any other reasonable access costs. Reimbursement is dependent on submission of receipts.

Terms and Conditions

By signing up for a ticket you are committing to attend both the workshop(s) you are applying for and the Working With Publishers panel, and understand that TLC and PTC will be in touch with you in order to track and evaluate the success of the scheme. You are kindly requested to take part in the evaluative process. All Equality Monitoring forms are anonymous. Your data will not be shared with external third parties.


Editing Training half-day workshops will take place at Free Word, London (EC1R 3GA, nearest station Farringdon) on:

Saturday March 14th 2020 10am-1.30pm Proofreading
Saturday March 21st 2020
10am-1.30pm Copy-editing
Saturday March 28th
2020 10am-1.30pm Substantive editing

We will be covering the following topics in the half-day sessions:

Proofreading with Caroline Knight

The half-day workshop on proofreading will offer participants an understanding of what proofreaders look for, both on-screen and on hard copy, including formatting, pagination, typos and feedback, including practical exercises in both formats. 

Copy-editing with Caroline Knight

The half-day workshop on copy-editing will offer participants an overview of the copy-editor’s role and responsibilities within the process of making a book, together with practical exercises covering mark-up, style sheets, reference materials and the nitty gritty of grammar.

Substantive Editing with Andrew Steed

Substantive editing is undertaken when a text is judged to have more wrong with it than can be put right in the standard editorial process. To do this effectively, an editor needs to develop a strategy for putting the text right that is based on a clear analysis of what is wrong with it and which also guarantees the writer’s approval of the proposed changes. This half-day workshop demonstrates an approach to this kind of interventionist editing and offers the opportunity to try out the process on a number of problematic texts.

About Your Training

Each half-day session will be held at Free Word from 10am-1.30pm. Free access to one module of your choice within PTC’s e-learning environment will be provided so you can continue with your training after the session. These include the modules Introduction to Publishing, Editorial Style, Adobe Tools for Editors, and Editing Fiction. You can browse the full programme here. You will also be offered a 50% discount on the PTC’s flagship Introduction to Editorial Skills course which can be accessed online for self-study, or in person over two days’ training.

Panel Event and ongoing support

TLC will also host a panel discussion event, Meet the Editors, as part of this offer, on 1st April 2020 which is open to all applicants to the Editing Skills Training Scheme. This event will offer a view of how editing professionals can work with publishers both in-house and in a freelance capacity, featuring publishing industry speakers in a panel format, exploring how and why practical editing skills are useful, and in which roles they can be applied. The event will feature special guests Louise Harnby, Shreeta Shah, and Becky Alexander.

Ongoing support will be made available from TLC’s in-house editorial team for those interested in continuing on with us beyond the workshops and panel, and we will also be talking with participants to see what kind of further support we might be able to facilitate for them with our wider networks.

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