“In Praise of Editors”


All writers should go read every word of this essay by Maria Bustillos, written on the occasion of editor Carrie Frye’s departure from the Awl.

The gist of it: your editor is your friend, not some censorious know-it-all trying to ruin your work. (Well, usually.) One of many perfect passages:

…at its best there is no hostility, and no jockeying for an advantage in this symbiosis: no ego, no performance, just an intent shared focus on making something good together for the reader’s benefit. A finished piece of writing made in this way will transmit a certain quality often called “polish,” but which might more accurately be described as “camaraderie.”

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →