The Obsessive, Nerdy Joys of Copyediting

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This conversation at the Millions between Edan Lepucki and her copyeditor Susan Bradanini Betz is a beautiful paean to the editing process—and enlightening for anyone who wonders what precisely a copyeditor does.

Lepucki and Betz discuss author/editor compatibility, obsessive style sheets, and Donna Tartt’s anti-copyediting broadside. A preview:

No, I can’t turn it off, but believe it or not, that mind-set makes pleasure reading more pleasurable for me. When reading for pleasure I don’t read as slowly as when I copyedit, but I am not a fast reader….I think I’ve always read like a copyeditor, even way back before I knew what a copyeditor was.


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 →