On editandtrain courses our participants 'learn by doing'.

Training courses customised to the needs of editors and publishers

Our experiential learning approach mirrors real-life situations in the working environment as closely as possible in order to maximise knowledge and skills transfer, and learning outcomes generally.

We offer a programme of short, hands-on training courses aimed at giving prospective practitioners access to the publishing industry and private clients. Our courses also provide bridging between academic courses and the real world of publishing. They’re an excellent way for employees in the book, magazine and journal publishing sectors to acquire the formal skills needed for promotion into editorial and publishing services positions.

Basic Copy Editing and Proofreading

Advanced Copy Editing and Proofreading

Copy Editing and Proofreading for Academic Purposes

Project Management in Publishing

English Grammar for Editors (Online)

Copy Editing and Proofreading Maths and Science Texts

Editing Law Texts

Fundamentals of Book Design and Production for Non-Designers

Developing a House Style

Evaluating Manuscripts

Plain Language (Plain English) for Editors

'It needs only a light edit': Negotiating the difference between a light, a medium and a heavy edit

Subbing for Magazines

Structured Writing Retreats

  • Basic Copy Editing and Proofreading - 3 days

    An introductory course designed to equip you either to enter publishing as a proofreader and/or copy editor or, if you are already in publishing, to give you formal skills and knowledge where perhaps you have hitherto acquired them only informally or partially. It is also an essential entry point for individuals wanting to offer freelance editing and proofreading services. Publishers regard this course as a prerequisite for providing professional editorial services.


    The materials were clear and easy to follow. Doing the exercises first … made it easier to understand the theory … (NL).


    A good balance between exercise, information, knowledge and insight. Very focused (OL).


    Because I have … experience, I thought I’d know a lot of what was going to be taught. But, boy, was I wrong! I learnt a lot more and now have much better skills (ND).

  • Advanced Copy Editing and Proofreading - 2 days

    This is a follow-on to the Basic course. It takes those already involved in the industry to the next level of competence by equipping them with further editing knowledge and skills intended to equip them to perform optimally. You’ll find that the content is both deeper and broader than that included in the Basic course, and supplements it perfectly.


    Great course, great materials and great value for money (RB).


    I really gained more than I had expected and the facilitator went into every detail … (PD).


    I have found previous courses to be too general and not addressing the real issues. This was just the opposite (BH).

    This course could work for anyone who is unfamiliar with the publishing industry and the role of an editor, or new editors who feel that they need their skills sharpened. (AL)


    The facilitator was accommodating of our needs during this training. I found the training on quotations to be very helpful as this is something that I still find confusing. The training was detailed and the facilitator used many examples. (MM)

  • Copy Editing and Proofreading for Academic Purposes -

    Apart from covering the essential proofreading skills and marks, the distinction between editing and proofreading in academia is explained. This includes the different types or levels of editing encountered in this genre:

    • style/tone/register/word choice;

    • structural (including transition words and logical flow), and

    • content editing.


    You’ll also encounter editing for sense or meaning; consistency and self-editing. Language usage – including the appropriate use of verb tenses in academic texts; active versus passive voice – and using linking words; avoiding nounisms and jargon; and being on the lookout for breaches of copyright, plagiarism and defamation. You’ll also experience the different referencing systems and styles and the treatment of reference lists.


    I appreciated the presenter’s detailed knowledge of the subject. He was able to communicate his knowledge with such skill, patience and humour that we students were both educated and entertained (PRK).

  • Project Management in Publishing – 2 days

    This course is intended for editorial staff and commissioning editors who manage projects. It aims to give trainees a global picture of the principal functions involved in managing publishing projects, while also giving the project manager the tools required to keep a project on track, to budget, on deadline and to the required quality standard. Learning by doing exercises and interacting with colleagues on case studies are the keynotes of his course.

    A very informative two days … I now know the who, what and why of managing projects (MV).


    This was superb! I have learnt so much and enjoyed doing so (LB).

  • English Grammar for Editors (Online)

    This one-on-one training course conducted via email is divided into ten sessions. The time taken to do all ten sessions is flexible, which enables an individual to fit the training and assignments around their current work commitments. A key feature is that all the feedback is personalised, which ensures a rich learning experience conducted in a non-threatening environment. It culminates in a set of consolidation exercises that enable participants to benchmark their competence.


    It has given me a greater awareness of some of the nuances of language. … also clarified aspects that I previously took for granted. … (RW).  

    The facilitator offered examples and explanations where he could see I was struggling, and made sure that I was comfortable with the pace of the course. (NM)

    It’s a very good refresher course for grammar (RJ).

    John was very helpful in areas I needed extra help with and explained everything step-by-step. He gave feedback on every session, especially on some of the trickier ones (MS).

  • Copy Editing and Proofreading Maths and Science Texts – 1 day

    Working with scientific material requires the editor to become familiar with and adopt specialist terminology and stylistic conventions. The course focuses on these ‘nitty-gritty’ aspects rather than on the science or maths itself. Editors and proofreaders of these texts must ensure that copy is clear and unambiguous, and that conventions are observed consistently throughout a text.


    [These texts] require very careful and finicky editing and proofreading. This course guided me in becoming better at it and to understand in what part of these subjects I lack skill and need expertise (MB).

  • Editing Law Texts – 2 days

    This practical workshop-type course covers both the nitty-gritty that needs to be applied when editing law texts and the typical multitude of conventions that characterise this highly specialised and complex genre of publishing. It could be claimed that without first having attended such a course, an editor would be well advised to steer clear of this genre.


    A real insight into what is a demanding and extremely detailed genre which requires total editorial concentration (JK).  

  • Fundamentals of Book Design and Production for Non-Designers – 1 day

    Not intended to produce book designers, this course gives editorial professionals the necessary insights into the fundamentals of good book design and production that will equip them to make sound, informed decisions when marking up copy or correcting proofs. The important relationship between type, space and illustrations on a page in the pursuit of readability is stressed.


    Presentation skills excellent: very thorough and clear (CP).


    The exercises were very informative and revealing – just what we needed (MT).


  • Developing a House Style – 1 day

    Understanding the need for consistency (one of the three pillars of a text editor’s task), why it is so important, and how it is achieved in manuscripts is the core purpose and outcome of his course. You will also work through the process of consulting a House Style manual or guide, other word lists and, ultimately, developing that important Style Sheet for each project.


    I found John’s activities engaging and think that any team, especially those not familiar with style sheets, will benefit from this course. (AL)


    The course strikes a good balance between theoretical concerns and practical activities. (DC)


    Helpful for beginner editors who have not used a style sheet or a style manual before. (LD)


    One of the keys to being a good editor is to be consistent. Knowing more about how to start and apply a style sheet to an edit/project is valuable. (MM)


    Useful guidance in how to set up a house style – the course answered some questions we’ve been battling with for a long time ito of what should appear in a house style doc vs a style sheet vs a design spec. (MZ)


  • Evaluating manuscripts – 1 day

    A wide range of factors need to be considered during manuscript evaluation:

    To what extent does the text conform to a syllabus or curriculum, if that is a consideration? Is the underlying teaching-learning mode (ie inductive vs deductive approach, chalk-and-talk or self-discovery) adhered to in every chapter? Is there a balance between two approaches? Is the subject-matter covered both comprehensively and clearly? Are the chapter structures consistent throughout? Are the chapters all more or less the same length (page count)? Where exercises and activities are required, do they test what they purport to achieve?

    Is the text reader-oriented or-centred? That is, has the author put themselves in the typical readers’ shoes, asking what age they are and their level of command of the language is likely to be? What do they already know from previous grades? How extensive is their vocabulary? And how are new terms introduced and dealt with to aid understanding? Your answers to these questions will determine the permissible level of language (eg English) used, including paragraph length, sentence length, word usage/difficulty, use of punctuation, need for and use of icons and infographics, and so on.


    These are among the factors considered on this course.

    I believe the trainer’s knowledge can add value to any aspect of evaluating manuscripts that you need to improve. (AL)


    This training taught me a new vocabulary to use when assessing a manuscript. It also taught me some key things to look out for when reading a manuscript for the first time. (MM)


    Having a ‘vocab’ list, or similar, to empower editors with terms with which to write evaluation reports would be beneficial. (EW)


    Good for anyone in an editorial context – hands on, specific and practical. (MZ)

  • Plain Language (Plain English) for Editors - 1 day

    A practical workshop-type course that covers the features of plain (‘accessible’, not ‘dull’) writing. Much of the content is experienced through exercises and activities designed to illustrate the power of plain language in written communications.


    Anyone who is involved in any way with the production of documents for the public would benefit from this course. However, I also found it to be most helpful at a different level. I proofread and edit many documents written by second-language English speakers … . I learnt a lot, but also had much of what I know confirmed (CS).


    I enjoyed the fact that there was a good balance of theory and practical exercises (AD).


    It surpassed expectations in that I thought I knew what plain language was. In being continually reminded of the level of a reader who needs plain language and being exposed to looking beyond mere words and phrases, I truly learned something (HF).

  • 'It needs only a light edit': Negotiating the difference between a light, a medium and a heavy edit – half-day

    A workshop-style approach leads to a greater understanding of how each of these different levels of editing is determined and how to enumerate each of the different levels. Being able to make these distinctions also has important implications for quoting a price and agreeing on deadlines for projects – not to speak of educating clients about the extent of editorial intervention required based on an analysis of what needs to be fixed or improved.


  • Subbing for Magazines - 2 days

    This course gives insights into the functions of the professional ‘sub’ and hands-on experience of their craft. The subeditor ensures that copy is perfect in all respects, from factual accuracy to grammatical correctness and fitting the text to the available column width exactly. They’re also expected to display creative flair with catchy headlines and pull-quotes, and detect potentially defamatory text.


    John has fathomless insider knowledge of the editing profession. He has an ability to create a supportive learning environment. Typical editing assignments, tackled as a team, highlight natural aptitudes and boost confidence. He engages completely …  getting the best from all participants. Every word, every anecdote is relevant and instructive (DC).

  • Structured Writing Retreats – 3 days

    These retreats are about the process and the discipline of writing, not the quality of one’s writing. Many writers suffer from procrastination and distractions – including the temptations of email and social media – as ways of avoiding getting that paragraph, that article or that chapter completely written. Writing in the kind of social setting that writing retreats offer is in itself a strong motivator to get writing done; but many who struggle to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) also have to realise that by setting small goals and short deadlines, one can move mountains. So structure is important: on a retreat, participants actually set themselves doable goals within one-hour or two-hour slots and then account for the progress to fellow-participants. Most are amazed by the progress they make, and their productivity, by taking small steps (writing that introduction or concluding paragraph) towards achieving a larger objective (an entire chapter or article).

    The benefits and outcomes of a writing retreat as expressed by recent participants:

    ‘Day schedule organisation: short but intense sessions, with refreshing breaks, worked well for me.’

    ‘If I make time for writing, I can make progress.’

    ‘Writing as a group enforces behaviour change as a group. A good environment is unbeatable for writing productively.’

    ‘Goal-setting is key.’


    ‘Eliminating distractions, setting small goals and sticking to them within a set time, eg 1.5 hours, can boost productivity.’

    ‘I can be productive if I want to be. Writing during structured sessions is less daunting.’


​​Tel: +27 82 556 8175


© 2019 by McGillivray Linnegar Associates.