Not only is Lorna Partington Walsh enhancing her creative writing by learning the ins and outs of editing, she's also helping other editors launch their careers in the field. Titled Embark Editorial Agency, Walsh's new venture matches newly trained copy editors with writers and nonprofits, providing real-world work experience. "This was directly inspired by my time at Extension," she explains.
"All of my instructors were so supportive when I talked with them about setting up the agency," she continues. "It was their encouragement that gave me the confidence that this could be a good idea. Having taken a break from a career in the nonprofit sector to work on my writing, it is great to get back to benefiting nonprofits, particularly small ones that can't afford to pay for copy-editing services but need their materials to be professional. Thanks to Extension, I've found a new career path that enables me to combine everything I'm interested in."
You took the courses online. What was that experience like?
I was a bit concerned that I wouldn't feel particularly engaged, but I've worked really hard to get involved in the class discussions. Now, I actually feel that online courses, for me, are better than learning in the classroom. I would check in every night online, and even when I went to see my family in England, I could continue to participate.
Do you have a favorite experience while in the program?
I was asked by program director Liz McDonough to copy edit the new Ursa Minor journal. It was a brilliant opportunity I would not have had any other way. The first edition is out and I'm really proud to have been a part of it. It was a real confidence boost for me, and I felt like I'd made it as an editor.
In general, it's very satisfying to wrestle a sentence into shape. I enjoyed that about my own work; the self-editing was always a lot of fun. I like the collaboration with writers because you're not there to impose your own views. You're there to help that writer communicate in the best way, and I get a lot of joy from making something that was pretty good into something that sparkles.