How to get started in the Editing field?

Hi all!!

My name is Sarah, and I’m a first-time poster here!

I’ve been reading and writing since I was very, very little, and I classify them as some of my highest passions. I’m a senior at my university, studying English Literature and Linguistics (among other things), and it’s getting to where I’ve started my “big-girl” job search.

My dream job would be to work at a publishing company as an in-house or remote editor. I’ve worked at my university’s student newspaper for almost three years now, and I really love the newspaper and journalism industry, but editing and writing fiction is still my sweetheart.

So my question is this: how would y’all recommend I get my foot in the door? I’ve been applying for spring internships with publishing houses and copy editor positions to no avail.

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks so much!!


Hrm…I wonder if there’s a way to document editing done on the online level, as experience to put on a resume.
Just a quick look online shows that there is such a thing as freelance editing jobs…but now I’m wondering how many of them are cons, bad how many of them would count towards the jobs you really want.

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Hi, I am a technical writer, and I’m working on my MA of Professional Writing. You don’t need a MA to do what you want to do though…I just decided to get mine anyways. I know that a great way to get into editing for fiction is to get into copy editing first, maybe corporate communications, advertising, content writing, web design, etc… Once you get that experience, you’ll be extremely competitive in the publishing field. There’s a huge need for copy editors and content writers right now, and with your BA you can easily get something entry-level. It’s also a great way to support yourself if you’re starting out, want to write fiction on the side, or eventually become an editor of fiction.

But also don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Apply to junior editing positions at publishing houses, your BA should qualify you for that too. But consider copy editing as well for a start. It’s very lucrative Even though it’s technical writing, it’s all translatable skills, and lots of editors in publishing these days start out as copy editors on the technical side/corporate side/maybe even science writing (also really lucrative with a big need for writers, just a writing degree would qualify you and an eagerness to learn). Lots of fiction writers work as copy editors too. It’ll help you be well-rounded and get you jump-started on your career, plus the salary range tends to be very good. I hope that helps.


Out of curiosity, how does one become a science writer/science editor? Just, y’know, in case things go south at my new job :rofl:

:point_left: :point_left: :point_left: <pretend those are finger guns

just here to say hi bc i recognized you from tiktok :eyes: hope you find the answers you’re looking for!

If you can put together a portfolio, even with some fictional examples, and if you can write grants, you can get into the field very easily. They are especially desperate for grant writers. I got started just by applying for grant positions and literally saying in the cover writer “I’m looking for entry level experience and I’m good at writing” lmao. I won a grant for one company just by figuring it out on my own. Then from there I never had trouble finding work, both as a copy editor, content writer, or grant writer for research groups. Science writing is lucrative and there’s such a desperate need for writers in the field, most companies are friendly to entry level people and I had no trouble getting a start in it. It just took confidence really


Huh, that’s so cool! I have had a decent amount of experience with writing papers and grants as part of my degree, so I’ll keep that in mind! Also it’s super impressive that you got a grant for a company on your first try. Competition for funding is fierce right now. If you don’t mind my asking, what country are you working in?

USA. Lots of grant opportunities for COVID research right now, and federal funding is a little more eager to fund strong treatment/research proposals so I got lucky there. What was your degree in?

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Neuroscience and rare diseases, so probably not nearly as lucrative :sweat_smile:

While you’re job searching, you can freelance.

Hey, if you have a writer friend you edit for, even if they don’t actually pay you in money, you can list that as experience.
But don’t lie, of course, regarding what type of editing you did. Just know that even unpaid work counts if it’s work you’re proud of.

If you’re confident in your experience, freelance for money. There are tons of writers that want cheep editing. Use that as valuable experience you can list on your resume/CV (and it will be valuable experience indeed).

Good luck!

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