Committed as a Teaching Press: Copyediting and Digital Editing

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By , February 29, 2012 3:46 pm

The University Press of North Georgia is proud to be a teaching press and is committed to providing NGCSU college students with real-life instructions and internship experience in a variety of different arenas of publishing.  One of the ways this is accomplished is through the “Intro to Publishing” class offered by the English Department and taught by Dr. Bonnie Robinson, UPNG Director.

Continuing to learn about copyediting, the students have been focusing on learning proof reading symbols. Jason Dyer, our student of the week, stated that

Whether one is a writer or an editor, it is essential to understand the meaning of proof reading symbols and editorial jargon.

In order to properly understand the proofreading symbols, the students refer to The Chicago Manual of Style. The chart they have been using appears here.

The past few weeks, the students in “Intro to Publishing” have also been digging into different topics on their own and giving presentations on their findings, learning about teaching and researching in the process.  Jason Dyer explains what he has learned from this process:

Each week a student has delivered a ten-minute presentation on a given topic that relates to the course material.  Last week Cara Cunningham spoke about online copyediting.  She shared essential information on Microsoft track changes as the standard medium for digital editing.  She also spoke about the many types of companies that specialize in online copyediting. By pointing the way to these companies, Cara blazed the trail for any ambitious student with the desire to seek immediate employment.  The common thread of the presentations, each week a student opens a doorway into a different aspect of the publishing industry exposing students to a new set of opportunities.  This coming Tuesday we will discover the fascinating world of indexing with Rachel Alsup.

From the students I have spoken with on campus, they seem to really enjoy this class and the practical skills they learn from it.  Jason was no exception, declaring:

Personally, I appreciate the dynamics of this class.  Seamless integration of student participation, online learning, and open communication within the boundaries of a solid framework built by Dr. Robinson reflect the essence of a true teaching press.

Free Peak Friday–Stonepile Writers’ Anthology–The Tragedy of the Wooden Girl

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By , February 24, 2012 6:11 pm

The Tragedy of the Wooden Girl

by Lauren Pass

Dear Audience, do please gather around—the show is soon to begin,

Please take your seats—come one, come all! Ladies, children, men!

The show you are about to see has never been seen before,

You’re soon to see such smoke and fire—deceitfulness galore!

You’ll meet an evil puppeteer—glowing eyes beneath his hood.

And you shall meet the girl he beat and turned her into wood.

And you’ll meet the awful witch—full of misery so tragic,

And in a blink, you’ll know the drink composed with deadly magic.

Now I urge you kindly while you sit back and relax,

To heed these words as warnings as I present the facts.

Sweet muse, please bless this audience to have wisdom within

To stray away from magic. Now I must straight begin:


There once lived a puppeteer—He was a younger fellow,

With skin as pale as snow and hair the color yellow.

And he had his many treasures and magic potions, too.

His life was a circus show in hopes of fooling you.

His language was quite pleasing, flowing smoothly with his lies,

Stories of his hero days blind unexpected eyes.

But his show is quite appealing; he’ll dazzle with delight,

Stories of conquered enemies and ghostly unseen frights.

Yes! He saved a damsel—battled goblins in a hall.

And though untrue, his stories grew—the lies he told to all!

And though his stories were so laced with lies and much deceit,

There was one character in his show the audience must now meet.

He conjured up his powers to make her act and sing,

But first, I’ll tell the tale of her life before the strings:


Before she turned to solid wood and life fled from her soul,

She was as real as you and me—a human being whole.

As loving as a girl could be—she had the best of friends,

All of them marked their unity in ink until the end.

And she lived a colorful life—her head turned from fear,

But soon she met her demise when she met the puppeteer.

She did not heed their warnings when her friends gave the notion

To never trust a puppeteer when he offered her his potion.

But, my his words were honey as he decided to fix her

As his little puppet-girl with his magical elixir.

And as she took that fatal sip, he fastened her strings on,

And her friends were cast away for she was too far gone.


And now the puppeteer harnessed all of his black power

Over his little puppet right through the darkest hour.

And, my, the awfully funny things he would make his puppet do!

Dear audience, heed this warning as I present these things to you:

To make sure she was powerless and he maintained control,

He wound her strings just right so she would play a role.

And as he tugged her long strings left and to the right,

She weebled and she wobbled—such a pitiful sight.

For he could dress his puppet up, and he could dress her down,

He fixed a mask upon her face so she never wore a frown.

But when the puppeteer grew tired, he’d cast her far aside,

And tie the blindfold ‘round her eyes so his misdeeds he could hide.

And though the little puppet knew her master was a trickster,

She had begun to love him and his powerful elixir.

And though the puppeteer had other puppets on his shelf,

The wooden girl was wrong-convinced he loved only herself.


But the puppeteer was not alone in his wicked games,

To do his wicked deeds, he called a lowly witchy dame.

For like the puppeteer, she had a book of evil spells,

Dear Audience, keep open ears as I woefully do tell:

Though she came from riches, a charlatan was she,

And pompously decided that a tyrant she would be.

Quite a roomy woman—a body many could enjoy.

That’s why another woman and man at once she did employ.

And my! She had a cackle and hair as black as night,

And as she prissed, her lips did hiss—a horrid awful sight.

And much like the puppeteer, she played the stealing game,

She could take away a life, a soul, a person, a name.

And when the puppeteer showed her his little wooden girl,

The witch began a brewing, and her wicked spell unfurled.

A true ventriloquist—she took away the puppet’s voice,

And the puppet served another master against her choice.

They kept the puppet filled to the brim with liquid fire,

And kept a watchful eye—their slave they did admire.


And now we see the once real girl with woodenly affliction,

And to this magic poison brewed?—a horrible addiction.

And how much brew did she consume? One, two, three, four, five.

Though made of wood, the magic brew could make her feel alive.

And she could think no longer for the magic kept her drowned,

And to this world of show and lies was she securely bound.

But when the curtains pulled way back, the master took his strings,

The witch would grip her muted lips, and the puppet-girl would sing.

And the show, it would begin—her audience was the world,

She bent the facts with her low act—convinced she was a girl.

But when she tried to freely walk, her limbs went clickity-clack.

And with those strings, she had no wings. No bone within her back.

And falseness soon began to ooze where lips used to make a sound,

She found that things were different in a world turned upside down:


And in this world, things were always different than they seemed.

The sunshine was so shady and the moonlight ever beamed.

And in this world, it was your newfound friends that brought you down.

You trade your truth in for a lie—Lost and nothing found.

And you could take two whole steps back and feel as though you’ve gained,

And you could live through magic—consequence without the pain.

And you could change right for left and enemy for friend.

You could sell your soul and have no currency to spend.

But the most bizarre of tricks the puppet girl knew well—

For it was she who held the key to the greatest trickster spell.

But the spell she knew so well concerns not you or me.

Because she cannot fool us all-the spell fools only she.

She fixes and she mixes the poison she must drink,

And she can make it disappear and make her saneness shrink.

And my! The awfully strangely things that follows where she goes.

The spell can make her feel no shame when dignity disrobes.

Dear Audience, she is the best magician I can conceive!

For what other puppet can lie to one’s self and still believe?


Dear Audience, the time has come for this tale to take its close,

For the story of the puppet girl took place some time ago.

And solemnly, I must reveal that she was never cured,

And besides what I have told, there’s little left I’ve heard.

All that’s left are brittle clippings in a forgotten file.

And we know her puppet show lasted only a short while.

For though she lived her puppet life only to so please.

And though she lost most everything and through blind eyes did see,

The fans, they did grow weary of the same show every night.

And though the puppet drank her potion with all of her might,

The fans began to fade away and look in finer things,

And soon the puppet was dead wood dangling from strings.

And when the puppeteer and witch could use her nevermore,

They closed their little theatre and promptly shut the doors.

And though the puppeteer kept the wooden girl to himself,

He soon found pleasure with other girls kept upon his shelf.

And the witch kept her ways and consumed too much of brew,

And as she faltered and she swayed, her roominess—it grew!

And soon she realized her fate, and the world—she so despised,

But, soon she choked on her own smoke; keeled over and then died.


The puppet girl lies dormant—the wood became so rotten,

And what we knew of her real life was very soon forgotten.

For all we’ll ever know of her is how the show now ends,

Without a fan throughout the world; without a true found friend.

For the puppeteer stored the wooden girl away,

Inside a tight-bound box where the dust has took its stay.

So, you see, dear Audience, I shall sum up if I can,

The wooden girl was better off before the show began.

And though the fool’s gold shines, it also does deceive,

And all we know of magic is only make-believe.

And so we learn that all that glitters is not truthful gold,

And that is all I know of the story that I’ve told.

And now this show is over, please exit single file,

As I hope this story stays with for a while.

So cling to you true self and cling to truthful friends,

And so concludes the story of the puppet girl—The End.

This poem was reprinted from The Stonepile Writers’ Anthology with the Author’s permission.  For information on how to order The Stonepile Writers’ Anthologies, click here.


Committed as a Teaching Press: Applying Grammar Skills to Real Life

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By , February 22, 2012 5:35 pm

The University Press of North Georgia is proud to be a teaching press and is committed to providing NGCSU college students with real-life instructions and internship experience in a variety of different arenas of publishing.  One of the ways this is accomplished is through the “Intro to Publishing” class offered by the English Department and taught by Dr. Bonnie Robinson, UPNG Director.

This week, the students continue to learn about copyediting, sharing the following observations and learning outcomes, especially focusing on the importance and practicality of grammar skills.

Kristian Burks:

An editor must be willing and able to adapt according to each individual project throughout their career. Their job doesn’t stop at correcting grammatical errors; they must revise confusing passages while maintaining the author’s original tone. Editors must make the hard decisions concerning what aspects of the plot works and what the author will need to change in order to offer the reader the best experience possible.

Taylor Wade:

Our class has recently been given copyediting assignments. These assignments allow us to experience one aspect of an editor’s role in the publication process. Last week, we looked at editorial reports. This week, we build on the process by continuing our work with an author. After reading over the manuscript, receiving the reader’s report, and initially contacting the author, the editor must now work through the actual editing process of the manuscript.

Editing consists of two parts simultaneously working together. An editor must first know and properly perform editing marks. What good is having a knowledge of what the sentence should look and sound like if the editor can’t express the needed corrections to the author? This stage of editing causes editors to play by the book, so to speak. If a comma needs to be inserted or taken out, the editor must know the proper copyediting technique to inform the author what needs correcting.

The other part of editing involves a sense of grammatical knowledge and feel that sometimes cannot be taught. An editor must ensure a manuscript flows within a story. Sometimes this change involves a simple addition or subtraction of a comma; sometimes this change involves switching a sentence from active to passive voice, and vice versa; other times, this change involves moving entire paragraphs to different parts of the story for the sake of fluidity and comprehension. This only comes in time with more experience in the field and, while we can get it, in the classroom.

Do you have an editor that you appreciate? How have your grammar skills helped you in your field?

Winners of the Stonepile Writers’ Giveaway!

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By , February 20, 2012 6:58 pm

Congratulations to

Mary Jo Hester and Scott Thompson

the winners of the Stone Writers’ Giveaway!


Overall, we had forty entries into the drawing; thank you to all who participated! We will be having more giveaways and contests in the future, both on this blog and on Goodreads, so keep checking back to the blog and friend us on Goodreads to read more about them.

Free Peak–Stonepile Writers’ Anthology, Vol. II — Butterfly House

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By , February 17, 2012 3:36 pm

Butterfly House

by Miriam Rainwater

Inside the butterfly house
A dim, worrisome silence
With a giddy cry
For relief.

The butterflies’ batting wings
Brush against each other
Begging to be let out
And know peace.

The walls that held them in
Feel their tension.
Causing the house to shake
With fears.

Words tumble out of the chimney
Of the haunted house.
All the other houses in the neighborhood
Are watching.

And then the moment ends—
The butterflies rest,
The house settles down
To recover.

Inside the butterfly house
A bright, peaceful silence.
The student’s form relaxes—
Presentation complete.

This poem was reprinted from The Stonepile Writers’ Anthology, Vol. II with the Author’s permission.  For information on how to order The Stonepile Writers’ Anthologies, click here.

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