As Editor-in-Chief, I edit multiple stories every day for online daily posting, and also edit print stories for all five cycles. I read and edit everything before it is published. With so much editing, I have tried to make the process run smoother by introducing as many guidelines and writing tips as possible so that the editors can focus on refining stories while preserving the writer's voice.

Providing structure

Before the school year began, I created these writing templates for each section to guide staff members through the writing process. Editors copy and paste the correct template into the writer's FLOW document, and they have a checklist of all of the elements required – featured image, multimedia, headline – in addition to a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to write an article for that section. The wording of each step is very open and encourages writers to explore alternative structures, but it is there for them to refer to if they don't know where to start. Subsequently, editors can refer to the templates and ease the workload of their editing as writers can access this built-in guidance.

New multimedia guidelines

 As broadcast and podcast creation picked up momentum in the fall, I heard from many editors that it took them hours to edit each story because there were no guidelines or standards that we could refer back to. So, I created these checklists for different types of multimedia to ensure that every staff member had a document for guidance and as a way to ease stress from the editors.

This is a document I stumbled upon where the writer had copy and pasted the template.

Positive feedback

No matter how many articles I edit on a given day – during the editing process for a print cycle, the total online and print articles that I edit can amount to a dozen in one night – I always leave a couple of sentences of specific positive feedback. I still remember when I was a reporter in Grade 9 and the Editor-in-Chief at the time commented at the end of one of my articles that I "knocked it out of the park." That specific comment has stuck with me after all this time. I am committed to giving the same attention and care to each article and encouraging writers to keep improving their skills.

Editing mini lessons

 In the fall, I noticed that I was leaving upwards of 50 edits or comments on most stories, and thought it would be beneficial to remind the editors of some editing basics. I presented this slideshow that I made on the "Editing ABCs." The acronym is pulled from a lecture that I attended while at Northwestern's Medill summer program.

This is one page from an article that was three pages in total, published in January.

Rather than simply replacing the word, I kept this edit open-ended so that the writer was able to develop their own writing style and voice.

Open-ended editing style

As you can see in the image to the left, most of my edits are left as comments. I like to ask the writer rhetorical questions so that when they rewrite or restructure paragraphs, it still sounds like them. Would it require less time to go in and rewrite sentences? Probably. But, I wouldn't have found that helpful as a new writer, and consequently wouldn't have been as proud to see my name in print for the first time. So, I am more than willing to engage in conversations and challenge writers to explain their intentions rather than just edit for the sake of pushing out content quickly.