Proof-reading courses - which are the reputable ones?

(22 Posts)
GeorginaA Sat 06-May-06 19:16:06

Anyone in the business know?

I'd like to be able to build up on some more writing work, but that doesn't seem to be going places at the moment. I know I'm fairly good at scanning through writer friends' work and picking up errors (grammatical, spelling, etc) and I enjoy it, so it seems a fairly sensible route to go in order to boost income while still have the flexibility of being at home.

The problem is, I just can't work out whether all these ads for proof-reading courses are a big rip off or not. From reading some of the websites, the Chapterhouse course looks good - but I was wondering if anyone here has gone that route and found fairly steady work afterwards? What about editors - do you hire people who have done these correspondence courses?

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GeorginaA Sat 06-May-06 19:57:45

Nm... found some old mumsnet threads on them (via Google, didn't find them at all using the search links on Mumsnet - how bizarre?!) - so that would be a "they're crap" then

Oh well, back to the drawing board.

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roisin Sat 06-May-06 20:03:30

GeorginaA - I had some contacts in publishing, and some experience already; and got a (small) publisher to pay for me to do the course as an advance against earnings - and got work that way.

I don't know whether you could do this without any contacts, but if you have a particular area of expertise then ringing round some small publishers might be worth a go. You might happen on a company that is short of editors/proof readers.

Generally I've found the Chapterhouse courses to be very poorly regarded in the industry.
I did a Basic Editing course (which doesn't seem to exist any more) with Book House . It was very thorough, but tbh the only way to really learn to edit or proof read is to do a lot of it.

manitz Sat 06-May-06 20:06:54

there are two partic good publishing courses and two main colleges who are known for their practical postgrad stuff (rather than academic pub courses). They are West Herts college in watford and London college of printing, they might also run shorter courses (the postgrad stuff is sept=march full time although cheaper than an mba 10 years ago was about 800 quid).

also when you work in publishing there are a lot of courses at what used to be bookhouse in wandsworth. - think it might be publishing training centre or something now.

friends of mine who work in sort of editing/proofreading stuff at home have generally worked for a publisher b4 having kids. It's all about contacts and understanding the business (for editing stuff) but proofreading is a simple technique so they just want to know you are reliable as lots of people have that kind of skill. hth

GeorginaA Sat 06-May-06 20:08:09

Yes, I'm discovering from my Google search that Chapterhouse are fairly looked down on.

I think I'll probably get the Trevor Horwood book on proofreading and copy editing that gets recommended a lot (at the very least, learning about copy-editing has got to help me improve my writing and it'll give me a feel for whether my interest is strong enough to warrant a more expensive course with Book House).

Did you start out in the editing/publishing business before having children? I knew I should have done something more exciting with my life pre-kids instead of customer services

Problem is, I'm floating a bit at the moment... don't really know WHAT I want to do. Except I don't want to do customer services again. I'm positive on that score!

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GeorginaA Sat 06-May-06 20:10:35

Thanks manitz - I'm not London based, so many of the colleges are pretty much ruled out for me - it'd have to be correspondence. The Book House ones do look good - but will require a rather substantial "saving up" period on my part, heh.

"It's all about contacts" - I'm discovering most of life is :/ I really should have made some at some point...

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expatinscotland Sat 06-May-06 20:11:00

Thanks, roisin (that's DD2's name )!

manitz Sat 06-May-06 20:14:18

yes i think you are replying to roisin but i forgot to add that chapterhouse aren't rated. also there are custmoer services in publishers. I used to work for an educational publisher and we really wanted mums because we needed people to work termtime only and school hours. once you are in you can get a good overview of the business and move into other parts/go freelance. Almost all our freelancers were ex employees often whod gone to have kids.

just a thought.

roisin Sat 06-May-06 20:16:52

Yes, I worked for Oxford University Press pre-kids. My intention was to do freelance editing/proofreading, but in the end it didn't suit me - my primary need was to get out of the house ... not to agonise over the advantages of a spaced en dash over an em dash

It brings out the worst in me. I can't believe I have just spent a couple of minutes cogitating whether it should be "en dash" or "en-dash"!

And the money's not great either, when you consider you get no sick pay, no holidays, and you might wait ages for a job then when you get one it's always needed desperately urgently...

GeorginaA Sat 06-May-06 20:18:44

That's a fab idea manitz and you won't believe how much I'm regretting moving out of London right now.

I'm fairly certain that similar opportunities aren't in abundance out in Worcester :/ Term time only/school hours contract would be lovely...

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GeorginaA Sat 06-May-06 20:20:10

laugh ... you're really selling it well roisin .

I'm only joking, I need to hear this stuff. I'm just stuck in a "well what are you going to DO with your life, woman!" quandary...

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manitz Sat 06-May-06 20:23:31

Georgina, know what you mean about contacts, i just can't be arsed myself so that's one reason i left that industry as its such a big part of it. another thought i had is for you to trawl the bookfair (unfortunatly it's march so next year) and start making some. know we used to have freelancers approach us at the fair and sometimes it works better than letters or phonecalls as you see the person and can make judgements.

also look at the bookseller if you haven't already. you can easily spot who is who and it has trade information (courses etc). finally there are colleges incornwall and in sterling which also has links with publishing trade.

finally finally, from my feeble memory of my course you just get told to read backwards. Not really a completer finisher me, so never a proofreader!

manitz Sat 06-May-06 20:28:42

erm where is worcester? is it sort of midlandsy? just that there is a huge educational publisher in cheltenham - anywhere near you? and loads of publishers are working on a really small profit margin so are often outside of london. there cld be one near you...

when i moved from publishing i considered universities/councils/govt as they all have publishing as part of their jobs and much better rates and terms than publishers.

so not a completer finisher and not v good a geog....

yoyo Sat 06-May-06 20:31:25

Roisin - when were you at OUP? DH worked on the OED for a couple of years. Your paths might have crossed!
I worked for Elsevier in Summertown and I do think it is all about contacts. I have kept in touch with someone who has said he would recommend me if I ever wanted to edit again.

Greensleeves Sat 06-May-06 20:38:04

I worked for Elsevier for a bit, on Spires Business Park in Kidlington

GeorginaA Sat 06-May-06 20:40:14

Cheltenham isn't far - would need to sort out serious childcare though for that which would need thinking through. Hmm... lots of things to think about.

A friend has just pointed me towards freelancers.net which is mainly techy stuff (PHP programmers etc) but also occasionally has writing/copy-editing/proof reading stuff there, so maybe that's a starting point...

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roisin Sat 06-May-06 21:38:37

94-97 yoyo, plus did a little bit of temping for them for a few years after that.
Music Dept.

morningpaper Sat 06-May-06 21:41:41

Georgina I've done some proof reading for various publishers and it was the hardest money I've ever earnt

the hourly pay might seem good but the hours go VERY SLOWLY INDEED

yoyo Sat 06-May-06 22:05:00

Roisin - yes, he was there then! Did you ever venture down to OED? I did a bit for them too but we moved shortly afterwards.

Greensleeves - which journal(s)? Might have been one of my babies!

yoyo Sat 06-May-06 22:06:05

Roisin - yes, he was there then! Did you ever venture down to OED? I did a bit for them too but we moved shortly afterwards.

Greensleeves - which journal(s)? Might have been one of my babies!

roisin Sun 07-May-06 07:35:36

Yoyo - I only went in the OED room a couple of times actually. (We were the other end of the building). I loved the atmosphere in there - fantastic place.

JasonMoreno Sun 17-Jan-21 00:48:36

I wish to point out that I lost the sum of £146 recently sent to a
company called Chapterhouse Publishing which failed to send me a package for acourse as promised on the 24th of November 2020. I cannot get anywhere with this company to chase up my consumer rights as they do not listen to me. They simply ignore or dis-regard my many emails saying that I have to take things further legally to even get a response from them by email. I have lost quite a lot of money for which I have received nothing back from the company concerned.

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