Brush up on your editing terms
Writer and editors have various terms and jargon that go with the profession. Here are just a few of the commonly used terms and their definitions.
Article tracking form: A form used to follow the progress of an article through the production process.
Big picture editing: Editing with attention to the overall structure.
Callout: A quote from the article printed in large type. It is usually placed on the second or subsequent spread of an article. Callouts serve as a design element and create reader curiosity about the article content.
Editorial plan: A detailed description of the magazine’s content, including what types of articles will appear and descriptions of regular columns and features.
First rights: The right to publish a work the first time, after which publishing rights return to the author.
Guidelines for writers: A written statement describing how to submit material and what kind of material is accepted.
Magazine profile: A description of the magazine’s purpose, intended readers, format, content, tone, and overall design.
Pass (as in first or second pass): Each incidence of reading through and making changes in an article.
Passive verb: A verb in which the subject is acted upon. For example: “The book was read by her.” In English, an active verb is a stronger construction. An example of an active construction would be: “She read the book.”
Query/query letter: A letter in which a writer proposes writing a specific article for a publisher.
Rights: The legal right to publish a certain work.
Seasonal material: Material that is linked to and published during or prior to a season—for example, Christmas or summer.
Sidebar: A small article related to the main article and presented alongside it, often in a box.
Simultaneous submission: A query or manuscript that is submitted to more than one publication at the same time.
Style sheet: A written description of a publication’s style on ambiguous matters such as capitalization, punctuation, use of numbers, and the like.
Target audience: The audience a magazine is intended to reach.
Transition: A verbal bridge connecting paragraphs or sections.
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