Q: I have been looking around for different areas in which to use my skills, and copyediting sounds very interesting. I am a court reporter and 90 percent of my work involves editing and proofing. Am I way out of my league here or would it be possible to get into this field with my experience as a word master/editor?
Also, what are the standard education requirements for someone looking to get into this field?
A: You already are practicing some key copy desk skills, such as detail orientation, accuracy and a mastery of language. Other key skills are an interest in news and good news judgment, as well as the ability to negotiate with people.
Editing is one of the few areas in journalism where a test can indicate whether a person has applicable skills. In fact, taking a test can be very similar to editing copy on deadline. I would push for the test and for an interview. Every piece of paper you submit, from résumé to cover letter to critique (if requested) will be seen as a sample of your work and must be, of course, perfect.
Copy editing is also an area in journalism where talent is in short supply, and this helps people who are trying to break in, as well.