A Special Green Room Q&A: Editing Your Writing with Flo Selfman

Event Details


This is a MEMBERS ONLY event

  • Event Date:
    Monday, July 11, 2022 at 7:00 pm
  • Members:
    FREE!

IWOSC Members will be sent the link to the Zoom event.

Event Description


This month’s Green Room is a special Q&A event on editing and proofreading with Flo Selfman, past president of IWOSC and a member of IWOSC’s Leadership Board.

Consider this: you’ve finished your book, given the manuscript to a designer, only to discovered spelling and punctuation errors. Or you’re ready to self-publish, got the thumbs up from your writing group, when one of them points out several errors in spelling, punctuation, and facts. What now?

That’s where a copy editor comes in. You wouldn’t go to a fancy party with buttons missing, your skirt wrinkled, and loose threads hanging, would you? A good copy editor knows how to “sweat the small stuff” and get your manuscript as near perfect as possible.
They look for what you’d expect – spelling, grammar and punctuation. But also, there are usage, voice, consistency, accuracy — and, most important, knowing when to ask or research! Some examples are:

  • A functional awareness of other languages
  • Having a broad frame of reference allows them to spot an error like “free reign” (should be “free rein” – letting a horse run without the rider controlling the reins)
  • A functional awareness of other languages
  • Having a broad frame of reference allows them to spot an error like “free reign” (should be “free rein” – letting a horse run without the rider controlling the reins)
  • “Tow the line” (should be “toe the line” – standing behind an imaginary line, or adhering to the rules)
  • “Skaparelli” (should be the fashion designer “Schiaparelli”)
  • Knowing the difference between “chicken á la King” and “Chicken à la King”
  • Knowing which reference sources to rely on.
  • (And, as the joke goes, “the difference between knowing your sht and knowing you’re sht”)

In this session, you’ll learn:

  • The different kinds of editing
  • The difference between a copy editor and a proofreader
  • When you should consider hiring a copy editor
  • What you can do to save your copy editor’s time and your money
  • Who should not say they’re a copy editor
  • What it will cost
  • Why grammar and punctuation matter

We will be recording this event so Green Room participants will not be on camera, other than Flo, Gary & Steven. However, we will be taking your questions live during the event.

Flo SelfmanEx Officio / Immediate Past President

An in-demand copy editor, proofreader and PR consultant, Flo Selfman was one of the first in Los Angeles to teach lively grammar and punctuation review workshops for adults (“Grammar for Grownups”―also the name of a Facebook page she manages―and “Where Do I Put the Apostrophe?”) outside the academic setting. She has been an instructor or guest speaker at UCLA (her alma mater), UCLA Extension, Pepperdine, Loyola, and other academic and nonprofit institutions.

Flo’s editing, copyediting and proofreading credits over the past 15 years include books in many genres, both fiction and nonfiction. They include memoir, self-help, biography, historical fiction, true crime, middle-grade/YA fiction, sci fi-adventure-romance, humor, local history, and reference. Among them are such award-winning titles as Dragon Head by James Houston Turner, Fighting Chance by Alicia Doyle, Super Job Search IV by Peter Studner, Manson Exposed by Ivor Davis, and God Spelled Backwards by Sylva Kelegian. She has even proofread a tech manual, a high-end retail holiday catalog, and copyedited a cookbook.

Flo was IWOSC president from 2003-2006 and 2007-2016. She has been an IWOSC member since 1990 and has served on the board since 1991, holding many key board positions including vice president, director of membership, and director of marketing.

She can often be found exploring LA, camera in hand, and says, “Punctuation is my superpower.”

Website: wordsalamode.com.