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15 Editors Share Their Advice For Young Professionals

"Never stop learning."

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More than 650 copy editors (and yes, over 650 copy editors is just fine too — looking at you, pedants) attended this year's American Copy Editors Society (ACES) conference, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in Portland, Oregon, March 31–April 2.

Wondering what exactly goes on at a copy editors conference? Grammar myths dispelled, inclusive language tips, lexicography facts, career advice, and more! And so we thought this would be a great opportunity to ask word nerds from all corners of the country what advice they had for young and aspiring editors. Many of their responses ring true not only for copy editors but for editors in other disciplines as well.

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We asked a room full of copy editors and language aficionados, "What advice do you have for aspiring editors?" Here are their responses:

1.

"Find a mentor — or be one!"

"Find a mentor — or be one!"

2.

"Read everything. Have a creative outlet."

"Read everything. Have a creative outlet."

3.

"Stop using 'thought leader.' It means nothing and you sound like a cult."

"Stop using 'thought leader.' It means nothing and you sound like a cult."

4.

"Get started via tutoring (yay writing centers!)."

"Get started via tutoring (yay writing centers!)."

5.

"Volunteer at professional conventions, apply for editing and digital internships."

"Volunteer at professional conventions, apply for editing and digital internships."

6.

"Join ACES [the American Copy Editors Society]!"

"Join ACES [the American Copy Editors Society]!"

7.

"Never stop learning."

"Never stop learning."

8.

"Foreign language classes can teach you more grammar than English class!"

"Foreign language classes can teach you more grammar than English class!"

9.

"Don't doubt yourself."

"Don't doubt yourself."

10.

"Study The Copyeditor's Handbook."

"Study The Copyeditor's Handbook."

11.

"Learn to laugh when you make a mistake. If that doesn't help you, there's always chocolate."

"Learn to laugh when you make a mistake. If that doesn't help you, there's always chocolate."

12.

"Work at your school newspaper!"

"Work at your school newspaper!"

13.

"Advocate for what you need so you and your company succeed."

"Advocate for what you need so you and your company succeed."

14.

"Get involved with ACES and connect with those whose work you admire."

"Get involved with ACES and connect with those whose work you admire."

15.

"Don't ask me... I'm still trying to make 'fetch' work."

"Don't ask me... I'm still trying to make 'fetch' work."

All photos by Megan Paolone for BuzzFeed.

Tell us your best advice for young editors in the comments!

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