Four Editors and a Paragraph

Four Editors and a Paragraph

April 27, 2015

Four Editors and a Paragraph - Open lined notebook with a pencil, pencil sharpener, and pencil shavings

Ideas on Fire is heading to the Drexel University next month to speak on a panel of local Philadelphia-based editors to talk about the different ways editors approach a text.

Four Editors and a Paragraph

Apart from differences in content, the writing across newspapers, magazines and books tends to be consistent in style and mechanics because of the professional editing it receives. Thus the outcomes from the work of multiple editors on the same document will be fairly consistent. Or will they?

Watch the editors on this panel as they describe and justify their edited versions of the same text. These editors will be blinded to the identity of the author of what they edit, but they will be told how deeply to edit, what house style to use, what the word count needs to be, and who the intended audience is.

Part of Drexel University’s 2015 Week of Writing


Dr. Cathy Hannabach ( is an editor and academic consultant, and CEO of Ideas on Fire. She works with academics, artists, and activists whose work foregrounds social justice and interdisciplinarity. Cathy has taught at Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley. She also just finished writing a book called Blood Cultures: Medicine, Media, and Militarisms, which is a cultural history of blood as it shaped 20th century US national/imperial identity.

Brian Baughan, a freelance editor based in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia, works in book publishing and nonprofit communications. He specializes in nonfiction and has an editing portfolio that covers several subjects and genres, including memoir, political theory, education activism, and sports.

Sarah Grey is a freelance writer and editor at Grey Editing LLC in Fishtown, Philadelphia, and the force behind Friday Night Meatballs. Her writing on food, language, politics, women, and the environment can be found at She is also part of the Ideas on Fire team.

Christine Neulieb is a writer, freelance editor, and co-founder of Lanternfish Press. She specializes in editing academic writing (especially the humanities: English, art, political science, and philosophy) and fiction. You can find her on the web at or, and on Twitter @Neulita.

Moderator: Lawrence Souder received his PhD from Temple, and worked for a number of years as a technical writer and editor for IBM and ADP. He teaches graduate courses in communication ethics, technical and science writing and editing, and technical and science graphics. Souder is also the founding director of Drexel Edits, a center for support of nonprofit communications, which offers pro-bono editing services to nonprofit organizations in the neighborhoods that border Drexel University.

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