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Become An Editor Scholarship Winners

Posted by Capstone Editing on 13 July 2021

Become An Editor Scholarship Winners


In today’s brave new world, many people are being forced to change careers or looking for work they can undertake from home. As a result, we’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of people who’d like to become professional editors. Unfortunately, the majority don’t yet have the necessary training or experience. And in these challenging times, not everyone has the funds available to retrain.

To assist, we launched a new scholarship to help five people in need train to become professional editors. The prize was full and indefinite access to our course, Your Editing Career Launched, which is a comprehensive online course designed to ensure graduates are career ready.

The scholarship was open from 22 May to 9 July 2021, and we received hundreds of applications. We were so impressed with the standard of applications for the scholarship that it was honestly, truly, so very difficult to choose only five winners!

We are very proud to announce our five winners. Below, they each introduce themselves and explain why being an editor is their dream profession. Please join us in wishing them the very best for their completion of Your Editing Career Launched and their future careers.

The 2021 Winners

Alicia Gaffney


‘I’ve always been awed by the power of the written word. That these squiggly lines on a page that we call language can alternately build new worlds in our minds, or educate us more on our own, seems like magic to me. It was this passion that inspired me to undertake a Communications degree, with a major in writing, and more recently, a PhD in English literature.

Being an editor is my dream career because I love the versatility the profession allows, from working on academic articles and textbooks to reports, poetry, fiction, blog posts—the list goes on and on! Then, there’s the thrill of finding just the right word to convey a point or the best structure to enable a text to read smoothly. There’s such reward in helping transform a piece of writing so that it reads with maximum clarity and impact.’

Shalom Verghese


‘My name is Shalom Verghese, and I’m a PhD researcher in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University (Clayton). When I was ten, I met a professional editor for the first time. She seemed like a mystical being—akin to one of Santa’s elves or even a Greek goddess. You see, to me, prior to this moment, writing was not a complex process that involved several people but rather an individual straining towards perfection. Since that moment, my dream career has never changed. I was, and still am, driven by a desire to help people with their literary creations. I envision sitting down with different jigsaw puzzles and patiently untangling and curating their labour of love.

There are two main driving forces behind my desire to become an editor. First, I’m a child of immigrant parents. My home was always surrounded by foreign sounds. Mama and Papa would seamlessly shift from their dialect tongues—Tamil and Malayalam—to English. However, a consequence of this was that my words and sentences were always an agglomeration of Malaysian, British, US and Australian English. As someone who knows firsthand how difficult and challenging English can be, being an editor means letting people know that their work, regardless of their diverse background and identity, is safe in my hands.

Second, as a person with a disability, flexibility is an important part of my life. In my mind, being an editor has always meant that I would have the skills necessary to work from home and also make a meaningful impact in the world around me. While I have developed some copyediting skills during my undergraduate and postgraduate years, I have never learned grammar in any of my university units. So, as you can imagine, I was very excited to hear about Your Editing Career Launched, especially since Capstone Editing is Australia’s only academic editing company that is completely run by an academic. I’m confident that after completing this editing course, I will be better positioned to accomplish my professional career goals.’

Timothy Chow

‘I’ve always enjoyed editing writing. I pursued a Bachelors in Education with an English major. This gave me a wealth of experience editing my own essays and assignments. I also have been doing creative writing ever since I was a child. Despite how difficult and occasionally tedious it is, I love the editing process. I love marking things up in red pen and thinking about how to make a passage flow better. I keep most of my first drafts so I can look back and be astonished by how much the editing changed it (and how bad the first draft was!).

I loved editing things for other people as well. The idea of helping people develop their ideas and improve their communication is work I find fulfilling. It’s gratifying watching someone’s work develop over time and listening to people talk about ideas they’re passionate about. As an English teacher, it was my job to help students develop their writing. In editing, I hope to do the same thing with writers dedicated to their craft.

Ultimately, editing is my dream career because it combines two things I love: editing and helping others.’

Emma Greville


‘I’m a stay-at-home mum. I have been for over a decade now. And all five of my kids are alive and well, which is pretty good going. Of course, I haven’t always been just “Mum”. I love words too. In my previous life, I achieved a Master’s in Literary Criticism, taught English around the world, and dabbled in journalism. I write most days, and I’m constantly tinkering with the novel I’m too scared to send off to a publisher. Occasionally, I even win short story competitions.

The beauty of editing is that I can surround myself with the language I so love while still being at home for my family. Freelance editing isn’t the “settle for” job I thought I’d have to pick up after so long out of the workplace; it’s my dream job. The word nerd in me gets stupidly excited when I think about all the reading I’ll get to do. And get paid for it? Yes please! I know that letting someone else read your words is terrifying, writing can be so deeply personal, and I can’t wait to help other people believe in themselves.’

Charbel El-Khaissi


‘I am a linguist, business consultant and data analyst. I have worked in not-for-profit, public and private Australian sectors, as well as for multinational technology giants operating in the artificial intelligence space. Currently, I am a doctoral researcher in historical linguistics at the Australian National University, where I use emerging technologies in the digital humanities to understand grammatical change and evolution across a 1,000-year period. My diverse research interests include formal syntax, the intersection between language and ethnography and the role of orthography during language loss and revitalisation. On my days off, I volunteer as a charcoal portrait artist for the Instagram community page, Sketches & Stories, which showcases human stories across the world through audio and illustration.

I was born and raised in a non-English speaking community in Melbourne. It is in this cross-cultural environment where I developed a knack for English writing and editing in support of my family and community—letter drafting (e.g., appeals), job application writing (e.g., selection criteria) and student editing services (primary, secondary and tertiary). I always found the process of editing like a jigsaw puzzle where the picture is the core message, and the differently shaped pieces are the supporting facts and arguments that have to be fitted together. By developing my editing skills professionally with Capstone Editing, I hope to discover new ways of localising my editing services in a way that preserves the “writing voice” of Australia’s non-English speaking community members, especially among migrant and diaspora communities.’

Capstone Editing

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