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Winners of the Semester 2 Become an Editor Scholarship

Posted by Capstone Editing on 18 October 2021

Round 2 Winners of the Become an Editor Scholarship!

We know how many people out there would love to become editors but aren’t in a position—especially in today’s economic climate—to pay for the training required.

To assist, in Semester 1 this year, we launched the Become An Editor scholarship to give five people in need the opportunity to train to become professional editors. The prize is our course, Your Editing Career Launched, which is a comprehensive online program designed to ensure graduates are career ready.

We received hundreds of applications. So many, in fact, that we decided to offer this scholarship once per semester instead of once per year. And now, I am so pleased to introduce to you the five winners of round two of our Become An Editor scholarship.

Below, they each introduce themselves and explain why being an editor is their dream profession. Please join us in wishing them all the best for their training and their future careers as editors!

Catherine Van

My name is Cat, and I’m a digital marketer from Brisbane. Writing and theatre were my first loves. As a teenager, I pursued playwriting and won the Queensland Theatre Company’s George Landen Dann Award some years later. But it wasn’t until I worked with a dramaturg that I truly understood the transformative power of a good editor. Dramaturgs are the editors of the stage, and like all editors, they have an intimate knowledge of the different genres of writing and a deep respect for each writer’s voice. They quietly work with writers to refine their script’s key themes, language and structure—word by word and line by line. Most importantly, a good editor or dramaturg doesn’t shape a work so it sounds more like them, but more like the writer at their shining best—at their most articulate, passionate, logical and persuasive. This requires a selfless attitude combined with a huge depth of knowledge of the craft of editing and the conventions of each genre, plus an ability to inspire confidence in the client.

Over the past few months, I’ve undertaken a little editing work for clients while scrambling to learn on the job. In the process, I’ve discovered a fresh love of refining each piece so that it helps the client to captivate their ‘audience’ and realise their vision for their work, whether it’s a PhD proposal, a master’s thesis, a cover letter, a college admissions essay, a grant application or a piece of creative writing. Recently, I’ve started to realise the parallels between the satisfaction I receive from editing and how one of my biggest influences, the late John du Feu, helped me. John was the former artistic director of the Darwin Theatre Company, and he was my playwright mentor, dramaturg, editor and good friend. He was pivotal in helping me to find my own voice as a writer. Being an editor is my dream career because it would give me great joy to one day help my future clients in the same way.


Vanessa Neale

I have always wanted a career that involved the English language. From the time I was small, I have been reading and writing for fun, and my love for the technical side of English followed on from there.

In 2015, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science (BSc), majoring in Zoology and Ecology, from James Cook University in Cairns. I thrived in the science field and discovered a passion for research and scientific discovery. Itching to do some original research of my own, I then completed an Honours project investigating the venom of the spine-bellied sea snake. I published two papers from my research in peer-reviewed journals, which was a satisfying achievement.

I now want to combine my English-language abilities and academic experience to become an academic editor. I will get to draw on all my experience and skills in areas I enjoy. With thanks to Capstone Editing, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to complete the Your Editing Career Launched course, which will give me a big boost towards my goal.


Jessie Marshall

I am fascinated by words and their power to communicate complex ideas, disseminate new information, entertain and inspire. I’ve always surrounded myself with books. This passion for reading ultimately led me to earn a master’s degree in English with a concentration in Technical and Professional Communication.

Over the years, I’ve been an obituarist, copywriter, virtual assistant and, most recently, the creative services manager for a destination event management company. These days, I stay home full time with my two children. Even though I’ve been out of the workforce for the last two years, being a stay-at-home parent has taught me more about time management and perseverance than any previous job. I want to apply this newfound drive to my dream career as an editor.

I am excited to hone my editing skills with Capstone Editing. Freelance editing provides the versatility I need to remain dedicated to my family at home while also utilising my love of reading. I love how the process of editing can totally transform a piece of writing. Word choice, consistency and grammar have a major impact. I look forward to helping others craft amazing things with their words.


Emily Halloran

A lifelong affair with reading, a passion for grammar and an eye for detail contributed to my goal to become an editor. I’ve always been a word nerd and enjoyed obscure punctuation marks and etymological connections; learning new words is a true delight. Recently, I discovered plain language and am passionate about helping writers create their best work.

Since 2015, I have been editing students’ work in Australian and British high schools. Then, in 2019, a colleague and friend asked me to proofread her historical fiction manuscript; this was my first taste of editing, and it was utterly satisfying. Since then, I have edited more fiction manuscripts, journal articles, theses and cover letters. Now, I’m looking to leave teaching for the greener pastures of editing—I’ve packed my trusty red pen and am ready for this new challenge!


Maite Garde

As a writer, I strive to bring words to life and resonate with their positive energy. Being bilingual sparked my interest in language and words. From an early age, writing was my form of healing, and my expression varied according to my emotions. Reading widely across genres has helped me develop a personal sense of identity. After completing a Master of Literature and Counselling, I emerged as a deeper listener, writer and editor. In my role as a counsellor, I often hear people struggling to find words to express themselves. The experience of lecturing international students gave me a better understanding of how words can lend life to a subject, engage a class and empower learners to become better writers in English. It was satisfying to help students develop writing that flows well by finding the right words to express an idea.

Helping someone improve their writing can be incredibly rewarding and satisfying. I carefully choose my words, whether I am writing or speaking and hope to develop my editing skills with Capstone Editing to enrich the writing of Australia’s non-English speaking community. Being an editor is my dream career because I love variety, flexibility and independence. Freelance editing gives me the freedom to set my own hours, schedule and choose projects, which allows me to develop an authentic career and life path.

Capstone Editing

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