Members' Showcase 2001

Members' Showcase 2001

March 22, 2001
Notes By Rachel Markowitz

The Bay Area Editors' Forum Members' Showcase, also known as "Show 'N Tell," is a chance for forum members to share their most recent projects with their peers. The event, held every year and a half or so, provides an up-close look at what other editors are working on, whether it's books, journals, magazines, or Web sites. It's also a rare occasion to schmooze with fellow editorial freelancers.

The format is simple: attendees lay out their work, some of the pieces flagged with anecdotes or acknowledgments, then either preside at their display or circulate.

Although no golden statuettes were given out at this year's Show 'N Tell, the evening clearly spotlighted the talents of each of the editors in attendance.

For example, the award for Most Diverse Body of Work would go to Kristi Hein. Hein's table featured books that would otherwise not be caught dead together: the iconoclastic How Wal-Mart Is Destroying America next to the serene Garden Pools, Fountains, and Watercourses; the admittedly dry and technical Industrial Heat-Tracing beside the lushly illustrated Art of the State mini coffee-table book series.

"I like variety," Hein said. "It's refreshing to hop around." (For the record, Industrial Heat-Tracing was not as deadly as it sounds: Hein now knows more than most about how heating systems work.)

The award for Most Satisfying Performance would go to Hilary Powers, who had copies on hand of her all-time-favorite editing assignment, a quarterly journal called Leader to Leader. Co-published by Jossey-Bass and the Peter Drucker Foundation, it's "designed to fit on a rosewood table," Powers said, and contains articles written by and for Fortune 500 executives about "how top management should be." Powers's job is to make sure the elegantly written prose stays that way; she also picks pull quotes.

Powers is also runner-up for the diversity prize. Her book projects include Clicks and Mortar, Parents' Complete Guide to Soccer, and a text on dinosaur reproduction.

A 1,632-page tome titled Windows 2000 MCSE Study System would win Linda Turnowski the prize for Weightiest Subject. The hefty book is a study guide for systems engineers preparing for certification. As project editor, Turnowski's tasks included working closely with the author on meeting deadlines, organizing chapters, and maintaining a consistent tone.

The prize for Most Advantageous Career Path would go to David Featherstone, whose former position as publications director at the Ansel Adams Center has led to photography-oriented freelance projects. Featherstone's editing output includes Sacred Legacy, a coffee-table book containing reproductions of classic sepia-tone photos of Native Americans by Edward C. Curtis; Coming into Focus, a book on alternative photographic processes, a multi-author work for which Featherstone reconciled "fifteen answers to the same question"; and two books published by the J. Paul Getty Museum, for which Featherstone moderated, transcribed, and edited the colloquium section.

The award for Most Successful Crossover to Writing would go to Lydia Bird, whose autobiographical book Sonnet: One Woman's Voyage from Maryland to Greece (North Point Press) has received acclaim from The New Yorker and Kirkus Reviews. Bird also ghostwrote a chapter in Etiquette for Dummies, which addresses disabilities. Bird said her favorite type of work is manuscript consulting, but those gigs are few and far between.

Valerie Harris would take home the prize for Most Versatile. Harris, who is also an occupational therapist and musician, until recently worked as assistant managing editor at NurseWeek, where she pitched, assigned, and edited stories. At this Show 'N Tell, she exhibited family projects including a booklet, which she designed, of her father's poems, and three installments of a family newsletter, which she designed, wrote, and edited in anticipation of a family reunion. Harris has also had her hand in all aspects of her neighborhood newspaper as past editor of the New Bernal Journal.

The award for Social Consciousness would go to Jackie Dove, who designed, edited, and copyedited Richard Edmondson's self-published Rising Up, a book on the creation of SF Liberation Radio, a microradio station. Dove also writes for Earth Island Journal, an international environmental magazine, on a volunteer basis. "I do it for free because it's the coolest thing on Earth," she said.

Finally, honorable mentions go to Mary Johnson and Rachel Markowitz. Johnson, editor of Generations, the journal of the American Society on Aging, and director of publications for the ASA, brought some issues of the journal and ASA newsletters. Markowitz displayed copies of catalogs she's copyedited and proofread for Publishers Group West, Williams-Sonoma, and Design Within Reach.



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