The first thing that I noticed about the Bright Red Publishing office was its size: one room, with five desks within it, and that’s all it takes to run this award-winning company (it won the UK Educational Publishing Company of the Year at the Independent Publishing Awards in 2010 and 2011, and was a runner-up for the UK Independent Publisher of the Year Award at the Bookseller Industry Awards in 2011 and 2014, to name just a couple). One of the desks looked imperiously bare, with minimal stationery on one side. This was the editorial tasks desk – when you’re working through a comparison of two sets of unwieldy proofs, you need all the space you can get.
I spent a good deal of time at this desk over my ten days at Bright Red, working up some valuable editorial experience. All of the professional work I’d undertaken previously had been electronic, so I was excited to get out my red fineliner and get a bit of practice with proofreading marks. One of my first tasks involved ‘translating’ the author’s notes into professional proofreading marks so that they made sense; another job involved making sure that all proofreading marks made by the freelance proofreader had been correctly implemented, and marking up any mistakes I found on the way. The whole process was thorough and painstaking, and all went toward ensuring the result was as high quality as you would expect an educational study guide to be.
I was also trusted with copyediting the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Higher PE portion of the Digital Zone – a task I was itching to get into, as it gave me a good degree of editorial freedom. I was set to smoothing out dozens of pages, and settled right into my editing bubble for two days, clutching a Bright Red style guide and dictionary.
I learned a lot from my time at Bright Red, covering far more than I could hope to cover here. I enjoyed it immensely, too. And only a small part of that was due to the free lunches.