A publication's editorial staff which is responsible for taking content from writers and presenting them in an interesting, readable format. Working under the supervision of a senior editor, an editorial assistant is a part of the editorial staff that takes on a range of tasks such as proofreading, copywriting, aiding in final design and layout, and maintaining correspondence with writers. In addition, the editorial assistant often executes basic office duties when required, such as answering phones and greeting visitors.
Editorial assistants have input in determining what a publication looks like when it goes to press, so it is important that the prospective applicant has a mastery of the English language, knowing both proper grammar and spelling, as well as how to ensure that a written piece maintains a consistent flow. It is also important for the editorial assistant to possess effective communications skills, to help ensure that the entire editorial team is working cohesively. Many editorial assistants work in an office environment, but as online publications take a larger share of the marketplace, it is not uncommon for editorial assistants to telecommute or work from home. Hours can vary widely, especially when working under deadlines.
The position of editorial assistant is generally considered entry-level. Applicants generally must have a bachelor's degree in English, communications, journalism, or a related field. Additional educational requirements may be necessary for editorial staff of specialized publications, such as those in the science and medical fields.
Editorial Assistant Tasks
- Track, analyze, and report on submissions, authors, and responses to pieces.
- Assist with monitoring and editing content and communicating with writers.
- Provide administrative assistance like filing, correspondence, maintaining calendars, and preparing materials.
- Perform copy edits to enforce conformance with organizational standards and guidelines.