Eight-Step Editing came into being in 1985, shortly after a conversation Jim Taylor had with a writer whose article he had edited. After the article was published, the author —a friend of Jim’s— called him, saying, “That was a good article. You really improved it. But it wasn’t my article any more.”

When Jim and the author went over the story line by line, Jim discovered he had hardly let a sentence go without amending something. The result was a clearer, more readable article, but some of the author’s intent had been lost along the way. In many places, he felt that Jim’s words and phrasings had replaced his.

Jim could explain the rationale for everything he had done. But the conversation made him think. How could editors approach a text more objectively? What kinds of changes are most likely to help the reader without rewriting to suit the editor’s own preferences?

The result, after several years of development in consultation with colleagues at Editors Canada, was the hands-on Eight-Step Editing workshop. The course soon became so popular that for more than two decades, Jim travelled across the country several times a year delivering it to associations, government employees, and corporations.

As Jim eased into retirement, he wanted to travel less. So he entered into an agreement under which two longtime colleagues, Moira White and Elizabeth d’Anjou, were licensed to present Eight-Step Editing. Both experienced instructors of various editing topics, they have each presented it for over a decade to groups of all kinds.

Since 2017, Elizabeth and Moira have been full joint owners of Eight-Step Editing.