Biography editing: Cliff Trail

A biography by Lois Saunders

Project date: July 2020

Project tasks: Manuscript copyediting and formatting

Copyediting this short biography of about 19,000 words was an absolute pleasure. The author, Lois Saunders, has worked as a print journalist, newspaper editor, magazine publisher and secondary school English teacher.

Cliff Trail tells the story of former weatherman Cliff Spencer, who observed weather around the world for the Australian Navy and the Bureau of Meteorology. His job took him to remote Australian outposts like Meekatharra in Western Australia and Casey Station in Antarctica. The book includes anecdotes and yarns from Cliff in his own words.

One of the things I love most about biography and memoir editing is getting to know another human being through their life journey and experiences. Cliff’s story reveals a loving brother, husband and father who is able to find humour and lightness despite facing adversity.

My copyediting tasks for this biography included:

  • some research and fact checking to ensure accuracy of place names and other details
  • correcting spelling, punctuation, grammatical and typographical errors
  • flagging any legal considerations or ethical issues
  • creating an editorial style sheet to ensure consistency of language and style
  • formatting the document in Word ready for typesetting.

Cliff Trail: A Weatherman’s Journey is available through Amazon.

Cliff Trail book cover biography copyediting

Cover design: Atef Rostom