Friday, 9 February 2018

The AWC Editing Competition

AWC: Twitter Competition. Round 3.

Describe the competition
The AWC posts a long sentence. Whoever shortens it in the most elegant way without losing any important ideas or information wins the prize.

What is the purpose of the competition?
To draw attention to the editing process and to bust the myth that good writing is just a function of talent and inspiration. There is no ‘good writing’, just good editing.

Absolutely. If writing is about catching your raw ideas, editing is about giving them form. Some people think editing is the same as proofreading, but this is not the case.

You’re  saying editing is not the same as proofreading?
When you proofread, you look for minute errors, but you do not change the text. When you edit, you look for more interesting ways to express your ideas. You do not look for mistakes. You do not beat yourself up. You are supposed to have fun.

So what do the results of the competition tell us about approaches to editing at NUIG.
We got some really funny entries. One person shortened the sentence by getting rid of vowels. Others sent us gifs. There was a lovely poetic attempt: ‘Dragons are friend-shaped’. It didn’t win because it didn’t answer the criteria, but it was very good in its own right. We got some proper responses too, and the sentence was by no means easy. It had a twist in it, that you could easily miss when editing.

What are your hopes for the competition?
That it becomes a campus wide celebration of editing skills.

So when is the next round?
It's on now. Edit the sentence below and tweet it to @AwcNUIG or just email it to

The word ‘procrastination’ , so awkward, and long, is known to so many people and, moreover, it does not seem to have a less erudite-seeming jargon-like equivalent, indeed the strange sound of the word might be the reason so many people nod and stare and appear to look ashamed when that word is mentioned, as if procrastination was a horrible disease specially selected by the gods as a punishment for the students those gods found especially deserving of such punishment, and who perhaps think that the heavy-sounding word derived from Latin might function as a charm against that punishment, whereas it might actually be the case that procrastination might be something good, that it might be just your mind taking a break from a task that you assigned it, and doing something more creative instead, and that if we only had more words to describe the process through which the mind commands one to take breaks in spite of the threat of deadlines, our lives would be easier. 

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