About

Who I am and how I got here

Who I am and why I’m in EgyptDSC_6276_copy_blue
What my experience is
How I became an editor and indexer
Where I studied
What my professional affiliations are
Who my clients are
What languages I know
What other interests I have
How to pronounce my name

Who I am and why I’m in Egypt

I am a native speaker of American English, though that may not be obvious from my given name, which is Old English. I was born and educated in the United States.

After graduate school I met and married an Egyptian man; eight years and two children later, we moved back to Egypt to take care of his aging parents.

What my experience is

I was a full-time in-house copyeditor from 2003 through  2015, and a part-time freelance copyeditor since 1996. I was the head copyeditor at a major website for four years. Many of the materials I copyedited were written or translated by non-native English speakers. I was an editor of EFL textbooks at a major publisher from 2007 through 2015. In 2014 I added indexing to my skill sets by completing a course at the University of California at Berkeley Extension. My published indexes are listed here.

In addition, I volunteer for the American Society for Indexing (ASI) as the editor of the monthly newsletter See Also, a proofreader of the quarterly bulletin Key Words, and a peer index reviewer. Until recently I was the volunteer managing editor of Corrigo, the newsletter of the Technical Editing Special Interest Group of the Society for Technical Communication (STC). I was a volunteer contributor to the Azar Grammar Exchange for four years (2010-2014). I have taught English as a second or foreign language and other subjects in the United States and Egypt.

More details of my experience can be found below.

How I became an editor and indexer

I’ve always had an eye for detail. While still in the States, I edited research papers for international students. After we moved to Egypt, new friends asked me to edit their dissertations and research papers. Recognizing my skill, they recommended me to publishers and my reputation spread. Both of my in-house positions and most of my freelance gigs came through such recommendations and referrals, a gratifying result of doing good work.

Where I studied

Certificate in indexing, University of California at Berkeley Extension

Arabic language, Fajr Center, Cairo

MA in linguistics and teaching English as a foreign language, Southern Illinois University

BA in English, SUNY at Buffalo

AS in physics, Erie Community College

What my professional affiliations are

I belong to the American Society for Indexing (ASI) and volunteer as the editor of the monthly newsletter See Also, a proofreader for the quarterly bulletin Key Words, and a peer index reviewer. In June 2016 I was a member of a panel discussing mentorships at the annual ASI conference. I also belonged to the Society for Technical Communication (STC) and volunteered as the managing editor of the newsletter for the Technical Editing Special Interest Group. I participate in several forums for editors and indexers.

Who my clients are

My past and present employers and clients include the following companies and many individuals:

American University in Cairo Press, the leading English-language publishing house in the Middle East, publishing academic texts, general interest books, and Arabic literature in translation

Egyptian International Publishing–Longman, a major publisher of English Language Teaching (ELT) textbooks and other materials

Islam Online, in its heyday (when I was the head copyeditor) the world’s largest Islamic website, providing faith-based counseling and various Q&A services, and publishing news as well as articles about Islam, politics, art and culture, health and science

Harf Information Technology, a publisher of Islamic materials on electronic media

Dar as-Salam and Umm al-Qura, translators and publishers of Islamic books for the general public

What languages I know

I am a native speaker of American English. I have knowledge of basic Arabic and Spanish. I cannot translate Arabic, but I can transliterate (romanize) Arabic words and phrases if you provide the tashkeel (vowel marks).

What other interests I have

I enjoy crocheting and sewing, and make most of my clothes. Have you written a book about these crafts that needs editing or indexing? I can do it!

How to pronounce my name

It’s three syllables, with stress on the first: ALF-wi-ne. The vowels are as the vowels in sat – sit – set. Ælfwine is Old English (Anglo-Saxon) and means “elf friend.”

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