I think one of the most important skills you can have as an editor is the ability to evaluate work on its merits and understand the potential of a story, even if it needs some work. What’s the writer’s main thesis? Are they doing a good job of supporting that thesis or do they need some help getting their point across? Oftentimes, the writer is so attached to their work they may not have the ability to see the story as an outsider and point out weak areas, and that’s ok if the story has potential. Your job as an editor is think of every store as what it can be, and determine if the author has the ability to see the story through to its end. Many times the writer just needs some guidance, and that’s the story you want to edit. Other times the piece may be too ambitious, or there may be major structural and/or writing problems: Stories that need too much work to meet their potential are one’s you’ll want to take a pass on. It also helps if you can see the story from the writer’s perspective. When you’re in the editing process, don’t think about what you can fix, think about what the author is trying to get across and how you can help facilitate that goal. Every writer has a unique style and it’s important to honor that throughout the editing process. Develop an ear for the tone and cadence of the story and stay true to that as you edit. There’s gong to be random sentences that need to be rewritten and paragraphs often get cut but, overall you want the story to be one that is in the author’s own voice. Finally, the most important skill to learn is how to be self-governing. The actual job of editing is a very solitary process. It’s incredibly important to learn how to manage your time, set firm deadlines for yourself and your writers, and “own’ the stories that you’re editing. And if you’re a procrastinator, you’ll want to break that habit now because you’re going to constantly be working against the clock and this is a field where being late can have huge consequences and is simply unacceptable.