Case Study: Tablet Magazine

Jaime L. Brockway
3 min readFeb 25, 2023

How I helped Tablet Magazine by copyediting a longform article in two days

A woman grips a pencil with two hands and chews it in frustration while staring at her laptop computer screen
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash


In November 2022, Tablet Magazine, whose daily newsletter I edit, asked me to copyedit an unprecedented project: a 24,000-word story that would be published just after the Jewish holidays.

(FYI, that’s the size of a novella. The daily newsletter is 1,300–2,500 words.)

“It’s an incredibly moving and profound piece, and a pleasure to read,” the editor told me. The copy would be ready for me in mid-December, and I would have a week and a half to edit it.

Tablet has talented writers on staff and publishes nuanced, thought-provoking content, so I eagerly added the project to my schedule.


On December 5, the same editor emailed me again: “Can you edit it in two days if I send it to you tomorrow?” Ah, news organizations with their fluid timelines.

It was Tablet’s biggest magazine event of the year. All hands were on deck, and the design team had put in a lot of work to make the digital story look amazing.

The editors at Tablet had been immersed in this story for months and needed fresh eyes.


Because it was the end of the year, when everyone tries squeezing in projects before the holidays, my agenda was packed.

But I rearranged my entire schedule. I burned the midnight oil. And I delivered the copyedit of what was indeed an incredible story to the editor by the required deadline.

I gave this incredible piece justice by removing errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, syntax, and style, and I flagged discrepancies in dates, names, and other details in a story that features a web of many storylines.

You can read the story, “The Rower” by David Samuels.


Here is the resulting testimonial from the editor, Jeremy Stern:

“Jaime ensured that our biggest magazine event of the year — a near book-length essay that was reported over multiple years and continents, and included dozens of well-known and unknown characters and historical events — was as professionally copyedited as a major publisher’s printed book, fulfilling every exacting editor and reader’s expectation of error-free, stylistically uniform prose. She also did so on a brutally short deadline, which made the result even more impressive. I would enthusiastically work with her again on similar projects in the future.”

Why I Loved This Project

The story was incredible. So much time and effort has gone into creating it, and I was able to use my copyediting skills to polish the piece for publication, removing lingering issues that would distract readers and discourage them from reading 24,000 words.

I was able to accomplish that within Tablet’s time restrictions. If you’re considering using a freelance copy editor but are concerned that working with one would delay your content’s publication, know that it’s very feasible to integrate the copyediting step into your process.

As a freelance editor, I have control over my own schedule, with the ability to reorganize my agenda to suite client needs and accommodate their timelines.

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Jaime L. Brockway

Copy editor with 10 years’ experience. Former National Copy Chief of Time Out North America. Semicolon lover, despite what Kurt Vonnegut said.