Employee Spotlight: Stephanie Avent
Each month, CDR features a spotlight of one of our employees. This month we are doing a special highlight on Copy Editor, Stephanie Avent for International Women's Day and National Proofreading Day.
What is your favorite thing about working at CDR?
My favorite thing about working at CDR is that I get to use my talents to help nonprofits with worthy missions. With every piece of mail and every email we send out, we are ultimately helping to change the world for the better. (Plus, I get to play with words and make things sound pretty for a living. For a word nerd like me, that’s a dream come true!)
What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is Macklemore’s song “Thrift Shop.” We play the “clean” version on our Echo and have an intentionally silly dance party with our 6-year-old. My signature move is something similar to the “Elaine dance” (Seinfeld). For those of you who know me, I’m sorry for that visual.
What is your biggest grammar pet peeve?
Not surprisingly, I have many pet peeves when it comes to grammar, but two mistakes that drive me crazy are when people 1. use an apostrophe and “s” to form a plural (e.g., “teacher’s” instead of “teachers” when referring to more than one teacher) and 2. confuse “your” and “you’re.”
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That’s an easy one, because if it’s on a menu, I will order it: fish tacos! Blackened fish tacos, fried fish tacos, grilled fish tacos with citrus slaw—I’m like Forrest Gump with his shrimp: If it’s a form of fish taco, I want it in my belly!
In your opinion, what’s the number one rule to follow when it comes to writing?
Keep your writing clear and concise. People often choose big words or drone on, thinking it will make them sound more knowledgeable, but they usually end up confusing the reader or losing the reader’s interest instead.
How did you get into editing?
I’ve been obsessed with words ever since I was young. I’d read anything I could get my hands on (cereal boxes, street signs, shampoo bottles, you name it). I fell in love with English in elementary school: grammar, the parts of speech, the rules and exceptions—it all fascinated me. In the third grade, I entered a short story contest and won an award, which fueled my passion for writing. As a teen, I’d hole up in my room and read books all day. (There was a period when I was infatuated with the macabre, and I read a lot of Stephen King and Anne Rice.) I took more literature and writing courses in high school, and then I majored in English with a minor in writing in college. My first editing experience was on our college’s literary magazine—I’m pretty sure I got the job of editor in chief because no one else wanted it! I interned at a city and regional magazine while in college. That’s where I was introduced to editing. I did a lot more of it as a managing editor for another magazine. That was more than a decade ago, and the rest is history!
What TV show would you be on if you could?
Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations—travel and food, the best of both worlds! I would have loved to take a few of those wild trips with Anthony, experiencing beautiful lands, unfamiliar cultures, and, of course, the best food those places (often little holes in the wall or even a hut in a village!) had to offer.
Describe yourself in five #hashtags:
#wordnerd, #girlpower, #pipersmom, #survivor, #naturegirl