What is notable about these would-be writers is how crest-fallen they are when their first writing efforts emerge from the editors’ hands. A typical piece might bear the handiwork of two editors, one junior and one more senior. And even though the pieces are short, much has been done to them to improve them. And so, on a typical day, I might find an intern bawling in the ladies’ room moments after I have turned back to her the edited version of her copy. No one has ever told her before that she isn’t perfect. And yet, the recent crops of interns seem to learn less and less from the edited copy turned back to them for perusal. I tell them that the reason for changes should be self-evident and to ask about a change if the reason isn’t apparent, but seldom does anyone inquire. You mean they might have something to learn. What a quaint idea.

What Editors Think of Writers. Some big ouches here. Though my own students have experienced far too much praise and far too little challenge, I’ve never found them as resistant to learning as these interns seem to be (assuming that this editor isn’t exaggerating for effect, which I suspect she may be).