Past Events

Wondering what our dinner meetings are like? Here are some we've put on in the past.

The Business of Editing Q&A: June 2017 Dinner Report

Our June dinner meeting was a Q&A on the business of editing with two experienced editors. Peter Riches (Red Pony Communications) and Jackey Coyle (Wordy-Gurdy Publishing; President, Editors Victoria) gave us unfettered access to their knowledge and experience by answering a range of questions.

Jackey and Peter

Jackey Coyle and Peter Riches. Photo: Sophie Dougall

The Q&A session allowed for the audience to ask questions of the panel. Peter and Jackey both acknowledged that they were experts speaking to a room of experts, and encouraged people to jump in with answers or suggestions of their own to any questions. It was a lively and educational evening.

Natasha Saltmarsh faithfully reproduces the questions and answers for those who weren’t able to make it, or as a reminder for those who were there. Answers have been edited for concision and clarity.


April 2017 dinner report: Our Bodies, Ourselves: Workplace Ergonomics with Osteopath Claire Richardson

by Jessica Hoadley


Claire Richardson demonstrating a stretch. Photo: Sophie Dougall

As I sit here, I check my feet are flat on the floor, my elbows are at a right angle (oops, not quite, pull my chair in a bit closer) and my neck is not jutting forward towards the screen.

At the 6 April 2017 Editors Victoria dinner meeting, we learnt these alignment tips alongside many others to help us keep our ‘desk-bound’ bodies pain-free.

Claire immediately dispelled the hype about sitting being the new smoking – they are not comparable. Sure, sitting in the same position for long periods is problematic, but smoking is never a good thing!


February 2017 Dinner Meeting with Angela Meyer, Commissioning Editor at Echo and Writer

Commissioning, Genre Worlds and Non-traditional Paths to Publishing

by Natasha Saltmarsh

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Angela Meyer (R) and Kate Cuthbert (L) in conversation. Photo credit: Nicole Mathers

The first dinner meeting for 2017, on a not-so-warm 15 February evening, was a relaxed in-conversation event with commissioning editor and writer Angela Meyer. With Editors Victoria Events Officer Kate Cuthbert, herself a commissioning editor for Harlequin Australia, asking the questions, Angela’s passion and drive for literature were brought to life.

Angela and Kate’s easy rapport and shared understanding of the life of a commissioning editor specialising in genre fiction were evident. While the evening was very much about Angela, the giggle factor was high when Kate spoke about her logistical investigations of sex scenes in manuscripts using Barbie dolls she keeps on her desk.


November Freelance Lunch Report

by Mary-Jo O’Rourke AE

This month’s freelance lunch, on a thankfully cooler but still humid late spring day, was another intimate gathering – we had a group of 11, including our president and a couple of new editors. The smaller numbers of recent lunches allow us to gather on one table and have more general and free-ranging conversation.

The main topic at this lunch was the transition to IPEd and what this means for Victorian editors, including the status of our Freelance Register, which will continue until at least the end of this year; the IPEd Editors Directory is expected to go live on 1 January 2017. Rates and quoting, the perennial questions, also arose, as did the state of the Irish diaspora and why it is that so many editors live in the Brunswick area.


October 2016 Dinner Report: Alice Pung and New AEs

by Sophie Dougall

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Author and editor Alice Pung (Photo: Nicole Mathers)

A group of over 30 editors came out of winter hibernation to gather at CQ Melbourne on 19 October to be entertained by award-winning author Alice Pung.

Before we heard from Alice, Jackey Coyle, Steph Heriot and Joely Taylor presented four of the newest Accredited Editors with their certificates. It was interesting to hear that Victoria achieved the highest pass rate, with 13 new AEs, of which 11 are Editors Victoria members (and were listed in the last newsletter).

Then, in a change of pace, Kate Cuthbert introduced Alice Pung, author of the Australian bestseller Unpolished Gem and editor of Growing up Asian in Australia.


August 2016: Working Editor's Toolkit Panel

WEToolkitOn Wednesday 31 August 2016, Editors Victoria and RMIT hosted a special panel event, the Working Editor’s Toolkit. Designed for emerging editors, students and editors interested in changing streams, the panel brought together three specialists for a conversation on the work of editors across disciplines.

With Jackey Coyle moderating the chat, Kate Goldsworthy, Editor with Affirm Press, Tim Fisher, Editorial Director with Broadsheet Media, and John Ryan, Director of Sitegeist, discussed their approaches to editing for publishing, digital media, online and corporate clients. The conversation ranged from the skills required to work across platforms, the best way to network and how to gain experience as an emerging editor to the importance of understanding the client brief and the brilliance of brevity. Memorably, John Ryan declared there should be a bounty on superfluous words!


July 2016 Freelance Lunch Report

Despite the cold northerly winds on Wednesday 27 July, 15 editors gathered at the Fitz Cafe in Fitzroy, including people not yet members but thinking of joining. It was a great opportunity to meet new and old friends, and conversation was lively as discussion clusters shifted along the long table. Topics included the challenges of getting consistent workflow, mentoring, the big editing websites that are driving price-cut business models, and working with amateur publishers. Thesis editing was also on the menu for discussion, with people reporting the experience of actually been asked to write the thesis.

The Fitz continues to be a very hospitable venue, capable of handling the needs of a big group, including fluctuations in table requirements, without fuss or imposing on their regular clientele.

Anne Gugger
Freelance subcommittee

June 2016 Dinner Report: News Media

by Sophie Dougall

Panel at the June dinner meeting

Left to right: Kate Cuthbert, Veronica Sullivan, Izzy Roberts-Orr, Erik Jensen, Brigid Delaney. Photo: Nicole Mathers

Over 60 members and friends got together at CQ Events on 15 June for our dinner meeting to discuss news media. We were treated to a fabulous panel of Veronica Sullivan (formerly of Kill Your Darlings), Izzy Roberts-Orr (The ReReaders), Erik Jensen (The Saturday Paper) and Brigid Delaney (The Guardian Australia), expertly moderated by Kate Cuthbert.

A lively and robust discussion ensued, covering topics from news audiences, advertising and how to create authority and informed voices to the topical issue of paying for content.


April 2016 Dinner Report: The Business of Editing

by Kate Cuthbert

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Lena Smarrelli talks business at the April dinner. Credit: Nicole Mathers

Just over 30 members attended our April dinner meeting – the first since daylight savings time ended. It felt much later this month, so kudos to our members who arrived and left in the dark. In the lead-up to the end of the financial year, we welcomed Lena Smarrelli, the owner/director of A Counting House Melbourne. Lena has been providing practical business and tax advice for small business operators and professional freelancers for over 15 years. Along with her extensive experience, she brought along a very useful handout, and went through the basics of what being a freelancer/small business actually means, and how it can affect your tax return.


February 2016 Dinner with Illustrator Judith Rossell

‘I had a lovely evening; it was great to meet so many editors. I’ve been lucky to work with some brilliant editors and they’ve made such a difference to my work.’
Judith Rossell

Guests at the February Editors Victoria dinner were treated to a wonderful evening with illustrator and author Judith Rossell.

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Judith Rossell with one of her illustrations. Photo: Nicole Mathers

Following an early career in science, Judith started out working in books as an illustrator and is now an award-winning author. Her latest book, Withering-by-Sea: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue, has garnered high praise from readers and many awards, including the 2015 Indie Awards – Book of the Year and the 2015 Book Industry Awards – Book of the Year for Older Children.