June 2016 Q&A: Jessica Hoadley

Jessica Hoadley is a junior editor/project manager at educational publisher Insight Publications, where she’s worked for two and a half years since graduating from RMIT’s Professional Writing and Editing course.

How has your month been?

Busy but satisfying! I’m currently revising a series of Year 7 to 9 English skills workbooks. This involves working closely with national and state English curriculums, choosing and applying for permission to use fun text extracts (Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Roald Dahl) and reworking the content to be more engaging. I’m juggling this more ‘creative’ work with project managing a new textbook for the VCE subject English Language, which basically involves me liaising with multiple authors, the reviewer, freelance editor and designer, dealing with all the permissions and keeping everything on budget and to schedule.

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May 2016 Q&A: Paul Bugeja and Sally Holdsworth

This is a double-handed Q&A from two of our communication committee members; one is working in the industry and the other is hoping to enter!

Paul Bugeja is an editor, content manager and digital disruptor working both as a freelancer and for Arts Centre Melbourne. Sally Holdsworth is a student in RMIT’s Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing; she combines study with freelance and contract work.

How has your month been?

Paul: Great! A little hectic as I’m on the move living-wise, so juggling that around work and study is fun. I have just started working for Channel 9 on Hot Seat Millionaire in the Question department as a verifier (read: editor/researcher), #bestgeekjobever, which I’m loving. Also been head down to knock off an assignment on contempt and defamation for my Media Law and Ethics class as part of my MA Publishing and Communications at the University of Melbourne.

Sally: I’m studying part-time and right now there are assessments falling due, so most students are juggling many balls! One of the units I’m really enjoying is Advanced Editing: we are currently working on a collaborative project with RMIT’s photography students, who are each creating a photo book on their chosen subject. Editing students are each paired with a photography student to work on the writing and editing aspects of the books. There are some incredibly interesting people and topics being addressed photographically. While the photos have the starring role, the task of the editor is to ensure that the small number of carefully selected words complement the images and add impact to the photo story. For the editing students, it’s a real-time opportunity to work on copyediting, structural editing and proofreading. We’re all looking forward to seeing the finished books.

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April 2016 Q&A: Julia Carlomagno

Julia Carlomagno is the senior editor at Scribe Publications, where she edits non-fiction and literary fiction. She has worked in publishing for a decade and has an editor’s fondness for a woollen cardigan.

How has your month been?

It’s been an exciting month at my publishing house, Scribe. We’ve seen Peggy Frew’s terrific Hope Farm shortlisted for the Stella Prize, and Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s debut novel, Tram 83, win the Etisalat Prize for Literature and be longlisted for the Man Booker International. The prose in Tram 83 is infused with the rhythms of jazz, and it’s really something special.

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March 2016 Q&A: Susan Pierotti

Susan Pierotti is a freelance editor who has been working full-time for about three years. Her preferred editing work is with authors and their books, but she will happily edit anything that needs it. She has been known to stand on chairs in restaurants to rub out extraneous apostrophes on chalkboard menus.

How has your month been?

I have been working with some business people on producing their books. One is a novel for teenage girls. My friend, the author, was warned that I would be ruthless with her story. She is now rewriting it. (Yes, I left her in one piece.) I’m looking forward to the result. The other is a ‘what I didn’t know about being a sole trader before I started my own business’ book. I’ve just got the first notes and will be meeting with the author this week, who has warned me that it will be a long-term project.

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February 2016 Q&A: Craig Munro

Craig Munro is an award-winning biographer and editor. He was the inaugural fiction editor, and later publishing manager, at the University of Queensland Press. He tells of his editing adventures, with many of Australia’s best writers, in his new memoir Under Cover (Scribe), reviewed here by Susan Pierotti.

What has been your biggest editing challenge to date, and why?

A decade ago I co-edited Paper Empires: A History of the Book in Australia 1946–2005 with Robyn Sheahan-Bright, and also wrote a couple of chapters. After assembling our draft manuscript, we realised it was 50,000 words over-length. As there were more than 60 contributors, one solution was to simply delete whole sections. Instead, I wielded my blue pencil through everything, reducing some contributions by up to 50 per cent. This took many weeks of patient editing to condense and tighten the text. The University of Queensland Press then conspired, along with their experienced editor Felicity McKenzie and freelance indexer Kerry Biram, to publish Paper Empires as both a beautiful, well-bound hardback and as a sewn-section paperback.

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Interview with Co-founder of ebookedit Nicola O'Shea (February 2014)

The widely publicised digital self-publishing boom has opened up opportunities not only for authors but also for freelance editors, as self-publishers are often looking to pay for editorial services. This January, long-time Australian freelancer Nicola O'Shea and digital publishing expert Keith Stevenson launched ebookedit, 'the complete professional editing and book formatting and file conversion service'. Nicola speaks to Editors Victoria about running this new kind of editing business.

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