Report on 'Editing Goes Global' Conference

Rosemary Noble reports back from Editing Goes Global in Toronto, which she attended as IPEd representative.

Friday 12 June to Sunday 14 June 2015: three days of inspiring and exciting presentations, connections and discussions. Our fellow editors in Canada, particularly the conference organising committee of the Editors' Association of Canada, gave me and the other international delegates a really warm welcome. This was also true of the many other editors attending who were delighted to see and speak with editors like us from so far away. I was never asked about how I enjoyed the skiing in Austria, but there were a few who confessed, 'I'm a bit hazy on Australian geography. Melbourne - where is that?' and multiple versions of 'Wow, how long did it take for you to get here?' (I actually won a prize during the closing ceremony for the delegate who had travelled the furthest!)

I felt especially privileged as IPEd's chosen delegate and prepared to take copious notes and network furiously with as many people as possible.

The conference was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, with 430 delegates from 12 countries, including four from Australia and two from New Zealand. At any one time there were up to five streams going - Networking, Editing, Language, Unexpected Markets and How to Run an Association. It was held in conjunction with the Professional Writers Association of Canada, so there were also a lot of sessions specifically designed for writers.

While there were some quite formal sessions, many of the sessions I attended were in the form of roundtable conversations rather than having single speakers, and I would have to say these were the highlights. At these sessions, with just 8 to 12 people involved, it was possible to participate in discussions about such topics as 'Improving the Volunteer Experience', 'Setting up e-learning', 'Helping Members Find Work'. As you can imagine, many of the same issues came up from all delegates, but different solutions addressing the challenges were also most generously shared.

The first day started out brilliantly with a session about how to hone your 'elevator speech' - inspired, really, as it is sometimes quite hard to explain simply to someone in just a couple of sentences what you are all about. A great exercise for us all to try.

That set the tone then for the rest of the conference.

My own presentation was entitled 'From Little Things, Big Things Grow' and attempted to explain the organisation of our editing societies in Australia, as well as the transition project I am managing at present for IPEd. (I must confess that it was not well attended, but I am putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Toronto metro, which does not start operating trains until 9 am on Sundays, coincidentally the time of my presentation.)

My fellow Editors Victoria member, Carolyn Leslie, introduced me - thank you, Carolyn - and I think it all went down pretty well with the audience. (Just between you and me, I think they were impressed with the gold-plated kangaroo lapel pins I gave out at the end when they were able to correctly answer the quiz I set for them on Australiana! They did have a bit of trouble with the question about Melbourne's ice hockey team though ...)

I have come home with those copious notes I mentioned above and will be publishing them as well as my own presentation on the IPEd website in due course. It was a truly wonderful experience.

I am extremely grateful to IPEd for giving me this fantastic opportunity and I would be happy to answer any further questions you may have. I am optimistic that this will be the first of many networking opportunities we have with our overseas colleagues. As I said at the end of my presentation: '... we have so much to learn from editors around the world. We are truly a global society now and Australia and Australian editors want to stand up and be counted as a strong and united part of that ...'

PS I also fell in love with Canada and can't wait to go back and explore further.

Rosemary Noble
Honorary Life Member, Editors Victoria
Project Manager, IPEd Transition Project

If you have a question for Rosemary, please send it via Nicole at