Freelance Affairs Report

Subcommittee: Mary-Jo O’Rourke, Anne Gugger

In the 12 months since mid-2016, the main work of the freelance portfolio has involved the IPEd transition and changeover to the IPEd Editors Directory.

Editors Directory

The new IPEd Editors Directory came online in the first week of January. Freelancers now create and amend their own entries, which has also reduced the cost. The Editors Victoria Freelance Register is being kept open until the end of the year, but new entries are not being accepted nor existing entries updated; a note will be added to the web page to this effect, redirecting those who are seeking editors to the IPEd Editors Directory web page.

Elizabeth Spiegel from Tasmania conducted a review of the Editors Directory in early July via SurveyMonkey. She delivered her report to the IPEd Council in late July and its recommendations are currently under consideration.

The IPEd National Survey of Editors, 2016 is also now available on the IPEd website and makes interesting reading. Of 541 respondents, 76% were freelancers, compared with 56% in the previous survey in 2014.

Freelance Get-togethers

In 2016 the two-monthly freelance lunches averaged around 15 people. Earlier this year I informally surveyed some attendees about revamping these get-togethers and received some good suggestions from this and also from committee members. So the July get-together was an afternoon cake and coffee meeting in the CBD. There were just 10 attendees (after several cancellations) but good feedback has been received. The plan is to alternate lunch at The Fitz with another venue and time.

IPEd Advancing our Profession

Now that we are a truly national body, IPEd will be taking the lead on a number of issues, including setting a suggested scale of pay rates, as the UK Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) and other international editing organisations do. There are also plans to create fact sheets on various topics, including professional indemnity insurance. These new resources will be of great interest and help for freelancers.

Secret Editors’ Business

This year the number of enquiries received by the freelance portfolio has dropped, and my feeling is that this is due to the lively and helpful discussions on the Facebook group Secret Editors’ Business. Open only to IPEd members, this closed group (currently numbering 539 from all over Australia) is a great source of information, advice and debriefing, and has created a lively virtual community of editorial colleagues that is an excellent support for freelancers in particular.

My thanks go to our continuing subcommittee member Anne Gugger.

Mary-Jo O’Rourke AE, Freelance Affairs Officer