April 2019


Just as I’m preparing this last newsletter (my last – your newsletters will continue!), I got my hands on a box of old Society of Editors (now Editors Victoria branch of IPEd) newsletters dating back to the late 1970s. It was fascinating reading the 1979 newsletters (which were already volume 9), generally ‘flung together’ and ‘roneod’ by John Bangsund (his words). Back then, society membership cost $10 ($7 for associate members), and members seemed to be mostly editors from publishing houses, government and universities. (Only four of the 45 members who responded to the 1979 annual salary survey were freelancers.)

Some of the Society of Editors’ newsletters and meetings were shared with the Imprint Society. Also around at that time was the Society of Industrial Editors, which became the Australian Institute of Professional Communicators. (I can’t find any sign of those organisations today.) Just getting started in Sydney around then was The Editors – now the New South Wales branch of IPEd.


From the president

by Susan Keogh DE

By the time you read this, we will be about to try the first of several new events venues — the Terminus Hotel in Fitzroy North — that we will be sampling over the next few months. We’re not abandoning CQ but we were keen to offer more events in a variety of locations, so that if one or even two venues are too hard for you to get to, there might still be one that’s handy. Our first regional event, to be held in Kyneton, will take place on Sunday 16 June; it will be a lunchtime event with a guest speaker. Expect details in early April. Not only is Kyneton close to around five per cent of our total membership (that’s more than some suburban areas!), it should also be a pleasant Sunday out for those of us in Melbourne. We shall see …

And of course, the countdown is well and truly on to the national conference. Have you got an outfit for the Gala Dinner? Booked in for workshops? Sorted out the sessions you want to attend? If not, well – click onto the conference website now and start getting organised! And if you haven’t registered yet, you really do need to get moving! If you need an extra incentive, we are offering subsidies to Victorian members who live in regional areas or outside the state (full details on our branch website: www.editorsvictoria.org – click on News – Read More > Conference Support).


2009 and 2014 accreditation renewals

Accredited Editors who received accreditation in 2009 and 2014, it's time to start collecting your professional development information together! Renewal submissions for the 2009 and 2014 cohorts will be open from 15 May to 15 August this year. Official notification will be emailed by IPEd, but it is a good idea to start thinking about the courses or dinner events you have attended, training you may have undertaken, and other relevant information.

Beyond the Page: 9th IPEd National Editors Conference update

BTP logo blue

We are thrilled to announce that Dr Angela Savage, Director of Writers Victoria and an award-winning author in her own right, will be welcoming delegates to Melbourne and regaling us with her take on 'Great moments in editing'.

The conference is next month and the buzz is building in the conference team and among delegates, both local and visiting. We’re looking forward to welcoming you to a great conference – both professionally and socially.

Excited participants are sharing their plans and conferencing tips on the Secret Editors' Business Facebook page, and you can keep up to date with the conference news on the conference blog.

In recent posts, the organisers have announced that Tony Wilson – author, broadcaster and television presenter – will be the Gala Dinner speaker. And, by the way, you can now book just for the Gala Dinner if you can’t make the day sessions but want to live it up in the Myer Mural Hall at the editors' event of the year.


18 April dinner event: Government editing with Peter Davies

Government editing – it's a large but specialised sector of our industry. Learn the ins and outs of government publishing from an insider, while enjoying a hearty main course and a drink at our new inner-northern venue. Bookings and further details on the IPEd website.

Peter Davies, currently Strategic Communications Adviser at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, was previously the Assistant Manager, Reports and Communications, in the Victorian Auditor-General's office, where he helped oversee a publishing program worthy of mid-sized publishing house, and whose publications influence our lives more than most books.


March freelancers’ lunch

by Susan Pierotti AE

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Lunching with the eds at the Fitz. Photo: Susan Pierotti

A small group of lively editors swapped editing tips and encouragement over a delicious lunch at the Fitz Cafe on 21 March. Though there were only seven of us, coincidently, each one of us specialises in a different editing field, from poetry and biography to medical/pharmaceutical, government and academic. Two editors were intrepidly investigating the freelance editing scene and we were able to alert them to the Editors Victoria training development programs, the Facebook page and the conference.


Melbourne Indexers

Editors Victoria members are welcome to attend Melbourne Indexers' meetings, held on the first Thursday of the month.

Next meeting: 6–8pm, Thursday 4 April
Venue: 'Peppercorn' meeting room 2, level 1, Hawthorn Library, 584 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
Topic: Typesetting

Typesetters play an important role in book design and production. Sonya Murphy will talk about the history of the industry in Australia, and how it transferred from a male-dominated hot-metal trade to today’s technology. Explaining how books are designed, she will discuss how the font use, size, number of pages, etc. are all determined.


Mary Norris: from Comma Queen to Greek geek

New Yorker editor Mary Norris, known as the Comma Queen, is coming back to Melbourne in May to talk about her latest book, Greek to me. Yes – not grammar but all things Greek, including language, wine and myths.

She’s appearing at the Wheeler Centre on 13 May, chatting with editor Penny Modra (who just happens to be one of our conference keynote speakers).

The event is free and bound to be popular. Book your ticket on the Wheeler Centre website.

Editor Q&A: Caitlin Whiteman

Caitlin Whiteman AE is a writer, editor and trainer specialising in plain English. Freelancing with her own business, Elemental Communications, since 2016, Caitlin brings a plain English approach to documents from simple fact sheets to detailed research reports.

How has your month been?

It’s been pretty diverse. I’ve written a big report about the insurance industry and reworked web content for the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, Council on the Ageing Victoria and the University of New South Wales.

I also just finished editing a guide for community lawyers and financial counsellors on how to help survivors of institutional child sexual abuse who are receiving a payout from the National Redress Scheme. Many survivors are quite vulnerable as a result of trauma, poverty and so on, and don’t have experience managing a large lump sum. The guide is all about how to help them manage the redress payment to their best advantage.


Report on ‘Know Your Sentence’, 23 February 2019

by Jane Fitzpatrick AE

Some sentences are simple. Some are compound; they boast a second part. Some sentences have so much to say they can begin with one idea but another bursts forward and then even a third until they become freight trains.

This is just a small taste of what was covered in a packed and engrossing day of training at ‘Know Your Sentence’. Our engaging teacher, Glenys Osborne, began with a thorough schooling in the parts of speech. By lunchtime we were moving on to phrases and clauses. We learnt to winnow independent clauses from the rest, since dependent clauses follow a subordinate conjunction. Showing grit, we made mastering participial phrases of challenging variety our goal. Fragments – dealt with! Working hard all day, the treatment for dangling modifiers was learnt.