Events Officer's report: Marie Pietersz

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This year the events program consisted of nine members’ events, two of which had to be cancelled due to low registration numbers. We also tried a number of function centres as our usual city venue, CQ Functions, had increased its charges to a level that was not sustainable with what we could offer to members.

The year began with members of the Events subcommittee comprising Sally Holdsworth and A.J. (Annie) Collins. However, in October, personal commitments saw the resignation of Sally from the sub-committee and health and work commitments meant that Annie was only able to dedicate time to certain tasks. Our President Susan Keogh stepped in to fill in the gap left by Sally in November 2018. Currently, Susan and I comprise the Events subcommittee full-time and we met on two occasions and communicated online for the rest of the time.

Our Events calendar took on a different look and we tried to extend the range of speakers to cover trending and contemporary topics as a change from speakers from commercial companies in the mainstream editing and publishing industries.

We unsuccessfully tried a regional meeting (one of the meetings that had to be cancelled). We are analysing what went wrong here so that we can perhaps try more successfully in the next year.

In the current budgetary climate we are conscious that event costs may have been a deterrent for some members, but please be assured that it is our aim to keep prices as low as possible while having a catered dinner, central and convenient locations and comfortable spaces when choosing our event venues.

Once again, we extend an invitation to other members to join the Events subcommittee and bring your skills into the planning of another Event Calendar with drawcard speakers who will provide an impetus for networking opportunities and information updates in the editing and publishing businesses to upskill our members.

Summary of events for 2018–2019

October 2018: What publishers want was the topic, with five senior members of the industry as panellists sharing what freelance editors need to know about skills, quoting, budgets and more. Mitzi Zagon (Pearson Australia), Nadine Anderson-Conklin (Macmillan Education Australia), Geraldine Corridon (Oxford University Press), Mandy Brett (Text Publishing) and Imogen Bannister (Lonely Planet) covered editing for primary, secondary and tertiary education, and trade fiction and non-fiction.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Accredited Editors exam, four new AEs were presented with their new Accredited Editor certificates!

Members attending: 59

December 2018: A topic with a difference for our Christmas event: we had special guest storyteller author Michael A. Hill, speak of his friendship with young Beatle John Lennon, the catalyst for his novel John Lennon: the boy who became a legend.

With crackers, games and more on offer, it was a lovely way to celebrate another year in editing. We also collected numerous toys and books for donation to the Smith Family.

Members attending: 32

April 2018: A new venue, the Terminus Hotel in Queens Parade, Fitzroy North, was the venue for our April dinner meeting. After members had enjoyed our meals, our guest speaker, Peter Davies, revealed the inner workings of state government publishing in four lessons. While Peter is currently a strategic communications adviser at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, he was formerly the Assistant Manager, Reports and Communications, at the Victorian Auditor General’s office (VAGO), where he oversaw the publication of 35 to 40 reports each year (a publishing program larger than many medium-sized publishers).

Members attending: 29

May 2019: We returned to our central city function venue, CQ, but had a poor response, attributed to post-Conference fatigue, we think. Dr Joe Reich, treasurer of Melbourne Jewish Book Week, ophthalmologist, professional medical writer and novelist, spoke about what’s involved and what it’s like to run a literary festival and write in two genres – medical writer and fiction novelist.

Members attending: 8

June 2019: A new city venue, the Monash Conference Centre, and a new format for an in-house editors’ networking event. A sell-out crowd came to have a snack, network and hear Aviva Tuffield, the Melbourne-based publisher of University of Queensland Press, co-founder of the Stella Awards and mother of four, speak about how she built her career in publishing.

Members attending: 38

June 2019: We tried a new venue in the eastern suburbs, CoffeeHead Café, in Camberwell, enjoying dinner with a difference, gourmet pizzas, to hear Susan Pierotti speak about the extra services editors can offer to authors and how to use creative ways to promote book sales once the writing is published, and hopefully keep authors returning as clients.

Members attending: 24

July 2019: Editors Victoria branch ABM at The Rendezvous Hotel, Flinders Street, Melbourne, held to consider and elect nominees to the Committee 2019–2020.

Members attending:36

As first-time Events Officer, I would like to thank the Events subcommittee members, Sally Holdsworth, A.J. Collins and Susan Keogh, for their assistance and to Editors Victoria members who contributed their ideas and/or volunteered to take on the roles of speakers. I have enjoyed organising the functions and meeting many of our very skilled and resourceful members.

The Events committee is looking for more inspiring speakers and trending topics to ensure that events are well subscribed, so send your ideas to

Events Officer Marie Pietersz

ABM Marie Pietersz

Marie Pietersz at the ABM. Photo: Marisa Gallicchio