IPEd Notes

News from the Institute of Professional Editors Limited, March-April 2012

The IPEd Council met twice during the period covered by these notes, on 4 and 31 March. Both meetings were by teleconference.

Barbara Ramsden Award

The Barbara Ramsden Award for excellence in editing is a major literary prize for a book in any field of literature. The award, a joint activity of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW) and IPEd, acknowledges the contribution of the author-editor partnership to the creation of a final work of the highest quality.

The 2011 award winner - a book celebrating Captain William Bligh's extraordinary small-boat journey from Tofua to Timor after the mutiny on the Bounty - was announced at a ceremony on 30 March. In Bligh's Hand: Surviving the Mutiny on the Bounty, published by the National Library of Australia (NLA), brings to life Bligh's notebook, meticulously kept during the 47-day, 6700-km voyage of the seven-metre open boat, during which only one of the 19 men aboard died. Dr Jennifer Gall wrote and Joanna Karmel edited In Bligh's Hand, which, in both words and facsimile illustrations, celebrates the notebook, now held as one of the treasures of the NLA.

IPEd's judges for the award wrote:

... this is a beautiful and comprehensive book, which shows clear evidence of Joanna Karmel's hand in project managing a complex production that would have required extensive consultation with a range of contributors in addition to the author. The finished work complements the text in every way possible through illustrations, additional explanations and a helpful index, all managed and cross-referenced by the editor.

Jennifer Gall's text itself is clear, accessible, interesting, informative and illuminating. The author's style is such that the book is a real page turner. Background information is provided unobtrusively, usefully and valuably. No copyediting or proofreading infelicities mar the reader's interaction with the text.

For the author and editor of the winning book, the FAW and IPEd sponsorship furnishes two specially cast bronze plaques designed by sculptor and medallionist Michael Meszaros.

The IPEd Prize

As part of its broader mission to advance the profession, IPEd seeks to support and foster research in editing and publishing. To that end, it is sponsoring an annual prize of $250 for an essay or paper written as part of the requirements for a postgraduate degree in editing, publishing or other discipline that permits a focus on editing. The IPEd website gives full details of the submission requirements for the prize, notice of which has been sent to postgraduate course coordinators.

Professional Development Register

Thanks to the efforts of Rosemary Noble and colleagues in Editors Victoria, a register of all professional development sessions and training workshops held by IPEd's member societies over the past three years is now available on the members-only section of the website. The societies are encouraged to consult the register to explore how they might expand the range of professional development services they provide. Societies that wish to provide for their members' activities that would involve inter-state travel by a specific trainer can apply to IPEd for funding support; your IPEd councillor can advise on this. Societies can also use the register to identify and contact trainers whom they might wish to invite to their society.

IPEd Secretary's Position to Be Advertised

The current Company Secretary will be retiring later in the year and IPEd has begun the search for a successor. In the first instance, expressions of interest are being sought from the members of the societies of editors, through an advertisement placed in their newsletters, on their websites and via society emailing lists.

PR Person Sought

The IPEd Council feels certain that among the ranks of society members there are editors who also have skills and experience in PR and promotion, and would be willing to exercise them for the benefit of the profession; it seeks a volunteer from among such, whose initial task will be to promote the need for editors to the public and corporate sectors. While no payment can be offered, there is a small monthly budget to support activities associated with the task. Interested parties should contact Rosemary Luke, Council Chair, via the 'Contact us' link on the IPEd website.

Policy on Privacy

At its meeting on 31 March, the IPEd Council endorsed a new privacy policy on use of personal information. This policy defines how and for what purposes IPEd will make use of personal information provided by:

  • its members [i.e. the societies of editors] about their members
  • accreditation exam candidates.

The full policy statement can be read on the IPEd website.

2013 National Conference

The Society of Editors (WA) is busily organising the 6th National Editors Conference, themed 'Editing Across Borders', to be held in the West on 10-13 April 2013. Mark your diary. The venue has been booked - The Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle - and the search is on for inspiring topics and dynamic speakers. Go to www.ipedperth2013.com.au for all conference details.

The Society of Editors (SA) has generously granted its WA colleagues a loan of $5000 to help cover upfront costs of organising the conference.

Ed Highley, Secretary