June 2016


This is the last newsletter that you’ll receive as a member of Editors Victoria in its current form – as of 1 July we officially become a branch of a national professional body, the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd). The new structure will take some time to settle into place. We update you on the transition here and will keep you informed as it all comes together. (Newsletters will continue coming your way from the Victorian committee for the time being at least!)

While looking towards a national voice, we’re also seeing the value of getting together at a more local level: we have reports this month from the freelancers and the editor groups in Gippsland and north-east Victoria. I notice that all of these meetings do involve a good lunch!


President’s Report

As June rolls around again, we’re preparing for endings and new beginnings. But this year, the end of June (and the financial year) marks not only a transition in our personal and business affairs but also a huge transition for our society: 1 July is the date set for Editors Victoria to become a state branch of a national editors’ organisation. This transition is the culmination of many years of hard work, and it won’t all happen immediately. The key staff members are yet to begin and much needs to be set up so we start out in the best possible place.

The national organisation will give us a real opportunity to tell the world who we are and to let them know we aren’t huddled over manuscripts in a lonely room merely correcting typos and grocers’ apostrophes. We are out there in the world, whether real or virtual, managing projects across multimedia, shaping communication, designing the reader experience and clarifying the voice of the writer so it emerges from the smoke of muddled syntax and clunky storytelling as a clear bright flame that burns into the heart and mind of the reader.


Transition Update

Like ducks swimming across a still pond, committee members are furiously busy with hidden activity as we move towards transition.

We are glad to report that the society members of Tasmania and Western Australia have held their second votes on the IPEd transition plan, and approved it. So from 1 July, IPEd will have six branches: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.

An IPEd subcommittee has been reviewing applications for three new part-time employees: an executive officer, finance officer and membership officer. Shortlists have been agreed upon, and the shortlisted candidates for executive officer have been interviewed. The shortlisted candidates for the other two positions will be interviewed over the next three weeks or so.


June Dinner Meeting: News Media

On Wednesday 15 June, we invite three editors and curators to discuss the agonies and the ecstasies of contemporary media. This moderated panel will include Erik Jensen from The Saturday Paper, Veronica Sullivan from Kill Your Darlings and Izzy Roberts-Orr of The ReReaders podcast.

Register at the MEMNET portal. Members of Editors Victoria, Writers Victoria, TWIA (formerly ASTC), ANZSI and APA receive discounts on the general admission price.


IPEd Accreditation Exam Update

We're just over three weeks away from the IPEd exam on 25 June. Registrations closed on 27 May and, as usual, a healthy contingent of Editors Victoria members will be sitting the exam.

Here's a quick rundown of how things will work on the day.

The Location

The exams are being run at Cliftons Centres. Maps and details about the centre in Melbourne can be found at https://www.cliftons.com/venues/melbourne/


The Monthly Q&A: Jessica Hoadley

Jessica Hoadley is a junior editor/project manager at educational publisher Insight Publications, where she’s worked for two and a half years since graduating from RMIT’s Professional Writing and Editing course.

How has your month been?

Busy but satisfying! I’m currently revising a series of Year 7 to 9 English skills workbooks. This involves working closely with national and state English curriculums, choosing and applying for permission to use fun text extracts (Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Roald Dahl) and reworking the content to be more engaging. I’m juggling this more ‘creative’ work with project managing a new textbook for the VCE subject English Language, which basically involves me liaising with multiple authors, the reviewer, freelance editor and designer, dealing with all the permissions and keeping everything on budget and to schedule.


May Freelance Lunch Report

The freelance lunch on a cool but sunny autumn day was a small gathering of 13, including several new faces. Topics of conversation covered the status of the editorial profession, the great variety of materials that editors work on, and how much we can or should ‘educate’ our clients in aspects of editing practice such as proofreading marks, which can be helpful but perhaps also arcane. There was also much talk of the upcoming accreditation exam on 25 June.

The Fitz Cafe is always an excellent venue for food, drinks and coffee, and they accommodate our fluctuating numbers with patience and warmth.

The next lunch is scheduled for Wednesday 27 July.

Mary-Jo O’Rourke AE
Freelance Affairs Officer

EDNEV (Editors of North-east Victoria) Report

At our recent May meeting, EDNEV saw a 50% increase in its numbers – we now boast not two, but three members! Our discussion at this lunch meeting included frustrations common to many freelancers: job scope and job creep. In other words, how to specify just what one will and will not do when taking on work, and what to do when the job starts to assume a shape alarmingly different from the original agreement. The varied expertise present was extremely helpful in providing suggestions for combating the unwanted and unexpected difficulties that freelancers can face out there in the cruel world of hard-nosed editing business. One common problem aired over lunch was the need for early detection of situations when the client isn’t clear about what the editor can or should do. The discussion also ranged to advanced training for more experienced editors, and the directions that publishing and print media are taking.

Please feel free to join us in July!

Next EDNEV meeting: 11.30am for 12 noon lunch on Wednesday 20 July 2016. The Folly, Yea Emporium MannaFest Cafe, 94 High Street, Yea. Contact Ruth Fluhr on 03 5790 8606 or at ruth.fluhr@gmail.com.


Gippsland Editors Report

Eventful work and social schedules meant that only four of the regular Gippsland editors attended our April gathering at the Gippy Goat Cafe in Yarragon. True to form since its opening only a few months ago, the cafe was bustling with patrons on the day of our visit.

Conversation ranged from our latest work projects to the sometimes questionable 'joys' of technology, and also touched on the importance of maintaining our health and wellbeing when self-employed. We were joined by Sally’s daughter Helena, who penned an excellent sketch of a goat (appropriately enough) and left us laughing with her joke about a piece of string who walks into a bar.

The pretty town of Meeniyan is the venue for our next gathering, which will be held on Friday 15 July. For further details, please contact Caitilin on 0421 545 282 or hello@artfulwords.com.au


Book Review: But Can I Start a Sentence with "But"?

ButCanI cover lores

Please don’t read this book on the tram if you get embarrassed when laughing out loud in public.

Over almost 20 years, the Chicago Style Q&A web page has evolved a voice and style that is not only witty and cheeky but is guaranteed to unknot the knickers of any editor agonising over an editorial decision.

Readers of The Chicago Manual of Style’s website began submitting style and grammar questions in 1997 to the Q&A page, which was updated monthly by manuscript editors at the University of Chicago Press.

Before that, readers would call up to ask editorial questions when they got hopelessly confused navigating the enormity of the information contained in CMOS.