March 2017


Welcome to the March newsletter for Editors Victoria, a branch of the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd). This month, two participants in the IPEd National Mentoring Program – a mentee and a mentor – give personal stories of their mentoring partnership. The mentoring program, coordinated in Victoria by Louise Zedda-Sampson, is a fantastic professional development opportunity for Australian editors – these tales may inspire you to participate, either to learn or to guide.

Natasha Saltmarsh reports on the fascinating discussion with commissioning editor and writer Angela Meyer at the February dinner meeting, led by Events Officer Kate Cuthbert, also a commissioning editor. The evening was both informative and fun. I met three new members there, just some of the 11 new members listed this month.


Message from the President

¡Hola from Granada! Travelling around Spain for five weeks, immersed in the traces of so many cultures, my long-ago Latin lessons have come back to haunt me (in a good way). There’s nothing like being in a country where yours is the second language to make you think about your own language in another way. It may be similar to the phenomenon of being able to write best about a place when you’re somewhere else.

As IPEd beds down its processes and systems, one of the essential steps in becoming a truly national organisation is to open up two-way communication between staff and branches. This month will see a teleconference of staff, branch presidents and the board. I won’t be back in time, but Vice-President Mary-Jo O’Rourke is at the helm of Editors Victoria in my absence and will do us proud.


February Dinner Meeting with Angela Meyer, Commissioning Editor at Echo and Writer

Commissioning, Genre Worlds and Non-traditional Paths to Publishing

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Angela Meyer (R) and Kate Cuthbert (L) in conversation. Photo credit: Nicole Mathers

The first dinner meeting for 2017, on a not-so-warm 15 February evening, was a relaxed in-conversation event with commissioning editor and writer Angela Meyer. With Editors Victoria Events Officer Kate Cuthbert, herself a commissioning editor for Harlequin Australia, asking the questions, Angela’s passion and drive for literature were brought to life.

Angela and Kate’s easy rapport and shared understanding of the life of a commissioning editor specialising in genre fiction were evident. While the evening was very much about Angela, the giggle factor was high when Kate spoke about her logistical investigations of sex scenes in manuscripts using Barbie dolls she keeps on her desk.


IPEd Conference Update: Sophie Cunningham to Give Keynote Talk

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The 8th Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) Conference, to be held 13–15 September 2017 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre is now open for registration. Earlybird registration closes on 13 July. Register online.

The conference organisers have announced that Sophie Cunningham (pictured) is giving a keynote talk. Sophie is an editor, author, teacher and journalist with a wealth of experience in Australian publishing.

Freelance Lunch Report

A small, exclusive group of nine freelancers attended the summer freelance lunch on 1 February. We enjoyed another excellent round of coffee and lunch at The Fitz in Brunswick Street, and chatted about the new IPEd Editors Directory, the upcoming conference in September and other issues of interest. Attendees were also asked to complete an on-the-spot survey to note down any relevant training they have done or would consider doing; these will be passed onto our training officer to provide input into the planning for future training programs.

The next freelance lunch is scheduled for Thursday 30 March – same time, same channel. Bookings will open closer to the time.

Mary-Jo O’Rourke AE
Vice-President and Freelance Affairs Officer 


Get Social: We’re Sharing Job Ads

Our Facebook page continues to grow and is fast becoming an eagerly watched channel for the jobs we hear about and post. For example, this broad-spectrum editor role went gangbusters on Facebook!


And it was just one of many job adverts we shared, ranging from entry-level editorial assistant roles at Cambridge University Press to the Editor of Slow Magazine (published by the Frankie people).


Discounts and Book Review: Writing for Science Journals

Last month, we reviewed Geoff Hart’s book Effective Onscreen Editing. Coincidentally, Stephen White from Editors WA reviewed another of Geoff Hart’s books – Writing for Science Journals. You can read his review on the Editors WA website.

To support IPEd members, Geoff has kindly offered a discount price to those who might be interested in buying either (or both) of these books, which come in print, pdf and EPUB versions.


Gippsland Editors meet in Warragul

After assorted scheduling snags prevented us from getting together as a group over the latter months of last year, the stars have at last aligned, allowing the Gippsland editors to meet for lunch at 12 noon at the Courthouse in Warragul on Thursday 23 March. It’s been a long time coming, and we are all looking forward to seeing each other and sharing our news (and possibly our ‘olds’). Anyone seeking more information can contact Caitilin on 0421 545 282 or

Editors of North-East Victoria (EDNEV) Freelance Lunch

The next EDNEV Freelance Lunch is on Wednesday 22 March at the Yea Emporium MannaFest Cafe, 94 High Street, Yea. We’ll meet at 11.30am for a 12 noon lunch. For further information, contact Ruth Fluhr on 5790 8606.


Personal Stories from the IPEd National Mentoring Program

With the accreditation exam now behind us, here is an article that one of Elizabeth Manning Murphy’s exam-preparation mentees, Melissa Faulkner, wrote for Blue Pencil (the newsletter of the NSW Branch of IPEd). Melissa’s article spells out a lot about how the National Mentoring Program works, and shows that it can be enjoyable and that both mentor and mentee can learn a lot from the experience.

Melissa’s article is followed by Elizabeth’s response, which was also published in Blue Pencil. Elizabeth urges anyone thinking about seeking guidance from a mentor, or anyone who has some skill to offer to a mentee, to get in touch with either Ted Briggs or her, or your local mentoring coordinator (see contact details below). They can send you all the information you need to get started on a rewarding journey.