March 2019


Welcome to the March newsletter. The conference team is organising up a storm, including a photographer to take some professional pics for your website or social media. Recognising that some delegates may not look forward to dressing up for a 1920s night of dancing, they’re also organising a table at the Gala Dinner for those who might prefer a quieter approach. Who, editors? Renée Otmar might need a bigger table!

For those who didn’t make the Christmas event, Marie Pietersz provides a report and some pics. Those who attended probably also significantly reduced their degrees of separation to the Beatles. 

Freelancers are lunching, our friends the Melbourne Indexers are talking indexes for classical music books, our training courses are proving very popular, and we have the usual tips and snippets. Our interview this month is with developmental book editor Laurel Cohn.

The next issue will be my last as editor, as I free up some time in my schedule. The committee is looking at what we’ll do with the now two vacant positions (editor and admin). We’ll let you know when we’ve worked out the best solution.

Have a great month.

Margie Beilharz
Newsletter editor  

Accreditation renewals

by Katie Lawry AE

Accredited Editors who received accreditation in 2009 and 2014, it's time to start compiling your professional development information! Renewal submissions for the 2009 and 2014 cohorts will be open from 15 May to 15 August this year. IPEd will email an official notification, but it is a good idea to start planning now. Put together a list of the courses or dinner events you have attended, training you have undertaken and other relevant information that will demonstrate your ongoing professional development.

Katie Lawry AE
Accreditation Board Delegate 

Beyond the Page: 9th IPEd National Editors Conference update

by Renée Otmar HLM DE

BTP logo blue

We are beyond excited to have announced two Super Book Clubs and the (provisional) detailed program, which is now up on the website and is being updated almost daily as new information comes to light. Keep an eye on the program page and the blog page, which is providing in-depth showpieces on individual workshops and presentations every few days.

Registrations are tracking well but we would like to see more delegates registering to attend the Gala Dinner. It’s an excellent opportunity for a bit of fun and frivolity. Come and let your hair down with like-minded folk. The committee is working behind the scenes on a couple of wicked surprises to be unveiled on the night (shhh).


A Beatle’s friend and games at our 2018 Christmas event

by Marie Pietersz


Michael A Hill signing books after his talk. Photo: Marie Pietersz

Our Christmas event was held on 6 December 2018 at the CQ Function Centre in Queen Street, Melbourne. It was well patronised, with around 40 editors in festive attire attending to celebrate, look back on the year that was, relax and listen to our guest speaker. Michael A Hill, childhood and teenage friend of young Beatle John Lennon and author of John Lennon: the boy who became a legend, shared his memories of one of the great creative talents of the twentieth century. Q&A time saw Michael responding to some perhaps long-unanswered personal questions about the legend. We also had the opportunity to pick up a signed copy of his book on the night, and a number of copies were bought.


Freelancers' lunch

Editors Victoria’s next freelancers’ lunch will be on Thursday 21 March at the Fitz Cafe. Come along and meet editors both new and established for a great meal and chat.

When: 12.30pm Thursday 21 March 2019

Where: The Fitz Cafe, 347 Brunswick St, Fitzroy (corner Kerr St)

Booking will open soon on MemNet.

Melbourne Indexers

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

Next meeting:  6–8pm, Thursday 7 March

Venue: 'Peppercorn' meeting room 2, level 1, Hawthorn Library, 584 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn

Topic: Indexing music biographies

Indexing biographies can be tricky – indexing biographies connected with classical music can be trickier! If the readers are musicians, they will be looking for information on symphonies, piano trios, Middle Period style and so on. This doesn’t fit conveniently under a chronological arrangement, nor under a name/event one. Susan Pierotti will bring some classical music books with a variety of indexing styles for us to discuss. Feel free to bring along any books on music and composers that you may have.


The surprise enjoyments of mentoring

by Michèle Drouart AE

Mentoring doesn’t need to be a one-way street with the benefits going to the mentee. It can be a rewarding activity for the mentor too, and a lot of fun.

As a mentor, you will often find yourself functioning in a completely different context from your usual editing workplace or environment. If you like intellectual exploration and discovery, then chatting about mutual interests as you teach and learn can be a real delight. For instance, I work mostly as a freelance fiction editor, but as a mentor I had the good fortune to work with someone who edited a major local community newspaper. Our exchanges told me more about that world than other sources of information had done. We both left our meetings feeling enriched and that we’d thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.


Editor Q&A: Laurel Cohn

Laurel Cohn is a freelance developmental book editor passionate about communication and the power of stories in our lives. She has been helping writers prepare their work for publication since the mid-1980s. Laurel has a PhD in literary and cultural studies.

How has your month been?

Three weeks ago I was lapping up the likes of Yann Martel, Ben Okri and Anuradha Roy at the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF). I find such talk fests an injection of inspiration that help fuel my work, and JLF was a real treat, the perfect way to kickstart the working year.

Since my return, a rich variety of jobs has peppered my inbox: editing a picture book manuscript for a group of environmental scientists putting together the educational component of their research project; assessing the memoir of a former Queensland detective who spent many years in the homicide squad; answering structural questions on a queer comic novel; giving feedback on a women’s fiction submission; mentoring a writer through the process of turning a creative writing PhD into a manuscript for publication; copyediting a piece for a self-publisher; and guiding an extremely talented, but dyslexic, writer through the next stages of manuscript development. In amongst this eclectic mix is the administrative work involved in running a small editing business, managing my trusty team of editors, locking in dates to run workshops, and attending to the incidentals that arise, such as this interview.


Report: Academic Editing course with Dr Renée Otmar

by Claire Kelly AE

Around 25 editors attended this excellent day-long course at the Centre for Adult Education on 24 November 2018, taught by the highly qualified Dr Renée Otmar, consultant researcher and academic editor. Renée discussed research design, methodology, writing styles, types of publications, ethics – in fact, we covered so much ground that it’s impossible to do the course justice in this short summary. Suffice to say there is a great deal more to academic editing than theses, and there certainly seems to be a strong interest in it as well as a range of opportunities.

The professional development subcommittee welcomes feedback on whether our members would be interested in attending another course on academic editing and/or thesis editing.

Email us at

Upcoming training courses

As a reminder, here are our upcoming training courses:

16 March: ‘Narrative nonfiction’ with Nadine Davidoff (fully booked)

8–10 May: 9th National IPEd conference ‘Beyond the Page’draft program now available

22 June: ‘Expand your Word power’ with Kevin O’Brien

17 July (evening): ‘PerfectIt Q & A webinar’ with Hilary Cadman

14 September: ‘Editing digital content’ with John Ryan

We'll let you know when bookings open for the post-conference courses.