May 2019


BTP logo blue

We are so excited that the conference month is finally upon us. After months of hard work as host State, there is a buzz in the air in Melbourne and scurrying here and there as organisers and speakers cross their ts and dots their is, buy their fancy clothes for the Gala Dinner and get ready to welcome interesting speakers, national members and overseas colleagues to IPEd’s highlight event of the year, where we will get a chance to look to emerging trends and best practices for innovating and exciting ways to celebrate and advance our profession and go beyond the page across editing and publishing platforms. We can’t wait to roll out the red carpet for you at the 9th IPEd National Editors Conference in Melbourne in May. So, see you all there for all of it or some of it! There will be something for everyone.

As a ‘fresh’ to this column, I have yet to get into the groove of things. However, I have been assured that editors are quite forgiving, and contributors send in good copy and on time too. So, I have to thank Margie and contributors past and present for my inheriting a well-oiled machine, fine-tuned over the past four-and-a-half years that works efficiently to bring to our members up-to-date information on what’s happening in the editorial scene – with the aim to keep the content interesting for our discerning audience to enjoy reading.  

Wearing my other hat as Events officer, the events calendar for 2019 is up and running with valuable approval and input from Susan Keogh as a member of the sub-committee. Our aim is to make the monthly events more interesting and less sedentary through engagement and networking activities. The broad spectrum of speakers we have lined up for you will, we hope, get you wanting to be part of it. 


From the president

by Susan Keogh DE

May already! The year is nearly half over, and the national conference is almost open us. If you haven’t booked yet – and, let’s face it, the last minute is always a good time for anything – you should do so now. Why? Because it won’t be this cheap to attend a conference ever again! It’s fourteen years since Melbourne last hosted a conference, which means that if you’re thinking of attending a conference some time in the next decade or more, you’ll be paying for airfares and accommodation as well your conference registration. And by the time the conference next rolls around to Melbourne (umm ... about 2035?), just plain old inflation will have pushed registration up by about $160 (that’s 2% compounding over 14 years, for the mathematically minded). If you can’t come for the whole conference, that’s fine: just book for one day, a workshop, or just the Gala Dinner or welcome reception. With super book clubs, mini mentoring, panels, presentations and posters, there’s bound to be something you’ll find both entertaining and enlightening. Save money! Go this year! (And claim the expense in your tax return in just two months!) 

While the conference will dominate this month, your local branch isn’t going into early hibernation. There will be a dinner event at the end of this month, back at CQ in the city. Why are we swapping venues around? Well, no venue is convenient for everyone, and we’re trying to have a more convenient venue for you at least a few times a year. The Terminus Hotel in Fitzroy worked well for April, and we’ll be sampling the eastern suburbs at the end of June, with a dinner event in Camberwell. 



2009 and 2014 accreditation renewals

by Katie Lawry

Accredited Editors who received accreditation in 2009 and 2014, it's nearly time to renew your accreditation! Renewal submissions for the 2009 and 2014 cohorts will be open from 15 May to 15 August this year. Official notification should have been received from IPEd, and the form will be available when submissions open. Now is a good time to start thinking about the conferences, courses or dinner events you have attended, training you may have undertaken, and other relevant information.


Report on 18 April dinner meeting

by Susan Keogh, Events sub-committee

May newsletter Susan Keogh Pres Peter Davies speaker

 President: Susan Keogh with Speaker: Kevin Davies
Photo: Joely Taylor

Eating dinner: Lorna Hendry, Guy Nolch, Samantha Hunt and Megan Shaw
Photo: Joely Taylor

Twenty-nine members gathered in a new venue, the Terminus Hotel in Queens Parade, Fitzroy North, for our April dinner meeting. After we had enjoyed our meals (I had the haloumi burger, which was as delicious as it sounds), 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).

Peter’s first lesson was that while there are few editors named as such working in the Victorian public service, there is a lot of editorial work. There are 300,000 Victorian public sector employees (yes, that’s just the state public sector) working across 800 agencies, all of which need to produce reports, guides, brochures, websites and other digital and online content. Most of this publication work is managed and commissioned by people from a communications background who often do not have a deep understanding of the publishing process. (Peter himself had started at the Victorian Law Foundation, an unusual government agency in that it had its own dedicated publishing function that often helped out other organisations with their publications.) Two common blind spots are the difference between editing and proofreading, and scheduling adequate time for editorial work. Peter gave the example that government publication managers may not understand that editorial comments and queries need to be reviewed and answered, with the result that a schedule may require an edited document to be sent to the printer three hours after the editor has returned it! The sub-lesson he stressed was that educating your new government client on what is involved in working with an editor is a critical part of the process. In addition to noting that editors working for government should check that adequate time is allowed for dealing with editorial queries, he noted that style sheets may also be an ‘unfamiliar concept’.


Events update

Events calendar 2019

Upcoming events:

Thursday, 30 May:
Evening event, 6pm
CQ, 113 Queen Street, Melbourne
Speaker: Dr Joe Reich, CEO Melbourne Jewish Book Week, opthomologist, professional medical writer and novelist.

Dr Joe Reich is the recently appointed director of Melbourne Jewish Book Week. He is both a novelist and an author of medical textbooks.

Dr Reich will speak about what’s involved and what it’s like to run a literary festival. With writers’ festivals proliferating across the state, organising them could be an area in which editors can apply their project management skills. He’ll also provide an insight into what it’s like to write in two very different genres, for two very different types of publishing.

Dr Reich's novels – Building Bridges, I Know Precious Little, Book of the Weak – will also be available for sale on the night, $10 each (cash only, please; proceeds to be donated to charity).

Bookings on the IPEd website.

Sunday 16 June:
A literary country lunch (from 1pm)
Royal Albion Hotel, 41 Mollison Street, Kyneton
Speaker: award-winning novelist Mark Brandi, author of Wimmera and the just-released The Rip.


Dates to mark in your calendar:                                      

Thursday, 27 June:
Evening event, 6pm
CoffeeHead Café, 8 Railway Parade, Camberwell

We're still confirming who our speaker will be, but thought we'd give you advance warning of the date.

Thursday, 18 July:
Annual branch meeting
More details to come. 

We also have an after-work CBD networking event for in-house editors and other staff in the works. We're still sorting out dates with our high-profile speaker, who will talk about how to build a career in publishing.  Details in the next newsletter and your email inbox soon!

Committee/organiser: Marie Pietersz


Editor Q&A: Eddie Caruso

One of our members, Edward Caruso, has recently had his second book of poems published (Blue Milonga, Hybrid Publishers, Melbourne). The poems were written in Argentina and Chile, so Blue Milonga is heavily influenced by Latin American themes. During the writing of this book, Edward knew that his work would eventually come under the microscope of a fellow editor. The experience turned out to be positive, so we will follow this up with Edward in our Q&A.

Edward Caruso AE is an editor, proofreader, indexer and poet. He specialises in commerce and educational texts from secondary to tertiary levels. He has run his own freelance business since 1996. In January this year his second book of poems, Blue Milonga, was published by Hybrid Publishers.

How has your month been?

I have just finished a proofreading job for an academic publisher and have several other jobs lined up over the next six weeks. It’s almost time to renew my accreditation, so I’m readying my notes.

I do have one editing project from a self-publisher that was due in late November 2018, but has yet to surface. It does make it harder to plan ahead or to take on work. I have worked with a number of self-publishers over the years, with the odd café Q&A session. Many writers who go the self-publishing way are on a learning curve (some may be formulating that one and only book they feel they have in them), so it’s common to work with ‘writers’ who are learning to feel more at ease with the writing process. However, it pays to have other work coming in – freelancing is a balancing act.

Also, Blue Milonga was published in late January. Since the launch in late February the book has taken on a life of its own. The launch saw close to 70 people attend, which was a very pleasing result. I have been in touch with quite a few people since – those who couldn’t make it and those who I have thanked for supporting me. There is a lot of promotional work involved to set up readings and to establish a presence in the poetry/literary scene and beyond. It’s a great way to do my own marketing, and it parallels some of the ways I generate freelance work.


Training update


Expand Your Word Power: Kevin O’Brien
Saturday 22 June
10am to 1.30pm

Bookings now open!

Are you accustomed to using Microsoft Word for editing but suspect you are not getting the most out of it? If so, this workshop will bring your skills to the next level: you’ll optimise your efficiency and unlock Word’s most powerful features.

This course includes user-interface customisation, advanced Find and Replace, paragraph styles and templates, tracked changes and the document map. It will also touch on using macros.

As well as a half-day of practical training in Word on your own laptop (PC or Mac), you’ll receive:

· a detailed handout containing screenshots tailored to your version of Word

· a styles and macros template for your future use

· a crib sheet of Word’s most useful keyboard shortcuts for editing.

Prerequisites: a laptop running a fully functioning version of Word that you can bring to the session (ideally, one that you’re familiar with using).

Kevin O’Brien is an on-screen editor and Microsoft Word expert with nearly 20 years of professional experience at companies including LexisNexis (London), Mainstream Publishing (Edinburgh) and Penguin Random House (Sydney). He is currently managing editor at Scribe Publications in Melbourne and teaches Word skills for a range of organisations, including IPEd, the University of Sydney, UTS, and individual publishing houses.

Consider a last minute booking for:


New members

by Nicole Mathers

We are pleased to welcome new members who have joined or upgraded since our last report:

Stacie Bobele
Karen Farrar
Mariano Trevino

Jennifer Butler

Samantha Jane Hunt
Sacha Pinto 

World Wide Web - Evaluate your language

 by Bridget Blair

This double blog post from Sfep discusses how as editors we need to make our changes with discretion and with a view to being inclusionary. Just because something is ‘correct’ doesn’t make it right for every writer or every reader. I found it interesting to reflect that our evaluation of language as correct or incorrect is beset with prejudice and unthinking assumptions. The post is in two parts –

the theory:

and putting it into practice as an editor (being flexible and treading carefully!):



Etymology: Gerrymander

by Margie Beilharz

With an election this month, let’s look at one of the less admirable activities associated with voting: gerrymandering. This occurs when politicians devise boundaries on electorates to give your party an advantage in the election. 

It turns out to be a portmanteau word – whose sound and meaning are blended from multiple parts. In this case, one of the parts is Elbridge Gerry, one of the signatories on the US Declaration of Independence and in 1812 the governor of Massachusetts. 

In one of his less noble deeds, he signed the bill for a redrawn senate seat in Massachusetts that looked remarkably like a salamander.

This new electoral boundary was described as a Gerry-mander, and the word has gone become the general term for such deviousness.

Margie Beilharz is Editors Victoria's communication officer. She's a freelance editor, writer and science communicator at The Open Desk.