September 2019


Welcome to your September newsletter.

Aah, for spring, and September in Melbourne, when we can swap footy jumpers for racing formals and showground casuals – thinking AFL finals, Spring Racing Carnival and Royal Melbourne Show – and others to fit the more glamorous fashion and film festivals happening.

We still have a week to go for the Melbourne Writers Festival and some of you may have already attended and made your memories, while others may yet do so. This immersive festival has a jam-packed program of events in several locations and has pushed the traditional writers festival boundaries by creating more space for self-expression. I do hope we get some personal accounts of members' experiences had and knowledge gained for publishing in our newsletter. Check out the international and local icons and legends heading up the festival.


From the president

by Susan Keogh DE

A lot of news for the start of new committee year. While most of the committee members, particularly those in the executive roles, are the same as last year, we have some new faces: Bridget Blair has stepped up from the Communication subcommittee to be our new Communication Officer (assisted by new subcommittee members Michaela Skelly and Giovanna D’Abaco). Those returning are Susan Pierotti (Vice President), Marnie Hannagan (Budget Officer), Marie Pietersz (Events Officer – assisted by Sally McInnes on the subcommittee), Sharon Lierse (Secretary) and Maryna Mews (Professional Development, assisted by subcommittee members Jane Fitzpatrick, Claire Kelly and Michelle Manly). Katie Lawry remains our Accreditation Board representative, and the committee also retains the wisdom of Renée Otmar in the position of Immediate Past President.


Freelancers' lunch

by Susan Pierotti

Freelancers' Lunch – register now

Date: Thursday 19 September 2019
Time: 12.30pm
At: The Fitz Cafe, 347 Brunswick St, Fitzroy (corner Kerr St).
Tram Route 11 (West Preston – Victoria Harbour Docklands) goes right past the door and some car parking is available nearby.

This is an excellent opportunity to increase your networking, solve problems, learn new stuff and – more importantly – make new friends! 

Please plan to bring CASH to settle your bill at the table.


Events update

Our first international online meeting hosted by Victoria is scheduled for September. Details to be announced.

The events calendar for 2019–2020 is being finalised. Watch this space!


Presenter Q&A: Bridget Caldwell

by Jane Fitzpatrick AE

Bridget Caldwell is a Jingili Mudburra writer and editor currently based in Narrm/Birraranga/Melbourne. She works as co-editor for Archer Magazine as well as commissioning editor for literary journal The Lifted Brow. She will be one of three presenters at Editors Victoria’s forthcoming training seminar, Diverse Voices, to be held Saturday 12 October at the Wheeler Centre (details elsewhere in this newsletter).

What inspired you to build a career in the arts?

I think my main inspiration definitely comes from those who have come before. There are so many great black women artists, writers, performers etc. in this country who have paved the way for young people like me to be able to have the career that I do now. I do believe that the arts and writing in particular has the power to influence and transform in ways that other platforms cannot, which is something that has always appealed to me.


Training upcoming

Editing Digital Content

Date: Saturday 14 September 2019
Time: 10.00am–1.30pm

Presenter: John Ryan 

Hurry! Limited spaces still available

Bookings close: Tuesday 10 September 2019 

From print to digital: Using old skills and breaking old habits

‘If you are looking to broaden your work base, this course will give you insights into how your editing skills can be taken into the vast field of online content.’

John will cover aspects of writing and editing content for digital platforms, with particular focus on:

• editing online content to suit online reading behaviour
• using editing skills to shape user experience design and user tasks
• structuring content for digital platforms
• creating the elements of digital content (headings, links, calls to action, alt text and more)
• SEO and accessibility for writers and editors.

You will gain a deeper understanding of the role of the writer and editor within digital project teams, and practise these new skills in small groups during the session.


New members

by Nichole Mathers

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

Tamsin Wagner
Jim Thomas
Tara Coburn

Deirdre O'Driscoll
Kirsten Rann
Kyla-Jayne Rajah

Katherine Livingston
Noeleen Ginnane
Maddelene Gifford
Travis Englefield 

Etymology: Dandelion

by Bridget Blair AE

Plants often have colourful names, and the humble dandelion is no exception. The name does not, as you might suppose, refer to a lion who is overly impressed with his glorious yellow mane. Rather, it comes from the Old French dent de lion, literally ‘lion's tooth’, because of its tooth-shaped petals, which I suppose look rather like a toothy mouth opened in a roar. The weed was also once referred to as piss-a-bed, thanks to its diuretic quality (in French it’s still called pissenlit).

Bridget Blair is a freelance editor and Communication Officer. 

World Wide Web: Tracking Time

by Bridget Blair AE

For freelancers, tracking the hours spent on each aspect of your job is essential for being able to estimate the time required for future jobs – and hence being able to quote effectively. EditTools’ Time Tracker is a comprehensive application specifically designed for editors that will help you do this. It’s part of a package of macros by wordsnSync that you may or may not be interested in investing in, but the creator’s discussion of the benefits of tracking time and other data makes for interesting reading:

Bridget Blair is a freelance editor and Communication Officer. 

Typo of the month

Vice President Susan Pierotti was on holiday with her husband – a fellow pedant – when they came across this sign at Mt Eccles National Park. Also known as Budj Bim, Mt Eccles is an extinct volcano, apparently with a canal for undeveloped insects!