President’s report – 2018

President’s report

This is my first, and perhaps only, president’s report for Editors WA. Thank you for the support of dedicated committee members and other members who have provided us with professionally delivered events over the past twelve months. Thank you also to members at large for your forbearance as we’ve tried to reinvigorate the branch. Above all, it’s imperative there are clear and tangible benefits to belonging to IPEd. Otherwise, what are we all here for?

However, I want also to deliver a branch health report and sound a note of concern with regard to the branch’s well-being. In this, I trust no one will feel hard done by; there have been outstanding moments, but from my perspective, the overall performance of the branch as a whole has been variable.

Branch events

We’ve had some excellent branch events since this time last year. The meetings on 19 February 2018, organised by Ilsa Sharp to discuss thesis editing, and on 19 March, Genres of editing organised by Michèle Drouart, stand out as model collaborations between committee, experts in the subjects, and editors’ minds generally. Why can we not achieve this more often?

There have been some lows, too. I’m sorry we had to cancel, or at least postpone, a proposed meeting for May. That meeting stalled mainly because, although the idea was good, no one took ownership of the event and the date was upon us before we had got a presenter or confirmed a venue. We should avoid duds like this in future.

In my view, at least two factors contributed to the ambivalent results and highly variable attendance at branch meetings. One is that it’s difficult to find motivated organisers for branch activities. The other is the lack of a ‘home’ for meetings.

We are lurching from one meeting to the next and have not been able to put in place longer-term plans that would lend our branch stability and consistency or purpose. As president I take some responsibility for not chivvying people along enough. Earlier in 2018, the branch committee approved an idea to appoint a general meeting coordinator. This person would oversee the calendar of meetings and help steer the logistics of keeping meetings on track. Specifics of meeting organisation would still be undertaken either by the committee or by other branch members, but the meeting coordinator would provide support and advice, and continuity of experience through the calendar year.

Unfortunately, no one from the committee was well placed to take this on and we have not advertised it widely enough to attract someone to the job. So, this report may be taken as an advertisement: if you have the time and resources to fill the role, please contact the committee sooner rather than later.

Our regular meeting venue at The Warehouse café in Shenton Park fell through late in 2017 because the café closed. We have struggled to find a good alternative. Several proposals have been mooted or tested, mostly looking at community halls, but it seems difficult to get consensus on the best. I think a reliable home for branch meetings would go some way to reviving interest among members to attend more events.

I touch on other factors for mixed meeting success later in this report. The calendar of events has only just kept up with the passing months and some events have been advertised with very short notice. It’s important that we give members longer lead times to slot meetings into busy schedules.

Committee

In December 2017 I offered to succeed Cheryl Bettridge as president because, by her own admission, Cheryl was finding it difficult to fit branch matters into or around other commitments. This change carried its own risks because I am also IPEd Councillor for Western Australia and chair of the IPEd Standing Committee for Professional Development (SCPD). It wasn’t clear whether I would be able to successfully juggle the three roles.
There have been some positive outcomes. Among them I count the visit by IPEd CEO, Karen Lee, on 14 April, for an open and frank discussion about the benefits of IPEd membership. We also talked about the functions of the branch for members, and the relationship between the branch and IPEd national office.

Competing demands on my time and energies mean I’ve found it difficult to follow up on all the initiatives that flowed from that meeting. That’s one reason I’m stepping down as president and I hope the committee can find a decisive and committed successor with a flair for motivating volunteers.

Resignations
During the second quarter of 2018 we’ve also had resignations from Bookworm editor, Martika O’Brien, website coordinator, Liz Green, and Accreditation Board delegate, Anna Maynard. Concurrently, long-term committee member Jan Knight has had important health matters to take care of, and Ilsa Sharp, our representative on the Style manualworking group and Standing Committee for Academic Editing (SCAE), has had time out for important life-events of her own.

Fortunately, Catherine Macdonald, branch member in Albany, has picked up the task of compiling and editing Bookworm, and I thank Catherine very much for that. Unfortunately, budget officer, Robert Green, has said he will not continue after this 2018 AGM.

Altogether, this means there is significant turnover of the committee as of this AGM. I issued a request for expressions of interest for someone to succeed me as IPEd Councillor, but there have been no responses. This means, if the branch committee and branch members approve, I will probably continue as Councillor until the national AGM in late October 2018, but not beyond. I’d like to encourage any professional member of IPEd with an interest in the broader, strategic scope of IPEd business to think about taking over the role. A detailed description of what’s expected from the Councillor is posted on the Editors WA website.

Branch survey

In March we distributed a survey to the WA membership looking, in particular, for views on what you want from branch meetings and professional development. More than one-third of financial members responded. This tells me there is high potential interest by in the welfare of the branch and what it can or should offer. The survey results are available on the Editors WA website (if the post has fallen off the News section of the Home page, search for ‘member survey’ to find the relevant pages).

I think it’s vital that the branch committee uses the survey as a foundation for planning activities over the next year. You expressed a clear and distinct wish for more professional development opportunities, workshops interspersed through the year (preferring half-day over full-day events), and less guff about IPEd national office and staff matters. Achieving these requires a shift in emphasis and a recommitment to up the ante.

However, it also means finding the right people with the time and availability to make these things happen—this is an on-going demand. An event logistics coordinator, as described above, would certainly help. And the committee needs to be reinvigorated with a mix of experienced members (possibly including some former committee members?) and younger or more recently joined people.

Constitution and Branch By-laws review

A significant review of the IPEd Constitution and By-laws is currently underway. Hopefully you have read about this in the CEO report from Karen Lee, or in a recent edition of Bookworm. We have published an article about this on the Editors WA website and I’m encouraging members to provide feedback.

These reviews are the biggest change to IPEd governance since the transition to direct membership in June/July 2016. Contrary to some expressed perceptions, changes signalled so far by Council and staff are (mostly) provisional—some changes are required under the Corporations Act 2001, but many reflect opinions about how the organisation should be governed and run. That is why it’s important for us to read and comment on the marked-up documents. It is a not-so-frequent opportunity to influence the tenor and colours of IPEd in years to come. The closing date for submissions is 31 August 2018.

Closing remarks

I said at the outset I wanted to deliver a branch health report. In my view, the branch is not in robust condition. I’ve been discouraged by the apparent lack of engagement (the survey was a notable exception) or lack of visible reciprocity between members at large and the committee’s efforts to keep things moving. It is a large state, and Perth is a very spread out city; perhaps this is part of the issue. Hopefully our recent foray into videoconferencing, as a way of enabling members living on the periphery or in more remote areas to take part in events, such as this AGM, will help to bridge that gap.

The Editors WA branch of IPEd has great strengths and its members represent a pool of exceptional talent and resourcefulness. Whether we’re making the most of these strengths and talents for our mutual benefit, and for the benefit of IPEd as an organisation, might depend on who you ask. We have some expert representation on standing committees and working groups, and individuals have been very committed to creating opportunities for learning and development, as well as networking and social cohesion.

Even so, in my view, unless the branch’s capacity to self-motivate improves, we are likely to find ourselves continuing in a rather haphazard, not to say desultory, fashion. I don’t have all the answers, or perhaps any useful answers at all, but someone must have. As individuals, as editing professionals, and as members of an Australia-wide organisation with growing influence among our partner professions, we owe it to ourselves and to each other to support a vibrant and thriving community of editors in Western Australia.

Stephen White
President, Editors WA
Institute of Professional Editors
21/07/2018

Survey results are coming soon

Results from the recent survey of WA IPEd members are in

About one-third of members in WA contributed, which a a great response – thank you to everyone who took part! We are currently assessing and summarising the information and we’ll share this with you as soon as possible.

Act Now! Move to the national Editors Directory

This is an important message for everyone with a profile on the Editors WA Register of editors.

The WA Register of editors has now closed.

State-based registers of editors have been replaced by the national Editors Directory (ED) and this is now the main platform for editors, especially freelancers, to upload a skills-based profile. IPEd has been actively promoting the national ED as the portal for potential clients seeking editorial services.

Closure of the WA Register of editors has been advertised on the WA Register of editors page since August 2017 and we have passed the scheduled date for closure.

The Register was deactivated over the weekend of 31 March 2018. All eligible editors are encouraged to subscribe to the national Editors Directory, if you haven’t already. Requirements for subscribing to the ED are described on the national IPEd website

We’re aware this may seem rather short notice, and that the criteria for an entry in the national ED are less flexible than for the WA Register of editors. However, New South Wales and Victoria have already deactivated their state registers, and other branches are in the process of doing so. Given our status as a branch of IPEd, it behoves us to follow suit.

If this change is likely to cause you serious problems, or if you have other concerns about this action, please contact me directly by email: edwa.president@iped-editors.org.

Every effort will be made to protect the privacy of personal information stored in the WA website. No information will be downloaded to a public domain, although a backup of the whole website may be made to protect against accidental loss of information, and for future archiving.

No date has been set for the WA website to transfer to a section of the national website, but work is underway by IPEd staff to develop pages for each branch of IPEd and migration to the national website will probably take place in the second half of 2018.

Thank you for helping to make this a smooth transition.

Will the president please stand up?

I hope by now you’ve heard that, in January this year, Cheryl Bettridge stepped down as president of Editors WA and I stepped awkwardly into her shoes. Cheryl guided the former Society of Editors (WA) through a time of significant change, the ripples of which are still extending through various levels of the organisation. Thus, it was no small matter for me to take over responsibility for keeping us pointing in generally the right direction.

As I’ve not met many members in person, I’d like to introduce myself here, partly so you can identify areas to educate me about what you hope to gain from Editors WA and from IPEd generally.

Editors-WA-President

I emerged from under which rock?

I came to Western Australia from New Zealand in 2007, looking for a way back into a career in geology. But the minerals exploration and mining scene didn’t fill me with enthusiasm and, after brief stints with a couple of minor companies, I was lucky to land a job at the Geological Survey of Western Australia — not as a geologist, but as an editor in their Editing and Publishing section. Ignorant of what this might involve, it nevertheless seemed like an ideal chance to get a foot in the door. Like many former academics — I have an Honours degree in geology from The University of Auckland (1990) and PhD in geology from Otago University (1998) — I imagined I knew a thing or two about writing. The marriage of geology and written communication was a fortunate fork in a twisted career path.

I joined the former Society of Editors (WA) in about 2011–12, when Robin Bower was president, and hung about on the periphery for a while. This changed in 2014–15 when I was encouraged (or pushed?) to stand for the committee, and again in early 2016 when I found myself squeezed into the role of IPEd Councillor for Western Australia — just as the topic of transition to direct membership was approaching the pointy end of the stick.

What are some of our priorities?

Coming to the position of branch president while also Councillor for Western Australia has both pluses and minuses. It’s helpful to have the perspective of being on IPEd Council because it provides context for the WA branch and background to many of the decisions the branch has to make on behalf of members of IPEd in this state. On the other hand, I have to balance my obligations, as Councillor, to work for IPEd as a national organisation, while also advocating for editors in WA.

Here are some of the areas where I hope we’ll make progress in the short to medium term:

  • Improve the professional standing of members in Western Australia
    Before transition in 2016, the membership structure of the Society of Editors (WA) differed from most other societies in Australia. At transition and since, this has resulted in Editors WA having proportionally fewer members subscribed in the professional category than any other branch. I want to see more WA members recognise the benefits of switching to the professional membership category.
  • Bring training opportunities into line with other branches
    Despite a healthy program of regular meetings, and annual Winter Seminars, since at least 2007 when the Society of Editors became part of IPEd, we have not had the same opportunities for technical training as some other states. In part, this is because other states, such as Victoria and New South Wales, have larger publishing industries and much larger population bases, so they have greater capacity to offer technical training. However, we now have the backing of IPEd nationally, and a chance to draw on that resource to raise our game.
  • Ensure the voice of Editors WA is heard at the national level
    There is no suggestion that the national organisation does not recognise Editors WA equally with other branches, but there is a lingering sense that, hanging out at the end of a long limb, geographically distant from our eastern cousins, we tend to look to our own clan for direction. In my view, it would be good for us to feel more closely integrated with the larger tribe. This will be helped by development of a national program for professional development, and by having more WA branch members on national standing committees and working groups.

Want to tell me your hopes and aspirations, as an editor and for the WA branch? Let’s talk. You can reach me at edwa.president@iped-editors.org. My inbox is open.

Regards

Stephen White
President, Editors WA (January 2018 – )
IPEd Councillor for Western Australia (January 2016 – )

Thesis Editing – where to from here?

If you’re coming along to the Editors WA general meeting on Monday 19 February 2018, all the details you need are right here!

DATE: Monday 19 February 2018


TIME: 6:15 for 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM


PLACE: Town of Victoria Park Leisurelife Centre, Cnr Kent & Gloucester Sts, East Victoria Park, WA 6979

 

Note on Venue Location:

The meeting venue is the Town of Victoria Park’s Leisurelife Centre, 248 Gloucester Street, East Victoria Park, but please note that you will find GPS works best for you if you characterise the location as ‘Victoria Park’ not ‘East Victoria Park’.

The Leisurelife Centre building stands at the corner of Gloucester and Kent streets, off Albany Highway and Sussex St, behind the Park Shopping Centre and the Victoria Park Library.

Unfortunately the Leisurelife Centre building is adjacent to and pretty much joined with an almost identical brick building, which is the Victoria Park Community Centre at 247 Gloucester St, so look carefully  – but anyway, the staff of both centres are used to redirecting people all the time, apparently!

It’s OK to park in the Community Centre’s adjoining carpark if needed. There’s plenty of carparking space.

New venue map

 

Presenters:

 

Philippa Freegard, MSc, Accredited Editor – Senior Planning Officer at UWA and a freelance editor, holding a Diploma in Professional Book Editing, Proofreading and Publishing.

Helen Renwick, PhD (Ling), Med (Applied Ling), GradDipEd (Adult & Tertiary), GradDipLib&InfStudies, Accredited Editor –- Higher Degree by Research Communication Adviser at ECU’s Centre for Learning and Teaching, former EFL teacher, and freelance editor with previous experience teaching at Curtin, UWA, and Murdoch universities.

Ilsa Sharp – Freelance editor, career journalist/author/researcher/editor in Southeast Asia 1968–1998, Editors WA committee member and member of IPEd’s Standing Committee on Academic Editing.

Description:

Our meeting at 6.30 pm on Monday 19 February 2018 will tackle the thorny topic of Academic Editing, focusing on one aspect of concern to many members Thesis editing – where to from here?

The panel aims to encourage discussion about how we can better manage the thesis editing process and improve it for editors, students, and supervisors. Among the key topics to be examined:

  • IPEd’s Guidelines for editing research theses – background, status of the debate.
  • The current agenda for the newly formed IPEd Standing Committee on Academic Editing.
  • The state of the profession’s relationship with universities/academics, thesis supervisors, and students.
  • Addressing mismatched expectations: educating our clients about what we do; educating ourselves about what clients (students and supervisors) expect/need.
  • Supporting postgrads using English as an additional language: a special case? Should we consider a ‘fit for purpose’ criterion?
  • Educating and training ourselves: course ideas, the notion of ‘specialist accreditation’?
  • Thesis editing pay rates/terms & conditions.

You will also get a summary of the agenda for IPEd’s newly formed Standing Committee on Academic Editing (SCAE). We expect a few invited representatives from academe to attend and make their own contribution to the discussion from the floor, widening our horizons beyond our own ‘editor perspective’.

We are experimenting with a new venue for this meeting, south of the river, at the Town of Victoria Park’s Leisurelife Centre, 250 Gloucester Street, corner of Kent and Gloucester streets, in East Victoria Park, 6101. Please do not confuse this centre with the Victoria Park Community Centre at #247 right next door.

Purchase your tickets

Town of Victoria Park’s Leisurelife Centre, 250 Gloucester Street, corner of Kent and Gloucester streets, in East Victoria Park, 6101

 

Preparing for the Accreditation Exam: Tips, Strategies and Exercises

Get organised for your Accreditation Exam

The next accreditation exam will be held on Saturday 19 May 2018.

To assist WA members preparing to sit the exam, Meryl Potter, Distinguished Editor and lead writer for four of the accreditation exams, will deliver her acclaimed accreditation workshop in Perth on 10 March. Details are as follows.

Preparing for the Accreditation Exam: Tips, Strategies and Exercises
Presented by Meryl Potter, DE

10 March 2018, 9.30 am to 4.30 pm
Venue: Mattie Furphy House in Swanbourne

Cost: $125 (members), $175 (non-members)
(includes lunch, and morning and afternoon teas)

Book your place

If you’re planning to sit for the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) accreditation exam this year, or simply thinking about sitting in the future, this workshop is for you. It is also offers an editorial tune-up, even if you aren’t yet ready for the exam. This will be an intensive day, with lots of exercises—it’s not intended for beginners.

In 2018 the exam will once again be offered onscreen. However, this workshop focuses on strategies and content, with minor reference to working onscreen. It is expected that IPEd will offer a separate session on the onscreen environment.

This interactive workshop will focus on:

  • Preparation for the exam—tips and strategies for organising revision, reducing stress, managing your time and hitting the 80% pass mark.
  • Editing a short extract, comparable to the extract for part 2 of the exam—dealing with the tricky things that might be included, following the brief, making style decisions, preparing a sound style sheet, and writing appropriate author queries.
  • Part 3 of the exam—some short answer exercises for practice (e.g. lists, tables, references), and choosing questions that will help you pass.
  • Q&A forum—time to ask any other questions you might have.

A comprehensive workbook is provided for the use of attendees only.

You can email questions before the workshop to the workshop coordinator at edwa.ab@iped-editors.org

Get your tickets and reserve your spot

Introducing Meryl

Meryl Potter is an IPEd Distinguished Editor with more than 30 years’ experience as an editor, publisher and corporate communication manager over a vast range of subjects, across book publishing (trade, education, custom), magazine publishing, marketing, and corporate and government communication and publications. She was a lecturer for Macleay College’s Book Editing and Publishing diploma for more than 12 years, and has developed and presented workshops for the New South Wales, South Australian and Tasmanian societies of editors, and the Australian Institute of Interpreters & Translators in New South Wales and South Australia. She was lead writer for four of the six IPEd accreditation exams, including the first one in 2008, which was designed to set the format, style and standard for the exam.

Join us for a seasonal celebration

Christmas Lunch IPEd WA

This year, the Editors WA Christmas lunch will be held at:

La Fattoria
211 Merrivale Rd Pickering Brook (see map below)
Saturday 2 December 2017
12.00 – 3.00 pm

Please come along to La Fattoria in picturesque Pickering Brook and experience
Nonna’s family table.

Your ticket will include a traditional five course Italian meal, a wine tasting
and an optional bus pickup and drop off from Maddington train station.

Booking Information

Member: $40
Non-member: $60

If you have any special dietary needs, please advise when booking.

Don’t miss out on your chance to join us for the Editors WA Christmas lunch

Bookings close on Friday 24 November 2017. Head to the national IPED Events page to reserve your spot at Nonna’s family table.

For further enquiries, please email: edwa.admin@iped-editors.org

We look forward to seeing you at this exciting end of year celebration.

BOOK TODAY

8th IPEd National Editors Conference

Expressions of interest have been called to present papers and workshops at the 8th IPEd National Editors Conference, to be held in Brisbane from 13 to 15 September 2017.

The conference program will be divided into three streams — technology, professional development and building alliances. It will focus on contemporary and emerging aspects of editing and publishing, including, but not limited to:

  • accessibility of information
  • best practice and innovative practice in editing
  • building alliances between editors, authors and others in publishing (panel)
  • business practices
  • digital publishing
  • editing particular genres and formats
  • education and professional development of editors
  • mentoring (panel)
  • publishing and other business trends
  • social media.

Expressions of interest are called for:

  • presenting a paper (up to 200 words)
  • participating in panel discussions (up to 200 words)
  • presenting a half-day workshop (up to 300 words).

Visit the ‘Call for papers’ page of the conference website at https://iped-conf2017.org.au/call-for-papers/ for more information, including the submission template. Expressions of interest must be submitted by Sunday 26 February 2017.

The subcommittee reserves the right to select papers appropriate to the program.

Winter seminar: full agenda announced and registration open

How do you stand out in a sea of noise? Sometimes, it’s as simple as caring about your reader. Empathy, appreciation, compassion and a feeling of ‘we’re in this together’ come through in the way we edit. Can you help make your client’s voice heard above the rest?a

Learn the subtle and not-so-subtle ways to make your readers feel special at our Winter seminar on Saturday 22 August. Remember that it is not about how much information you give out to people. What matters is how much of it is understood.

Figure out your particular expertise by listening to our excellent speakers — Janet Applegate (information specialist), Dr Vivienne Conway (web), Dr Stephen White (science) and Dr Yusuke Fitzgibbons (editor as international intermediary). These sessions will help you succeed as an editor. As well, technical editor Rhonda Bracey’s session will help you increase your efficiency with Word. Check out Rhonda’s impressive credentials at www.cybertext.com.au.

This seminar is an opportunity to learn to pay attention to what readers need, what resources they are missing, and to your own expertise.

Don’t miss out. Registrations close on Thursday 13 August 2015.

View the full agenda. Click here to register. Registration is now closed.