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From the President

It’s been another busy month for EdVic, with a range of meetings and events in April from learning PDF markup to hearing the inside stories of cookbook production and discussing fiction editing.

You can also read reports below from our March speaker event with Renée Otmar, and March training with Nadine Davidoff.

At our April meeting, the committee considered ways to make managing the busy events schedule as smooth as possible (you might notice some small differences in bookings and waitlists, for example). We’re also pleased with the availability of closed captioning for events. Improving options and experiences for members, while relying significantly on volunteer committee time, requires some clever juggling.

Our regular committee meeting was followed later in April by a special planning meeting (our first face-to-face meeting for the current committee). Thanks to all those who returned their branch member survey in advance of that meeting; a great snapshot of the membership and member priorities and preferences — we’ll share further news and plans as these take shape.

Have you ever considered working with the branch committee? As the end of the current committee term approaches, we’d love to hear from members interested in contributing, including on the subcommittees for key activities such as professional development and communications. We’re also looking for a student member as our next Student Advisor. Please contact me for further information.

And finally, I must have been one of the few editors who hadn’t read Mary Norris’s cult hit (can editors be considered a cult?) Between you and me: confessions of a comma queen. But I’m very glad I finally did — I’m not sure I learnt much that was new about commas or prepositions, but I sure learnt some interesting things about pencils, pencil sharpeners, truck driving and the peculiarities of New Yorker style. Thoroughly recommended.

Stephanie Holt AE

New members

EdVic is pleased to welcome members who have joined or upgraded over the past month.

Professional member: Camille Nurka.
Associate members: Margaret Sheehan and Debra Walton.
Student members: Caroline Arnoul and Rebecca Randall.

We look forward to seeing you at our workshops and events and encourage you to make the most of IPEd’s networks for news and support. 

OHS for editors working with sensitive and explicit content

by Jane Fitzpatrick AE

Dr Renée Otmar is well known to IPEd members for her contributions in many aspects of IPEd activity. For EdVic’s March online speaker meeting, Renée presented a generous and stimulating exploration of how editors might approach and take care of themselves when they are working on difficult material.

To read the full report, click here [PDF 67KB].

Workshop report: Editing narrative non-fiction with Nadine Davidoff 

by Imogen Bannister AE

Nadine generously shared her boundless energy, expertise and experience in this sold-out March workshop.

To cater for demand, two sessions were offered. Both were packed with interesting, collaborative discussions facilitated by Nadine about what narrative non-fiction is and what readers look to get out of it. We also looked at examples from standout narrative non-fiction works. A highlight of the workshops was hearing from attendees who contributed their thoughts and experiences gleaned from reading and editing narrative non-fiction.

Nadine shared a wide range of tips and strategies, including the importance of exploring difficult topics, finding the emotional truth of the story, and writing ‘from the scar, not the wound’. And of course we explored the vital role of the editor in coaching authors to find the point of maximum engagement for each story and to push them into new spaces and refine their own approach to the genre.

On a larger scale, Nadine offered insights into helping authors find a structure that works for the narrative they are creating, and explored different narrative structures such as quest, mosaic and parallel formats.

Thank you to all who participated in both of these workshops and to Nadine for leading them.

Feedback from workshop attendees included:

‘A really valuable insight into the process of editing narrative non-fiction, both from a structural/practical sense and author–editor communications.’

‘Nadine’s expertise and love of her subject was obvious. I came away energised and inspired.’

Professional development news

In April and May we are running two sessions of ‘Using PDF mark-up effectively’, with Kevin O’Brien. Both dates are fully booked.

There are still places available for our freelance business workshop on 22, 24 and 26 May, led by Jackey Coyle. If you’re looking for creative strategies for refreshing your freelance practice, this is the course for you. Book now for ‘Dance steps to reboot for the new future’.

EdVic isn’t running a training course in June, because the fantastic IPEd conference Editing on the edges will take place then, but we’ll resume in July with a course on editing plain English.

The Professional Development subcommittee