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Member profile: Jena Jaensch, EdSA

What is your background?

Jena JaenschMy background is in international affairs and I have an MA in Violence, Terrorism, and Security as well as a Graduate Certificate in Gender Mainstreaming Policy and Analysis so I really enjoy working in these areas.

Why did you decide to become an editor?

After realising the traditional nine-to-five job wasn’t for me, I started my own copywriting and editing business, Six Degrees of Punctuation.

I had been volunteering as an editor for Young Australians in International Affairs and realised that there was a need for editing expertise, especially for young people who weren’t sure how or where to start writing. I decided to find out whether anyone would pay me for this.

I’m really glad I took that risk and now edit academic and non-fiction pieces, working mostly with students and freelance writers.

What do you enjoy most about editing?

I particularly love helping freelance writers publish their first opinion piece and gain confidence in their writing. I’m really keen to help diversify the media and literary space. If writers don’t know how to format or structure their piece, they can’t contribute to the conversations around issues they care about.

I enjoy editing because it’s really rewarding to see a piece go from first draft to completely finished piece of writing. I love teaching my clients how to improve their writing skills so that they feel confident that they can do their best work. Outside of my editing work, I’m also a freelance political writer, copywriter, (very new) travel writer, and enthusiastic (but not skilled) martial arts student.

Tell us about a project you’re working on at the moment

As well as shorter pieces, I am currently working with a client to take her historical nonfiction book from manuscript to published book. It’s a subject that’s very close to her heart and it’s so wonderful to see how much publishing her book means to her. It’s a reminder that being able to tell our own stories is so important.

What would you like to get out of your IPEd membership?

I really appreciate all of the resources IPEd has available to members, especially the documents related to running a business. I’ve already used the contract template and love that it was made specifically with editors in mind. I would like to build my skills as an editor by completing training and attending webinars held by IPEd. I am also keen to take the IPEd exam next year and get accredited as an editor.

I love that I can work remotely but it does mean that it’s hard to have face-to-face conversations with people in the same field so I’m really excited to attend some in-person events and meet other editors from South Australia.