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Editors Western Australia in-person catch-up – 11 June

By Ingrid Waltham 

An academic editor or two. A couple of government department editors, memoir editors (current and aspiring), a fiction editor. A translator-cum-editor, an editor in training, some long-time editors, and a couple who never realised until now they were editors.

There were 10 altogether, gathered on a rainy Saturday afternoon to talk, drink tea and eat cake at the beautiful home of Kerry Coyle. The loose agenda was to meet or re-connect in person after a long time of zooming, to share ideas and find out what each of us was up to. We had the chance to talk about our personal journeys to editing, the work we are doing – or hope to be doing – and to make suggestions on ways to keep the WA branch of editors strong, informed and connected.

Being the ultimate organiser, Kerry had a pile of coloured cards for us to fill in with suggestions. Some of these included:

  • connecting with universities
  • sharing news on relevant events and workshops (outside of IPEd)
  • re-establishing our regular seminars, with several topics suggested –
    • manuscript assessment (thanks Michèle Drouart)
    • professional indemnity insurance
    • macros/IT
    • plain English (thanks Clare Chamberlain)
    • hands-on workshops for PerfectIt, Scrivener, etc.
    • structural editing in fiction (thank you again, Michèle).

There was also spirited conversation around the value of the work editors do, and yet how little valued we are.

How can we have our profession better valued? IPEd is doing a lot of the heavy lifting here, but how can we ensure our work is better valued in our daily interaction with clients? Some industries are much better at respecting or acknowledging the work we do than others.

How can we build stronger credibility, and promote ourselves as a profession?

How can we ensure we get paid “proper money”? Again, IPEd is doing a lot of work on this front, but we often deal with authors who have great projects, but not great resources.

How many of us do more hours than we charge for? As Kerry said, we have a gift, us editors, and it’s just not celebrated.

But on that afternoon, we celebrated each other and the work we do and came away the better and happier for it, so thank you, Kerry. Let’s keep the momentum going!

“Thanks Kerry, for a wonderful afternoon at your home. It was a great success, like a sweet, cool drink after a very long time in a hot desert. We’ve all so missed actually being with each other. So very much appreciated.”

“So nice to see so many of you at today’s afternoon tea. Thank you very much for the lovely food and setting, Kerry! I’d love to connect with more of you.”

For those interested in macros, Michelle Smith shared the link of a monthly newsletter on macros for editing.


Editors Western Australia catch up