Editing Globally: A-conferencing we go

This time last week, three of the Editing Globally team had just left the annual conference of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), this time in St Neots, England. Katherine Trail, Kelly Lamb and I (Janet MacMillan) wended our way there – some of us travelling a very long way and one of us spending as long on three trains as the other two did on planes – to learn (and teach) why context is key. 

Our editing careers differ in length and subject fields and genres. It was Katherine’s third SfEP conference, and Kelly and Janet’s first (although Kelly and Janet have both been to other editing conferences). But we were all unanimous in our verdict: it was superb! 

Everyone was so friendly and open, it was so inclusive, everyone was clearly there to share their skills and learn new ones, or even just confirm they were on the right track, and, oh my, was the food ever good. 

We three arrived early evening before the conference officially started the next afternoon. What a great decision! We enjoyed a casual evening in the venue pub with a dozen or so other attendees, which we all found a delightful way to settle in and talk to people. 

The next morning, the three of us headed off for some pampering in the venue complex’s spa, which, given the intensity of the following 48+ hours, was a wise move. 

After the annual general meeting, which was so non-contentious that it was over in no time, there was an impromptu and very noisy tea party, though perhaps the noise level was related to the number of folks who packed into one rather small room. Even with the door and windows open one could tell it was a happy gathering. Kelly immortalized it for posterity.

Spot the Editing Globally members!

 

The dinner and pub-type quiz that evening were great fun. I’ll spare the blushes of the team I was on and not identify them. One might say that we weren’t exactly stars! Mind you, we did a bit better on the acronym and abbreviations round than the other rounds. I think that the preponderance of academic editors at the table is the explanation. Even though I don’t think any of the Editing Globally team closed the bar that night, we certainly enjoyed some great conviviality before retiring to our respective beds. 

Watch this space over the next week or so for blogs about the actual conference sessions, sessions that we all found so valuable.  

Editing Globally: Not just a name

The Editing Globally team is now almost through our fourth month as an international editorial collective. In the first weeks, we were very busy – designing and ordering postcards and business cards, responding to queries from potential clients, letting past and current clients know about Editing Globally, tweaking terms and conditions, doing joint professional development – all the things professionals need to do – alongside our editing work.

Not long after, one of our number did exactly what our name suggests: she travelled to a conference in another country, meeting with academics, researchers, publishers and clients.

Remaining on the international theme, two of our members, along with a colleague from yet another country, committed to present a panel session at the Society for Editors and Proofreaders’ (SfEP) conference in September 2017. One of us has almost finalized her session for the Editors’ Association of Canada’s conference in Ottawa in mid June 2017 and another of us has been preparing her own session for the SfEP conference. We like sharing our knowledge!

And still on the international theme (well, it might be odd if there wasn’t one, given what this collective is!), one of our Canadian members has been in England, meeting with fellow editorial professionals, clients and potential clients. She also led a discussion, on efficiency tools and editing efficiently, for one of the SfEP local, in-person groups.

One of us has travelled to Guyana to a conference of Caribbean medical professionals, then to Brazil, and is now on their way home from the G7 in Taormina in Italy, via Germany.

Three of us continue to attend the SfEP Skype Club meetings and engage with other editorial professionals in many corners of the world. And now two of us are part of the new, in-person SfEP group in Toronto.

Recently, two of us met up on one side of the Atlantic for some mutual CPD and some Editing Globally brainstorming. And shortly thereafter, three of us got together on the other side for the same purpose. One of us was at both – the marvels of travel in the world today.

Editing Globally gets everywhere!

We have all been heartened by – and grateful for – all the positive comments and support we received, and continue to receive, from both clients and colleagues, as well as potential clients. It is lovely that almost everyone ‘gets’ that we are global editors, not tied to our respective nationalities or countries. Globalization, and people getting on the world over, is vital these days. As one of us is wont to say: if people are talking they can’t be fighting.

Although it’s not a particularly surprising discovery, in that we’ve all answered each other’s questions in the past, the fact that we now do it seamlessly and quickly is a bonus. Got a knotty problem about reference numbering or some quirky turn of phrase or wondering how to style a gaggle of solicitors general? For the member of Editing Globally team who asks the question, the answer is forthcoming quickly, and just as often with responses from more than one of us. Yes, that’s a value-added benefit for our clients, be they our individual clients or our collective clients. A pool of knowledge and easy access is an excellent thing.

Looking outward, we are drafting a selection of blogs that we hope will be of interest and use to our clients, potential clients and to at least some of our colleagues in the wider editorial world. If you have a topic or question you’d like us to address, please let us know.

In various configurations, we’ve worked on projects together for the benefit of clients, who have expressed their pleasure about the service we provide.

And, above all, we are all continuing to work hard for our many clients, pitching in to help each other where necessary (with the client’s knowledge and agreement, of course) and enjoying life as an international collective of editors.