Tag Archives: conference

The Linnets – Singing for Editors and Proofreaders

By Sarah Patey.

The Linnets SfEP conference 2011Long ago and far away – well, Cirencester 1998, in fact – I was a Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) conference newbie and rather overawed. Conference newbies these days may feel the same, but at least the name-labels are likely to look familiar, thanks to the SfEP forums. The faces too, unless the wearer uses a cartoon avatar. I’d met a few people at courses, but not many.

Chick Linnets

I made an effort to sit with different people at meals, and quickly noticed that every table seemed to have at least one other choral singer (you can tell my small talk is limited). When I next booked a conference (Cambridge 2002) I suggested via the new(ish) SfEPLine, the email precursor to the forums, that a group of us might sing something before the conference dinner. The response was encouraging, and the medium caused one participant to christen us The Linnets (Line – gerrit?). Rather ambitiously, I got hold of an eight-part arrangement of Flanders and Swann’s The Slow Train, and those present tell me they still have fond memories of it.

Fledglings

I didn’t make it to Birmingham in 2003, but have been to every conference since, and the Linnets have become a firm favourite. Once conference preparations are well under way, the call goes out to ask if anyone coming would like to join in. Perhaps unsurprisingly, our demographic produces more sopranos and, particularly, altos, than basses and, particularly, tenors. Usually there are around fifteen or twenty of us, and the music is sent out in advance, as we only have very limited time to practise. The conference director obligingly arranges a room, and those involved sacrifice precious drinking socialising time for the two rehearsal spots – one for familiarisation and one for polishing. We’ve become less ambitious over the years in terms of complexity of music, but work hard to make the words clear. They are always worth it.

Home-grown talent

Most years since 2003, talented members have contributed entertaining lyrics on various aspects of our editorial life: stylesheets, SfEPline, our 20th anniversary, punctuation, deadlines, and so on, and of course the vagaries of Word. Musical arrangements have been provided sometimes in-house, and sometimes by friends and family who’ve been willing to have an arm twisted. Piano accompaniment, when needed, and conducting have also been in-house (well, by extension if you count spouses).

Breaking the pattern

In the dog days of 2006, a spoof poem ‘in the style of’ appeared on SfEPLine. The gauntlet was down, and from all quarters further contributions in all kinds of styles were sent in. We had clerihews, sonnets, haikus, new words to old songs, and so on. TS Eliot seemed to provide particular inspiration. It was a treat, as summed up (à la McGonagall) by one of our founder members:

O Beautiful parody thread of the SfEP Line!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety working hours were taken away
On one Novembry day of 2006
Which will be remember’d for quite a few weeks. 


In fact they were remembered for quite a few months, and seemed worth enjoying again. So in the Linnets spot in Brighton in 2007 we put on a poetry reading. Choosing which we’d have time for was not an easy task. We succumbed to music for the last item, The Twelve Days of the Schedule – no prizes for guessing the tune. It featured locked files, dangling clauses, misquotations, sexist pronouns, footnotes missing, fuzzy graphs…

Pedants, us?

Well, some might think so, but we’ve found over the years that there’s a lot of musical fun to be had on the subject. If there are any linguistic pedants with musical inclinations out there, perhaps you’ve just found your spiritual home?

(All names omitted to protect the innocent. You know who you are.)

If you’re heading to our conference at Royal Holloway this weekend and you’d like to sing with the Linnets, please contact Sarah Patey and let her know which part you sing (soprano, alto, tenor or bass). Please head your mail ‘Linnets 2014’.

Sarah Patey Le Mot JusteSarah Patey was educated in France, taking both International and French Baccalauréats, and subsequently studied languages in the UK. Initially a teacher of French and German, she joined the SfEP in 1995 to investigate editorial work and to benefit from SfEP’s excellent training courses and professional development. Now an advanced member of SfEP, she edits a variety of humanities subjects and educational material for teachers of French, German and English.
 Sarah’s website is: http://le-mot-juste.co.uk/


Proofread by SfEP associate Laura Morgan.

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the SfEP.

Tweet about #sfep14 to win a copy of Twitterature

Twitterature

To celebrate our 25th annual Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) conference, we’re launching a Twitter competition.

All you have to do is follow @theSfEP on Twitter and tweet during the conference using the hashtag #sfep14. Entries received between 13 September and 3 p.m. on 15 September 2014 will be entered into a draw to win a copy of the paperback book Twitterature. The winner will be announced during the closing session of this year’s conference.

Conference Tweetup

The conference is also the perfect time to meet up with other SfEP tweeters at our first ever SfEP Tweetup, which takes place between 5.35 p.m. and 6.15 p.m. on Sunday 14 September. You’ll be able to put faces to handles and share tips and stories. There’s no agenda, just an informal get together.

Twitter Workshop

If you’re new to Twitter, you can learn all about how it works at Julia Sandford-Cooke’s ‘Twitter for Beginners’ workshop at 4 p.m. on Sunday 14 September. Perhaps she’ll whet your appetite enough to encourage you to head to the Tweetup afterwards. For more tips from Julia, check out the post she wrote for the SfEP blog: Five reasons editors love Twitter.

If you’re not sure what to tweet or how to use the #sfep14 hashtag, take a look at what people tweeted at last year’s conference in this Storify collection of #sfep13.

Wifi will be available throughout the conference venue and wifi and wired access is available in the conference accommodation.

Full terms and conditions of the Twitter competition can be viewed on the SfEP website.

Joanna Bowery

Joanna Bowery is the SfEP social media manager. As well as looking after the SfEP’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and the SfEP blog, she offers freelance marketing, PR, writing and proofreading services operating as Cosmic Frog. Jo is an associate of the SfEP and a Chartered Marketer. She is active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

Proofread by SfEP associate Ravinder Dhindsa.

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the SfEP.

 

Meet the SfEP conference sponsors

London Royal Holloway - the venue for the 25th SfEP annual conference 13-15 September 2014

London Royal Holloway – the venue for the 25th SfEP annual conference

So, you’re off to the SfEP conference. You’ve booked your workshops, you’re finalising your travel arrangements and you’re wondering what to wear to the Gala dinner. But have you thought about how to make the most of our exhibition?

Whether you want to find out more about software that will streamline your operations, you’re looking for a training course, or you’re looking at ways to reduce your stress levels, you’ll find something of interest among our conference exhibitors.

Here, we give you the lowdown on our conference sponsors, including their profiles, so you can decide which ones to visit at the exhibitors’ fair and prepare any questions when you visit the stands.

Sponsors

The Publishing Training Centre and The Publishing Qualifications Board

Whether you’re just starting your career in proofreading or editing, or you are looking at further developing your skill set, The Publishing Training Centre (PTC) is definitely worth a visit. The PTC is sponsoring the Whitcombe Lecture.

The Publishing Training Centre and The Publishing Qualifications Board profile:

‘The Publishing Training Centre (PTC) supports organisations and individuals that utilise publishing skills as a critical part of their operations by delivering classroom based and distance learning courses. The distance learning courses are provided under the auspices of The Publishing Qualifications Board that was established in 1991 as the awarding body for the vocational qualifications of the publishing industry. Later this year The Publishing Qualifications Board is being re-born as the PQB. In addition to accrediting the distance learning courses, PQB will provide a comprehensive Continuing Professional Development framework for publishing professionals.’

Inera Inc.

Ensuring references are correctly formatted can be a thankless task. However, Inera Inc. could come to the rescue with their tools, which automatically correct, link and format references. Inera – Innovation for Today, Resources for Tomorrow – is the firm that created eXtyles® and Edifix®. Inera is sponsoring Anne Waddingham’s ‘Working with Word’s styles’ workshop.

Inera profile:

‘Inera is a leading developer of sophisticated editorial and production solutions for the publishing world. Our eXtyles® suite of editorial and XML solutions are used in the production of journals, books, standards, and government documents in more than twenty-five countries. What sets us apart are the unique features and unparalleled quality of our products and services, and the relationships we build with our customers.

Manual curation of references is costly, time consuming, tedious, and error prone. Edifix® automatically edits plain-text references to popular editorial styles such as AMA, APA 5, APA 6, Chicago, ICMJE (Vancouver), ISO 690, and MLA. References are also linked to PubMed and CrossRef and corrected with data retrieved from these online resources. Results can be pasted into Word, saved to JATS XML, or converted to RIS for seamless integration with popular reference managers. Edifix® is built with proven eXtyles® reference processing technology, used by the leading scientific publishers worldwide, and is available by flexibly priced subscription, making it affordable for everyone, from individual users to large enterprises.’

Intelligent Editing – PerfectIt

If you’re looking for software that will pick up inconsistencies in documents, Intelligent Editing’s PerfectIt is worth a look. We mentioned it in our blog post on Computer Tools for Proofreaders. PerfectIt is sponsoring the exhibitors’ fair.

Intelligent Editing – PerfectIt profile:

‘PerfectIt saves time and helps editors deliver better documents. More than 250 members of the SfEP use PerfectIt to find difficult to locate mistakes. In seconds, PerfectIt can find inconsistent hyphenation, acronyms that haven’t been defined, list punctuation errors, capitalisation inconsistencies, and much more. PerfectIt is designed for professionals and is easy to download, install and use. A free trial is available from: www.intelligentediting.com.’

Exhibitors

BioExact

If you specialise in the life sciences or if you know an author or publisher involved in biological or medical sciences, then BioExact is definitely worth a visit. The firm specialises in editing manuscripts and also offers an editing service for abstracts and press releases for publications or conferences.

BioExact profile:

‘BioExact is a UK-based, online service that specialises in editing manuscripts for life science publications. Abstracts and press releases for publications or conferences, are currently edited free of charge. Authors and publishers are welcome to call (0844 800 4044) for an informal discussion about their editing needs. Visit bioexact.co.uk for further information about services and prices.’

Mariette Jansen / Dr De-Stress

Feeling stressed? Do you get anxious? Are deadlines getting you down? Is your life getting out of control? Visit Mariette Jansen, also known as Dr De-Stress for information on how to regain control of your life.

Mariette Jansen / Dr De-Stress profile:

‘Dr Mariette Jansen (aka Dr De-Stress) is an expert in helping people with stress related challenges. Using her knowledge and experience as a psychotherapist, tutor in counselling education and author about mindfulness meditation, she has created a range of tools that help clients to take charge of their stress levels. Stress is caused by the (perceived) lack of control and by understanding the dynamics of stress and learning tools to deal differently with it, people can change their lives around. Dr Jansen has been awarded for her stress management technique by Janey Lee Grace (radio and TV presenter, author and founder of www.imperfectlynatural.com), has written a series of articles for ‘the Guardian’, is a published author and offers personal coaching, tuition, and workshops.’

EM Words – Elizabeth Manning Murphy DE

We all love books, so you’ll definitely want to take a look at editor, writer, mentor and trainer Elizabeth Manning Murphy DE. She will be selling her study guide, Effective writing: plain English at work and her book about editing and writing, Working Words, which, among other things, tackles the well-known curse of editors and authors: ‘itchypencilitis’.

EM Words profile:

‘Elizabeth Manning Murphy is a distinguished Editor (IPEd, Australia), an Honorary Life Member of the Canberra Society of Editors, and has an Honours degree in Linguistics. She has been editing, writing, training and mentoring in Australia and internationally for more than 40 years. She specialises in academic editing – theses and scholarly journal articles, with a special interest in helping authors whose native language is not English.

Elizabeth is an acclaimed author of many books about editing, writing and business, most recently a second edition of her popular study guide ‘Effective writing: plain English at work’ and ‘Working Words’, a collection of ‘chats’ about editing and writing. Her training focuses on English grammar and plain English as a basis from which to build a good relationship between editor and client. She is an experienced teacher, mentor and speaker to large and small groups.’

John Linnegar

Many of us work with authors from around the world, so a book that reflects international best practice is of real value. Especially when it includes details of a systematic approach to efficiently tackle texts. John Linnegar will be selling Text Editing: A handbook for students and practitioners in the exhibitors’ fair.

John Linnegar profile:

‘Co-author with professors WAM Carstens (North-West University, South Africa) and Kris Van de Poel (Antwerp University, Belgium), John Linnegar was largely responsible for translating and adapting the published source text into ‘Text Editing: A handbook for students and practitioners’ (UPA, Brussels, 2012). This publication is expressly intended for an international audience of language practitioners and has been favourably reviewed and well received in Western Europe, Australia, South Africa, and also in the UK. Unlike similar publications aimed at text editors and associated language practitioners, ‘Text Editing’ reflects international best practice in the most accessible and practical of ways. 

A core feature of the book and its approach is the so-called ‘CCC Model’, the 15 evaluation points of which – covering important facets of documents such as text type, content, structure, wording and presentation – provide the most systematic approach to analysing, evaluating and improving texts yet published. The list of resources available to practitioners is one of the most comprehensive yet published. Copies can be obtained during the SfEP annual conference. Alternatively, they can be ordered either directly from Antwerp-based John Linnegar (info@editandtrain.com) or via the University Press Antwerp website (www.aspeditions.be).’

Oxford University Press – Oxford Language Editing

Do you specialise in academic editing? If so, you’ll definitely want to visit the Oxford University Press stand and find out more about its new Oxford Language Editing service.

Oxford University Press – Oxford Language Editing profile:

‘Oxford Language Editing is a new service from Oxford University Press for academic researchers around the world, helping ensure that academic writing is published in the highest-quality English, giving ideas the best chance of making an impact. The service draws on OUP’s extensive English language knowledge through its publishing of the Oxford English Dictionary, over 300 leading academic journals, and award-winning books in a wide number of subjects. We offer English language editing and abstract editing services in a variety of disciplines.’

Reedsy

Interest in self-publishing continues to grow, so anyone working with authors who are self-publishing might want to investigate Reedsy, which operates as a marketplace where self-publishing authors can find all the experts they need to launch their book.

Reedsy profile:

‘Reedsy is a curated marketplace for self-publishing authors. We allow them to find vetted, industry-experienced editors, cover designers, publicists and translators, compare their profiles, request quotes and samples, and ultimately work together. But Reedsy is more than just a marketplace. We provide innovative collaboration tools to keep the workflow on one platform, both for the authors and for the freelancers. Think of it as a project management tool. We have also developed a new writing software optimised for author-editor collaboration, with an inbuilt track changes system, and simplified conversion to the electronic formats. In a word, Reedsy can make authors’ and editors’ lives much easier.’

The SfEP is extremely grateful to all our conference sponsors and we hope this guide helps you make the most of the exhibitors’ fair. Let us know which stands you plan to visit.

Joanna Bowery

Joanna Bowery
SfEP Social Media Manager

Joanna Bowery is the SfEP social media manager. As well as looking after the SfEP’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and the SfEP blog, she offers freelance marketing, PR, writing and proofreading services operating as Cosmic Frog. Jo is an associate of the SfEP and a Chartered Marketer. She is active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

This article was proofread by SfEP associate Karen Pickavance.

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the SfEP.

London Royal Holloway - the venue for the 25th SfEP annual conference 13-15 September 2014

10 ways to get the most out of the SfEP annual conference

London Royal Holloway - the venue for the 25th SfEP annual conference 13-15 September 2014

The 25th SfEP annual conference takes place at London Royal Holloway from 13-15 September 2014

By Joanna Bowery

Whether you’ve already booked your ticket or you’re still considering whether to go, here are ten ways to get the most out of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) annual conference.

1. Set goals. Think about what you want to gain from the conference and how this links with an area of editing or proofreading you’d like to find out more about or want to get involved in. Look at the conference programme and write a list of things you want to learn, questions you’d like to be answered and people you want to meet. Once you’ve written down your goals, review them after the sessions at conference and again when you get home to see if you’ve achieved them.

2. Book early! Get in early to book your preferred workshops and seminars; online booking opens on 23 July and the sessions are allocated on a first come, first served basis. When choosing your sessions, don’t just go for the ones where you would feel most comfortable: choose one session that could introduce you to new ideas or subjects.

3. Prepare. Research the sessions and the speakers, to find out what they might be talking about and to help you come up with questions, both in the sessions and when you’re socialising. When you arrive, check out the delegate list. Is there a name from the SfEP forums or the SfEP social networks – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – that you recognise? Now is your chance to meet them in person. Familiarise yourself with the Royal Holloway campus map, to reduce the risk of getting lost.

4. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during the sessions, especially if it helps you develop your knowledge of an area of editing or proofreading that you identified when you set your goals. Outside the conference events, asking questions of everyone you meet is the best way to start a conversation.

5. Be approachable. If you are engrossed in your phone or look grumpy, you won’t get to talk to anyone. Make eye contact and smile and you’ll soon get chatting to others. When you sit down, speak to the person next to you. If you’re nervous about ‘networking’, practise one introductory sentence about yourself and then have ready a couple of questions. ‘Where have you come from?’, ‘What have you enjoyed the most so far?’ or ‘What session are you most looking forward to?’ are easy openers that can get a conversation started. And don’t forget to hand out – and ask for – business cards, so you can follow up on your new contacts after the conference.

6. Join the conversation online. Use the #SfEP14 tag and follow the hashtag on Twitter. Chatting online before the conference can make it easier to meet delegates in real life. It can also be fun to discover others’ perspectives on the conference and sessions. Also, by talking about the conference on social media, you will be showing your professional contacts that you are committed to professional development by attending the conference.

7. Socialise. All work and no play can make for a very dull conference. Informal chatting to colleagues and potential clients helps to cement connections and makes you more likely to keep in touch after the conference. As well as going to the gala dinner or for a drink after the sessions, make an effort to eat with people you haven’t met before, and be confident enough to strike up conversations. One of the best things about the SfEP conference is that it is an opportunity to meet other freelance and in-house proofreaders and editors and to share experiences and advice. So make the most of the opportunity to make or catch up with professional contacts; this can often lead to future business opportunities and friendships too.

8. Think about what to wear. While you may be sitting down for workshops and seminars, you will also be doing a fair bit of walking and standing. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, so you can focus on the sessions and on meeting new people and catching up with old friends, not on your throbbing feet after a day spent wearing new shoes!

9. Make notes. Remember to bring a notebook so you can jot down some notes about what you learned in the sessions and who you met. After the conference, compile your notes into a report. Why not share your experiences by posting a blog or contributing to the SfEP conference report?

10. Have fun! Enjoy your time out of the office, developing your knowledge, meeting new people and – of course – celebrating 25 years of the SfEP annual conference.

The SfEP 25th annual conference – Editing: fit for purpose – takes place on Saturday 13 –Monday 15 September 2014. You can book tickets until 18 July.

What advice would you add to help delegates make the most of the SfEP conference?

Joanna Bowery social media manager at the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP)

Joanna Bowery is the SfEP social media manager. As well as looking after the SfEP’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and the SfEP blog, she is a freelance marketing and PR consultant operating as Cosmic Frog. Jo is an associate of the SfEP and a Chartered Marketer. She is active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. In her spare time, Jo enjoys rugby (although she has retired from playing) and running.

Proofread by Jane Hammett, an advanced member of the SfEP.

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the SfEP.

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Editing Fiction: An addiction or bête noire?

IMG_2080Fiction is a vast subject area. There’s no escaping this fact. Unlike non-fiction and academic texts, which have certain conventions, reference formats and factual, checkable details to fall back on, fiction is essentially ‘something that is invented or untrue’ (OED). Not only that, but the medium itself encompasses a plethora of categories: romance, thrillers, erotica, science fiction, fantasy, literary works, and so on … not to mention children’s fiction versions of most of these as well, albeit with additional considerations for the age group concerned, language levels and appropriate content!

Faced with such a behemoth, many editors of my acquaintance choose not to edit or proofread fiction. Of those who do indulge, nearly all shy away from children’s fiction altogether, deeming it too problematic, or limit themselves to particular fictional genres, usually mirroring their own reading preferences. So, with that in mind, where does one start when thinking about editing fiction?

As editors we are ethically constrained from commenting on the content of academic material, even if we know it to be wrong. Unless we are experts in that particular field of study, often we have no idea if the facts presented are invented or true. And, quite honestly, that is not our concern as long as the text reads convincingly and is grammatically correct, properly referenced and so on.

To play devil’s advocate, if fiction really is a work of ‘invention and untruth’, as long as it reads well, is it really that different from the above? And should it be treated with so much circumspection?

I understand that many editors may find fiction’s apparent lack of clearly defined boundaries extremely daunting, preferring the relatively controllable realm of non-fiction and academia. But although I do edit non-fiction and academic material on a regular basis, the thing that draws me repeatedly to fiction is, indeed, the very fact that I never know what I’m going to find in a narrative. Authors continue to surprise, delight, even frustrate me … but editing fiction is never dull.

Without question, fiction incorporates an unparalleled arena of realistic or fantastical landscapes, remarkable or mundane individuals, and gripping or bathetic scenarios, where anything — or sometimes even nothing much — goes, and everything is possible. There is a book for every occasion and mood, a genre to suit most people, and while fiction’s breadth and variety are undoubtedly its greatest challenge  — and a huge potential hurdle with regard to editing — they are also its most rewarding features.

So, are there things that connect and bind all of these vagaries together, and can provide a would-be editor of fiction with a starting point when tackling their first novel, irrespective of the genre? All books are predicated on certain elements, in terms of structure, characterisation, pace, plot and presentation. In David Lodge’s novel Therapy, beleaguered sitcom writer Laurence Passmore states: “Each one [each book] is different, but the same themes and obsessions keep cropping up: courtship, seduction, indecision, guilt, depression, despair.” And this is largely true.

Conversely, there could also be an argument to suggest that one should not edit fiction, as it could be perceived to compromise the author’s original creation. However, Terry Pratchett asserts: “… the fact that it is a fantasy does not absolve you [the writer] from all the basic responsibilities. It doesn’t mean that the characters needn’t be rounded, the dialogue believable, the background properly established, and the plots properly tuned.” So, subtle, constructive editorial assistance is still required, and usually welcomed, to ensure that what the author thinks they have done is actually the case on the page.

Essentially, fiction still involves the basics of our trade: punctuation, spelling, grammar (although this can be less rigid), textual fluidity, narrative cohesion. Even fact-checking exists: if an author states that the Empire State building has 97 storeys you can and should check that detail (it has 103!); and don’t get me started on incorrect spellings and missing accents with regard to foreign words. After all, erroneous details only provide a would-be reviewer with ready ammunition, which is something all fiction editors should bear in mind.

The characteristic that sets fiction apart from other media, making it simultaneously rather problematic but also intriguing, is the element of ‘story’, which has to be plausible within its own context and setting. As long as a reader believes the events of a novel to be feasible and credible, albeit fantastical, and the characters to be rounded, creditable individuals, then the author and editor have done their jobs.

As for more specific details of how, as editors or proofreaders, we do or don’t facilitate that, and how we go about imposing our own minds on the matter at hand without compromising the author’s integrity or voice … you’ll have to come to my conference workshop – Introduction to Editing Fiction: Mind over Matter – and find out, or look out for details of forthcoming SfEP training courses!

Gale Winskill

Gale Winskill

Gale Winskill is a freelance editor who enjoys variety, and will edit most things within reason (www.winskilleditorial.co.uk). A half-Italian, dim and distant relative of William Shakespeare, she has travelled and worked abroad, finally residing in Scotland, where she plays tennis inconsistently, gardens by benevolent neglect, and is still occasionally flummoxed by Scots vernacular.