Tag Archives: CIEP conference 2021

The 2021 CIEP conference: My unedited and unproofread life

This year’s CIEP conference was held online, from 12 to 14 September. Attendees from all over the world logged on to learn and socialise with their fellow editors and proofreaders, and a number of delegates kindly volunteered to write up the sessions for us. Julia Sandford-Cooke reviewed My unedited and unproofread life, by Ian McMillan.

Funny poet here!

‘Funny poet here’ read the sign for one of Ian McMillan’s readings. Those three words sum up his wise and hilarious talk on ‘precise language’ but he repeatedly used another word too – ‘joy’. And so delegates spent a happy half hour giggling at their desks, with added unintentional humour from the Zoom closed captioning struggling to render Ian’s distinctive Yorkshire accent.

You might know Ian McMillan as the presenter of Radio 3’s The Verb for the past 20 years, as a regular guest on the Radio 1 evening show in the 1990s, as the author of oft-anthologised poems and newspaper columns or as a prolific Twitter chronicler of life’s quirks. But he still claims that people often mistake him not only for a dead American novelist of the same name but also for Ian McEwan, Ian McKellen and fellow performance poet Ian Bland (‘If I was called Ian Bland,’ he said, ‘I’d change it to something dynamic like Ian Fantastic’). But he is certainly one of a kind.

Always with an eye on his editorial audience, he launched into a series of anecdotes about the ambiguous signs, posters and lists he’d picked up from libraries and village halls around the country. (‘I bet collecting notices is something you do on the sly.’) From ‘Do not trip over the feet’ to ‘Where can we go to watch people play badminton and eat our sandwiches?’, he highlighted the poetry in everyday writing.

‘These notices,’ he said, ‘are a conduit of joy – they are wrong in a way that makes you think language is amazing. Even when it’s wrong, it’s wrong in a way that makes it feel right.’

He described language as our playground, our building blocks and our scaffolding. ‘If we use it imprecisely, it starts to squeak … (But) at the edges of imprecision, there can be a kind of poetry and there can be a kind of joy.’

He also had good advice on freelance life: ‘Whenever [clients] ring up, always say yes, as it leads to exciting adventures.’ Maybe adventures such as (almost) reading a sonnet about bleach (‘the champagne of the smallest room’) in a specially constructed wooden loo for National Toilet Day and then critiquing the poetry of ‘a very small woman, about the size of one-half of a cruet set’.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter if our own work adventures aren’t quite as memorable. Ian explained: ‘We are all telling stories – rubbing the truth a bit to shine a light on it. I want to be two things at once – a precise writer but one that lets the light in.’

And isn’t that also what we editors are all aiming for? To spark illumination and, yes, joy?

Postscript: ‘Barnsley’s busiest man’ responded personally to every appreciative tweet about his talk – and there were many. Let’s hope he can make good on his promise to write a ‘theme song’ for the Linnets to perform at our next conference. What a joy that would be!

Julia Sandford-CookeJulia Sandford-Cooke of WordFire Communications has spent more than 20 years in publishing. She writes and edits textbooks, proofreads anything that’s put in front of her, speaks very bad Dutch and posts short, often grumpy, book reviews on her blog, Ju’s Reviews.

 

 

About the CIEP

The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) is a non-profit body promoting excellence in English language editing. We set and demonstrate editorial standards, and we are a community, training hub and support network for editorial professionals – the people who work to make text accurate, clear and fit for purpose.

Find out more about:

 

Posted by Abi Saffrey, CIEP blog coordinator.

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

The 2021 CIEP conference: The lightning talks

This year’s CIEP conference was held online, from 12 to 14 September. Attendees from all over the world logged on to learn and socialise with their fellow editors and proofreaders, and a number of delegates kindly volunteered to write up the sessions for us. Ben Dare reviewed the lightning talks.

Lightning talks are unique at the CIEP conference – hosted by Robin Black with his usual honest and unexpected insights, the odd flash of self-revelation, and the maintainer of the consistently affirming atmosphere. As quick as each talk is (five minutes – do you fancy giving it a go next year?), I couldn’t possibly fit every pearl into this article. But I’ll try to give you a flavour:

Ema Naito: The most powerful people in the world

Ema works with many Englishes. But despite growing up speaking English, being Japanese means Ema is still spoken to as if English is a foreign language to her. With some awesomely honest thoughts on language and identity – hers and others’ – Ema’s talk certainly made me think. Growing in awareness of language and identity – both our own and other people’s – makes us better editors, Ema says. Editors are powerful. How will you use that power?

Joely Taylor: Bothersome backsides and other photo failures: a brief intro into editing photography

Key takeaways:

  • Avoid the dreaded rear-view
  • Look for fine details: embarrassing, offensive, not safe, illegal, visible personal details, etc
  • Check the caption!
  • Are there issues around copyright, printability, suitability, quality?

Wow. What a lot to think about. A superb reminder not to glance over photos while editing and think, ‘Well there’s no text there to worry about, I’ll move on!’

Sam Kelly: How proofreading helped me commentate on football

A proofreader never knows what they’ll get asked to do! So should you be asked to commentate on your next local derby:

  • Do your homework (read a guide)
  • Keep it clear (don’t give two characters/players the same name)
  • Focus (even when boring)
  • Watch those changes (midfielder substituted for a winger = moving text from one PDF page to another).

Okay, so football’s not my thing, but I’ll keep this in mind for whatever public speaking I’m asked to do!

Alison Shakspeare: Sussing out self-publishers

To work smoothly with a self-publishing client, ask yourself: What’s the author looking for? And remember these rules:

  • Editing/proofreading is always needed
  • Something is always missing
  • It’s always longer and more expensive than they thought
  • Clarity = happy authors.

And with some key questions to ask, Alison shows me it’s good to keep the whole of the publishing process in mind with self-publishing authors. But it sounds like it could be fun!

John Ingamells: Learning Korean

A lightning tour of language – and recent history: did you know that John worked for the British diplomatic service? No? Me neither. The presentation shows how different Korean script is from the English alphabet. The Korean alphabet dates back to 1446 (the language is of course much older). It has fourteen consonants, ten vowels and one bank holiday. But you might find yourself counting in Korean or Chinese, and it’s good to know your audience before you choose your sentence ending. Phew!

Michelle Ward: Bringing history to life

I must admit I didn’t realise the breadth of the re-enactment life. You could meet famous people (Bernard Cornwell and Sean Bean, and Prince Charles). You might make your own clothes, or sew up a bayonet hole at least. You will learn how to:

  • Shoot a rifle
  • Dress practically
  • Cook over a fire
  • Dress wounds
  • Take an enemy position.

Not forgetting the dances and parades. If banquets get mentioned, I might just be in.

Ben Dare copyedits/proofreads for projects on sustainable food systems and sustainable living (and almost anything else when asked nicely). His greatest desire is to find a bit more spare time for gardening, but he spends most of his non-work time with family, triathlon training or coastguarding (and, of course, ironing).

 

About the CIEP

The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) is a non-profit body promoting excellence in English language editing. We set and demonstrate editorial standards, and we are a community, training hub and support network for editorial professionals – the people who work to make text accurate, clear and fit for purpose.

Find out more about:

 

Posted by Abi Saffrey, CIEP blog coordinator.

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

The 2021 CIEP conference: Using Word styles

This year’s CIEP conference was held online, from 12 to 14 September. Attendees from all over the world logged on to learn and socialise with their fellow editors and proofreaders, and a number of delegates kindly volunteered to write up the sessions for us. Abi Saffrey reviewed Using Word styles, presented by Jill French.

Stylish editing

This session allowed people who have not yet completed the CIEP’s Word for Practical Editing course to benefit from Jill French’s calm and clear approach to explaining something that many editors, let’s be honest, are a bit bamboozled by.

Microsoft Word is packed with tools and functions that many editors never use, but styles are incredibly useful even when a client (or manager) does not ask for them to be applied to a document.

Jill explained that a style is a pre-set combination of font features (size, bold) and paragraph attributes (spacing, indents). Existing styles can be applied or amended using the Style section of the ribbon at the top of the Word window, or by expanding that into the Style Pane (by clicking on the little arrow in the bottom-right corner). As well as applying styles to text, it is possible to add ‘direct formatting’ using the Font and Paragraph options on the ribbon. Direct formatting only affects that one occurrence of the text, whereas Styles can be modified to amend all occurrences throughout the document.

Jill walked us through elements of the Style Pane, including the very useful Style Inspector. The little icon with a magnifying glass gives all the style details of a selected character, word or paragraph. Jill then moved on to cover applying built-in styles, creating new styles and amending a style. As well as looking at the font elements of a style, she covered elements of paragraph formatting, including line spacing, indents (or not) and page breaks. The latter was one of my major takeaways from this session – it’s possible to add a line break to a style; so, for example, each chapter can start on a new page if you add a page break to the chapter heading style.

Jill briefly looked at how styles can help with reordering content. Via the navigation pane (on a PC found on the View ribbon), or by clicking Ctrl+F, it’s possible to see the sections of the document under ‘Headings’. Within that pane, it’s possible to drag one heading to above/below another, which reorders the text within the document – mind blown!

To share styles, it’s possible to share a document with the styles within it, or create a template document (filename.dot) that can be used as the basis for new documents or attached to existing documents.

Jill finished the session by highlighting how Word styles can save time, keep documents under control, and make them (and you) look professional.

The session was a very comprehensive introduction to Word styles, and demonstrated the importance of using this functionality in everyday editing life.


Learn more about working in Microsoft Word in the CIEP course Word for Practical Editing.


Abi Saffrey has been tinkering with Microsoft Word documents for over 20 years.

She’s an Advanced Professional Member of the CIEP, offering editorial project management and copyediting to a variety of organisations that publish digital and printed content.

 

About the CIEP

The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) is a non-profit body promoting excellence in English language editing. We set and demonstrate editorial standards, and we are a community, training hub and support network for editorial professionals – the people who work to make text accurate, clear and fit for purpose.

Find out more about:

 

Posted by Abi Saffrey, CIEP blog coordinator.

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

The 2021 CIEP conference: Authenticity reading: Helping writers craft accurate and respectful representation

This year’s CIEP conference was held online, from 12 to 14 September. Attendees from all over the world logged on to learn and socialise with their fellow editors and proofreaders, and a number of delegates kindly volunteered to write up the sessions for us. Ema Naito reviewed Authenticity reading: Helping writers craft accurate and respectful representation, presented by Crystal Shelley.

Have you seen the video where, one by one, Black movie fans stand in front of a poster of Chadwick Boseman as Marvel superhero the Black Panther and tell him what his portrayal of the role meant to them?

In all these scenes, the overwhelming sentiment was the same: good representation of Black characters makes a world of difference.

The power of representation

Crystal Shelley showed us this video as an opening for her highly anticipated CIEP2021 session on how authenticity reading leads to respectful representation.

Her point: good representation matters.

Representation can shape how we see ourselves and are seen by others. Good representation is empowering and affirming; poor representation can be harmful or invalidating.

And it’s to support more good representation that authenticity reading plays a role.

What is authenticity reading?

Crystal defines authenticity reading as ‘a service that evaluates the representation of identities or experiences in writing’ – especially when the writer doesn’t have that identity or lived experience.

Many of us may be more familiar with the name ‘sensitivity reading’, but Crystal prefers ‘authenticity’ because the focus is on representing the real, lived experiences of people.

Authenticity reading evaluates the writing for biases and identifies potentially harmful elements. A reader could, for example, flag wrong words (eg the wrong Chinese word for ‘grandfather’) or words that are disrespectful, ‘othering’, condescending or misrepresentative (eg calling someone ‘exotic’ based on their ethnicity or labelling a person with a disability a ‘sufferer’).

Crystal likens authenticity reading to beta reading, where the reader gives the writer

  • comments on what worked well and what may be adjusted
  • overarching feedback on plot, characterisation, cultural elements (in a report)
  • sentence-level feedback on inaccurate words/phrases, harmful terms, disrespectful language, etc (as comments in the manuscript)

What authenticity reading is not

Crystal debunked a few of the misconceptions about authenticity reading.

It’s not censorship. Critics say sensitivity readers are looking to be offended. But the reader (like any editor) is there to help the writer produce more credible work. And the reader has no power to censor words; the author has the final decision.

It’s not representative of the whole community. An authenticity reader is responding from their personal lived experience; they are not speaking for whole communities. And similarly, there’s no such thing as one authentic experience. Two people could identify as, say, a Black gay man but have entirely different experiences.

It’s not a stamp of approval nor a shield from criticism. Just because a work has had authenticity feedback doesn’t mean that the writing is officially sanctioned or that there won’t be people who respond negatively to the writing.

It’s only needed for heavy topics like trauma or suffering. Authenticity reading can be helpful for any kind of writing.

Who can be an authenticity reader?

You can become an authenticity reader for certain

  • social identities: eg race, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities
  • experiences: eg caregiving, adoption, incarceration
  • subgroup culture: eg military, gaming, fandom

An authenticity reader should closely match the identity or experience being represented; sometimes multiple readers are needed.

If you want to provide authenticity reading services, you might consider things like:

  • It’s an evolving field with little formal training available and no guidelines for what should be included in your offer or on pricing.
  • You are being asked to draw on your pain, anger, trauma and may therefore need to set boundaries.
  • You may also have to consider how to protect yourself (eg NDA, pseudonym, no acknowledgements).

Publishers and authors are increasingly aware of how publishing harmful writing could cause real reputational and financial losses. Authenticity readers can offer them a valuable service.

I don’t plan to become an authenticity reader. But do I feel I can now better explain to clients what authenticity reading is and recommend it if it might benefit the manuscript.

And as an East Asian woman who spent a good chunk of her youth in the US, seeing Crystal, an East Asian woman from North America, on the screen was itself affirming.

Good representation is important, indeed.

Read or direct your authors

Directories (other than CIEP, EFA, ACES, etc)

Ema Naito is a bilingual scholarly editor who loves clear, plain English. She edits for social science academics and international development organisations. Ema grew up between Tokyo and the US East Coast and is now based in Bangkok. She has a master’s degree from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, and sings classically.

About the CIEP

The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) is a non-profit body promoting excellence in English language editing. We set and demonstrate editorial standards, and we are a community, training hub and support network for editorial professionals – the people who work to make text accurate, clear and fit for purpose.

Find out more about:

 

Posted by Abi Saffrey, CIEP blog coordinator.

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

The 2021 CIEP conference: Moving to med comms

This year’s CIEP conference was held online, from 12 to 14 September. Attendees from all over the world logged on to learn and socialise with their fellow editors and proofreaders, and a number of delegates kindly volunteered to write up the sessions for us. Mary Hobbins reviewed Moving to med comms, presented by Alison Hillman and Liz Jennings.

What is med comms?

These hugely experienced medical editors first met at the then Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) conference in 2019 and currently work in-house for global med comms consultancies (Oxford PharmaGenesis and Lucid Group, respectively). They described how working in medical communications covers a broad range of services from publication planning, journal articles and drug monographs to commercial, marketing and training materials. Freelance opportunities include design, project management and writing as well as editing and proofreading.

What are the attractions of working in med comms?

Both agreed that this is a growing industry with an ongoing need for freelance and in-house editors. They shared a short film that gave some insight into the various in-house roles and included colleagues talking about the appeal of this area of work and what they get out of being in med comms (interesting content/ variety in subjects and project types/ high standards/ innovation/ autonomy/ part of a collaborative team/ energising environment).

Liz described some of the in-house benefits: career progression, personal development and training, good rates of pay, flexibility in working hours and opportunities to work from home (which has accelerated since the pandemic). Freelancer benefits include the interesting variety of work available, long-term collaborative relationships and being a part of producing purposeful, beneficial material (a poll they ran on current pay bands suggested that most of the participants fell into the £25–£30ph range for both editing and proofreading).

What background do you need?

Some med comms companies prefer a science degree; others are happy if you have a language or arts-based degree and/or previous scientific experience. Alison emphasised that you should be willing to work to tight deadlines, have both editing and proofreading skills and be proficient in PowerPoint. You must also be willing to undertake an editorial test, whatever your experience, and this is likely to take the form of two tasks: an editing task and either a PowerPoint reformatting and checking task or a proofreading task.

However, she stressed the most important attribute is enthusiasm!

How do you find work in this area?

The first aspect they both noted was that it doesn’t matter where you are based in the world – this might actually be helpful to meet tight deadlines! If you aim to become an in-house employee, do your research for the kind of employer that you would like to work for and approach them about available openings. Use LinkedIn to locate likely organisations to approach as well as scanning job listings on the platform. For freelance opportunities, the MedComms Workbook website lists freelancers for a subscription. If you have an entry in the CIEP Directory, make sure your qualifications and/or experience are clear so that med comms organisations can find you with keywords.

Keep up to date with what’s going on in med comms. The CIEP Medical Editing training course is well worth investing in, if you haven’t already, as this is highly regarded in the industry. You could also explore some e-learning courses on LinkedIn, Udemy, etc (some are free) and join the Facebook medical editors group. Another free source of information is the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries (ABPI) website and Code of Practice, which gives guidelines on use of language in med comms materials.

Don’t wait for potential opportunities to come to you – be proactive and make contact. Express your readiness to do an editorial test to work with your preferred clients; network and follow up any previous contacts you may have in the med comms industry.

Alison and Liz displayed two practice exercises to try (a slide and a figure) with a litany of problems to think about; they discussed some dos and don’ts of language (based on the ABPI’s Code of Practice) and rounded off their session with a thought-provoking list of some terms to watch out for and understand (eg efficacy vs effectiveness; incidence vs prevalence; seriousness vs severity).

Mary Hobbins is an Advanced Professional Member of the CIEP providing editorial services to commercial businesses and publishers of academic journals, professional textbooks and training materials. When not working, she often finds herself riding pillion somewhere in southern England.

 

About the CIEP

The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) is a non-profit body promoting excellence in English language editing. We set and demonstrate editorial standards, and we are a community, training hub and support network for editorial professionals – the people who work to make text accurate, clear and fit for purpose.

Find out more about:

 

Posted by Abi Saffrey, CIEP blog coordinator.

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

The 2021 CIEP conference: Guiding principles for developmental fiction editing

This year’s CIEP conference was held online, from 12 to 14 September. Attendees from all over the world logged on to learn and socialise with their fellow editors and proofreaders, and a number of delegates kindly volunteered to write up the sessions for us. Umber Khairi reviewed Guiding principles for developmental fiction editing, presented by Sophie Playle.

‘Remember, it’s not your book!’

That was one of the important principles of developmental editing that Sophie Playle reminded us of repeatedly throughout her well-attended session at the 2021 conference.

Her presentation was useful for both experienced editors and relative newbies to fiction editing because it revisited what exactly developmental editing consists of. Sophie emphasised the need to formulate a framework of guiding principles to steer your work as a developmental editor

Before understanding what developmental editing is, one needs to understand what it is not. Sophie made this clear, reminding us that as a developmental editor you are not acting as a beta reader – a reader whose response is essentially subjective and reactive. Neither are you acting as a copyeditor; your role as a developmental editor is to help the author get the foundation and structure of the book right, rather than polishing it and adding finishing touches. Here, she used the analogy of acting as an architect or engineer rather than as a professional involved in the decorating and finishing work on a building.

Sophie shared the four guiding principles she uses as a developmental editor. She said these help to keep you focused on the nature of your role. Her four principles are:

  1. It’s not your book
  2. Define your service
  3. Be objective
  4. Understand the ‘rules’.

As she elaborated on these four points, Sophie pointed out that having clear principles in place can ‘keep things consistent and give you a clear sense of direction’…

Sophie emphasised the importance of remembering ‘It’s not your book’; it’s not the developmental editor’s job to rewrite the book. Instead, you should aim to understand the author’s goal and simply help them to make it the best book they can. This is where communication with the client is key. Sophie pointed out that it is fundamental to understand the author’s objectives – what they are trying to achieve with their book and their publishing goals (eg mainstream commercial or a family history project). Once you have understood their intent, you should make sure you are empathetic to the author’s vision; also, when you give feedback, do not be didactic or overbearing, rather ‘frame your feedback as suggestions’.

In terms of the second point – that you need to define your service – this is obviously key in any job that we, as editing professionals, take up but it is especially crucial in developmental fiction editing. Authors may be confused as to what exactly this involves and some may be under the impression that the developmental editor will magically transform the book, rather than help the author to work on pulling it all together. Sophie mentioned that you can choose how to name and define the service you are providing and what exactly it will entail. She added that the author must be made aware that you won’t be copyediting their work – the only line edits a developmental editor will make relate to the ‘bigger picture’ in terms of the book.

Her third guiding principle related to the question of objectivity and here Sophie emphasised that in developmental editing work, ‘analysis is key … tastes will vary but analysis is not opinion’. She mentioned that analysis should be rooted in theory so a developmental editor should have some knowledge of this as well.

The last principle was that a developmental fiction editor should understand the ‘rules’, that’s to say the conventions and expectations of different genres (romance fiction will have different expectations and ‘rules’ from a crime thriller, for example). She said it is true that convention can be flexible but that it is rare that authors can successfully subvert genre conventions – some do experiment but very few succeed.

There was a lively and useful Q&A session following Sophie’s presentation and quite a few participants seemed interested in the courses on developmental editing that she offers through her business, Liminal Pages with several people asking if these could count towards CIEP points for upgrading.

All in all, this was an extremely interesting and engaging session and one which provided clear and constructive guidance.

Umber Khairi is a new CIEP member and has a background in journalism (print, then news websites, then radio). She took early retirement from the BBC in 2018 and she is co-founder of the independent, journalist-owned magazine, Newsline, in Pakistan. She is a compulsive proofreader. Areas of interest include South Asia, Islamic culture, the news media, current affairs, new fiction and health and nutrition.

About the CIEP

The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) is a non-profit body promoting excellence in English language editing. We set and demonstrate editorial standards, and we are a community, training hub and support network for editorial professionals – the people who work to make text accurate, clear and fit for purpose.

Find out more about:

 

Posted by Abi Saffrey, CIEP blog coordinator.

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

The 2021 CIEP conference: Your marketing mindset

This year’s CIEP conference was held online, from 12 to 14 September. Attendees from all over the world logged on to learn and socialise with their fellow editors and proofreaders, and a number of delegates kindly volunteered to write up the sessions for us. Kate Sotejeff-Wilson reviewed Your marketing mindset, presented by Malini Devadas.

Changing your mindset to market your business

Malini broke down marketing itself into three stages.

  1. Messaging: Choose a niche. Who do you help? How do you help them? Create a message that this audience cares about.
  2. Marketing: Be visible. Share your message and connect with your ideal clients. You need to be where they are.
  3. Money: Ask for the sale. Invite interested people to work with you.

One word comes up in all three of those stages: your marketing mindset is all about you.

In the context of marketing for sole traders, your mindset consists of your beliefs about yourself. It does not mean denying systemic injustices or negative feelings. But it does mean taking action. Selling your services involves you as a person.

Is what you tell yourself about your marketing true? What could you change?

Mindset blocks

Fear of rejection is often behind mindset blocks. One resonated with me: doing ‘busy work’ that does not get you clients (like designing the perfect logo). Another is mistaking beliefs for facts, such as ‘no author will pay more than £40 per hour’ (so I won’t raise my rates). Self-sabotaging is one more: you might miss a deadline to send a quote (‘they wouldn’t have hired me anyway’). All this is normal. Most of us have thoughts like this, as the audience affirmed. Successful business owners keep going anyway.

To identify and reframe these thoughts, you need to be honest with yourself. Malini sets out how to do this in six steps.

Breaking down the blocks

  1. See where you got stuck. To do this, you need to have specific goals (eg not ‘work on my website’ but ‘write my ”about me” page for an hour at 10am Wednesday’). If you are still stuck, you need to …
  2. Notice the thoughts and feelings about the task you are avoiding (eg ‘I don’t have enough qualifications’ or ‘I’m scared people will think I’m a fraud’).
  3. Sit with the discomfort. Do not try to ignore it.
  4. Explore the thought. Try journaling or coaching to express it.
  5. Reframe your beliefs (eg ‘writing an ”about me” page is not conceited – it is sharing my skills to help authors’).
  6. Take action (or not). Which is worse: doing nothing (eg not earning enough) or doing something (eg some may think you’re conceited)? Decide to continue or stop.

Next time you wonder what’s stopping you from doing something to market your business, try those six steps. You might just change your mindset.

Kate Sotejeff-Wilson translates, copywrites and edits for academics at KSW Translations, and facilitates Ridge Writing Retreats. Born in Wales to an English father and a Polish mother, she is now also a Finn. An Advanced Professional Member of the CIEP, she is deputy coordinator of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting Polish Network and vice-chair of Nordic Editors and Translators.

About the CIEP

The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) is a non-profit body promoting excellence in English language editing. We set and demonstrate editorial standards, and we are a community, training hub and support network for editorial professionals – the people who work to make text accurate, clear and fit for purpose.

Find out more about:

 

Posted by Abi Saffrey, CIEP blog coordinator.

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

The 2021 CIEP conference: The chair’s opening remarks

Returning to its usual early September slot, the CIEP’s annual conference stayed online in 2021. Over 370 people attended from time zones across the world, with speakers in the UK, Australia, Argentina, Canada and the United States. Recordings of all sessions have been made available to attendees, so it truly was a bumper offering for everyone. Summaries of all sessions will be published on this blog over the coming weeks.

CIEP chair Hugh Jackson closed the 2020 conference with moving words, and many of us had tissues at the ready as he opened this year’s.

Hello and welcome back to the CIEP conference. Another year has passed, summer is slowly turning to autumn, and it is my absolute joy to be able to see you all again. Of course, to some people I’m not saying welcome back but welcome for the first time. We’re so very pleased you could make it. This year, I’d like to extend a special welcome to members of our partner organisations; I very much hope you will enjoy the experience of conference.

Right now, if all had been well, we would have been basking in the bright warm sun and cloudless skies of Glasgow in autumn. We should have been gathering in excitement in a conference room, sitting next to strangers who will soon become friends, and grasping pastries and mugs of steaming coffee – or, as Beth describes them, disappointing beverages. We would have shaken hands and hugged, and long into the night we would have talked and laughed. While we might have been in one place, though, we wouldn’t all have been together, because many of our friends and colleagues have only been able to come to conference these last two years because it has been online. When we board planes or trains, or get into our cars for long drives to another city again for an in-person conference – and I promise we will do – we will have to find a way to do so as one body, bringing everyone along with us and leaving nobody behind.

There’s something special about our conference. It would be easy to say that it’s all about the learning or about the social interaction – and those are top-notch, by the way: if you’re here for the first time, you should know you’re in for a real treat – and it’s not simply that the people you meet here at conference are just plain nicer than people you meet everywhere else – which is also true – but I think it’s something more than that. I’ve been to plenty of conferences, and I’m sure you have too, that have had all those elements but haven’t had that something special, that buzz of excitement, that crackle of activity that you get here. I’ve been wondering what it is, how to explain it, and I think it’s this. Once a year, we get to come together and not only is there brilliant learning and socialising and lots of lovely people, but we’re also reminded that we’re a vital part of something bigger than ourselves, a mission with a history that was here long before us and will thrive long after we are all gone. A profession that spans the continents and unites us in our delight in something so simple but so powerful as the written word, the careful arrangement of dots of ink on paper or pixels on a screen.

I left you last year with the thought that, whatever happened over the following year, whatever struggles we’d have as a profession, we’d weather them together. I’ve never been so proud of being a member of this community as I have been this last year, because of how well I’ve seen you all come together. I know it’s not been easy, and I fear it might stay difficult for some time, in any number of ways. I can’t promise broad, sunlit uplands, and no responsible speaker would. The road ahead is also not yet obvious. But when so much closed down in spring last year, editors kept on going. In the absence of theatres, galleries, concerts, sports events and schools, the need for that power of the written word felt desperately important, whether that was the enormous quantities of new research, scientific and social, trying to make meaning out of what at times felt senseless and plotting a course through to the light ahead, or new human stories that, indeed, tried to do exactly the same thing. Book sales rocketed, because people needed to read but also to write, to express new feelings and fears and hopes and understandings that they hadn’t had before. When things became bleak, people instinctively reached out for the power of the word, and you were there to make sure it was the right word. Thank you.

But where did we go? Where did we take refuge when our professional lives became difficult? When our businesses went quieter? When we couldn’t see our friends? When our families refused to have another flaming conversation about some funny typo we found in a newspaper? But also when we were just starting a business in the middle of a pandemic and needed to know how to get that first client, finish that first training course, make that first cold call to a publisher? What happened when our words failed us? Where did we go then? We came here, to be together. And the CIEP and its members have been here throughout, with kindness, authenticity and hope. When the world closed down, we opened up. All of this is to say, whether I’m saying to you welcome or welcome back, what I’m really saying is welcome home. You’ll be glad you came. And it’s my great privilege to declare the conference open.


The CIEP conference takes place every year, and in 2020 and 2021 the whole event was online. Plans are afoot to make the 2022 conference an in-person and online hybrid event.



About the CIEP

The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) is a non-profit body promoting excellence in English language editing. We set and demonstrate editorial standards, and we are a community, training hub and support network for editorial professionals – the people who work to make text accurate, clear and fit for purpose.

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Posted by Abi Saffrey, CIEP blog coordinator.