About the conference

The fourth national conference for editors, From inspiration to publication, concluded on Saturday 12 May 2007.

Delegates from Tasmania, all Australian states and the ACT, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore enjoyed late autumn sunshine and a wide-ranging program in Hobart from 9 to 12 May. Starting with a welcome party on 9 May that celebrated the 200th birthday of major sponsor John Wiley, visitors and locals networked, listened and workshopped through three days of varied presentations.

Highlights for delegates were the four keynote addresses – by Peter Doherty, Saul Eslake, Yvonne Rolzhausen and Ramona Koval – around which the program was built. The interim council of the Institute of Professional Editors reported on significant progress towards the formal establishment of a national organisation for editors and a professional accreditation procedure.

Other presentations delved into

  • Web publishing in an educational setting (Ai-Leen Lin)
  • Experiencing Antarctica through print and web publications (Wendy Pyper and Cathy Bruce)
  • Publishing at the National Library of Australia (Susan Hall)
  • Bare bones editing in science (Hilary Cadman)
  • Collateral damage from the Plain English movement (Jennifer Blunden)
  • Getting it right when you’re editing fiction (Amanda Curtin)
  • The language of scientific evidence (Janet Salisbury)
  • The National Museum of Australia's Tasmanian Aboriginal project (Thérèse Weber)
  • Collaboration between a scientist and a novelist on Tasmanian Devil (David Owen and David Pemberton)
  • Additional tasks for editors of academic manuscripts by non-native speakers of English (Brian Harrison)
  • Expanding horizons (Bettylyn Mantel)
  • Editors mapping their past to inform their future (Marilyn Dorman, Sharon Nevile and Jennifer Wright)
  • Educational editing in an electronic world (Carolyn Cockburn)
  • Navigating the complexity of CMS (Ai-Leen Lin)
  • Reversing an abridgement of popular colonial fiction (Jenna Mead)
  • Opportunities in science editing (Vivienne Mawson)
  • Communicators in the legal and financial sector (Irene Wong), and
  • The challenges of editing text in new contexts (Melanie Dankel and Tasmin McNaughtan).

Two panel sessions explored Issues in science editing, and Education, training and mentoring.

Workshops held on Saturday 12 May were also popular with delegates. They were Fact checking (Yvonne Rolzhausen), Literary Editing (Pam Hewitt), and The secret to life, the universe and annual reports (Lawrie Kirk and Virginia Wilton).

The conference was held in conjunction with the 18th Style Council, which was presented in Tasmania for the first time. Style Council focused on Tasmanian and Antarctic English, with papers by Bruce Moore, Bernadette Hince, Pam Peters, Adam Smith and Danielle Wood.

Popular ‘stalls’ in the exhibition foyer showcased many titles from Tasmanian independent publishers, beautiful hand-crafted paper works from the Tasmanian Paper Arts group and lovely Tasmanian bookmarks from Kirtan PhotoArt. Delegates remarked that it was regrettable no national publishers took up the opportunity to sell books at the conference, even though several delegates have published highly relevant texts, and editors are great buyers of pertinent reference books published in Australia. The Victorian Society of Editors took the opportunity to launch Editors in conversation (published by Australian Scholarly Publishing Pty Ltd) and also had for sale their book At the typeface. Cambridge University Press launched Pam Peters's Cambridge Guide to Australian English Usage, offering a discounted price to delegates.

Saturday 12 May concluded with an open forum involving members of the public as well as delegates to the conference and Style Council. Chaired by Christopher Lawrence (ABC Radio), panellists Pam Peters, Yvonne Rolzhausen and Kim Lockwood were joined by members of the public in exploring trends in English usage, whether the internet will bring on an international English, and how far the USA borrows as well as lends words to other languages.

Two years in the planning, From inspiration to publication showed what great things can be achieved by a small organisation with willing volunteers, lots of ingenuity and bags of energy.