In September 2023, I attended my third Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) annual conference. I’m sad it’s over, but I had a fantastic time and learned a huge amount.
I can’t cover everything without a novel-length post, but here’s an overview of what I got from attending. I’m going to lift the restrictions I usually place on exclamation marks in my posts, so there’ll be more than u!s!u!a!l!
This is my favourite part of the event. As it was my third time, there were lots of faces I recognised. However, I made new friendships too. This happened at the bar and during various meals, but there was also a speed networking session. I’m still going through the business cards I took, because I met a lot of people in a short space of time.
As usual, I was struck by how pleasant and welcoming everyone was. There were plenty of attendees whose reputations preceded them – Louise Harnby, Denise Cowle, Beth Hamer and Amy J. Schneider to name just a few – but they were always up for chatting and sharing advice.
I was thrilled that it was a two-way street as well; I got the chance to help a couple of people with Word macros, which I’ve become a bit too obsessed with.
The workshops lived up to expectations once again. My favourite was Sarah Calfee’s session, titled “Writing awesome developmental fiction editorial reports”. Another highlight was Amy J. Schneider’s talk on copyediting dialogue. I’m currently training to offer copyediting as a service, so this was particularly useful. Thanks for signing my copy of your book, Amy!
It was impossible to go to everything I wanted to – some sessions ran concurrently – but thankfully the sessions were recorded and I’ll be able to watch the ones I missed.
The conference makes it easy to get enthusiastic and set all sorts of professional goals. However, it’s easy to get sidetracked once it’s all over. To combat this, I’ve set up a Slack group with a few other editors.
We’ll share tips and check in regularly to help us follow through with what we want to achieve. I’ve been in groups like these before, and they’re fantastic for keeping the positive vibes going once the lanyards have been taken off.
The networking was about sharing advice, but it was also about enjoying ourselves. There were a couple of board game sessions, which were brilliant.
My favourite game was Braggart, which I hadn’t played before. Things got very silly very quickly at our table (which included a couple of CIEP directors!), and all of us were soon laughing loads.
The quiz is always a highlight, and this year was no exception. My quizzing skills leave a lot to be desired, but I still had a great time. (I have a perpetual agreement with fellow editor Aimée Hill that whenever we’re both there, we’ll try and form the worst team. I forgot to keep track when everyone’s scores were read out, so I don’t know if we achieved it this year!)
There’s a raffle at the end of the conference each year, and for the second year running I won a prize! I chose a BookMachine Campus membership, which gets me access to all sorts of training and resources. More training so I can be an even better editor? Yes please!
The most important thing I got from attending was the feeling that I belong in the editing world. My struggles and successes matched those of many of the other delegates.
We all have our own editing styles, and often focus on very different types of text. However, all of us are committed to helping our clients produce clear, effective writing which will give readers the best possible experience. It’s a great professional community to be a part of.
Want to know more about my experiences at the conference or my services? Get in touch or comment below.