CIEP Conference 2021

I joined the CIEP almost a year ago, in October 2020, so this was my first opportunity to take part in the annual conference. As it was online this year, it was easy to attend despite the time difference (I currently live in Houston, Texas).

The conference took place over four days and featured sessions in the areas of editorial skills, career development, business development, and marketing. One of the main advantages of everything being online is that where there are parallel sessions, anything missed can be caught up with at a later date via the recordings.

As I have been working as an editor for less than a year, it looked as though I would learn something immediately useful from almost all of the sessions. Presentations by Malini Devadas and John Espirian prompted this first blog post and an intention to find out more about making the most of LinkedIn in due course. Sessions for fiction editors (Louise Harnby, Sophie Playle, and Crystal Shelley) have given me plenty to think about in terms of future training. 

Most of my current work is with pdf files because the manuscripts I’m working on are heavily mathematical and have been written using LaTeX. An insight into PerfectIt and its new link to CMOS (Daniel Heuman), along with Jill French’s session on Word styles, showed me how I could improve my editing speed for the word files that come my way.

There were two guest speakers in the form of Ian McMillan (poet and presenter of The Verb on BBC Radio 3) and Benjamin Dreyer (vice-president, executive managing editor, and copy chief of Random House, and author of Dreyer’s English). Both speakers provided entertaining insights into their worlds.

Finally, there was the Wonder room, an online meeting room that provided a social space to talk to other editors. As a bonus, most speakers joined the Wonder room after their talk, making themselves available for further questions and discussion. This, in addition to the organized networking sessions, provided plenty of opportunity to meet other editors and exchange information.

I came away from the conference with a renewed sense of energy, plenty of ideas about future training and business development, and a long list of book recommendations to add to my reading list.

Many thanks to Beth Hamer, the conference director, and the no-doubt large team of people working hard behind the scenes. Not only did they book interesting guest speakers and organize a variety of talks, they also managed to run an online conference where everything ran like clockwork.

Eleanor Bolton
26 September 2021