IPEd Editors Conference

The 10th IPEd Editors Conference will be hosted online on Monday 28 June 2021 to Wednesday 30 June 2021.

IPEd Strategic Plan

IPEd Strategic Plan July 2020 to June 2023.

Branch Events

The branches of IPEd host workshops, seminars, member meetings and other events that are open to all IPEd members and non-members. Information and booking details are listed on the Events page of this website.

WA President advocates for the profession

This issue of Gatherings profiles Western Australia branch President Jess Gately.

When and why did you join IPEd?
I joined IPEd in 2018 as a student member. I thought it provided a good avenue to learn more from my peers and to better understand the industry I was hoping to work in.

Why are you prepared to volunteer your own time to IPEd?
Becoming more hands-on with IPEd has been an incredible opportunity to learn, grow and network with some amazing people. I am blown away by the work so many people within IPEd are doing and the passion and enthusiasm they have for our industry.

Personally, I wanted to volunteer with IPEd because I really believe in local representation. In 2020, we almost lost the WA branch due to a lack of volunteers. I wanted to keep our branch alive and find ways to engage more people. In WA,                                                   WA president Jess Gately.
IPEd is still relatively unknown to many in the writing and editing communities and I want to be an advocate for this organisation and for our profession.

What is your current job?
I am a freelance editor, writer and photographer.

What does your role entail?
As a freelancer I’m always working on a variety of different things. My passion is working with emerging writers, particularly in the sci-fi and fantasy genres, normally as a structural editor, but I also work as the Publishing Coordinator for Night Parrot Press, as a judge for book awards and writing competitions. I give guest lectures at Edith Cowan University and run workshops with Katherine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre. As a photographer, I do a lot of author headshots and work at book-related events, which is lots of fun.

I really love the variety that freelancing offers me. Every day is a little bit different.

Some background on your career path — what led you to editing?
I came to editing through writing. Originally, I wanted to be a writer, and I studied a minor in writing during my undergraduate degree (I didn’t think I could make money as a writer so I studied sciences thinking I’d moonlight as an author). During that time, some friends and I developed a small publication called Underground Writers where we published short stories and poetry in a monthly newsletter. Underground Writers still exists 11 years later, and I’m still involved with it, although it’s come a long way since then. But it was this experience that first made me think of editing as a career. I realised I enjoyed reading other writers’ work and helping them develop it as much as, if not more than, writing myself.
                                                       
                                                    Jemimah Halbert Brewster and Jess celebrate Underground Writers 10th birthday in 2019.

Seven years after completing my undergrad, I decided to return to uni and study for my Masters in Professional Writing and Publishing with the aim of being a professional editor.

If you were not an editor, what would you do?
I’ve done a lot of different jobs over the years (I like to give everything a try) but I think my favourite was tour guiding. Although not so sure how that would go in the current climate.

What do you do in your spare time?
I love to learn, so this year I’m learning piano, Japanese and art (particularly watercolour painting). I’m also a bit of a stargazer and was gifted a telescope for my birthday last year so I’m getting right into amateur astronomy and astrophotography. I love taking photos. I take portraits professionally, but landscapes, nature and artistic stuff are a hobby.

And of course I read lots of books, watch TV and movies, play computer games, and I love to travel.

What's your favourite holiday destination? Why?
This is almost like asking me what my favourite book is. I have been very privileged to visit a lot of places in my life and there is something to love about everywhere I have been.

Some of the most memorable destinations include Iceland (I was there in the middle of winter when the days are like twilight, and I saw the Aurora Borealis), Brazil (where I got to stand beneath Iguazu Falls and there’s nothing quite like the magnificence of nature to make you feel small), Cambodia (for some sentimental reasons as well as just how beautiful it is) and Japan (where do I even start on this country — I am in love with it).  
                                                                                                                                     Drenched at Iguazu Falls, Brazil.
Describe your family members

In my house, it’s just me and my partner Fred whom I met while living in London on an extended working holiday. The crazy guy decided he liked me enough to come back to Australia with me and is now a tour guide at the Perth Mint.

Do you have any pets?
Not yet, but we’re desperate for a puppy. I’m also keen to get my own fish tank going.

What are your favourite books/movies?

Oh, another hard one. I love the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams and the Ender’s Game series by Orson Scott Card. I recently discovered Native Tongue by Suzette Haden Elgin and my teenage years were defined by The Witches of Eileanan by Kate Forsyth.


Jess and her travel buddy and life partner at Hoover Dam.

As for movies, I can watch V for Vendetta on repeat (I’ve reread the graphic novel a million times as well), and the score for Interstellar blows me away. I love just about everything by Studio Ghibli — I have a special place in my heart for Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. And I’m a huge anime fan, so I can’t go without mentioning my favourite show, Full Metal Alchemist.

What else would you like to share with your fellow IPEd members?

I’m lucky to be able to do what I do for a living and meet so many people who have been gracious enough to share their time, experiences and opportunities with me. I cannot thank those people enough. They were and still are patient with my ignorance and encouraging in their feedback. I strive to be like them. I want to be the sort of person that a new editor or writer feels they can ask questions of without judgement. I feel IPEd is a place where I can not only continue to learn but also where I can share those experiences with others. My deepest thanks go to all those within the IPEd ranks who have already taught me so much.

Find an editor

IPEd has established the Editors Directory. Clients can search the directory for freelance editors using specific criteria. These will identify editors that have specific interests, skills or experience in certain areas.

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