IPEd Editors Conference

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

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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.

In this issue of Gatherings, we profile ANZ Branch President Caroline Simpson.

When and why did you join IPEd?
I joined IPEd three years ago because I thought it was important to be seen to be part of a professional organisation, and I wanted training opportunities. It soon became apparent that being a member of IPEd wasn’t all about me, though, and I realised there were benefits for our profession in having a combined voice.

What is your current and past involvement with IPEd?
Currently, I am the President of the New Zealand branch, Editors Aotearoa New Zealand (EdANZ). This is the inaugural committee for our branch.

What does IPEd mean to you?
When thinking about this question, my answer really surprised me. IPEd is about confidence. It’s the confidence of getting to know many other editors and of having collective knowledge available if I need help. And the confidence to see myself, a freelance editor working from home, as a professional editor running a real business. 

Why are you prepared to volunteer your own time to IPEd?
When I first joined IPEd I was an NZ member of the Victoria branch. The emails used to come through with enticing training opportunities, and I felt frustrated about what we Kiwi members were missing out on. Once our new branch was formed, we needed committee members. I guilted myself into volunteering  after all, nothing was going to happen if a few pioneers didn’t make it happen. 

What is your current job?
I run my own business, copyediting and proofreading. Much of the work I do myself, and I work with a handful of other editors on some projects. 

What does your role entail?
Advertising, marketing, sales, customer service, accounts receivable, accounts payable, cleaning  oh, and editing.

Some background on your career path — what led you to editing?
Funnily enough, although I came to editing in my 40s, I recently found a career assessment I had done nearly 20 years earlier where I had picked editing as something I would like to do.  

I followed the usual route to editing: selling wine; customer service and training roles for a multinational; and working for two universities, managing student information centres, writing reports, pamphlets and procedural manuals. 

If you were not an editor, what would you do?

I am planning not to have to answer that question. The plan is to be an editor for the rest of my life because that is what I am.

What do you do in your spare time?
Walking. Especially with my long-time friend and her dog. And particularly in the bush. Reading is always good too. I’d like to say gardening, but you wouldn’t think it to look at my garden at the moment. Recently I knitted a couple of blankets, which was fun because with chunky wool and needles they were finished before I started. I have a sneaky love of board games, but I’m quite competitive so I have to be careful.

What sports do you enjoy watching and/or playing?
Watching my youngest son play for his school football team is great. They are a bunch of mates who just like to kick a ball around for the fun of it. 

What's your favourite holiday destination? Why?
My most frequent destination is Tongariro National Park. I’ve been going there my whole life. We were a tramping (hiking) family, but I also got a chance to ski once I hit my teens. As for the rest of the country, you could drop me just about anywhere in NZ and I would find a reason to like it. 

Overseas, I want to go back to the Morvern peninsula in Scotland to discover more about the area some of my forebears lived in. And I’d go back to Italy and the south of France in a heartbeat. While I was on the other side of the world, I would visit the overseas members of the accountability group I belong to. That would take me to Switzerland, Ireland, Canada and the States.
Describe your family members:
My family comprises me, my husband and our two sons. The boys are 17 and 19. We are a family of three introverts of varying degrees and one extrovert. No, I am not the extrovert. 

Do you have any pets?

Our last pet, a cat called Turtle, died several years ago. We are now enjoying the resurgence of the fantail population in our garden. My friend’s Airedale has adopted me, however, so I am not completely petless.

Who do you admire most and why?
No one person in particular. I admire people who struggle in their lives and yet, through perseverance, progress. What that means is that I admire many people, because most of us have had problems we have had to overcome.

What would you never give up?

My family. 

What are your favourite books/movies?

I’m a sucker for a good rom-com. Don’t expect me to watch a horror movie with you. And if a movie is promoted for its gritty realism (code for gratuitous violence), I’m probably not going to watch it. 
Caroline with Theano
[Photo credit: Caroline Simpson]

One of the drawbacks of editing is that I probably don’t read as much for leisure as I used to. If I had to pick a book, maybe I would choose War and Peace (my edition is translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude) because of one particular passage. It was one of the most transformative reading experiences I have had. 

What’s something very few people know about you?
When I was a teenager I loved watching Match of the Day. I wrote a letter to them once and they read it on air. I was watching on our old black and white television set and the horizontal hold kept going so I had to ‘thump’ the set every so often.

Your scariest moment?
Strapped into the passenger seat of my boyfriend’s friend’s Datsun 240Z going around the Bay Park race track at over 200 km per hour. The car was specced for those speeds but I’m not sure I was.

What else would you like to share with your fellow members?
I think you know it all now.


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