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.

President’s report reflects on a demanding year

by Stephanie Holt

A big virtual hug to all our Victorian members. And well done, it looks as if a winter like no other really is behind us.

How will we reflect on 2020, and write about this year once we’ve returned to a less unfamiliar, a ‘COVID normal’, world? Already some trenchant and beautiful writing has emerged from this time. (Clare Wright’s ‘How the dark gets in’, in Meanjin, is one essay I’ve returned to and shared.) 

I guess we editors will get back to worrying about the capital letters and standard spellings and hyphenation in all those words and phrases we now rattle off with ease; to crafting effective messages as new requirements and supports take shape; and to fine-tuning the stories wrung from crisis and reflection.

Meaningful work to do and meaningful people to connect with have been so important through this time. I hope all our members have had enough of both to sustain them. 

As a branch, we’ve continued our program of activities by Zoom. It’s been great to join with many of you for these, whether learning about fan fiction from Jes Layton, practising punctuation with Ann Philpott, or swapping reading recommendations with other editors at a Zoom cuppa. More is on offer in November. 

In great news for our branch, Admin Officer Donna Quinn has agreed to stay on for another term. We thank Donna for the commitment and expertise she brings to the role.

We will also have an announcement soon on a new IPEd Director from our branch. 

At this time, I thank Renée Otmar, who is stepping down as an IPEd Director. Renée has given so much to the branch over many years and in many roles, and continues her work with IPEd on the forthcoming accreditation exam. She continues to be generous with support, insight and guidance. Somehow, she’s also found time to write a book, just out: Editing for sensitivity, diversity and inclusion. Renée, how do you manage it all? 

Happy editing,


(We plan to publish a review of Renée’s book in the next newsletter.)

New members

EdVic is pleased to welcome members who have joined or upgraded since the last issue of Gatherings.

Welcome to our new professional member, Jocelyn Elizabeth Hargrave, and to our new associate members, Meran Robinson, Eva Birch, Deborah Curtis, Sitarani Kerin, Bella Ellwood-Clayton, Kay Campbell, Daphne Isabella Thornton, Christa Malone and Gillian Thomas.

We look forward to seeing you at our workshops and events and encourage you to make the most of IPEd’s networks for news and support.

Imitation is art: editing fan fiction and adaptation

by Marie Pietersz

On 24 September 2020, 32 EdVic members and non-members tuned into Zoom to hear Jes Layton present a talk on fan fiction (FF), a literary form that is popular but not well understood by many traditional writers and editors.

FF is one of the most hotly debated subjects in the world of literature, with just as many readers and writers praising it as condemning it. As polarising as it may be, FF has been and continues to be the bread and butter of some of today’s most successful authors, such as E L  James, Cassandra Clare, Marissa Meyer and Neil Gaiman. 

Writer and artist Jes Layton is the Media, Communications and Administration Coordinator for the UNESCO Melbourne City of Literature Office as well as Express Media, a platform for young writers and editors. He is a writer and artist with work found in Junkee, Voiceworks, Kill your darlings, the AZE journal, Concrete queers, The Victorian writer, Enby life, and scattered elsewhere online. Jes has presented at a variety of Victorian and national writers festivals, unpacking queerness, fandom and pop culture. Her story ‘Chemical expression’ was published in Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories Jes Layton

With credentials like this, Jes was well placed to explain to us the mysteries of FF, from its roots to its emergence into the public sphere. 

But what is fan fiction, exactly? 
FF is writing based on another creator’s fictional world and/or characters, or sometimes on real-life people. It is a literary form, not a genre. However, there are many genres within FF, including sci-fi, rom-com and horror. Omegaverse, also known as A/B/O (alpha/beta/omega), is another subgenre of FF, beginning in the Supernatural fandom in 2010 but now a common staple of online fandoms.

Modern-day FF, usually published on the internet, is popular because of the shifting expectations and demands of readers, particularly among marginalised people who, frustrated with portrayals within more mainstream media, try to rectify this with new voices, characters and stories, and use FF as a platform for sharing ideas other than the traditional ones.


Jes explained that copyright is generally not an issue for internet FF as it is a non-commercial creative expression that does not compete in the same market as the original work, and does not interfere with the economic incentive to create new works. 

However, FF may breach copyright when authors publish commercially and where it is more than just ‘lifting’ protagonists and characters from existing published works, such as when Cassandra Clare plagiarised Buffy the vampire slayer, Angel and other sources when she wrote her Harry Potter fanfiction, The Draco trilogy

What is the role of the editor in this unique and historic form of writing? 

Jes covered the practicalities of working with FF from the perspectives of writers and editors.

Beta readers are mostly volunteers who will look over a piece of FF writing and advise on the ways the fan work could be improved for public consumption. Therefore betas (‘beta’ is used as both noun and verb) are also co-authors. Some are also sensitivity readers. Betas tend to be a requirement for FF, as ‘unbetaed’ work could contain triggering content. Most FF writers have been betas at some point. Why? Because critical reading of another writer’s work helps one to see more clearly the flaws in one’s own work. It is a natural part of the culture.

Traditional editors are likely to encounter FF when writers wish to publish their writing as original works. The issues editors will face include not only ‘rubbing off the fingerprints’ of the work that served as inspiration (i.e. avoiding plagiarism and copyright infringement), but also ensuring there is a strong dramatic throughline. As FF is based on already known and loved characters and situations, writers are often not used to doing the work of building their characters and their worlds.

The audience, both first-timers and those who had been previously inducted into this literary form, found the topic fascinating. Q&A time was very lively and went way past the scheduled finish time. 

If you missed the presentation, you can buy a recording of the talk here. The recording costs $10 for members and $15 for non-members and includes the slides used by the speaker at the event. Recordings will be available up to two months from the date of the event.

If you are interested in finding out more about FF, you can contact Jes online at @AGeekWithAHat.

Contact Marie Pietersz at edvic.events@iped-editors.org

Professional development update

EdVic’s last course for 2020 will be the sold-out Editing references and bibliographies sessions (to be held 7 and 14 November). Courses will resume in February 2021.

The PD team is always interested in hearing more about your training needs. We develop courses based on member feedback from those who attended previous courses, as well as periodic all-member surveys. If you have a suggestion for a workshop or trainer, please email Claire.

Claire Kelly, Professional Development Officer

Zoom networking cuppas

Don’t miss these upcoming opportunities to network with your colleagues. All members are most welcome to join any of these sessions, but places are limited, so book early.

Preparing for the accreditation exam
Tuesday 10 November, 10–11am AEDT
Moderator Susan Pierotti, EdVic Accreditation Board representative
Book here.

Editing the unusual
Saturday 28 November, 2pm AEDT
Moderator Susan Pierotti, EdVic Freelance Affairs Officer
Book here.

Strategies for work over Christmas
Date: Tuesday 8 December, 10am AEDT
Moderator Susan Pierotti, EdVic Freelance Affairs Officer
Wear something Christmassy!
Book here.

EdVic 50th birthday celebration and Christmas party
There’s more information here. [PDF 280KB] 


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