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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IPEd Strategic Plan July 2020 to June 2023.

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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.

Mentoring? What’s that? 

by Elizabeth Manning Murphy DE (with Ted Briggs AE, Chair of the IPEd Mentoring Program)

We can’t count the number of times we’ve been asked that question. It usually comes from people thinking of expanding their skills but don’t know what kind of guidance they need. Is it like learning in a classroom or workshop, being coached full-on to get up to speed in a specific topic, being in a tutorial group at a university, a quick consultation … or what? 

The quick answer is, it’s none of those. In the IPEd Mentoring Program, being mentored means being guided by someone who has knowledge and skills in an area of the editing profession that you aren’t familiar with. It means being matched with a mentor who you’ll get along with so a friendship gradually builds up, and with it, trust. No classroom; no timetable, apart from what you and your mentor agree on; nobody else: just you and your mentor, and it’s entirely confidential.

If that sounds like a good idea, do you have what it takes to be a mentee?

Are you prepared to give time to this adventure, to set some goals for yourself and to commit to doing what you and your mentor agree on — perhaps around learning some new skills or starting a freelance business, or anything at all that’s related to editing?

Do you have some basic editing skills and a bit of experience as an editor? Perhaps through formal study of editing or writing or business management or anything else that’s appropriate? Or through attending events run by your branch of IPEd or the Canberra Society of Editors (CSE)? Mentoring is not teaching — your mentor will guide you in any reading or research you might need to do, practising new editing skills, building on existing skills, like copy-editing or website building, or whatever it is you have asked for guidance in. But your mentor won’t do any of it for you.

Are you in the right frame of mind to be mentored? Have you de-cluttered your mind so you’ll be able to give time to the mentoring sessions and the between-sessions practice or reading your mentor recommends? Have you learned how to listen, how to be flexible, how to develop projects, no matter how small? 

Looking forward, are you willing to change your thinking and your practices if necessary, following guidance from your mentor and plenty of discussion? Staying put in your present way of doing things isn’t really productive — be willing to listen and act on advice from your mentor and be game to try new approaches to even your present workplace tasks, and of course to future projects.

The program is certainly not a job agency, so we can’t find work for you. However, being guided in ways to build your skills and your presentation in a CV, website and so on, may  go a long way towards helping your chances in the editing marketplace. You’ll be amazed at how you can improve your way of working in your current job, your ability to take on additional editing tasks in your own time and, before long, start building your own freelance editing business, if that’s your goal. But you have to be willing, ready and able to walk confidently into the future, with the belief that good mentoring will help you in many aspects of the goal or goals you have set for your mentorship.

What, me set the goals? Yes, you, the mentee, must drive any mentorship. They’re your goals, not your mentor’s. Your mentor only has one goal — to help you achieve yours.

Ready? Set? Then go for it. Contact your IPEd branch or the CSE to be put in touch with your Mentoring Coordinator who will send you guidance notes to read and a short application form to fill in.  And the cost: currently $250 for a mentorship, no matter how long or short it is. We think that’s really good value. We hope you do too. 

You can write to one of the names below if you don’t know how to contact your branch coordinator. Tell us where you live and we’ll put you in touch with the right person.

Ted Briggs AE, Chair, IPEd Mentoring Standing Committee: tedbriggs@grapevine.com.au
Elizabeth Manning Murphy DE: emmurphy.words@gmail.com


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