The annual online CIEP conference of 2021, organised by the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading, was a great success.
As in 2020 the conference was online again rather than at a venue in real life. This is an advantage for our international members and for those with access issues.
I have been a member of the CIEP for five years. This is the fifth conference I have attended.
There were some delicious highlights which I describe in this blog post.
The two headline speakers I was most excited about were:
- Ian McMillan of The Verb fame on Radio 3. He is an English poet, journalist, playwright, and broadcaster. Known for his strong and distinctive Yorkshire accent, he has a friendly interview style. He spoke about ‘My unedited and unproofread life’, things he has spotted while touring village halls, and, what he thinks about signs on doors …
- Benjamin Dreyer, author of Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style. He is copy chief at Random House in New York. A great conversation led by Denise Cowle highlighted his experience and wisdom. And that he can laugh at himself and with others.
I’m a freelance non-fiction proofreader, so conference session highlights for me were:
- Crystal Shelley’s ‘Authenticity reading: Helping writers craft accurate and respectful representation’; also ‘Conscious and inclusive editing: understanding conscious language and the editorial role’
I was aware of authenticity reading, and conscious and inclusive editing from what other editors have shared online. But when Crystal gave concrete examples in her webinars of what is not acceptable in writing because of issues of sensitivity, I could understand how both fiction and non-fiction writers should show more conscious and inclusive language.
- John Espirian’s ‘How to be a LinkedIn leader’
I have heard John speak about how to use LinkedIn effectively every year for the past 5 years at various conferences. I knew him as the internet director at the CIEP. Because I prefer LinkedIn as a social media channel, I lap up any advice he gives about how to take full advantage of it. I always learn something new. His book Content DNA is on my bookshelf along with other reference and business books.
- Jill French’s ‘Using Word styles’
I have recently completed the CIEP course ‘Word for Practical Editing’. Jill presents the screencasts on the course. Her session on Word styles was a good reminder of tips I had retained, and skills that are still new and that I need to practice.
- Suzanne Collier’s ‘Don’t get left behind: Career development for freelancers’
Suzanne shared excellent advice and resources about how to stay current in the world of publishers and publishing.
The Lightning talks were great, as always. These are short presentations (5 minutes), on any subject, by any member, which are a pleasure to watch. Sometimes humorous, and always something new is learnt.
I attended the Speed networking on Sunday evening. This comprised of 15 minutes in Zoom breakout rooms, changing every 15 minutes, for two hours! My experience of attending the weekly Cloud Club West meant that I could keep my introduction to the required 10 seconds. What a buzz!
This year, the attraction of themed networking in breakout rooms was very tempting. I wondered if I would meet edibuddies who had interests in the same field – educational publishing and marketing your business being two examples.
The quiz is always fun and very competitive. The Zoom breakout rooms were invaluable for the quiz teams on Monday evening. I’m not hugely knowledgeable on anything, rather more a ‘jill of all trades’. The most amusing part for me was when members started changing their screen names from their official names to those reflecting quiz questions, or sessions held that day.
For the café/bar experience there was the Wonder room. Wonder is an app which replicates real life, where you can meet other delegates and move around freely.
Conversations are activated by bumping your avatar into someone. Video and audio are then opened.
Sessions in Wonder were particularly effective after a webinar had taken place. Then they could be discussed with the speaker. Or a member would tweet on Twitter that they were in Wonder, if anyone was free to join them?
The chair of CIEP, Hugh Jackson, opened and closed conference with touching and heartfelt words. He spoke about the effects of Covid, our community and collaboration, and what comes next …
A grateful thank you to the #CIEP2021 conference team for another successful event of learning, networking and fun.
To read my blog posts about previous conferences (when the institute was the Society for Editors and Proofreaders) see these links:
Hopefully I’ll see my fellow edibuddies at the next conference in Milton Keynes for #CIEP2022.
If real life isn’t possible, I’ll be just as pleased to see you all online.