£60 – £96

Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) North-East mini-conference

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Royal Station Hotel

Neville Street

Newcastle upon Tyne


United Kingdom

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Event description
A one-day conference for editors and proofreaders in the North East and beyond.

About this Event

Tickets available until 1st May.

Registration will be from 9.30am, with the first session starting at 10am. Lunch will be provided and there will be breaks throughout the day for coffee, tea and networking. The venue is fully accessible and is located right next to the railway station.

If you're on Twitter, you can follow us @NEEditors and follow the chatter with the hashtag #SfEPNEConf.

If you're an SfEP member, you will be awarded two CPD/training points for attending.


Marketing Your Editing Business – Denise Cowle

Being a freelance editor isn’t just about keeping your editing skills current, it’s about finding clients, keeping them and, of course, getting paid fairly for what we do.

In this session we’ll look at the different ways we can market ourselves, how to best showcase our editing skills, and how we can target our ideal clients and build our business. We’ll also discuss the perennial issue of rates – how to get paid what you’re worth!

The Changing World of Academic Publishing (and the ripple effects on editors) – Matt Deacon

There are several long-term trends acting as main drivers to change in the market:

  • globalisation
  • expansion of the knowledge economy
  • peer review mechanisms for academic progression
  • digital technologies.

These market forces combine to produce a rapidly expanding market for academic content produced across two main platforms: journals and books.

Publishers realise that there are strong advantages in having an effective global reach for their products and that there are strong economies of scale available.

We will explore these changes and how it is affecting the production of content. The current impacts on editing will be outlined, allowing us to collectively think about the likely future outcomes for academic editing.

MO(B)T: Ministry of (Business) Training – Melissa Middleton

What we want to do in this session is get you talking and sharing with each other, as, let’s be honest, I’ll not teach you anything in the word world that you don’t already know!

To do that, we are going to focus our time together on the following areas:

CPD – where are you? And when does it end? Do we see CPD as a something we are mentally programmed to do all the time, or do we have specific ‘things’ that we need to do?

Skills swap – what do you have and what do you need that can be shared amongst the different people in this room? Is it contacts, is it confidence, is it a need to learn?

And finally: Am I sustainable? – a quick check-box exercise on things to consider when running your own business that means you stay in business. We pride ourselves in helping people to start up businesses that remain active for years and years.

Efficient Editing: How to Make the Most of Your Fee – Hester Higton

Fees for editing are rarely as high as we would like them to be. This session will look at how to use our existing skills to make the best use of our time by increasing our editorial efficiency. We will discuss which tasks are essential for preparing a text and which may need to be relegated to the ‘in an ideal world’ pile. Workshop exercises will focus on making timed work plans and assessing the working process for a complex project. Analyses such as these allow the editor to judge whether the fee is worthwhile or whether to go back to the client and renegotiate, with evidence to back up their position.

Panel Discussion: Navigating a Course in Publishing – Debbie Taylor, Alex Niven and Sarah Wray

Three North East publishing professionals will discuss the varied careers they've carved for themselves and give their perspectives on the role of editors in the ever-changing landscape of our industry.


Denise Cowle

Denise is a freelance editor and proofreader based in Glasgow. She specialises in non-fiction, particularly education and business, and edits for a variety of global publishers, companies and organisations.

She has an interest in continuing professional development and content marketing, and when she’s got spare time she loiters on social media, writes her blog and makes videos. Most recently, she has created The Editing Podcast with Louise Harnby.

Denise is an Advanced Professional Member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders and has been its marketing and PR director since 2017.

Hester Higton

Hester has been copy-editing since 2005. Before moving into editorial work, she was an academic historian and museum curator. She specialises in editing academic books and journals in humanities subjects for a variety of publishers and educational institutions. She also works directly with individual academic authors, particularly in development editing for non-native speakers. She is a tutor for the SfEP online courses in proofreading, copy-editing and references.

Melissa Middleton

Melissa is responsible for PNE Enterprise, a business support organisation in the North East, and for ensuring the work PNE Enterprise delivers meets its objectives for contractors and users. She writes and delivers a number of business courses in the North East and delivers one-to-one advice and mentoring for a number of clients. Melissa has a PGCE focusing on Business & Enterprise as well as an MSc in Social Research and a BSc Hons in Politics and Media Studies.

She has received the Natwest National Unsung Hero Award and the If We Can You Can’s Supporter of the Year Award. Her team is also the current holder of the National Enterprise Team of the Year Award.

She is described as a participative deliverer and is comfortable delivering sessions to groups as well as one-to-one coaching to established businesses when needed.

Matt Deacon

Matt is a senior project manager at Wearset, a leading publishing services company based in the North East.

Matt has worked in academic and education publishing for 22 years, working at Prentice Hall and Taylor & Francis before coming to the North East and joining Wearset. Most of his efforts focus on project management for book production, but this has expanded into editorial work, database design and workflow optimisation. He is also a qualified teacher.


Debbie Taylor is the founder and Editor of Mslexia. She has written for Oxfam, UNICEF, Anti-Slavery, WHO and others about women and social issues. Her many books include My Children, My Gold (Virago), a travelogue about single mothers; The Fourth Queen (Penguin), a novel set in a harem in 18th Century Morocco; and Herring Girl (Oneworld), a paranormal historical murder mystery.

Alex Niven is a writer, lecturer and editor originally from Northumberland. His books include Folk Opposition (Zero Books, 2011), Definitely Maybe 33 1/3 (Bloomsbury, 2014) and New Model Island (forthcoming via Repeater Books in November 2019). His writing has also appeared in the Guardian, The Independent, Pitchfork and the LA Review of Books, among other publications. He has worked as an editor for Zero, Repeater and New Left Review, and his edition of the letters of the Newcastle poet Basil Bunting is forthcoming via OUP in 2020. He is currently Lecturer in English Literature at Newcastle University.

Sarah Wray is a freelance technology journalist and editor. She writes for a number of technology publications and is the editor at SmartCitiesWorld. Sarah started her career as an editor in academic publishing and has since held a wide variety of publishing roles, both on staff and as a freelancer. She is also a novelist and has had two books published: Reported Missing and Her Best Friend. She is working on her third novel.

The event will take place at the Royal Station Hotel, Newcastle upon Tyne. This hotel is located right next to the railway station and so is perfect for those travelling by train or metro. The venue is fully accessible.

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Royal Station Hotel

Neville Street

Newcastle upon Tyne


United Kingdom

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