IPEd is pleased to announce the third keynote speaker for the 2019 conference: Penny Modra, co-founder of The Good Copy and regular guest on ABC Radio Melbourne as a ‘grammar enthusiast’.

Penny is a copyeditor, writer and teacher who has spent much of her career forging new ground. One of the founding editors of Is Not Magazine – ‘an experiment in publishing, design, reading and community’ in the form of a poster seen on the streets of Melbourne and Sydney – Penny has also overseen content projects for the City of Melbourne, Visit Victoria, Tourism Tasmania, Rooftop Cinema, Ansell and MINI International.

Editing in the age of content

Penny’s keynote address, ‘Editing in the age of content’, will focus on the simultaneously vital and overlooked role of editors in the age of content marketing, user-experience design and brand strategy.

It’s your job to advocate for your skills.

“The ground is shifting and the opportunities out there for editors are changing,” she says. “Traditional publishing roles might be fewer and further between, but there’s an emerging demand for our skills in the wider commercial world. Brands and businesses are now pursuing their own publishing projects – mainly in digital channels – and they’re starting to understand the value of editing, not to mention the value of style guides. Creative agencies are also hiring for these skills as they take on more digital publishing work for clients.”

Penny will discuss the new industries and sectors that are beginning to identify editing as central to their communication needs, and will present her perspective on how editors might best explain what we have to offer these non-traditional industries and sectors.

“The world of brands and agencies is an odd one – true. I think most people who work in this area would agree with me. But all it takes is an understanding of their processes,” she says, while also acknowledging that “it’s heartening when you realise how much editors’ skills are valued, and how much people will pay for them!”

Remember: you shouldn’t be getting less money for your hours than other specialists get for theirs!

Thus it’s not only about what editors can offer in this new landscape; it’s also about what many of the players in these non-traditional publishing environments can offer professional editors: appropriate remuneration, and often higher than traditional publishing.

Encouraging editors novice and experienced to think laterally about their skills, to value them and to stick to their guns, Penny notes that “the people who are hiring editors outside of traditional publishing contexts know they need us but have a limited understanding of what we do. It’s your job to advocate for your skills. Remember: you shouldn’t be getting less money for your hours than other specialists get for theirs!”

Read more about Penny Modra’s keynote.