In May 2017 the Australian Publishers Association (APA) ran its ninth biennial Residential Editorial Program (REP) funded by the Australia Council for the Arts and the publishing industry. Fremantle Press senior editor Naama Grey-Smith was one of the twelve literary editors selected nationally to attend. She tells us about the experience in this guest post.
It’s not often that book editors have the chance to talk openly with other editors about their work, not to mention the rewarding, difficult opportunity of workshopping a manuscript as a group. Yet that’s precisely what the REP offers twelve participants in an intensive five-day program of mentorship, discussion and guest talks by some of Australia’s finest editors and authors.
The APA gave me a start in the publishing industry in 2010 through its Publishing Internship Program so I felt extra grateful returning to its ranks seven years on as an experienced editor, alongside talented editors from UQP, Scribe, Text, Black Inc., Penguin Random House, a freelancer, HarperCollins, A&U and Pan Macmillan. The REP has a reputation as an outstanding program so expectations were high as we arrived at the beautiful grounds of the Melbourne Business School Conference Centre in Mt Eliza, Victoria.
Each day began with manuscript workshops (conducted by three mentors, each with a group of four participants), followed by discussion in the afternoons and guest speakers in the evenings. Topics were varied, and the stimulating and supportive environment generated meaningful discussion. Among many highlights, Sophie Cunningham gave the opening address and Nadine Davidoff delivered an expert presentation on structural editing.
I am grateful to the participants and mentors for generously sharing their knowledge. It was a deep, rich learning experience. And while the content of the program remains confidential, I am taking away lessons and insights that I hope will in turn benefit Fremantle Press and the wider publishing industry.