IPEd Conference 2021: Editing on the Edges

Belinda Pollard

Belinda Pollard
Belinda Pollard, AE, is a freelance book editor and author with degrees in Communication and Theology, a background in radio and television journalism, and more than twenty years’ experience editing non-fiction, fiction and memoir for specialist publishers and self-publishers. Her blog for writers and editors at smallbluedog.com receives many thousands of visits per month. She presents writing and self-publishing workshops in-person and online, and produces and co-hosts the Gracewriters Podcast for writers of faith. Her own writing prizes include a Varuna Fellowship for crime fiction.

Building Community at Your Editing Edge

Many of us have edgy interests that remain on the periphery of our editing practice. What might be possible if we give those niche interests priority, and build community around them?

Freelance editor and writing coach, Belinda Pollard, found herself unexpectedly plunged into establishing an online community around a niche topic at the edge of her editing specialty (theology).

‘Gracewriters’ rapidly took on a life of its own. An initial weekly blog expanded into regular Zoom meetings, then an online discussion forum, then a fortnightly podcast with a team.

The project was undertaken for its own sake – a ‘fire in the belly’ project. However, side effects included growth in Belinda’s editing business, professional development in both editing and technology skills, unexpected collaborations with others in the publishing industry, and increased energy and motivation within herself.

This presentation reverse engineers the Gracewriters experience to find principles that could be adapted to other edgy interests:

  • mistakes made and lessons learned
  • technology considerations in creating a global online connection at low financial cost
  • ways to build teamwork and collaboration
  • cheap and practical marketing ideas to attract others who share the same fire
  • methods for controlling time commitments
  • expectations and attitudes that increase effectiveness and decrease stress.
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Online, 28 to 30 June 2021
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