Monday, April 19, 2010

ACES: What a Show

Last week was the American Copy Editors Society's annual conference, held in Philadelphia; as a board member and head of the host committee, I had an exciting week, although not as exhausting as many seemed to indicate. Copy editors pride themselves on quiet competence, and the ACES conference, with its multiple training sessions, lunch breakouts, opening and closing sessions, banquets, blogs, etc., is a complex work of machinery that has been well-oiled over the years.

Chris Wienandt, the outgoing ACES president, and Deirdre Edgar, the outgoing vice president for conferences, split the duties of programming the event and once again provided a full slate of interesting topics by authoritative and engaging presenters. Daniel Hunt provided access to more media than I really know exist. He and Gerri Berendzen led the way again in conference blogging. And they are just among the main builders of the framework on which more than 330 people came to listen, learn, talk and advance the cause, skills and roles of copy editors.

There was enough discussion of "building one's personal brand" -- a concept that I hate, copy editing is supposed to serve the reader and not the copy editor's ego -- that I have to link to the program on WHYY's "Radio Times" in which new ACES president Teresa Schmedding and copy editing uber-goddess Merrill Perlman expounded on what the cuts in editing mean to the reader/citizen. Oh, yeah, I was there too -- there's my branding for you!

What a past, what a cast, what a show, what a way to go. Join us in Phoenix in 2011.


Matthew Crowley said...

Great job by all, folks. David, you sounded great on Radio Times.

Wayne Countryman said...

You've modestly left out all the good, hard work that you did as our host, David. And your thes

Thank you.

Andy Bechtel said...

Like it or not, you are a brand — and a highly respected one at that. Thanks for all of the hard work of our hosts in Philadelphia.

rknil said...

Sorry, but the concept of not serving the copy editor's ego was destroyed when page design was added to the tasks and non-journalist designers were allowed to be called copy "editors."

Circulation is still plummeting, and the ranks of copy editors continue to diminish. Until ACES musters up the courage to start addressing those things, the conference is filled with sound and fury, signifying nothing.