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Toronto SfEP Mini-conference

sfep, red letters logo of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders

The Toronto SfEP November 5–6 mini-conference will be my ninth conference in thirteen months in four countries, half of those at the mic. I have been somewhat of a perpetual student all my life (I think I’m in grade 46), but why do I gravitate to these professional development opportunities so often? More to the point, what keeps me going back to certain ones?

Last year, I wrote a summary for the SfEP member newsletter, Editing Matters (Jan/Feb 2019), sharing my reflections on the sense of community and inclusion I felt at the Toronto branch’s inaugural mini-conference. I believe I was uncharacteristically soppy and talked about hugging people a little tighter upon each meeting…but it’s true! While I enjoy seeing colleagues at annual events, picking up on past conversations and updating them on local industry developments, it’s pretty rare to feel like you’re meeting up with friends at some of them.

Now, I’m about as introverted as they come, but that’s about managing energy, not sociability. Yes, I get excited by discussing punctuation, but at the more intimate mini-conferences, I also get to know how kiddo’s first day of school went, how dog obedience class is going, and what the latest purple purchase was. Freelancers don’t just trip upon collegiality, we create it through our connections online and we foster it in person. I’m looking forward to #SfEPTO19 for the PD but also for the relationship-building, because there’s no laborious networking going on there.

Like last year, there will be international speakers, both on the day of the mini-conference (November 6) and for a workshop the day before. Tickets are sold separately but many people are opting to attend both.

Malini Devadas (Australia) will provide the afternoon workshop (November 5) on beating the freelance feast-or-famine scenario and overcoming the pitfalls that we all sometimes face in money matters and income development.

The one-track full day will again cover a range of topics. Paul Beverley (UK) will show the best macros to start with, explain which are the essential macros for all users, and offer pointers about a wide range of macros. Jennifer Glossop (Canada) will share her vast expertise in working with fiction (and non-fiction), in particular techniques to uncover the missing narratives. Erin Brenner (US) will address how to edit quickly and knowing your resources and tools to speed up your work. Heather Ebbs (Canada) will present an editor’s guide to indexing. Amy Schneider (US) will help us customize our workspaces with templates.

We’ll be at the same lovely, wheelchair-accessible venue and, if we haven’t overdone it on the excellent catering, in the evening we’ll chat and exchange ideas and tips over more food at the pub across the road.

For info on how to register for this event, SfEP members can go to the link on the SfEP mini-conference page; non-members should email the organizers at, indicating that they would like to attend. Non-members will be notified after October 15 if there is a space for them.

Join me for the famous SfEP camaraderie and the top-notch learning opportunities. Both the atmosphere and the program will bolster your business life, whether you’re a newbie or an experienced editor. You’ll leave the boutique event richer in skills, ideas, and connections. And if there’s a Twelve-Step program for conference addicts, maybe I’ll see you there too. 😉