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PubPro 2013: An Unconference for Managing Editors and Publication Production Specialists

A professional development event co-hosted by EAC-BC
and the SFU Publishing Workshops of the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing

Who is this for?
What’s the format?
Why an unconference?
Where is it?
When is it?
What's the networking tea?
How much does it cost?
What should I do if I want to present or to lead a discussion?
How do I register?

Who is this for?

You may be called a managing editor, a production editor, an editorial coordinator, a publications director, a project manager, an editor-in-chief, or one of any number of titles. Whatever your formal job title, you do any or all of the following:

  • Work in house for an organization that creates publications
  • Manage an editorial and production team of in-house staff and freelance professionals
  • Hire freelancers, including editors and possibly writers, designers, and indexers
  • Develop project schedules
  • Create or work to project budgets
  • Shepherd projects through the production process

Publishers often meet to discuss sales, marketing, and digital strategies, but very rarely do the people who actually make the publications happen get to gather and brain share.
This event offers managing editors and production specialists the opportunity to meet others in their role and learn from one another.

What’s the format?

This unconference has no set program, and the participants will define the agenda. If you’re interested in giving a presentation or leading a discussion, arrive early to pitch your topic to the attendees. The program will be finalized based on participants’ interests, and once that happens you can choose which sessions you’d like to attend.

Possible topics:

  • Recruiting, training, and retaining freelancers
  • Freelancer communication
  • Creating and maintaining house style guides
  • Scheduling
  • Project management software for publications
  • Paying by the project vs. paying by the hour
  • Collaborative editing tools
  • Digital workflows
  • Working with commercial printers
  • Print-on-demand
  • Negotiating vendor agreements (e.g., with stock photo agencies)
  • Quality control systems
  • Project crisis management strategies
  • A managing editor’s wish list

Why an unconference?

You’re all experts at what you do, but because you work in relative isolation from others in your role, you’ve all developed your own systems. There’s no hard and fast set of best practices, so there’s no one expert who’ll provide you with all of the answers you need. This event will be an opportunity to cross-pollinate: learn what others are doing, what works, and what doesn’t, and see if others’ strategies can be adapted to your situation.

If you’ve developed a pretty good system for some aspect of your work and would like to share your knowledge, consider giving a presentation. If you face a particular problem and want to know how others approach it, consider leading a discussion on the topic.

Where is it?

It will be held at SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street.

When is it?

Saturday, April 13, 2013, 9:30 am–4:30 pm. Here's how the day will look:

 9:15–9:30    Check-in and coffee
 9:30–10:15    Opening remarks
   Speakers pitch topics, participants vote, and program is set
10:20–11:00    Sessions
11:05–11:45    Sessions
11:50–12:30    Sessions
12:30–1:10    Lunch
 1:15–1:55    Sessions
 2:00–2:40    Sessions
 2:45–3:35    Networking tea
 3:40–4:00    Event debriefing and closing remarks
 4:00–4:30    Chair yoga*

*Unwind at the end of the day with a relaxing but invigorating session of yoga led by editor and yoga instructor Irene Zafiris.

What's the networking tea?

The networking tea is a special session that allows you to continue your conversations with your colleagues outside the confines of a formal session, and it also puts you in the same room as the professionals you might want to hire. Pre-registered freelancers will join us all for a tea or coffee and get a few minutes to chat and swap business cards with you. The registration for the networking tea is now closed.

How much does it cost?

Ticket prices will be $40 for EAC members who register by March 22, 2013 ($55 after) and $50 for non-members who register by March 22, 2013 ($65 after). Lunch is included. 

What should I do if I want to present or to lead a discussion?

Prepare your presentation or discussion notes before the event. Sessions run 40 minutes, including Q&A. On the day of the event, arrive early, and you’ll have one minute to pitch your topic. Based on how participants respond, your talk will be added to the schedule. Sessions can take on any format you choose and can be as interactive as you wish.

If you have slides to show on a digital projector, bring them in on a USB key in PDF or PowerPoint format. (Please also keep a backup of your slides somewhere in your email or online.)

Since we don’t know how many people will be attending each session, we won’t be able to print handouts the day of. You’re free to bring your own, but what we’d prefer is for you to send us your notes or handouts after your session. We’ll put all of the presenters’ documents together and send a folder to all participants.

How do I register?

Registration is now closed. Please tell your associates and colleagues they can follow the event live on twitter. The event’s official hashtag is #PubPro2013.

If you have any questions about PubPro, email professional development co-chairs Tina Robinson or Eva van Emden, or event facilitator Iva Cheung

Many thanks to our generous sponsors:

     West Coast Editorial Associates     Ingram logo      Hemlock logo        Friesens logo

Thanks to Globalme Language & Technology for supporting our event by providing projection equipment.


*About the event facilitator: Before she became an independent publishing consultant, Iva Cheung served as editor and editorial coordinator at D&M Publishers, where she implemented editorial communication, workflow, and quality control systems. At EAC’s 2011 conference in Vancouver, she led the “In-house Editors’ Open Discussion Group” session, where it became clear that the issues facing managing editors alone could fill an entire day. Iva, who holds a Master of Publishing degree from Simon Fraser University, is a Certified Professional Editor and a winner of EAC’s Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence. She blogs about editing and publishing at