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Editing Non-Fiction


17 August 2011 (Wed)
9.00am – 5.00pm

Civil Service College
31 North Buona Vista Road

Course Fee: $230.00

This is a past course. View upcoming courses.

Non-Fiction Forms a Large Proportion of Publishing Lists

Non-fiction accounts for the overwhelming majority of publications and includes genres and subjects from autobiography to zoology. It covers all media, from books to websites, from reports to journals. In recent years, there has been a blurring of the boundaries so that non-fiction is now less bound by tradition.

Educational, Academic and Trade Non-Fiction

This workshop looks at trends in three areas: educational, academic and trade non-fiction.

Using sample texts and exercises, we will analyse the crucial components of a text to identify
what is essential and what can be removed, leaving a sparer, stronger manuscript. Topics we will
cover encompass:

  • looking at the big picture — when to restructure
  • beginnings, endings and transitions in non-fiction
  • educational titles — a closer look at audience and purpose
  • enlivening academic text — signposting, conditionals, active and passive mood
  • contemporary trade non-fiction — blurred boundaries and new techniques.

Pinpoint Problems Areas

Most readers can tell when a piece of writing isn’t working. It’s a different matter to be able to
identify the problem. Perhaps the manuscript is too long, or the chapter divisions are illogical or
unbalanced. Maybe it assumes too much technical knowledge or, conversely, talks down to the


Editors face huge variations in the kind of work they are expected to undertake, depending on
the type of publication they are dealing with. The exercises in this workshop will give you the
guided practice you need to work at a more advanced level.
This workshop is designed for experienced editors who wish to expand their non-fiction editing skills.

About the Trainer: Pamela Hewitt

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Pamela Hewitt is a qualified trainer who has developed and presented programmes on editing and writing for universities, vocational educational colleges, writers’ centres and societies of editors around Australia and internationally. She has also developed online editing courses on professional editing and editing for writers.

Pamela became an Accredited Editor in 2008, one of Australia’s inaugural accredited editors. She has been an active member of societies of editors and writers’ centres, presenting papers and speeches at all national editing conferences as well as at writers’ festivals, including the Sydney Writers’ Festival, the ACT Word Festival, Style Council and the National Literary Awards. Pamela was a member of the Institute of Professional Editors’ National Working Group on Accreditation and co-convenor of the National Working Group on Education, Training and Mentoring.

In more than twenty years as an editor, Pamela has worked in-house and freelance across the industry in a career spanning academic, educational and trade publishing. Although she concentrates on fiction and non-fiction book editing, Pamela has also edited scholarly journals, websites, poetry and oral history projects. She publishes widely on professional editing and writing.

Other professional initiatives include publishing The Fine Print, an independent online editing journal, and conducting five national surveys of editors. She is currently investigating ways that editors can survive and thrive in the era of the eBook and the app.

Registration Details

Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis and workshop fees must be paid before the workshop. If the minimum number of participants is not met for the class, the organisers will inform all participants about possible postponement and cancellation, two weeks before the workshop date.

Cancellation & Substitution

The workshop can be cancelled or postponed two weeks before the workshop date if the minimum number of participants is not met. Participants will be fully refunded for workshops cancelled by us.

Participants who are unable to attend a workshop they have registered for are to inform us of the reason two weeks before the workshop date. They will be fully refunded in the event of extenuating and mitigating circumstances (E.g. illness, bereavement, accidents) . Those who inform us up to five (5) working days before the workshop date will receive a 50% refund. Participants can also attend another course at the same value within the same year.

Upon registration, you are deemed to have read and understood the cancellation, withdrawal and substitution policy and accept the terms contained therein.