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Refresh & Refine without losing your mind: A guide to session selection

Refresh & Refine without losing your mind: A guide to session selection

April 21, 2021 By Victoria Hicks ACES News

Decisions, decisions. Most people appreciate flexibility and abundance… until they have to make a definitive choice between two (or more) great options. Hopefully, this article takes some of the labor out of session selection and allows the refreshing and refining to begin well ahead of the warm welcome by ACES president Sara Ziegler.

Before the opening session of ACES 2021 Online, there’s one must-attend event in terms of excitement and anticipation: the spelling bee. Fellow student newsroom journalists Rachel Slay and Savanna Perry explain the fan-favorite fundraiser in depth here!

Incluza Palooza

Sometimes, keeping up with the most current terms and abbreviations can seem like an ever-expanding bowl of alphabet soup. Fortunately, this year’s conference features a lineup of speakers who will break down different aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Thursday Sessions

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. EDT

How to Ensure Accessible Websites, Social Media and Inclusive Photos

Hosts Lauren Appelbaum and Eric Ascher, employees of RespectAbility (a disability advocacy nonprofit), discuss practical ways in which organizations can improve their outward-facing inclusivity.

Noon - 12:45 p.m. EDT

Keynote Speaker (Alaina Lavoie)

Alaina Lavoie, editorial director at We Need Diverse Books, will have standing “room” only during her session about destigmatizing diversity and mental health, as well as humanizing her fellow editors so that they don’t succumb to the pandemic grind.

Friday Sessions

1 - 2 p.m. EDT

How to Ensure A Welcoming Lexicon and Inclusive Storytelling

Join Lauren Appelbaum and Tatiana Lee for a timely discussion on constructing messages that draw people in — without leaving anyone out!

4 - 5 p.m. EDT

Inclusive Language

To round out the conference, servant leader Talysa Sainz will address the impact of social conditioning on storytelling. She’ll share some terms and phrases that are mindful of all readers!

For more options, browse the session catalog here.

Self-Care Sessions

Publishing print and digital media during a pandemic can be grueling work. ACES has editorial experts in place to impart knowledge and practices that will keep attendees performing at the top of their game. These sessions will teach conference-goers how to refresh while they refine.

Thursday Sessions

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. EDT

Editing in the Age of Distraction

In this conference session, host Lindsey Wray will help attendees discern good distractions from bad ones and how taking a step back can aid in taking steps forward.

1 - 2 p.m. EDT

What's That Noise in Your Head?

Presenter Merrill Perlman has a remarkable rèsumé and is a mentor to many. She knows the difference between the brain’s “Danger Ahead” signal and overthinking for overthinking’s sake. 

Friday Sessions

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. EDT

Sometimes I Feel Like a Fraud: Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

This session’s trio of speakers kick off day two with paradigm shifts, self-empowerment techniques and mindfulness exercises (i.e. everything people need to start living their best lives)!

For more options, browse the session catalog here.

Tech Talks

Since last March, the United States workforce and education systems have had to adapt rapidly to conducting business almost exclusively online. #ACES2021Online features several sessions that provide intro-level insights on essential platforms and concepts, all of which can increase productivity now and after the pandemic.

Thursday Sessions

1 - 2 p.m. EDT

One Command to Rule Them All: Introduction to Word Macros

Technical Editor Rhonda Bracey has edited thousands of complex documents and overcome the inherent challenges to streamline her work. Here, she’ll impart some of her knowledge about the time-saving Microsoft Word macros.

4 - 5 p.m. EDT

Google Docs: What Editors Need to Know

This final Thursday session covers two things: the similarities between the top word processing platforms (Microsoft Word and Google Docs) and how editors can find the sweet in their Google Suite.

Friday Sessions

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. EDT

Editing for UX in Digital Content

If U and X seem like nothing more than two letters near the end of the alphabet, some more information is in order. Clearlink senior staffers Vilja Johnson and Aaron Gates spend their session breaking down the details of UX (user experience).

For more options, browse the session catalog here.

Stop Selling Yourself Short

In the last several years, there’s been a growing emphasis on developing and marketing a personal brand. To do so, editors might need to take a temporary step back from perfecting everyone else’s work and take some time to polish up their own portfolios. The following sessions are for those seeking guidance on making themselves more marketable.

Thursday Sessions

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. EDT

How to Create a House Style Guide: 5 Easy Steps 

Hosted by ACES Vice President Samantha Enslen, this session is perfect for those who perform best in the presence of rules and organization but work in an environment that does not currently offer an “employee handbook” on editing expectations.

4 - 5 p.m. EDT

Editor Websites: From Blah to Boss

Regardless of editorial niche, many can glean wisdom from The Digital Reader (Nate Hoffelder) as he discusses invaluable quick fixes for an eye-catching editor site.

Friday Sessions

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. EDT

Prepping the Interview and Writing & Editing a Compelling Narrative Profile

Kick off Day Two with Emily Primeaux, a perky and passionate writer and editor, who’s presenting how to take sticky situations in stride and how to consistently put one’s best foot forward!

For more options, browse the session catalog here.

Grappling with Grammar

Editorial professionals can easily get bogged down by endless papers and monotonous errors — so much so that the job may seem sometimes like no fun at all. These conference speakers hope to ignite passion for proper grammar in the English language. Each of the following sessions focus on a specific aspect of grammar or usage.

Thursday Sessions

1 - 2 p.m. EDT

Much Ado About Point of View

For fiction editors, this Editorial Freelancers Association executive’s session is a must. She discusses head-hopping and navigates types of narrative. This session immediately follows Thursday’s keynote speaker.

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. EDT

Grammar Saves Lives

Professor Rowe’s class is in session on Friday at 2:30 p.m., and the syllabus is chock full of helpful hints and grammar guidelines for editors at all levels.

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. EDT

Tense Without Tension: Choosing the Best Verb

For a demystification of tense-aspect-verb form intersection, join J-school instructor Lisa McLendon’s session Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

For more options, browse the session catalog here.

Precision Party

Publishers and journalists understand more deeply than most that words, pictures, and numbers have both origins and implications. These session speakers are experts in exactness, and they’ll all help simplify the verification process.

Thursday Sessions 

4 -5 p.m. EDT

"The" Dictionary Doesn't Exist (But Dictionaries Sure Do!)

This final session on the day one docket is a lexicographer’s dream, seeing as two senior staffers from Merriam-Webster will provide insight into the creation and revision processes of the most-used dictionaries — plural

Friday Sessions

1 - 2 p.m. EDT

Fact Checking Beyond the News

From her freelance editing of scholarly texts to her desire to stay in-the-know about her alma mater’s sports teams, Presenter Gerri Berendzen shares her wisdom on locating credible sources in this conversational session on Friday at 1 p.m.

4 - 5 p.m. EDT

The Winning Numbers

In this conference session, ACES Treasurer Neil Holdway simplifies those pesky percentages for all those who would prefer to stay in the world of words.

For more options, browse the session catalog here.

Style Sensations

And lastly, there are sessions all about style. This final set of speakers sets editorial industry standards by which everyone abides until the next ACES conference.

Thursday Sessions

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. EDT

Copy Editing for the Next Generation: What Do Tomorrow’s Writers Need to Know Today?

Though the title for this Thursday slot is fairly self-explanatory, note that a journalism professor, an emerging professional, and two student newsies comprise the session speakers. In addition, celebrity speller Henry Fuhrmann has announced his attendance in the virtual Zoom room on Twitter.

Friday Sessions

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. EDT

Editing With Style: Updated Resources for Seventh Edition APA Style

Three American Psychological Association staffers discuss the latest in APA Style, details to bookmark and digital resources. (Remember, members receive a discount on certain APA products! Navigate to the member center and scroll down to “discounts.")

4 - 5 p.m. EDT

What’s New in AP Stylebook Online?

Presenters Colleen Newvine and Paula Froke have exciting changes to announce, all of which will take effect at the end of the conference.

For more options, browse the session catalog here.

If, after reading this article, final session selections have yet to be made, remember that attendees can switch back-and-forth between speakers as they please, as space allows. For anyone looking to come and go like a comma chameleon, click here for an article by Sophia Lyons about conference details and dynamics.

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