ACES was busy this year – and it’s been a good thing. We, like all of us, are returning more to “normal.” But to a great extent, it’s been a new normal.
After two years without one due to you-know-what, we attended an in-person conference again! In San Antonio, we had a wide range of sessions in different fields and levels of editing, and the program provided advice on careers, our health and so much more. Besides that, we simply had a great time seeing a lot of you – about 460 people – again face to face. We quickly were reminded of the value of just spending time with each other and chatting casually about the work we love, how we go about doing it every day, how we make careers out of it, and how we balance our lives with it.
Then we resumed what’s becoming our annual virtual conference. ACES Accelerate was two full days of online sessions – again, a wide range of programs on topics like editing for bias, avoiding disability euphemisms, working in the self-publishing world, plagiarism, minority languages, content marketing, government editing, ethical editing, editing gender, and of course, grammar grammar grammar. Plus we tried talking with each other a little bit via Zoom in our Coffee Chats focused on particular subjects or fields – something we know we want to keep doing.
In fact, it’s part of the program for our next big event, ACES Evolve – our in-person conference March 23-25 in Columbus, Ohio. The Peer Connection Coffee Chats will be a chance for editors to meet (in person!) other editors working on the same kinds of things, and there will be a little more time to do so. Meanwhile, we’ve prepared a robust session lineup, which we’ve sorted online to help you choose what to see. We have them grouped by introductory, intermediate and advanced levels, as well as into the broader tracks of word and language, health and wellness, core skills, the business of editing and advanced skills. All lend support to the conference theme, the Power of Editing.
In the meantime, all year we’ve continued our webcasts – on topics like Proofreading 101, writing your next job description, expressing numerical quantities, the science of reading and using plain language, and the singular “they.” And we’ve continued our online #ACESchats tackling all kinds of topics in editing and our working world.
We did have some sad news this year: the sudden passing of our longtime member, leader, mentor and friend, ACES Education Fund President Henry Fuhrmann, whose loss we still feel and will continue to feel. We are memorializing him and carrying on all his work for students, professionals and diversity with an award that will honor an influential mentor, as Lisa McLendon notes below. And there will be a celebration for Henry in Columbus on Thursday night of the conference.
We are working on more for ACES. The Board of Directors was finally able to have an extended in-person meeting after a few years, and we’ve established our strategic plan for the next two. We have large goals we want to tackle in the categories of membership, training and education, diversity and inclusion, advocacy for editing and editors, and our communication and marketing. The ACES membership – all of you – is something I’m particularly excited to learn more about. ACES is 5,000 members strong; naturally that means there is a big variety in the kinds of work you’re doing and a great diversity of people. I’m constantly amazed and impressed with all the talent and broad range of experiences; I’m proud to be among you. We want not only to help you in your editing and careers but also get you to find and help each other – others who do very much what you do, so you can share your experiences and learn from each other.
I can’t thank you enough for being a member of ACES and participating in our events. I’ve loved meeting so many of you in San Antonio and online, and I look forward to seeing more of you in 2023.