We’ve had another bumper year – with ten new clients on our books, a wide range of projects from McDonald’s Happy Meal packaging to the Report of the Gosport Independent Panel and a big software switchover which caused me a few headaches!
Back in January we tendered for a contract to edit and proofread reports for International IDEA and we are now one of their approved suppliers. As a politics nerd, I was very excited to be working for this fascinating organisation which looks to support democracy around the world. I’m also hoping to find a good reason for a site visit to Stockholm, of course…
We had some sad news in March when we learned that one of our favourite clients, Jacquie Horner, from The Stationery Office, sadly passed away. Thinking about her will always make me smile – while she was a formidable project manager who simply got things done, with very little fuss, she was also a great advocate for proper editorial process and a very caring person. I will never forget when she offered me plasters before a meeting because my new shoes had cut into my ankles: the only problem was that they were emblazoned with Elsa and Olaf from Frozen as they were meant for her daughter!
We expanded our work for universities this year – proofreading degree programme brochures and class directories for London Business School and a number of undergraduate and postgraduate prospectuses for other universities. And, as always, we were kept busy during the annual reporting season.
In May, we started helping out with quick turnaround proofreading for The Marketing Store, who produce menus, packaging and point-of-sale materials for McDonald’s. This contract was guaranteed to get us all hankering for a burger and chips.
Sadly, Mandy left us to go and live in Hong Kong but now Delia is sharing the accounts and admin work with Elaine. Rhiannon has been working with us as an editorial project manager for some time now and this year we spent a very enjoyable day of training and catching up at her home in Shropshire. And Denny took some time out after the birth of baby Ben in December 2017.
We carried out our first customer survey in November, giving us some very positive feedback. We’re delighted that so many of our clients are highly likely to recommend our services – stay tuned for more details on the results early next year.
I’ve been an avid podcast listener for a while now and this year – after a recommendation from the Reasons to be Cheerful (good for other politics nerds out there) podcast – I’ve finally found the perfect podcast for editors and proofreaders. It’s called The Allusionist and is a witty, enlightening, engaging and crucially short (fits nicely into a coffee break) programme all about words. I’d urge you to give it a listen. I’ve been steadily working through more than 90 episodes for the last few months.
I also enjoyed The Post at the cinema, with the wonderful Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. A real paean to the days of hot metal typesetting (check out those printing sequences!) – as well as an intricate political thriller. But how many of you gasped at the amount of time they gave the poor sub-editor to check one of the most important newspaper stories of the 70s?