Stephen Johnston

Stephen JohnstonStephen Johnston is a professional trainer, copywriter and journalist who works with multi-national companies on projects such as websites, internal and external communication, white papers, marketing material, brochures, corporate journalism, and speechwriting ... and blogs!

Much of this work involves specifically targeting different readership groups. Stephen also upgrades previously written texts and/or provides one tone-of-voice for texts with multiple authors to increase their impact and professionalism. He also conducts workshops and training sessions to improve the quality of business writing and presenting.

Stephen is giving a pre-conference workshop entitled The impossible blog: How to write a readable blog from unreadable material.

Workshop 2: Stephen Johnston

The impossible blog: How to write a readable blog from unreadable material

Summary: This fun workshop trains participants to (ghost)write short, clear, and easy-to-understand blogs from

technical or highly detailed and dry source material.

Purpose: Professional copywriters are often asked to write a blog for a company, only to be faced with virtually unreadable, complex source material. “Make it sexy!” they say.

Hmmm.

This hands-on workshop trains participants to take technical, specialized,  and/or complicated source material and turn it into a readable, interesting blog for the general public. With a fun mix of theory and exercises, participants will learn how to:

  • Determine the target readers
  • Distill key information
  • Create a hook and a story to interest readers
  • Re-write it while removing technical terms
  • Write interesting headings to grab the readers’ attention
  • Create short social media descriptions for Twitter, LinkedIn, facebook, etc.

It will help any seasoned or budding writers (or translators/editors who would like to become a writer) to gain confidence and skill in writing company blogs – a great addition to any CV.

 


About the facilitator

Stephen JohnstonStephen Johnston is a professional trainer, copywriter and journalist who works with multi-national companies on projects such as websites, internal and external communication, white papers, marketing material, brochures, corporate journalism, and speechwriting... and blogs!

Much of this work involves specifically targeting different readership groups. Stephen also upgrades previously written texts and/or provides one tone-of-voice for texts with multiple authors to increase their impact and professionalism. He also conducts workshops and training sessions to improve the quality of business writing and presenting.

To register for this pre-conference workshop click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop 3: Margreet de Roo

Making the best, most optimal use of MS Word

Summary: MS Word is an immensely powerful tool – if you know where to find its often hidden strengths. Rather than use it as an upgraded typewriter, why not automate the parts of your work process that free you up to focus on the more interesting and rewarding aspects of your job? In this workshop, you will learn some ways to tweak MS Word so that the functions you use most often or regularly are a lot easier to find. You will also discover the incredible power of macros and learn where to find many, many of them. And you will be introduced to PerfectIt, an add-in that was built with writers and editors in mind and that will save you tons of time and brainpower.

Purpose: This workshop aims to teach participants to use Word more efficiently and effectively so that they can spend their valuable time and energy on the more interesting elements of their job and leave the simple, repetitive tasks to the tools that are good at them – macros and PerfectIt. 

Description and structure: The workshop is divided into three parts:
- tips and tricks on using MS Word at its optimal best
- an introduction to PerfectIt
- an introduction to macros.

Who should attend? This workshop is targeted at writers, editors and translators at all levels who work with MS Word on a Windows computer, but who need to exploit its time- and labour-saving strengths. Mac users are welcome to attend, of course, but the focus will be on Windows. (PerfectIt for Mac is in the beta stage of development.)

Materials to bring: Laptop

Outcome skills: By the end of this workshop you will have been made aware of and be able to use a variety of tools that make the use of MS Word more efficient and effective. You will be able to automate certain parts of your work process and will therefore have more brainpower left for the interesting stuff!

Pre-workshop information: PerfectIt: http://www.intelligentediting.com/
Macros: http://www.archivepub.co.uk/macros.html

 


About the facilitator

Margreet de Roo photoIn what feels like a previous life Margreet de Roo used to be a German teacher until she moved to Nairobi, Kenya, with her husband in 2003. They returned to the Netherlands in 2012, where Margreet set up her editing business, Maneno tekstredactie. She mostly works as a copy-editor and proofreader and is learning how to do developmental editing. Every now and then she translates a book from English or German into Dutch.


In the Facebook groups for editors that she joined, she quickly discovered that there are many tools that can make an editor’s life easier, and she enjoys using them. In 2016 she started sharing her knowledge with fellow editors and translators through her workshop Handigheidjes Word and that reminded her of why she likes teaching so much: seeing the smiles when students realize that they have just learned something incredibly useful.
Margreet lives in Zwolle with her husband, two daughters and two cats.

To register for this pre-conference workshop click here.

 

Workshop 4: John Linnegar

It needs only a 'light' edit: Negotiating the differences between light, medium and heavy editing

Summary: Authors with a reputation for submitting well-prepared manuscripts (MSS), or who are likely to be hostile or hypersensitive to more major changes, will often request only a light edit (whatever that means), and the text editor’s billable hours will be expected to reflect this. Medium editing is naturally the norm to which most MSS conform (Merriam-Webster 2001: 235), and usually comprises two passes (Einsohn 2000: 16; Mackenzie 2011: 168). Heavy editing conveys broad latitude to shape the MS’s language and content components (and a little structural editing) (Davies & Balkwill 2011: 170; Einsohn 2000: 12; Mackenzie 2011: 169). It is used if a work is in need of significant improvement, usually in the opinion of either the commissioning editor or sometimes of the text editor (Davies & Balkwill 2011: 170). When this decision is taken, the next question that arises is: Will the author be capable of making the book acceptable to its target audience or should a detached professional text editor be asked to undertake the necessary improvements? (But how often don’t clients expect to get away with a ‘light’ edit on a dog of a text!)


Purpose: To reduce the amount of uncertainty, guesswork and/or thumbsucking that goes into deciding the appropriate level of editing required on a document. From this workshop, editors and translators (as revisors) will take away a set of criteria and a formula that will help them distinguish the different levels, especially when having to justify the level of editing or revising required – and its related fee and deadline – to clients.

Description: Through being exposed to two or three interpretations of levels of editing put forward by leading practitioner-authors in the field (PowerPoint presentation and handout containing excerpts from the authors’ books), the participants will hear and see what experts have to say about gauging the level of editing required. What they will do during the workshop is obtain a closer idea of how to assess the level of editing by engaging with eight short passages and comparing their assessments with those of others.

Although the session will be English-language based, the guidance from the editing gurus cited applies to all languages, writers and writing. 

Structure: First, the different levels of editing or revision – light, medium and heavy/extreme, and excessive, as described or labelled by leading authors on the subject – will be explained. Then, by examining the extent of the errors that need correcting in eight brief texts, participants in this workshop will gain a more informed, hands-on idea of how to distinguish between the different levels of editing or revision and, consequently, begin to do so with greater confidence. The facilitator will also share his technique for quantifying the level of editing involved, based on the number and nature of the corrections performed on a sample of a text.


Who should attend? Any editor or translator who is in the position of having to determine and evaluate the nature and extent of the improvements that have to be made to a text, to attach a fair value to their editorial intervention.



Outcome skills: On the basis of error detection, labelling and assessment, and by employing a simple formula, participants will more closely and confidently be able to determine the level of editing required. Based on that, they will also be better equipped to determine whether the proposed fee for an editing job and the deadline are reasonable/fair.



Pre-workshop information: If you have access to Davies & Balkwill (2011); Einsohn (2000, 2010), Mackenzie (2011) or Van de Poel & Linnegar (2012), read up on the subject of levels of editing. Otherwise, simply think deeply about the problems you have encountered trying to determine the level of editing and the commensurate fee for the job.

 


  About the facilitator

John Linnegar 2Until 2010, like many other editors, John Linnegar had little idea of how to distinguish between the nuanced three levels of editing (and that after 30 years in the game!). Then he began researching the subject, only to find that less than a handful of authors had written about it! It’s their ideas – plus his own guide to how possibly to quantify the levels in specific editing tasks – that he will be sharing and workshopping, using a set of real texts.

John has been a text editor, proofreader and indexer of school and academic textbooks, reports and journal articles since the 1970s. For almost 20 years he has trained generations of editors (including authors’ editors and academic editing skills), proofreaders and indexers. During this time he has published several books on aspects of language usage and editing, including Text Editing: A handbook for students and practitioners (UPA, Brussels, 2012). Now based in Antwerp, Belgium, he is a member of a number of professional associations, including SENSE, MET and Australian and South African societies. 

To register for this pre-conference workshop click here.

 

Workshop 1: Emma Goldsmith

EU regulatory medical writing and EMA templates: Compliance and consistency

Summary: There are strict requirements in Europe for translating summaries of product characteristics, package leaflets and labelling (all the documents that make up medicinal product information). To comply with these requirements, you are expected to use specific templates, standard terms and controlled terminology. You may already be translating these documents and wondering whether you’re doing it right, or you may want to start working in this field and you’re not sure how to go about it.

Purpose: To familiarise translators with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) templates, comply with terminology requirements and use translation technology to ensure consistency.

Description and structure: First, we will look at the documents that make up product information and guidelines. Then, we will download and work on the EMA templates and appendices, focusing on practical aspects of the translation workflow and discussing the pros and cons of converting these documents into term bases and translation memories. We will also look at language register, comparing the different styles of the Summary of Product Characteristics and Package Leaflet. After a break, we will align a template in your source and target language, and investigate terminology in EDQM Standard Terms, MedDRA and the WHO INN database.

Who should attend? Translators who work with European languages and want to learn about or refresh their knowledge of EU regulatory medical writing in general and EMA templates in particular.

Outcome skills: By the end of the workshop, attendees will feel more confident about complying with the strict requirements for translating EU product information and they will come away with a better understanding of how to manage the technological aspects of this field.

Pre-workshop information: Attendees should bring a laptop to the workshop. A handout will be sent out in advance with files and website links that will be used on the day.

 


  About the facilitator

EmmaGoldsmith photo

Emma Goldsmith originally trained as a registered general nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. She moved to Spain in 1987 and for the following 10 years, she worked as a staff nurse through the BNA (British Nursing Agency) during visits to England. This gave her broad experience in a wide range of hospital settings.

Meanwhile, in Madrid, Emma set up as a freelance Spanish to English translator, first working for local translation agencies and later – in the Internet age – specialising in medicine for global companies and individuals. She now has over 20 years’ experience translating clinical trial documentation, articles for publication in medical journals, and product information for EMA submissions. Emma is a member of Mediterranean Editors and Translators (MET) and currently serves as Webmaster on MET’s Council.

To register for this pre-conference workshop click here.

 

Emma Goldsmith

EmmaGoldsmith photoEmma Goldsmith originally trained as a registered general nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. She moved to Spain in 1987 and for the following 10 years she worked as a staff nurse through the BNA (British Nursing Agency) during visits to England. This gave her broad experience in a wide range of hospital settings.

Meanwhile, in Madrid, Emma set up as a freelance Spanish-to-English translator, first working for local translation agencies and later — in the internet age — specialising in medicine for global companies and individuals. She now has more than 20 years’ experience in translating clinical-trial documentation, articles for publication in medical journals and product information for EMA submissions. Emma is a member of Mediterranean Editors and Translators (MET) and currently serves as Webmaster on MET’s Council.

Emma is giving a Friday pre-conference workshop entitled EU regulatory medical writing and EMA templates: Compliance and consistency. Emma will also participate in a panel discussion with Anne Murray, Marije de Jager and Valerie Matarese entitled Invasive species: Language versus subject specialists in biomedical editing and translation.