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The Society for Book and Magazine Editors of Nigeria (SBMEN), will be holding a two-day editing masterclass: An Editor as a Creator: Understanding the Technical, Practical and Business Aspects of Editing. The event is scheduled to hold on 11 and 12 August 2018 in Ikeja, and will be “facilitated by experts from the publishing industry”, according to the organisers.

SBMEN was founded in early 2018 by Anwuli Ojogwu, co-founder of Narrative Landscape Press and Enajite Efemuaye, managing editor at Kachifo Limited with the aim of serving “as a standards organisation to advance the profession of editing and develop editorial skills in editors that meet global standards”, the society says in a release. “It also aims to promote professionalism and editorial excellence by offering guidance in best practices, working in concert with industry stakeholders from both the book and magazine trade.

“The Society intends to create a community for editors through its different membership levels where they can exchange knowledge, learn, collaborate and network. It will provide training, resources for continuous improvement, advisory services on business growth, access to events and a directory with job listings to advance the careers and freelance businesses of members. Membership will also extend to those who work within publications, broadcasting, digital media, legal services, communications and public relations, and academia, among others”.

Ojogwu, who serves as SBMEN’s Executive Director, explains that the co-founders both observed “the difficulty in finding talent to hire, limited domestic training opportunities to improve our skills and the lack of a professional body to represent our interests”. These observations propelled them to create the society.

Ojogwu and Efemuaye have a combined twenty years’ experience in book and magazine publishing. They note that there are many people transiting into the profession who are looking for in-roads to be professionals and have no local resources to guide them. “There also exist editors ourselves who are seeking a community that helps them improve their proficiency in the craft and make them globally competitive”.

SBMEN’s board including Muhtar Bakare, founder, Kachifo Limited; Adewale Maja-Pearce, acclaimed author and former editor of the Heinemann African Writers Series; Jahman Anikulapo, former Editor of The Guardian on Sunday and programme chair of the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA); Azafi Ogosi Omoluabi, co-founder of Parressia Publishing Ltd, and Olajide Bello of ABFRCO.

Efemuaye, who is SBMEN’s  Training Director, says that the masterclass is an introduction into what the society will offer when it launches the full scale of its training programmes in 2019. “Our goal with training is to be more practical than theoretical in our approach to teaching, because editing is clinical in concept. It’s more of an “all hands on deck” profession. That way, individuals are challenged and engaged with every class as well as growing in proficiency.”

For more information on how to enroll in the masterclass, email: training@sbmen.org.ng or send a WhatsApp message to 07013021317.  www.sbmen.org.ng

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