Putting on my editor hat

Just a quick post today, to make my excuses for not posting much for the next week or two. I’ve recently become editor of The Voice, the magazine of the Cambridge NCT (National Childbirth Trust) branch. The NCT is a national charity, which aims to support parents in various ways, including ‘[giving] them accurate, impartial information so that they can decide what’s best for their family, and [introducing] them to a network of local parents to gain practical and emotional support.’ It is probably most well-known for its antenatal courses, which as well as offering information on birth and early parenthood, provides those who attend with a group of friends whose babies are all born around the same time and so they usually end up socialising with and supporting each other for sometimes years after the births.

Tom and I were too late to book onto an NCT antenatal course –  it seems Cambridge has a high birth rate and is full of parents who are interested in (and can afford) the NCT course, so they were all booked up when we looked into it about half-way through pregnancy. But since Andrew was born, I’ve come into contact with other NCT activities, mainly through facebook (oh hooray for social networking!) By responding to one of their wall posts, which asked if someone could write an article about their experience of birth at the local midwife led birth unit (where Andrew was born), I was asked if I would be interested in being editor of the local NCT branch magazine.

This seemed like too good an opportunity to turn down. I worked on and off as a temp editorial assistant at CUP (Cambridge University Press) during my Masters and PhD, and really enjoyed it. Before I found out that I’d been awarded funding for my PhD, my plan was to go into publishing, specifically editorial work. Then as I got towards the end of my PhD, I was all set to look for permanent editorial work with a publisher after I had finished. But then I was offered my current job, and that seemed like too good an opportunity to turn down too! My long term plan, once our family is bigger (in number and age!), is still to go into editorial work, probably in academic publishing, or children’s/educational publishing. So experience now as a voluntary editor is great, especially as the content and readership of the magazine is just where I’m at in this stage of my life. I find it really enjoyable to read the articles that flood into my inbox, as happened this week. Plus the team who produce the magazine are all new parents, so there’s a real understanding that we do our best, but family comes first, and things will probably not be slick and seamless like a professional publication. Though I have to say, it’s pretty good for a (dedicated but busy with parenting) bunch of amateurs!

Anyway, I’d better put my editor hat on, and get on with editing the articles that are sitting in my inbox. I’ll be back wearing my writer hat in the next couple of weeks…..(except I may do a quick baking post in the meantime).

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