Entertaining editing: how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb (rating)


5:45pm, Wednesday 31 May 2017
Ferguson Room, upstairs at the National Library of Australia, Parkes Place
Light refreshments before and after

We all know that the mighty craft of editing is the erudite overseeing of a unified set of rules and guidelines to ensure uniformity and clarity in writing; both that of our own and that of others.

Yet, its rules and guidelines tend to be moulded into different shapes for different purposes. Entertainment publishing is one of these. And within Entertainment publishing, there are different shapes still.

Over the course of an hour, Publisher of BMA Magazine Allan Sko will show you the stages of getting a publication from conception to production to print; give a run-down of BMA’s in-house style guide, where it varies and why; how the subeditor, editor and publisher interact over the final copy; form and function for feature articles and reviews; and explore one of the most fascinating and contentious aspects of the industry … the ratings system.

How do you ensure a writer’s copy matches the rating they have given? How exactly do you approach ‘editing’ a rating to ensure it matches the content provided? What if a Bomb rating is given (NOW you understand the opaque headline pun), and yet praise has been written in the content?

All this—and perhaps a couple of gags thrown in for good measure—will be covered.

About the presenter

Allan Sko (BA Professional Writing at UC) started his professional career as the position of editor at BMA Magazine; offered to him after the incumbent Editor Tracy Heffernan put his name forward after three years of picking up the articles no one else wanted. And this was someone who learned to read and write at the tender age of 12.

After four years in the editor chair, Allan turned his attention to the business side of the magazine, transforming the sizable debt into a healthy cash base over the course of three years.

Since 2014, Allan has been the sole publisher and owner of BMA Magazine, and is proud to oversee a staff of 30. The move in November 2015 to switch the magazine’s delivery from fortnightly to monthly not only allowed more focus on the website and longer form, deeply researched print articles, but has finally allowed Allan the breathing room to get back to what he loves most … writing and editing.

Allan says he is thrilled and honoured to be asked to give this talk, and very much looks forward to chatting with you.

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