The Society for Book and Magazine Editors of Nigeria (SBMEN) is a non-profit association dedicated to supporting the professional development of editors.
To mark the launch of the society, the management will be holding a two-day editing masterclass: An Editor as a Creator: Understanding the Technical, Practical and Business Aspects of Editing. This is scheduled to hold on 11 and 12 August 2018 in Ikeja, and facilitated by experts from the publishing industry. Registration is currently going on.
The Society, founded in early 2018 by Anwuli Ojogwu, co-founder of Narrative Landscape Press and Enajite Efemuaye, managing editor at Kachifo Limited, aims to serve as a standards organisation to advance the profession of editing and develop editorial skills in editors that meet global standards. 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.
On what inspired the idea, according to Anwuli Ojogwu, who is serving as its Executive Director, she said: “We came up with the idea for the society in 2017 when we 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. So in 2018, we made it a reality.”
The founders, who have a combined twenty years’ experience in book and magazine publishing, also observed that they are many people transiting into the profession who are looking for an in-road to become professionals and have no local resources to guide them. There also exist editors like themselves who are seeking a community that helps them improve their proficiency in the craft and make them globally competitive.
The Society boasts of a formidable board including Muhtar Bakare, founder, Kachifo Limited; Adewale Maja-Pearce, acclaimed author and former editor of the Heinemann African Writers Series; Jahman Anikulapo, former Arts Editor of The Guardian Newspaper and co-founder of Committee of Relevant Arts (CORA); Azafi Ogosi Omoluabi, co-founder of Parressia Publishing Ltd, and Olajide Bello of ABFRCO.
Speaking on the mission of the inaugural workshop, Enajite Efemuaye, the Training Director of the society, said: “The training is an introduction into what we will offer when we launch the full scale of our 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.”
The Society intends to hold training workshops and conferences in key cities in Nigeria in 2019.