On September 14, 15 and 16, I had the opportunity to attend the first International Congress of Spanish Language Copy Editors that was held in Buenos Aires and which was entitled, “United by the same language.”
This event was organized by different organizations in this sector from the Hispano-American countries where they have taken root, as well as the Association of Copy Editors in Spain; specifically, participants included:
The Litterae Foundation (Argentina): founded in 1988 for the purpose of spreading correct use of the Spanish language and educating copy editors.
UniCo. The Union of Copy Editors. (Spain): association of copy editors founded in 2005 whose purpose is to gain recognition for this sector and serve as support for professional copy editors.
Association of Editing and Copy Editing Professionals (PEAC, Mexico): founded in 1993, this is a non-profit association whose purpose is to bring together peoplewho work in activities related to the publishing and journalism production chain.
Association of Copy Editors of Peru (ASCOT): this is also an association made up of professionals in the linguistics sector whose purpose is to protect the proper use of written language.
In this congress, which brought together copy editors and also professionals in related sectors such as journalism or translation, I was able to enjoy different, very interesting lectures, which dealt with what function this professional plays in the market, the different work options that he or she may use and the important role that he or she plays as protector of the proper use of our language. It explored many different topics such as the origin of this profession, the minimum fees that should be charged, the danger of excess correction, how to differentiate what is a mistake and what is the author’s style, the importance of having his or her work recognized, among many other questions.
This meeting also represented a unique opportunity for professional copy editors from different countries to make contact with each other and, in fact, groups of copy editors from countries such as Chile, Uruguay, or Venezuela expressed their desire to see this contact transformed into the creation of associations from the different countries so that this profession, which in most cases and unjustly falls into anonymity, may gain more and more awareness.
In addition, given its unprecedented nature, the associations of copy editors mentioned above, along with Colombia (which when the event was organized had not yet established itself as an association), signed an international alliance to lend mutual support in different questions that may arise.
This event ended by looking forward tothe next international conference of copy editors which will be held in Guadalajara (Mexico) within the framework of the National Book Fair in November of next year.