2015 has been a busy year. I’ve been working flat-out for
most of the year on back-to-back writing projects and as the year draws to an
end, I’m mostly just completely exhausted!
It’s actually been quite an exciting year with lots of
really interesting work. Several projects have been in areas that I love
working in and I’ll be very excited to see them published (later next year).
The schedules though have been distinctly over-optimistic and the expectations of
my input very high. I’ve found myself working long hours and a lot of weekends,
with only 2 weeks off all year; so much for work-life balance!
I wouldn’t have got through it all without the support of
a couple of fabulous editors; Duncan Hamilton (in-house at OUP) and Alison
Macaulay (a freelance editor). I’ve been really lucky to have great working
relationships with both of them that saw us working closely together to get the
best out the material. Perhaps even more importantly, they supported me with
humour and encouragement; an invaluable ingredient when you’re a freelancer
ploughing on solo at your desk.
I haven’t been chained to my desk all year though. I had
a busy conference season back in the spring, with 3 presentations in just over
a week! I really enjoyed presenting at the MaWSIG PCE at IATEFL and I had a fun
workshop at the BALEAP conference in Leicester.
I had a couple of foreign trips talking to teachers about
the new edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary in Poland in March
and in France in June; both lots of fun with great co-presenters and travelling
companions in Rachael Roberts and Julie Norton. That was followed by a week
surrounded by lovely teachers from around the world as part of the ELT Summer
Seminar series at Exeter College in Oxford.
2015 also saw a temporary move to a rented office to
escape noise at home, several meetings with fellow Bristol-based freelancers
for coffee and chat, and a bit of a revamp for my website
So what does 2016 hold? Well, my diary’s already getting
quite full with events; an ELT Freelancers’ awayday in Oxford at the end of
January, a MaWSIG event in London, then an EAP conference in St Andrews in
February, IATEFL in Birmingham in April and my first plenary at the MATSDA conference
in Liverpool in June.
I’m also looking forward to some much-needed holiday!
I’ve already got a week away booked in January and there are more trips in the
planning. I’d like to do some more teaching this summer on an EAP pre-sessional
somewhere outside of Bristol; nothing against Bristol, but I’d just like to
experience how things are done somewhere else (suggestions welcome!). And I’m
mulling over a few other projects that might come to fruition if I can find the
Most of all though, I’m looking forward to meeting and
working with lots more interesting people!
Labels: BALEAP, ELTSS, IATEFL, MaWSIG, OALD