The following history of SD/PEN is adapted (and updated) from a profile of SD/PEN’s founding editors written by former member Jed Lewis for the January 2011 issue of DELETE, SD/PEN’s bimonthly newsletter.
In 2011, the San Diego Professional Editors Network (SD/PEN) celebrated its 25th anniversary. To help mark the milestone, SD/PEN’s founders—Jackie Estrada, Kittie Kerr Kuhns, and Julie Olfe—were asked about the origins of this active group of professional editors, who come from a variety of different backgrounds and work in a wide range of subject areas.
In the mid-80s, years before the advent of the digital age and social media, Kittie, an editor at UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, was feeling a sense of isolation, working by herself with little contact with other editors. She felt the need for “a group of editors each working by themselves in large companies, corporations, or scientific book publishers,” to whom she could turn for guidance with specific editing questions.
Kittie talked with her friend, fellow freelance copyeditor Julie Olfe, about her desire for what Julie described as “a professional group with whom to discuss the fine points of editing.” They agreed, in Julie’s words, that “by bringing together a group of editors who worked solo at corporations and educational institutions, we could alleviate the isolation problem and perhaps also raise employers’ knowledge about editors, the background necessary, and the varieties of editing.”
Kittie and Julie invited Jackie, an editor in San Diego since 1969, to a lunch where, in Jackie’s words, they could all “toss around some ideas.”
The outcome of that lunch was the “birth” of SD/PEN. Subsequent meetings took place and, over time, the group of freelancers began focusing on networking, holding meetings on specific topics, and having guest speakers.
In 1987, the group adopted its official name, and two years later, officers were elected. In 2011, SD/PEN became a 501(c)6 nonprofit with a Board of Directors.
More than 30 years since its founding, SD/PEN continues to focus on:
SD/PEN does this through:
Education (bimonthly program meetings, annual workshop, DELETE newsletter)
A website featuring member-editable directory listings and online application/renewal process
Social media platforms
Collaboration with other writers and editors groups in San Diego
SD/PEN is open to anyone who wishes to join. Visit our website to learn more.