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The 2022 Freelancers' Awayday

What people thought ...

The seventh Freelancers' Awayday and pre-conference event took place at the  Voco Oxford Spires Hotel on 15/16 of September 2022. The event attracted record numbers of attendees and the main sponsor was Oxford University Press. There was an evening 'meet the publisher' BBQ, speaker sessions and workshops, networking, a hot and cold lunch buffet, a drinks reception and a publisher and supplier exhibition.


Representatives of the following organisations were present: Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Macmillan Education, Richmond, Penguin Random House, National Geographic Learning, York Press, Just Content, Hyphen, Avallain, Tom Dick and Debbie Productions, Creative Listening, Digital Theatre+, Oriel Square, Newgen Publishing, EMC Design, Wild Apple Design, Otter ELT, Coast Publishing Services and Weblink Software.

You can also read four attendees' accounts of their experiences at the links below:

Peter Fullagar (Writer, Editor & DEI Consultant)

Kathryn Mitchell (EMC Design Studio)

Manal Elsehrawi (Writer, Editor & IELTS teacher and examiner)

Tracey Cowell (Editorial professional, education and ELT sectors)

Who is the Awayday aimed at?

Sessions are aimed at a broad range of roles within the English Language Teaching and Educational sectors of publishing. Our main audience consists of freelancers, but representatives of publishing houses and other organisations also attend as we have a keen focus on encouraging connections and collaboration. 

(Mouse-over for captions; click to enlarge photos & browse at own speed.)

What was the best element of the day, and why?

As always, it was all good. But the jobs fair and opportunities to network with publishers were brilliant this year.

Tracey Cowell

I met more publishers and made more contacts in a single day than in a 4-day visit to IATEFL, so it was a great success from that point of view.

James Styring

The organisers' attention to detail – everything worked seamlessly, the programme was great, and they ensured everyone felt included. I came by public transport and it was easy to get to by bus from the station. 

Emma Heyderman


The variety/overall balance of presentations. Very motivational and engaging and it gave me lots of food for thought.

Sam Grey

Connecting with people from all aspects of the wider ELT universe (freelancers and publishers alike). You can learn from their experiences and share some of what you've been going through as a freelancer. It makes everybody feel a little more connected in what can sometimes be a somewhat isolated career. Loved the venue and the food was varied and tasty.

Greyson Steinberg


It felt like time and money well spent. All the presenters worked so hard for us.

Nicola Gardner

Meeting people who I have worked with and putting names faces to names. I also was very grateful to you all for taking the time to talk to me throughout the day and the evening before – the personal touch was lovely.

Martin Shepherd

The 2020 Freelancers' Awayday

The sixth Freelancers' Awayday took place at the Oxford Spires Hotel on 24th January 2020 and was sponsored by National Geographic Learning. 


Why not read this great write-up of the day by Tania Pattison or this blog post by Peter Fullagar? You can also have a look through the Twitter Moment for the event.


This is probably the most valuable day of the year for me as a freelancer. It represents a great opportunity to make new contacts and find out about some of the latest developments in the field, while also being very enjoyable and informative!

Edwina Johnson

This was the third Awayday I've attended. They've all been excellent but this was the best one yet! Thanks so much for a useful, informative and inspiring day.

Tracey Cowell

I loved it – very glad I invested in the day both financially and time-wise. Was wonderful to go away from the event with new relevant professional information and the feeling I'd caught up with lots of friends/project colleagues, while making new ones as well.

Nicola Gardner

Sessions were very varied and even though some not directly relevant to my role, were still interesting. Left having made contact with several new potential clients – very happy about this! As a newbie, I appreciated how welcoming and friendly everyone was. 

Picture researcher

The 2019 Freelancers' Awayday

Sponsored by Cambridge University Press, the fifth Freelancers' Awayday was held at the Oxford Spires Hotel. We also launched our exciting new joint venture with ELT Teacher 2 Writer – the ELT Publishing Professionals online resourcing directory.


You can read a write-up of the day by EMC Design or have a look through the Twitter Moment.

It was the first time I've attended and I was so impressed. It was fantastically organised, great talks, great food (very important!), very lovely attendees and very welcoming organisers.

Andrea Turner

It's a really great event that helps deepen the connections in the ELT freelance world, and I continue to enjoy meeting lots of people through it. I'll definitely come again.

Zoe Smith

There was a good balance and variety of sessions, catering for different levels of experience and interests. 

Helen Ward

The 2018 Freelancers' Awayday

The fourth Freelancers' Awayday was held in January 2018 in Oxford and was sponsored by Integra, a packaging company. 

If you weren't able to attend, you can find out more by reading this summary of the day by Emily Hird. Alternatively, take in this great account of not only the Awayday, but of all three workshops, by Tania Pattison who had travelled to be with us from Canada.

I learnt a lot and came away feeling a renewed sense of enthusiasm for work!

Tracey Cowell

I’ve been back in Canada for just over a week, and already I have received an offer of work from someone I met at the Awayday. 

Tania Pattison

The 10-minute talks were exceptional... really useful to me personally.

Kerry Maxwell


You are all doing a great job. These events get better every year. It's the perfect mojo boost in the dullest months!

Samantha Richter

The 'meet the publishers' session was excellent. 

Samantha Richter

The 2018 Freelancers' Workshop Day

We always try to respond to feedback. Over the years there have been requests for us to run smaller workshop sessions. In 2018 we piloted an additional day of workshops, which we held in a separate venue the day before the Awayday itself. The workshops covered the following topic areas:

1 Working efficiently in Word

2 CPD for free

3 Productivity gems

The Awayday has become one of the most important events in my professional year, and now it's even better with the added workshops. I signed up for all three workshops on offer, and all were excellent.

Tania Patterson

I really appreciated that Helen was flexible in adapting the [Word] workshop and focusing on what suited participants best.

Susannah Sallé

A huge thank you to you all – I so much appreciated the workshops.

Alyson Maskell

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