Adrienne Montgomerie named winner of the 2023 Karen Virag Award


Toronto, June 19, 2023—Adrienne Montgomerie (they/them) of Kingston, Ontario, is the winner of the 2023 Karen Virag Award, presented by the Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada). This award, which comes with a $400 prize, recognizes exceptional efforts by an individual or organization to raise the profile of editing in their community. The award was presented at the banquet of the Editors Canada conference in Toronto, Ontario, on Saturday, June 17, 2023.

Headshot of Adrienne Montgomerie

If you’ve explored editing on social media, you’ve no doubt come across SciEditor. Whether they are offering free resources and instructional videos on their website, running an Editing Instructors group on Facebook, or sharing articles and updates on LinkedIn, Mastodon and Twitter, SciEditor is a seemingly endless resource in the Canadian and international copy editing community.

Meet Adrienne Montgomerie: a self-professed techie and one-time app developer who teaches editing and technology, and who has been developing science education resources for more than 25 years.

Montgomerie is described by the nominators as a friend and mentor committed to ongoing education, high standards and sharing knowledge. These traits are evident in their body of work, which includes teaching at Queen’s University, Simon Fraser University and Toronto Metropolitan University, presenting at editing conferences in Canada and abroad, and contributing to important resources like the original, Meeting Professional Editorial Standards and Editing Canadian English.

“The amount of knowledge Adrienne shares is enormous and is enormously valuable to editors at all levels,” said the nominators. “Their generosity is unmatched in our community.”

A skilled instructor who has been teaching editors about math, science and the tools of the editing trade for years, Montgomerie is also well regarded by their peers for staying on top of developments in technology and editing. In their recent “Editor vs AI” blog series, they are testing the current limits of the technology for those wondering if it’s still worth pursuing a career in editing now that AI is on the scene. (Spoiler: Yes; it is!)

“More than any other copy editor that I’m aware of, they have been objectively examining the efficacy of ChatGPT and helping to prepare us for the digital future,” said the nominators.

“Adrienne’s contributions to the editing profession are unmistakable and far reaching,” said one member of the selection committee. “Students and colleagues around the world recognize Adrienne as a champion of principles, tools and techniques that can help an editor do better and more efficient work.”

In addition to teaching for the editing industry, Montgomerie has taught computer use to hospital staff, publishing teams, and the general public since 2002 and ran seminars on a variety of topics, including marketing, software use, and advanced first aid for fire and rescue personnel.

Nominators summarized Montgomerie’s contribution as follows: “Adrienne’s generosity with their time and knowledge, commitment to the editorial community, inquisitive spirit, and utter mastery of the craft have benefited so many editors, clients, students and publishers across North America (and beyond).”

Having started the Editors Kingston twig, Montgomerie went on to be awarded the Editors Canada Lee d’Anjou Volunteer of the Year Award (2011), serve two terms on the national executive as director of communications (2011–13), and become a Certified Copy Editor (2011). Outside of editing, they are known for a passion for sea-kayaking on the Great Lakes and hand-feeding wild birds as they strive toward work–life balance and getting more people out and in touch with the urban nature everywhere around us.

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Three respected Canadian editors made up the selection committee for the 2023 Karen Virag Award. Two of the committee members are as follows.

Iva Cheung is a Certified Professional Editor, plain language trainer, indexer, publishing consultant and researcher. She has won Editors Canada’s Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence, President’s Award for Volunteer Service, and Karen Virag Award for promoting the editing profession. She serves on Accessibility Standards Canada’s Plain Language Technical Committee and publishes a monthly cartoon about editing on her blog at

Rosemary Shipton edits trade and scholarly books as well as commission of inquiry reports. She was the founding academic coordinator of the Publishing Program at Toronto Metropolitan University, 1990–2007. Over the years, she has been awarded both the Tom Fairley Award and the Karen Virag Award by Editors Canada. In 2007 Trinity College, University of Toronto, granted her an honorary doctorate for her contribution to publishing in Canada.

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About Karen Virag

Karen Virag, a long-time member of Editors Canada’s Prairie Provinces branch, was the association’s director of publications from 2012 to 2013. In addition to co-chairing the association’s successful 2008 national conference in Edmonton and managing the production of Stylistic Editing: Meeting Professional Editorial Standards (2011), she represented Editors Canada for several years on the board of the Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC). Virag was supervising editor at the Alberta Teachers’ Association, and a freelance editor and writer. She regularly wrote book reviews for the Edmonton Journal and articles for The Tomato, a culinary magazine. She also volunteered for Arts on the Avenue, an Edmonton community initiative, and along with Virginia Durksen was well known as one of the Grammar Gals appearing regularly on Alberta at Noon, a CBC Radio One call-in program.

About Editors Canada

Editors Canada began in 1979 as the Freelance Editors’ Association of Canada to promote and maintain high standards of editing. In 1994, the word “Freelance” was dropped to reflect the association’s expanding focus to serve both freelance and in-house editors. As Canada’s only national editorial association, it is the hub for 1,300 members and affiliates, both salaried and freelance, who work in the corporate, technical, government, academic, not-for-profit and publishing sectors. The association’s professional development programs and services include professional certification, an annual conference, seminars, webinars, and networking with other associations. Editors Canada has four regional branches: British Columbia; Toronto; Ottawa–Gatineau; and Quebec, as well as smaller branches (called twigs) in Atlantic Canada, Barrie, Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton-Halton, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph and Manitoba.

Media contact

Michelle Ou (she/elle)
Senior Communications Manager
Editors Canada

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