Letitia Henville awarded 2018 Claudette Upton Scholarship

Focus on fine detail in poetry studies leads to editing career


Toronto, May 28, 2018—The Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada) has announced that Letitia Henville of Vancouver, British Columbia, is the recipient of the 2018 Claudette Upton Scholarship.

The award was presented at the annual Editors Canada awards banquet in Saskatoon on Saturday, May 26. The scholarship is a $1,000 cash award intended to support continuing professional development in editing.

Headshot of Letitia Henville

Like many editors, Henville arrived at her current career in a roundabout way. She earned a PhD in English literature (Victorian poetry) from the University of Toronto in 2015. Then, she says, “I knew I wasn’t going to be an academic, but I knew I liked people who work at universities.”

Henville landed a job as a research grants facilitator in the department of occupational science and occupational therapy in the Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, and began editing scientific grant applications. She found that the writing skills she acquired in her PhD—correcting grammar and revising sentence structure—weren’t enough to enhance the clarity and persuasiveness of these grants.

In this way Henville discovered her right livelihood—editing! “My background in poetry studies doesn’t help directly in this role,” Henville says. “But being a fine detail person does.”

Henville has taken several editing courses at Simon Fraser University and is currently enrolled in the Queen’s University Professional Editing Standards Certificate program.

Her editing coursework to date totals more than 100 hours. Henville used the Claudette Upton Scholarship money to allow her to attend the annual Editors Canada conference, where she says she “learned by talking to people.”

Henville has an interesting and unique avocation: she is a member of a neighbourhood emergency assistance team. She is trained to be a citizen assistant to first responders in the event of an earthquake—a significant concern in Vancouver, where she lives. The training is “super engaging,” Henville says, “even when participating in fake exercises with actors.” She observes that this activity has a “strange connection to editing, in that we are helping people when they are stressed out.”

This year’s selection committee for the Claudette Upton Scholarship consisted of three respected Canadian editors: Anne Louise Mahoney (Ottawa, Ontario), a freelance editor and past president of Editors Canada; Hélène Roulston (Montreal, Quebec), a bilingual French and English freelance editor; and Claire Wilkshire (St. John’s, Newfoundland), an editor and translator, and co-coordinator of Editors Newfoundland & Labrador.

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About Editors Canada

The Claudette Upton Scholarship is an annual national award that recognizes a promising emerging editor. The award is named in memory of Claudette Reed Upton-Keeley, a gifted editor who loved the English language and was actively involved in social justice and environmental causes throughout her life. She is remembered for her wonderful sense of humour and her sharp mind.

Additional information about the Claudette Upton Scholarship is available on the Editors Canada website.

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, 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 five regional branches: British Columbia; Saskatchewan; Toronto; Ottawa–Gatineau; and Quebec, as well as smaller branches (called twigs) in Barrie, Calgary, Edmonton, Manitoba, Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph, Hamilton/Halton, Kingston, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.


Media contact

Michelle Ou
Senior Communications Manager
Editors Canada
416 975-1379 / 1 866 226-3348

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