FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto, June 24, 2022—The Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada) has announced that Madison Taylor of Vancouver, British Columbia, is the recipient of the 2022 Claudette Upton Scholarship.
First awarded in 2010, the scholarship is a $1,000 cash award intended to support continuing professional development in editing.
Reading and editing have always been a part of Taylor’s life. “Editing lights up my brain in a way that nothing else does,” she said. “I picture it looking like those Lite-Brite toys that were all the rage when I was a kid. Every comma splice, typo, and formatting error that I catch and correct adds another neon peg to the board until everything is awash with colour.”
This passion for language has made its way into Taylor’s life in auspicious ways, from a student job at an indie bookstore to a phone call. “A friend called me out of the blue three years ago to tell me she was starting a publishing company and she’d like me to be the editor,” she said. “That company became Party Trick Press, a small, women-run digital publisher that’s raising the bar for inclusion and accessibility in the industry. We’ve released 11 ebooks over the past two years, all of which are priced on a sliding-scale model. We strive to amplify the voices of women, non-binary folks, and writers from systemically marginalized and oppressed communities. I’m immensely and tearfully proud to be part of the Party Trick team.”
How might kindness be part of the editor’s career?
In response to this year’s scholarship essay question, Taylor drew on her experience amplifying marginalized voices and the power of language. “The simplest act of kindness that an editor can perform is to ensure that the author feels not only comfortable, but also galvanized by the process of sharing and receiving feedback on their writing. To me, this is the bare-bones, entry-level requirement for building a meaningful career as an editor,” she wrote. “But truly great editors recognize that editing is a radical act that has the power to alter the way that hundreds, sometimes even millions, of readers view a topic, a person, or a group of people.”
“They understand that language is both a destructive and a healing force, and that it is their responsibility to nurture its healing side—to choose kindness—as much as they can. Shaping a book, poem, essay, or other piece of writing that helps readers explore their authentic selves, that cracks their hearts and minds wide open, is the noblest thing an editor can do.”
The selection panel for the 2022 Claudette Upton Scholarship commended Taylor for her commitment to editing and amplifying marginalized voices. This commitment has also made an impression on her teachers. “[Taylor’s] passion for expressing inclusivity in writing, working with and elevating the voices of marginalized writers, is the driving force for her editing career,” said one of the instructors at Simon Fraser University, where Taylor is currently pursuing an Editing Certificate.
“Language doesn’t just describe reality, it creates it,” said Taylor. “Anyone who works with words carries the enormous responsibility of ensuring that the reality they’re creating is safe, inclusive and just.”
Like most editors, Taylor spends a lot of her free time in the world of words. “But I will say that when I’m not reading or editing, I’m daydreaming about opening a hybrid bookstore/sandwich shop/roller rink,” she said.
“I worked at an indie bookstore for a few years in university and I think booksellers are the best (and strangest, though the two often go hand-in-hand) kind of people. I taught myself to roller skate in deserted parking lots in the early days of the pandemic and it became a kind of chaotic, clumsy therapy for me. The sandwiches are self-explanatory. I don’t yet know how the three pieces fit together, but I’m eager to find out!”
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This year’s selection committee for the Claudette Upton Scholarship consisted of three respected Canadian editors.
Letitia Henville is a freelance academic editor at shortishard.ca and the advice columnist behind Ask Dr. Editor, published monthly at universityaffairs.ca. She lives and works on the unceded territory of the Səl̓ílwətaʔ and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm people in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Lenore Hietkamp has been editing since 2002, specializing in art and architectural history. She also paints portraits of people and pets. She’s been a member of Editors Canada since 2007.
David Johansen lives on the West Island of Montreal and has been a freelance editor since the late seventies when he was developing commercial word-processing equipment. When not editing, he enjoys singing with the Lakeshore Light Opera and watching Premier League football (i.e., soccer!).
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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, 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.
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