National e-news update, August 25, 2020

News, events, tips and updates from Editors Canada

In this issue:

1. PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION: Stylistic Editing professional certification exam to be offered remotely only (plus: registration is now open!)
2. WEBINAR RECORDINGS: Catch up on demand
3. MEMBER SERVICES: CMOS Online is free for Editors Canada members and student affiliates
4. CONNECT: Upcoming online meetings
6. GET INVOLVED: Volunteer opportunities to boost your resumé
7. EXTERNAL LIAISON: Plain language work
8. STUDENT RELATIONS: Committee update
9. NEC: Notes from your national executive council

1. PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION: Stylistic Editing professional certification exam to be offered remotely only (plus: registration is now open!)

A gold badge and ribbon with the Editors Canada logo in the centre
(© Editors’ Association of Canada; Yulia Kireeva ©

Time and date

The certification steering committee (CSC) is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2020 Stylistic Editing professional certification exam, which will be held on Saturday, November 21. Register now!

2020 exam will be offered remotely only

It’s been challenging to work out the logistics of offering the exam during a pandemic. Traditionally, we’ve held the exam in onsite computer labs, with in-person invigilators. In recent years, we’ve offered an additional option to qualifying candidates to write the exam remotely from a site they arrange themselves. As this year unfolds, it looks increasingly likely that physical distancing measures will still be in place in November 2020, and one of our many concerns is the health and safety of candidates.

For this reason, we have made the difficult decision to offer the 2020 exam remotely only. Editors Canada will not provide an onsite/computer-lab option this year.

We have spent the last several months exploring technology options for remote proctoring, which would have allowed candidates to write the exam from their own homes (using a combination of web cams and screen monitoring). Unfortunately, at least at present, none of the providers we met with are able to accommodate the complexity of our exam format.

Remote exam criteria

This year, all candidates will be required to arrange for their own external exam site (such as a meeting room or classroom in a library, community centre, college or school) and invigilator, and send the details to for approval by Friday, October 2. More details on this process are available in the Remote Locations section of our web page.

In the event of low registration

Running the exam requires significant Editors Canada resources in terms of setup, administration and marking. If registration numbers are low, we’ll consider cancelling the exam this year. If that’s the case, we’ll offer the stylistic editing exam in 2021, alongside a second exam. We are closing registration a little early this year (on Friday, October 2) to allow us to announce any cancellation in good time.

Visit to learn more about Editors Canada professional certification.

Certification steering committee

2. WEBINAR RECORDINGS: Catch up on demand

A grey laptop with the Editors Canada on the screen alongside an open book with a red ribbon bookmark.

Did you miss an Editors Canada webinar? Many of our webinars have been recorded and are now available for purchase (and some are even free). When you buy a webinar recording, you’ll receive a video file to watch at your leisure on your computer or mobile device. The file is yours to keep, so you can watch it again and again.

Visit our webinar recordings page to see what’s available now. We’re adding new recordings regularly, so be sure to check often.

3. MEMBER SERVICES: CMOS Online is free for Editors Canada members and student affiliates

We’re proud to offer The Chicago Manual of Style Online (CMOS Online) as a free benefit of membership. CMOS Online features the 17th and 16th editions of the Manual. It is completely searchable and easy to use.

Ready to check out this reference for writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, copywriters, designers and publishers? All you need is your member login. Visit the members’ area to start using CMOS Online now.

4. CONNECT: Upcoming online meetings

The Editors’ Vine: Announcing the fall schedule

For the August meetings of the Editors’ Vine, we talked about tips for the business of editing. Lots of contributions from Vine members, from the why’s and how’s of tracking time to the importance of professional development. We also invited attendees to “bring a (non-member) friend” to join the discussion.

The fall “term” for the Editors’ Vine is shaping up as follows:

  • September 10 or 12: “There’s a Macro for That”
  • October 1 or 3: “Prepositions and Profits: Three Powerful Approaches to Creating an Endless Supply of Clients” with Susan Crossman
  • November 5 or 7: “Getting the most from Style Sheets” with Lesley Cameron
  • December 3 or 5: “Gifts for Editors”

Join us on Thursdays at 7 p.m., Eastern time, or Saturdays at 1 p.m., Eastern time, to join the conversation. If you’d like to be added to the list to receive the Zoom links for the meetings, please send a request to

We are looking for people to lead meetings on a topic of their choice for the winter term (January to April). It doesn’t have to be a formal presentation! Or maybe you already have a talk prepared for another venue that would be useful for Vine members, too. You do not need to be a regular attendee to present. If you’re interested, please contact us at

Keep up with changes in language in the September meeting of la Vigne

Chers Vigneronnes et Vignerons,

How do you get out of your language routine and keep up with linguistic developments?

That’s the topic of discussion in the September online meeting of la Vigne des réviseurs. The meeting takes place on Zoom on Wednesday, September 16, at 7 p.m., EDT. To get the meeting link and for more information about upcoming meetings of la Vigne, please email Agnès André.

On the program, as usual, will be a glass of linguistic refreshment and a lot of networking!

Language is always evolving. The French language sees the development of new words and concepts all the time, to say nothing of all the changes that occur in spelling, typography or lexicography. It’s easy for language professionals to get stuck in a rut. The question is how do you keep up with linguistic developments in spite of your routine?

Join us to take part in the discussion and share your tips, tricks and the techniques you use to keep up with the French language in all its forms.

Please note: English speakers are more than welcome to participate, but be aware that the meeting will be held in French.


Headshot of Jessica Coles

As an administrative assistant for an engineering consulting business, Jessica Coles sought a broader scope for her abilities beyond document quality control. To show her manager that her writing and editing skills were “part of a whole profession,” she joined Editors Canada in 2009. The result? She now specializes at work in technical reports and marketing proposals under the well-earned job title “editor.”

Jessica was previously a member of the former Prairie Provinces branch of Editors Canada as well as a member of Editors British Columbia before returning to Editors Edmonton in 2018. “I promised myself I’d find a way to volunteer [in Edmonton] because I didn’t want to lose the sense of professional community I’d had in BC,” she says. Jessica enthusiastically volunteered as twig coordinator when the position became available. Along with her co-coordinator Alicia Chantal, Jessica organized events and promoted the editing profession locally. Jessica and Alicia’s combined efforts resulted in what Editors Canada president Heather Buzila calls “unique, interesting programming” that has served the twig well through the pandemic.

Although Jessica’s two-year term as twig co-coordinator ended in July 2020, the rewards of volunteering continue. Asked what she enjoys most about belonging to Editors Canada, she says “finding a community of people who share one of my passions, but who aren’t afraid to share opinions and disagree with each other. Simply interacting with other professional editors has changed the way I do my work and improved my abilities.”

Jessica’s interest in language goes beyond editing. She has a BA in linguistics and self-published her first poetry chapbook, Unless You’re Willing to Evaporate, in 2019. In the summer she loves relaxing in her garden where she can spend time “thinking about the similarities between weeding and editing.”

~S. Robin Larin

The featured volunteer recognizes the contributions of our dedicated people who keep Editors Canada going. Volunteers are the backbone of the association and we are grateful for the many members and affiliates who answer the call when help is needed.

6. GET INVOLVED: Volunteer opportunities to boost your resumé

Career builder committee

The newly established career builder committee is calling for additional committee members. We need help driving initiatives that will enable all our members to further their careers and improve their incomes.

Our immediate focus is to a) analyze and prioritize various opportunities with input from other Editors Canada committees, and b) develop a set of projects related to member training and education, networking, external outreach, and enhanced tools and platforms. The committee meets on Mondays at 8 p.m., Eastern time. Core committee members should expect one to three hours of effort per week. We are also looking for volunteers who can help the committee implement initiatives as they are developed.

Our preliminary industry areas of interest include government, academia and self-publishing, but this list will expand. The world of editing has evolved and there are more kinds of editing-related opportunities than ever before. We ask all members, including students and members with non-traditional skills and experiences, to consider participating in our work and help us to represent the full diversity of our organization as we go forward.

If you are interested in participating, please send a note to Thank you!

Lynne Melcombe and Sue Archer
Career builder committee co-chairs

Member news coordinator

Would you like to put your writing skills to use?

We’re looking for a member news coordinator to review the submissions to and put together the monthly feature for the e-news update and the website. Ideally, the volunteer will be able to handle submissions in both French and English. This task requires only a couple of hours a month.

For more information, please email

7. EXTERNAL LIAISON: Plain language work

In July, the Government of Ontario’s Associate Ministry of Small Business & Red Tape Reduction contacted past president Gael Spivak (Editors Ottawa–Gatineau) to talk about plain language in government.

They invited her to speak at a roundtable discussion for the provincial government’s Future State Modernization Committee. The committee wanted information on the challenges of plain language writing and editing, in general and in a government context.

There were several officials and stakeholders in the meeting, including the following:

  • The Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board
  • The Honourable Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction
  • Deputy Minister Giles Gherson, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Given the level of ministerial involvement in this project, the Ontario government seems committed to more plain language at the provincial level. This could eventually mean some work for freelance writers and editors who specialize in plain language.

Gael is also on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) working group that is drafting an international standard on plain language. That work is continuing but is taking a bit longer than initially expected due to COVID-19. The draft standard is now in a second round of revisions.

8. STUDENT RELATIONS: Committee update

Despite heatwaves and summer holidays, the student relations committee (SRC) has continued working to bring new and exciting projects to emerging editors.

This month, we are very excited about the posting of our new SRC video, which features valuable information for those entering the editing field. Watch it on the Editors Canada website now!

Our weekly posts in the Student Affiliate Facebook group have proven popular, with editors from all over Canada joining in lively discussions about our daily advice from expert editors. All those participating are entered in two prize draws for a free Editors Canada webinar. We have recently given away our first prize (congrats to Jessica de Bruyn!) and the second round is currently underway. In addition, we recently posted an editable Google doc featuring numerous inclusivity-related links that was greatly appreciated by the group.

We have some great things in store for August and September, including more interactive Facebook discussions, additional learning opportunities for students and more prizes! We welcome any input or suggestions at

9. NEC: Notes from your national executive council

I’d like to take the opportunity in this e-news update to introduce our members to the national executive council (NEC) and committee chairs and other national positions for 2020–21. There are a lot of familiar faces but also some new faces, and every person who has volunteered deserves a huge thank-you for giving their time and effort to the association.


President: Heather Buzila
Vice-president: Breanne MacDonald
Treasurer: Michelle Waitzman
Past president: Gael Spivak
Secretary: Janice Dyer
Director of branches and twigs: Anne Godlewski
Director of communications: Sue Bowness
Director of professional standards: Berna Ozunal
Director of publications: Anne Brennan
Director of training and development: Greg Ioannou
Director of volunteer relations: Patricia MacDonald

Committee chairs and national positions

Awards coordinator: Zofia Laubitz
Career builder committee: Sue Archer and Lynne Melcombe
Certification steering committee: Jess Schulman and Vicky Bell
Communications and marketing committee: Myingthungo Shitio
Conference adviser: Breanne MacDonald
Conference chair: Heather Buzila
The Editors’ Weekly: Lucy Payette
Facebook group moderators: Joanne Haskins and Lenore Hietkamp
Francophone adviser: Sylvie Collin
List monitor: Nancy Willis
Mediator: Jane Kidner
Mentorship committee: Risha Gotlieb
Member services committee: Alana Chalmers
Publications committee: Paula Chiarcos and Jessica Riches
Standards committee: Berna Ozunal
Student relations committee: Annette Gingrich
Training and development committee: Tamra Ross
Volunteer management committee: Monica Laane-Fralick
External liaison committee: Gael Spivak
Editors Canada representative, freedom of expression committee: Marg Anne Morrison
Human resources committee: Heather Buzila
Nominating committee: Gael Spivak

Heather Buzila

The national e-news update is produced on behalf of the national executive council by the national office.

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