National e-news update, December 15, 2021

News, events, tips and updates from Editors Canada

In this issue:

1. TOM FAIRLEY AWARD: Submit your nomination
2. KAREN VIRAG AWARD: Tell us about the editing hero in your community
3. THE EDITORS’ VINE: Sneak peek at the New Year’s offerings
5. GET INVOLVED: Volunteer opportunities
6. FACEBOOK GROUP: Keeping our info up to date
7. PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION: Looking back and looking ahead
8. TWIG NEWS: Editors Atlantic update
9. MEMBER NEWS: Tell the world about your accomplishment
10. NATIONAL OFFICE: Holiday closure
11. NEC: Notes from your national executive council

1. TOM FAIRLEY AWARD: Submit your nomination

A grey stage light.

It’s our time to shine!

Editing might be an invisible art, but that doesn’t mean great editors should hide in the shadows. Help us shine a spotlight on editing excellence by submitting a nomination for the 2022 Tom Fairley Award. The cash award of $2,000 is made possible by Editors Canada and its generous donors.

The deadline to submit your completed nomination form is Friday, January 14, 2022.

Please spread this message far and wide. Nominees don’t have to be members of Editors Canada and self-nominations are encouraged.

For complete nomination instructions and other information about the award, visit the Tom Fairley Award page.

More than books!

Editors know that the fine art of editing extends beyond books and print media. While the Tom Fairley Award has been awarded to many outstanding book editors since it was created in 1983, we encourage nominations for a variety of written projects. Whether it’s a magazine, a corporate or government report, software documentation or a book, we want to hear about it. When it comes to editing, the variety of material is limitless!

2. KAREN VIRAG AWARD: Tell us about the editing hero in your community

Karen Virag Award; illustration of red superhero cape alexandrovskyi/

Who are the heroes of editing? They’re the individuals or organizations that go out of their way to raise the profile of our profession in their communities. Editing heroes are the ones who champion what editors do and how valuable we are.

This award was created in memory of long-time association member Karen Virag, and in recognition of Karen’s many contributions to the profession. The Karen Virag Award recognizes the efforts of an editor or an organization to raise the profile of editing in their community.

Tell us about one of your editing heroes by submitting a nomination for the Karen Virag Award.

Submit your nomination

Nominees may be individuals or organizations, members or non-members. Nominations from members and non-members are welcome! Please help us spread the word about this award.

A nominee’s contribution may take a variety of forms, including one or more of the following:

  • writing,
  • public speaking,
  • teaching,
  • participating in broadcast or new media, and
  • sponsoring editing-related activities and community building in Canada and abroad.

The deadline to submit your completed nomination form is Friday, February 25, 2022.

For complete nomination instructions and other information about the award, visit the Karen Virag Award page.

Spread the word

Editors Canada did not present the Karen Virag Award in 2021 due to a lack of nominations. It was the first time the award was not presented since it was created in 2014 and first awarded in 2016.

“Karen was a hero in our profession,” says Editors Canada president Heather Buzila. “I encourage everyone in our community to think about their own editing heroes when it’s time to nominate someone for the 2022 Karen Virag Award. Please help us recognize those who champion what editors do and who know how valuable we are.”

3. THE EDITORS’ VINE: Sneak peek at the New Year’s offerings

The Editors’ Vine turns 2 in the first quarter of the New Year! The theme for our monthly online meeting of members for this period is transferable skills. In our lineup:

  • Greg Ioannou speaks about the directions your editorial skills can take you.
  • Gael Spivak discusses exploring and expanding skills by volunteering.
  • The career builder committee gives us an update on how Editors Canada is helping members to put their skills to use.
  • We’ll have a panel discussion about non-traditional career paths (participants TBA).

The Editors’ Vine meetings usually happen on the first Thursday of the month and the Saturday that immediately follows. The holidays may bump the meetings a week later. If you wish to receive meeting notifications and Zoom links, please email

Dates and topics can be found in the members’ area of the association website.


Headshot of Gael Spivak

Introverted (and extroverted!) editors can learn much from Gael Spivak’s volunteer journey.

Originally from Calgary, Gael belongs to Editors Ottawa–Gatineau. Her degrees in religious studies provided her with critical thinking, researching and writing skills that have served her career well. Currently she is a communications advisor, writer, editor and team supervisor at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

As an introverted new member of Editors Canada in 2008, Gael hesitated to engage with others. She challenged herself by helping with meeting sign-ins and discovered “it was a lot of fun!” Encouraged to take on more, Gael joined her branch executive, co-chaired the 2012 conference and joined the national executive council (NEC). From 2011 to 2021, she served in the director of volunteer relations, director of training and development, and vice-president positions, culminating in her role as Editors Canada president.

Gael says her goal while on the NEC was to make the volunteer experience “as positive and meaningful as possible for everyone.” That meant developing volunteer guidelines and a corporate calendar so nothing slips through the cracks. “Our volunteer work is important,” she says. “So it matters to document it and pass it along to those who follow us.”

Co-chairing the first international editing conference in 2015 was a highlight of her volunteer work. When asked what she enjoyed most, Gael says “Working with smart, creative, gracious and kind people who get what I am interested in and value.”

In addition to volunteering, Gael takes time for other interests, including plain language, the singular “they” and…squirrels. “My nickname for the first conference I co-chaired was Squirrel, a nickname I still go by,” she admits. This introverted yet industrious squirrel has come a long way to both her own and Editors Canada’s benefit.

~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.

5. GET INVOLVED: Volunteer opportunities

Our national committees

At any given time, Editors Canada has about a dozen national committees working to keep us up and running. Our committees drive our organization, from certification to member services to volunteer management.

Do you have a copy of Editing Canadian English or Professional Editorial Standards? Those resources are products of our publications and standards committees. Have you ever attended a webinar or purchased a webinar recording? Our training and development committee plans and develops our stellar webinar program. If you’ve ever attended an Editors Canada conference, you can thank our conference committee for all the fabulous sessions and networking.

Want to help make all these things happen? Just contact the chair of the committee you are interested in joining. Committees meet via conference call, so where you live makes no difference. You can find contact information here as well as a list of committees and some of their initiatives.

National call for association ambassadors: A great opportunity to educate others about editing

The marketing and communications committee is developing a plan to raise the profile of the association as an authority through in-person outreach to emerging writers and editors. Our goal is to promote the editing profession and the benefits of joining Editors Canada.

Part of that plan is to have ambassadors of Editors Canada speak at libraries, writers’ circles, and post-secondary institutions about what editors do and what it takes to become an editor. We plan for these presentations to start in fall 2022.

We’re looking for members to become local ambassadors for our national association. We will provide a generic presentation for you to tailor to your own experience, as well as details about Editors Canada you can include. As an ambassador, you’ll help to promote lasting awareness of the editing profession.

We’re looking for

  • members with some work experience and a willingness to share their enthusiasm for the profession to act as ambassadors; and
  • suggested contacts at libraries, writers’ circles or post-secondary institutions.

If you’re able to help, please get in touch with Merel Elsinga.

Google Ad pro wanted

The marketing and communications committee is looking for a volunteer with experience in creating Google ads to help promote Editors Canada. Please contact Merel Elsinga if you can help with this task. Thank you!

Calling volunteer leaders

We’re looking for a volunteer management committee chair to connect with, support and promote Editors Canada volunteers. You will be working with a small team to connect Editors Canada volunteers with meaningful volunteer roles, recognize Featured Volunteers, help with the promotion of volunteer roles on the digital side, and organize meetings with the committee and the director of volunteer relations.

This role requires good communication and organizational skills, leadership qualities, knowledge of Excel/Google Drive, a little creativity and someone who is good with people. This role is a great way to get plugged into Editors Canada, play a part in moving our organization forward, and get to know some fantastic fellow editors!

Please email if you’re interested.

Digitally minded volunteer wanted

As Editors Canada is run by volunteers, communicating to volunteers is vital to the continued success of our association. The volunteer management committee is looking for an organized, digitally minded volunteer to update and maintain the VolunteerConnect spreadsheet in Google Docs, which connects Editors Canada volunteers with important volunteer opportunties. This is a light, ongoing role that may take 1–4 hours per month.

The VolunteerConnect minder has good Excel/Google Docs skills, is organized and communicates well. The person in this role will work directly with the chair of the volunteer management committee and the director of volunteer relations.

Please reach out to to apply!

Join the website task force

The website task force is looking for additional members! Since our current website reaches end-of-life in November 2022, we are in the process of moving and upgrading the Editors Canada website. No technical experience is necessary! We are looking for willing volunteers from all fields. This is also a great opportunity to learn about accessible and SEO web writing and website maintenance. Please contact Breanne MacDonald for more information.

6. FACEBOOK GROUP: Keeping our info up to date

Our members-only Facebook group asks all Editors Canada branches and twigs, as well as conference organizers and the student affiliates group, to check their link information. It appears to the right under “About.” Please let group moderator Joanne Haskins know of any updates by sending her a private message on Facebook or by emailing

7. PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION: Looking back and looking ahead

Thank you!

As we come to the end of the 2021 Editors Canada professional examination cycle, the certification steering committee thanks all the volunteers—exam setters and exam shepherds, external reviewers and proofreaders, pilot testers, invigilators, markers and the marking analyst—who made it possible to offer the Proofreading and Structural Editing exams this year. We couldn’t have done it without you!

What’s in store for 2022?

We’ll soon be making an announcement on the certification exams for 2022, with details on how they’ll be administered. We also have an exciting development in store for next year: the launch of our new test for newer editors! Watch this space, and in the meantime, happy holidays and all the best for 2022.

8. TWIG NEWS: Editors Atlantic update

In November, Editors Atlantic was delighted to host a presentation on Wikipedia editing and access to information with Jenny Higgins, the former Wikipedian-in-Residence at the Centre for Newfoundland Studies.

What is your local group up to? Check with your branch or twig to find out about professional development opportunities and social events. And be sure to check our national calendar for events across the association.

9. MEMBER NEWS: Tell the world about your accomplishment

Editors Canada Member News is where we share information about members and affiliates who win awards, publish books and make their mark in other important ways.

Do you have an achievement you’d like to share? Are you excited about a new project or opportunity that has come your way? Let us tell the world all about it! Please send your stories to the member news coordinator.

10. NATIONAL OFFICE: Holiday closure

A 2D graphic of a red holiday ornament with the Editors Canada logo

The national office will be closed for the holidays as of Thursday, December 23, and will reopen on Tuesday, January 4.

Best wishes for a happy holiday season. See you in 2022!

11. NEC: Notes from your national executive council

The national executive council met on November 21, 2021, to discuss a variety of items, including the following:

  • A portion of the meeting was spent reviewing and approving the draft 2022 budget. The finance subcommittee—which is made up of the treasurer, executive director and other interested members of the NEC—met prior to the meeting to discuss the budget in more detail in order to save time at the NEC meeting.
  • Stephanie Stone from Editors Kingston attended the meeting to share an update on the twig. She reported that the twig had an outdoor social in early fall and has had two online meetings since then, all of which have had around 10 attendees.
  • The NEC also discussed the Q4 director and committee reports as well as ongoing projects.

The NEC will be meeting via Zoom on the following dates in 2022:

  • January 9, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., EST
  • February 13, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., EST
  • March 6, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., EST
  • April 3, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., EDT
  • May 15, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., EDT
  • June 26, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., EDT

On behalf of the NEC, I wish everyone all the best this holiday season and a wonderful start to 2022.

Heather Buzila

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

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