National e-news update, December 16, 2020

News, events, tips and updates from Editors Canada

In this issue:

1. WEBINAR RECORDINGS: Catch up on demand
2. TOM FAIRLEY AWARD: Submit your nomination
3. KAREN VIRAG AWARD: Tell us about the editing hero in your community
4. THE EDITORS’ VINE: Sneak peek at the New Year’s offerings
6. STUDENT RELATIONS: Committee update
7. CONFERENCE 2021: Editors Transform
9. MEMBER NEWS: A round of applause!
10. NATIONAL OFFICE: Holiday closure
11. NEC: Notes from your national executive council

1. 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).

Recently added

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.

2. 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 2021 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 15, 2021.

PDF icon Download the nomination form now. (53.59 KB)

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!

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

Stylized red superhero cape

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 19, 2021.

More information

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

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

The Editors’ Vine continues to thrive. (News about the French version, La Vigne des réviseurs, will appear in the next newsletter). The New Year’s topics are shaping up nicely:

  • January will be “Making Smart Choices,” with Michelle Waitzman and Jess Shulman;
  • February will be “Plain Language: Challenges and the New International Standard,” with Gael Spivak;
  • Subsequent months will cover workflow and career resources.

Thank you to all who participated in the first Editors’ Vine survey. We had a great response! It will take us a while to process the results. Many people requested more networking time, so we’re extending the timeframe, when necessary, adding a half hour at the end. We also received some good suggestions for topics. Note that some topics on the business of editing are already covered by Editors Canada webinars.

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 notification of the meetings, please email


Headshot of Nicola Aquino

The day Nicola Aquino purchased her student affiliate membership for Editors Canada, she learned the 2019 conference would be held practically in her backyard. She promptly sent an offer of help. “I didn’t know a lot about Editors Canada,” Nicola says. “I wanted a time-limited, task-defined role.” As session host coordinator, Nicola contributed meaningfully to the success of the Halifax conference.

Although volunteer editing had long figured in her life, Nicola planned a career in science. With her BSc (Hons) and MSc in Microbiology, she pursued technician and research positions. But soon she was volunteering full time with La Leche League Canada (LLLC), organizing conferences and producing its professional newsletter.

After 18 years at LLLC, Nicola began exploring editing as a career. She established Spit & Polish Editing in 2018 and completed her Professional Editing Standards Certificate at Queen’s University the next year. Nicola now specializes in developmental editing of fiction, bringing to it the skills learned during her years in science: critical reading, succinct wording and a desire for clarity.

Nicola has not stopped volunteering with Editors Canada. When the member services task force advertised for a host for an online gathering space, “I put my (virtual) hand up,” Nicola says. She and Lenore Hietkamp, her co-moderator of the Editors’ Vine online meeting, plan topics, contact presenters and maintain the ever-growing participant list.

As an introvert, Nicola enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy, cross-stitching and knitting as hobbies. “But, like all humans, I need connection with other humans,” she says. The connection is what she enjoys most about belonging to Editors Canada.

“Getting to know people from across the country has allowed me to build social networks to replace the ones lost when I left LLLC.” In Editors Canada, Nicola has found a new home.

~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. STUDENT RELATIONS: Committee update

The student relations committee has recently launched an exciting new series on Facebook. For five weeks, student affiliates will be working through the Career Builder, the career-development plan that provides a roadmap to increase the chances of successfully launching an editing career. Participants in the discussion are entered into a draw to win a free Level 1 mentorship, thanks to the generosity of Editors Canada mentor Janice Dyer.

Virtual student social

We’ll be hosting a fun and informal social for student affiliates in January via Zoom. Watch student affiliates Facebook group for details.

7. CONFERENCE 2021: Editors Transform

The conference committee is pleased to announce the theme for our upcoming #Editors21 virtual conference: Editors Transform. In keeping with our theme, the committee invites you to consider how editors, editing, and Editors Canada have transformed and how they might change in the future.

Call for session proposals

Speaker session proposals need to be submitted to our conference committee no later than Friday, January 8, 2021. You can find all the details here. If your proposal is accepted, you will be eligible for a significant discount on the conference registration fee.

Social media

Don’t forget to join the conference Facebook group or follow us on Twitter (EnglishFrench) to get all the latest information about the conference. Shares and retweets are also appreciated. Thanks for helping us get the word out!


The Editors Canada mentorship program now offers two levels of mentorship.

Level 1

  • designed primarily for student affiliates and those who have a small, clearly defined topic they want to discuss
  • 4–5 hours over 1 month

Level 2

  • designed for a more in-depth mentoring experience
  • 10–20 hours over 2 months
  • can be extended up to 6 months

Visit the John Eerkes-Medrano Mentorship Program page for more details and to apply to be a mentor or a mentee.


“My first mentorship term was a wonderful experience! My mentor was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and inspiring. She tailored our conversations to my needs and was very generous when answering questions and recommending resources. Working with her over these last two months has given me many different perspectives on my editing career. Thank you so much to Editors Canada for making this possible.”
– Sarah Jefferies, PhD

“What a great opportunity to learn collegially and to benefit from the experience of a senior editor: we’re lucky to have a program like this. Thanks so much for this opportunity!”
– Claire Wilkshire

9. MEMBER NEWS: A round of applause!

Editors Nova Scotia member Virginia (Ginny) McGowan’s first children’s book, A Girl, Her Mother, and The Forest (Nana Press), was released on November 10. It’s not her first time for storytelling, however. She delights in making up stories and songs with and for her grandchildren and is an award-winning non-fiction author from PEI.

Editors British Columbia member Frances Peck’s new novel, The Broken Places, will be released in Spring 2022 by Edmonton’s NeWest Press. The novel is about a major earthquake rocking Vancouver.

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

The national office will be closed for the holidays as of 12 p.m., EST, on Thursday, December 24, and will reopen on Monday, January 4.

Best wishes for a happy holiday season. See you in 2021!

11. NEC: Notes from your national executive council

The national executive council (NEC) met via Zoom on October 25, 2020, and November 29, 2020. Here are some of the things we discussed:

  • Our website will need to be redone before November 2022 because Drupal, our web content management framework, will no longer be supporting the version we are using. The NEC voted to create a task force to upgrade and redesign the website. The task force is being led by Breanne MacDonald.
  • The equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) task force has created a survey that will be sent to members in the near future. This survey is designed to gather information about our members so the task force can plan how best to move forward with recommendations to the NEC.
  • The NEC voted to approve the new financial policy and procedures and the new privacy policy and guidelines. These will be sent for translation and then shared with members.
  • Laura Van Alphen from Editors Hamilton-Halton attended the NEC’s October meeting, and Diana Pfeifer from Editors Saskatchewan attended the November meeting. Both shared their group’s successes and challenges with the NEC and had a chance to ask questions of the directors.

I’d also like to share with you that Janice Dyer has had to step down as NEC secretary due to personal reasons. We appreciate all that Janice contributed to the NEC and wish her well. The NEC voted to have Caitlin Coote take over the secretary role, and we extend a warm welcome to her.

On behalf of myself and all the directors on the NEC, I wish you all a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season.

Heather Buzila

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

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