National e-news update, December 17, 2015

News, events, tips and updates from Editors Canada

In this issue:

1. IN MEMORIAM: Janis Barr
2. TOM FAIRLEY AWARD: Submit your nomination
5. CERTIFICATION: How would you test an editor’s skills?
6. MEMBER NEWS: A round of applause!
7. NATIONAL OFFICE: Holiday closure

1. IN MEMORIAM: Janis Barr

We are sad to announce that Janis Barr—a long-time member of the Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada), partner in West Coast Editorial Associates, and lover of opera, film, travel, and good food and wine—died suddenly on Wednesday, November 18. Her husband, John, and other family members were by her side.

Janis began editing in 1986, after nearly 20 years as an elementary and junior high school teacher. Upon relocating from Toronto to the Vancouver area in 1990, Janis did freelance work, mainly as a developmental editor, for educational publishers and other organizations that create and publish training materials. She soon became a volunteer with the association, serving as chair of the British Columbia branch and later as national mediator.

Janis’s colleagues at West Coast Editorial Associates have written a touching tribute. Read “Remembering Janis” on the WCEA website.

2. TOM FAIRLEY AWARD: Submit your nomination

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 2015 Tom Fairley Award.

The recipient of the 2015 Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence will receive a $2,000 cash prize. Finalists will receive a cash prize of $500 each, because being shortlisted for the Tom Fairley Award is also an exceptional achievement.

The deadline for your letter of nomination is January 15, 2016.

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!


Headshot of Anissa Bouyahi

Anissa Bouyahi became a member of the Québec/Atlantic Canada branch of Editors Canada in 2009. She has extensive experience in administration, communications and international cooperation, including writing and editing. Since 2012, she has worked as an advisor for an organization that assists people who are looking for work; among other things, she edits and composes CVs, cover letters and business cards.

She worked closely with Marie-Ève Laroche in managing the examen d’agrément general. Anissa became involved in this project as a way to recognize the profession, knowing that passing the test offers a seal of quality for all who work as editors.

In working for an organization that provides services for job seekers, she meets people who face obstacles in building their career profile. Her favourite part of her job is seeing their faces light up with a satisfied smile as they read their edited CV. That confirms what she already knows: editing is not just a frill, and working as an editor is a meaningful career choice.

The volunteer of the month highlights the dedicated people who keep Editors Canada going. Volunteers are the backbone of the association. We are grateful for the many members and affiliates who answer the call when help is needed. Visit the Members’ Area for more information about actively participating in the association.


The professional standards task force has just launched a review of Editors Canada’s Professional Editorial Standards (PES). Over the coming months, members will be invited to participate in a number of ways:

  • Join the task force. We are currently recruiting volunteers to help us gather and review proposed changes. Members will collaborate using web tools and twice monthly teleconferences. If you are interested, please email task force co-chairs Moira White and Michelle Boulton.
  • Recommend non-member reviewers. We need to recruit some non-member volunteers to review our standards. Please contact us as above.
  • Complete the member survey on our current standards. In January, members will receive a link to a survey about the relevance and completeness of our existing standards. The survey will include an opportunity to provide open-ended comments.
  • Provide feedback on revisions. After we have collected, reviewed and analyzed the feedback, we will send any revisions to our members for more feedback.
  • Vote on the revised standards in June. Once all feedback has been incorporated, members will vote on revisions at or before the annual general meeting in June.

At any point, questions, feedback and recommendations are always welcome. Please email the task force co-chairs, Moira White and Michelle Boulton.

5. CERTIFICATION: How would you test an editor’s skills?

Are you an experienced editor and familiar with the Professional Editorial Standards? Read on to find out how you can help create next year’s certification exams.

The certification steering committee is looking for knowledgeable volunteers to develop test questions and answer keys for the proofreading and structural editing tests that will be administered in 2016.

The team of test setters needs to be available for a long weekend (three or four days) in January or early February. Location will be determined based on who volunteers, to make travel convenient. Volunteers receive meals and accommodations (if required) and an honorarium. 

I’m interested…but do I have to be a CPE to volunteer?

Certification is not required, but test setters should be familiar with the tests, to ensure the team can work efficiently.

Notably, test setting disqualifies you from writing a test for the next three years. To participate, you should have either finished all the certifications you want, or you should not be planning to pursue certification in the near future.

If you’re interested, please contact Anne Brennan.

Editors Canada’s world-class certification program depends on a strong corps of volunteers. We’ll be grateful for your time and expertise, which make this program possible.

6. MEMBER NEWS: A round of applause!

Editors Ottawa-Gatineau member Lynn Gauker has published On the Seventh Day under the pseudonym Elizabeth Celestine. This novel is now available in paperback format. Visit America Star Books for a synopsis of the book or to purchase it online.

Do you have an achievement you’d like to share? Are you excited about a new project or opportunity that has come your way? We’d love to hear from you! Please send your stories to the member news coordinator.

7. NATIONAL OFFICE: Holiday closure

The national office will close for the holidays on Wednesday, December 23, and will reopen on Monday, January 4.

Best wishes for a happy holiday season. See you in 2016!

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

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