National e-news update, February 14, 2019

News, events, tips and updates from Editors Canada

In this issue:

1. TOOLS: The updated Definitions of Editorial Skills are here
2. CONFERENCE 2019: Early-bird rates end March 29
4. WEBINARS: Train online with Editors Canada
6. GET INVOLVED: Classroom visits
7. PRESIDENT’S AWARD: Recognizing Editors Canada’s stellar volunteers
8. KAREN VIRAG AWARD: Tell us about the editing hero in your community
9. CERTIFICATION: The life-changing magic of tidying up—spotlight on the copy editing exam
10. MEMBER NEWS: Tell the world about your accomplishment
11. NEC: Notes from your national executive council

1. TOOLS: The updated Definitions of Editorial Skills are here

Editors Canada is pleased to announce updated Definitions of Editorial Skills.

The Definitions of Editorial Skills have been updated to use language for today’s market. They have also been expanded to include new skills and have been aligned with the Professional Editorial Standards (2016). A new preamble outlines the practice of editing as a whole and reminds editors of their legal and ethical responsibilities in the publishing process.

These definitions provide a common language for editors and clients to use when discussing projects. We hope they will help our members better define scope-of-work requirements, resulting in more accurate quotes and improved time management.

Thank you to all Editors Canada members and student affiliates who provided feedback on the draft version and contributed to the creation of this document. The definitions will be ratified by members at the annual general meeting in June 2019.

2. CONFERENCE: Early-bird rates end March 29

Registration for Conference 2019 is now open! This year is our 40th anniversary and we’re looking forward to returning to Halifax to celebrate this milestone with a weekend packed with learning, networking and fun. As always, Editors Canada members get discounted rates. And you can save even more if you register before Friday, March 29.

Are you interested in speaking one-on-one to an experienced editor? We’re organizing the popular speed-mentoring session for the 2019 conference and want to know what you want to know. Maybe you’d like to find out about academic editing, what’s involved in editing magazines, how to find work as a freelance editor, or something else entirely. If you would like to be a speed mentor or to nominate someone else, we’d like to hear from you too! Contact and watch for more information about signing up for the session on the conference website.

One of the highlights of every Editors Canada conference is the vendor fair. If you have a side business, marketable hobby or a book you’d like to sell, or if you want to promote your business or association, consider exhibiting at the vendor fair. Interested? Email


Scrabble pieces spelling the word "QUEBEC."

The first French-language conference of Editors Canada will take place on Saturday, September 28, 2019, in Quebec City. Save the date for a day of programming specifically designed for lovers of the French language. This day of enrichment will highlight the French language and its use, feature useful and inspiring topics, and provide structured networking opportunities for participants.

Watch your inboxes for more information. The theme for this one-day conference will be unveiled in the coming weeks!

4. WEBINARS: Train online with Editors Canada

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

Are you looking for training opportunities online? Check out our 2019 webinar season.

Don’t forget: Editors Canada members and student affiliates save 30% on the registration fee. Also, branches and twigs get a portion of the profit from webinars for each participant who lives in their area.

Upcoming webinars

Catch up on demand: Webinar recordings are available

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.


Headshot of Tania Cheffins

Tania Cheffins has been editing since 2006, first as the exams editor for Certified General Accountants of Canada (CGA-Canada) and then as the editorial manager for Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. In 2016, she decided to quit her job and do freelance work on a full-time basis.

Tania joined Editors British Columbia in 2011. After receiving her Certified Professional Editor (CPE) designation in 2013, she volunteered to help set future Editors Canada professional certification exams. At the time Tania was the exams editor at CGA-Canada, so the work was familiar to her. After the first exam-setting session, she joined the certification steering committee and spent several years helping to get the computer testing platform for the certification exams up and running. Computer testing officially launched in 2017.

Tania is the professional standards director on the national executive council (NEC)—a position she has held since 2017. She enjoys the role because it allows her to continue working with the certification steering committee. Her recent projects include working on the recent updates of the Guidelines for Ethical Editing of Student Texts and Definitions of Editorial Skills.

“I was happy to be part of updating these tools along with so many dedicated and interesting people I may not have otherwise met” she says. “It’s gratifying to see these refreshed projects completed and now available for everyone to use.”

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.

6. GET INVOLVED: Classroom visits

Looking for a great volunteer opportunity with minimal time commitment? We need volunteers to visit classrooms and introduce students to Editors Canada.

Our student relations committee has created a short PowerPoint presentation and script geared toward students enrolled in post-secondary programs and courses across the country. The presentation focuses on the benefits of joining Editors Canada as a student through the student affiliate program, and editing as a career.

We will be contacting those who previously volunteered to do a classroom visit, but we need new volunteers as well for this important outreach opportunity.

Make connections and pay it forward by helping students find professional support and camaraderie in the field of editing.


7. PRESIDENT’S AWARD: Recognizing Editors Canada’s stellar volunteers

Editors Canada does a lot of amazing work. We work on branch and twig activities, a national conference, publications, services, certification and so many other important things. And these are conceptualized, organized, coordinated and implemented by volunteers.

The Editors Canada President’s Award for Volunteer Service is one way we thank our volunteers for outstanding service to the association. Such service may include

  • volunteering over a long period of time,
  • identifying and solving a critical problem,
  • meeting a specific need, or
  • organizing an activity that advances our goals or inspires others to get involved.

Any member or student affiliate in good standing may be nominated for their contribution. From the nominations received, one outstanding volunteer will receive the Lee d’Anjou Volunteer of the Year Award.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 5.

For complete nomination instructions and other information about the award, visit the President’s Award page.

8. 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.

Editors Canada’s newest 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 for nominations is Friday, April 5.

More information

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

9. CERTIFICATION: The life-changing magic of tidying up—spotlight on the copy editing exam

Are you the type of editor who gets a spark of joy from decluttering: chasing spelling, punctuation, grammar and usage errors all the way out of documents? Do you find satisfaction in creating style sheets and finding and fixing inconsistencies in logic, factual details and cross-references? Does maintaining consistency in heads, tables and lists bring you serenity?

If this sounds like you, make 2019 the year you obtain your certification in copy editing. The exam will be offered on Saturday, November 16, remotely and in locations across Canada.

Editors Canada’s copy editing exam assesses your mastery of the Professional Editorial Standards D1–18, as well as fundamental knowledge of editing (standards A1–12). These essential skills apply to editing all types of text, from books and magazines to corporate and government writing of all kinds.

Watch this space for more news about certification, but in the meantime, why not…

Try a sample copy editing question

When tracking your editorial changes, you should:

a) make a copy of the original file before you begin editing.
b) watch for spacing errors.
c) save regularly.
d) do all of the above.


10. 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.

11. NEC: Notes from your national executive council

In my message this month, I’d like to draw your attention to a letter I sent to stock photo companies on behalf of Editors Canada. In the letter, I asked the companies to consider diversifying the range of photos they carry, to better reflect the population.

I was surprised by how well it was received, so I want to make sure you see it, if you missed it last month.

Editors seem to be talking a lot about not being able to find a diverse range of photos. I’ve seen many conversations about it in international editing groups online. I don’t deal with photos in my own work but I’ve seen people talk about it often enough that I could tell it’s a problem, in Canada and in other countries.

The NEC thought that sending a letter to some stock photo companies might help. And we hope that editing organizations in other countries will follow our lead and send similar letters.

We received several emails from members about the letter and there was a fair amount of activity on Twitter. This request for diversity obviously touched on something that matters to people.

Here are some sample comments the NEC received from members (used with permission).

“I so completely agree with this letter. I just worked on a few projects that used stock images, and it was almost impossible to find images with anyone who wasn’t of European descent. Good move on the part of my association!”
~ Carolyn Brown

“Great letter! I’m sure it will help them to look at their images in a new light. I found it hard to find representative images for a report I worked on last summer—hope to see some changes soon.”
~ Joanne Haskins

This letter ties in with the work we’ve been doing on an equity statement for Editors Canada. We hope to have members vote on that statement at the annual general meeting this year.

Gael Spivak, president


d) do all of the above.

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

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