National e-news update, July 16, 2020

News, events, tips and updates from Editors Canada

In this issue:

1. 2020 AGM: Annual general meeting report coming soon
2. WEBINARS: Train online with Editors Canada
3. THE EDITORS’ WEEKLY: A special tribute and thank you to Anna Williams
5. BOOST YOUR RESUMÉ: Get involved
6. GOVERNANCE: New copyright policy and procedure for Editors Canada volunteers
8. TOOLS: Get help launching your career with our Career Builder
9. TIPS: Experienced editor Q&A
11. CONNECT: La Vigne des réviseurs takes place tonight!
12. MEMBER NEWS: Tell the world about your accomplishment
13. NEC: Notes from your national executive council

1. 2020 AGM: Annual general meeting report coming soon

Editors Canada held its 2020 annual general meeting (AGM) on Saturday, June 20, via the Zoom platform. The AGM is usually held during the annual conference, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of the conference, the AGM was held entirely online.

The national office will send president Heather Buzila’s AGM report to members in the coming days. Keep an eye on your inboxes!

2. 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 upcoming webinars.

Don’t forget: Editors Canada members and student affiliates register at discounted rates.

Upcoming webinars

July 22: Why Use Plain Language? What Science Says About Our Brain’s Reading Process with Cheryl Stephens
July 30: Oops! Finding and Fixing Bloopers in Fiction with Amy J. Schneider
August 6: Clear Spanish Text in a Foreign Land: Is It Possible? with Helen Eby

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.

3. THE EDITORS’ WEEKLY: A special tribute and thank you to Anna Williams

Anna Williams (Editors Edmonton) is stepping down from a seven-year stint as managing editor of The Editors’ Weekly blog. The blog had existed for only a year when Anna took on the job, and she dug in immediately with great energy and commitment.

The blog had about 100 subscribers in 2013, and each year readership steadily increased. There are now over 800 subscribers. “It is becoming self-sustaining,” Anna says. People want to write articles and be published, whereas at the beginning, Anna had to work quite hard to get contributors on board.

Managing the blog helped her develop confidence, Anna says, and she learned a lot. She also liked getting to know the talented, capable and professional Editors Canada members who helped her produce the blog.

Anna says that, although she rarely had to reject or heavily edit a submission, “It was intimidating to be editing editors.”

Anna received a President’s Award for Volunteer Service in 2016. When past president Michelle Boulton established these awards, she said, “The association is built on the backs of the volunteers.” Anna has exemplified the truth of that statement.

Anna Williams became a member of Editors Canada in 2007. She lives in Leduc County, Alberta. Lucy Payette (Editors Manitoba) succeeds Anna as managing editor of The Editors’ Weekly.

Written and submitted by Anita Jenkins


Headshot of Alicia Chantal

Alicia Chantal achieved her long-held dream of an independent editing career when she opened Fresh Look Editing in 2019, focusing on health care and education. Her preparation for that moment included work in public relations, customer service, administration and newspapers. Simon Fraser University’s Editing Certificate, which she completed in 2020, capped her communication credentials.

But it was joining Editors Canada in 2018 that opened the door to wider possibilities. When Alicia noticed Editors Canada was seeking a co-coordinator for the Edmonton twig, “I threw my hat into the ring,” she says. Heather Buzila, Editors Canada president, notes that Alicia and her twig co-coordinator, Jessica Coles, have “worked hard to come up with unique, interesting programming continuing through the pandemic.” Alicia has also served on the nominating committee. “Everyone I’ve encountered while volunteering has been generous with their time and knowledge,” she says. “It’s an honour to call these incredibly interesting, talented people not only colleagues but friends.”

Alicia has battled imposter syndrome when facing new ventures, but says “sometimes the best way to learn is to dive right in.” Doing so has opened up invaluable opportunities such as joining the task force for Editors Canada’s Statement of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. “I’m so passionate about this topic,” Alicia says. “This work reinforces that we’re an organization committed to offering safe spaces where our members, and those we seek to serve, can be heard.”

When not working, Alicia enjoys family time, reading, tae kwon do, and an unusual form of wordplay, subversive cross-stitch. “I find crafting very relaxing,” she says, “so getting a chance to combine that with the irreverent, cheeky sense of humour I picked up from British comedy is a perfect mix!”

~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. BOOST YOUR RESUMÉ: Get involved

Social media and e-news content writer wanted

The volunteer management committee attempts to ensure Editors Canada volunteers receive meaningful volunteer opportunities and are provided with the resources to be successful.

We are currently seeking a committee member to write engaging posts for our Facebook group pages, outlining the benefits of volunteering for Editors Canada, where to find our various volunteer resources we have available and how they can be of benefit. In this role, you may also be asked to produce short write-ups (max. 200 words) on the same material for the monthly e-news.

If interested, please email the committee chair.

6. GOVERNANCE: New copyright policy and procedure for Editors Canada volunteers

We have a new policy and procedure to help manage the copyright of the work volunteers do for Editors Canada. We will begin implementing it over the summer.

Why do we need this?

The national executive council (NEC) recently became aware that Canadian copyright legislation does not protect not-for-profit associations in the same way that it protects employers. If you are an employee of a company or organization, any work you do for the company or organization belongs to that entity. But work that volunteers do is not covered. Volunteers hold the copyright to their creations.

This creates a risk for Editors Canada but it can be mitigated by having volunteers assign their copyright to the association. Knowing this, the NEC wrote a policy and procedure to apply this to the work of the association’s volunteers. This is especially important in an association that is mostly volunteer driven.

You can find the Copyright Policy and Copyright Procedure on the Policies page of our website.

How will it be implemented?

Each volunteer will sign a form, which will give Editors Canada legal proof that any given volunteer has waived their copyright. This will cover all your volunteer work for the association (you will sign the document only once). As explained in the procedure, any paid work for the association will not be affected by this.

The most effective way to do this is to use DocuSign (and, indeed, this is the only way to do it while the staff can’t access the office). The national office has a paid account with DocuSign, so you don’t have to pay for an account to sign a form. You will have to set up a free account with DocuSign in order to sign the document, though.

Right now, you don’t have to do anything. The office will set up DocuSign to have each volunteer sign the form. That will generate an email to you. The subject line will be “Please DocuSign: Copyright Assignment Form.” Just follow the instructions in the email. It takes about two minutes to set up the free account and sign the form.

We’re going to start with directors and committee chairs. The director of volunteer relations will send a list of those people to the office. After that, we will work on committee members and branch and twig leaders. Then we will work on signing up other volunteers.

If you have any questions about this, please email the past president.


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

Over the last 18 months, the certification steering committee (CSC) has been working on a “refresh” of the professional certification program, trying to make it even better: we’ve been looking for more agile and less resource- and cost-intensive ways to operate the program while retaining the integrity and value of the exam.

One of the areas we’ve looked at is “Part A” of the exams. Up to now, Part A has consisted of multiple-choice, short-answer, fill-in-the-blank, and matching questions.

Over the years, candidates have told us that some of the Part A questions felt excessively long and complex. We’ve also found that marking the Part A questions takes a significant amount of time and effort, as has creating the questions/answer key in the first place.

To try to address this, the CSC and Editors Canada national executive council have decided that beginning with the Stylistic Editing exam in November 2020 (reminder: we still plan to open registration later this summer!), Part A will be multiple-choice and matching-question only. We foresee that this will help to reduce time and complexity in marking; reduce the burden on exam-setters; streamline Part A for candidates; and set the stage for a potential future in which Part A could be offered online, making the marking process even quicker.

That doesn’t mean we’re making Part A “simpler,” mind you! It will still cover two areas of the Professional Editorial Standards (PES): A. the Fundamentals of Editing, as well as the PES section applicable to the exam (B. Structural Editing, C. Stylistic Editing, D. Copy Editing, or E. Proofreading). We’ll retain the cognitive complexity of multiple-choice questions, with most questions focused on testing candidates’ ability to analyze and evaluate concepts. You’ll still need to know how to apply the PES!

Our next step is to revise the Test Preparation Guides, beginning with an addendum to the Stylistic Editing guide that explains the changes to Part A and that will be available for download soon.

Questions? Please email

8. TOOLS: Get help launching your career with our Career Builder

Attention student affiliates and novice editors!

Launching your career just became a little easier. The Career Builder provides a roadmap for would-be editors, students and novice editors to improve their chances of successfully launching their editing careers.

Experienced editors created the four-page PDF to help guide new and would-be editors to create a personalized career-development action plan. It provides valuable information the creators wish they had when they started their careers.

The three-year plan covers specific, tangible activities, focusing on three key objectives:

  1. Becoming part of the community and expanding your network
  2. Training to build on your previous education and existing skills to become an effective and efficient editor
  3. Finding work by building your resumé and establishing yourself in the editorial profession

It provides a generic roadmap that can be used by any English- or French-speaking person to discover the places you should visit along the way to improve the chances of successfully launching your editing career.

As well, experienced editors can use the Career Builder anytime a student or novice editor asks them for advice on starting an editing career. For those who teach, the Career Builder is an excellent resource to share with your students.

The Career Builder is one of the many ways Editors Canada is supporting and advancing the profession and excellence in editing.

Please share the Career Builder.

9. TIPS: Experienced editor Q&A

The student relations committee has just launched a question and answer series, addressing the top questions that new editors have. We canvassed experienced Editors Canada members, and thanks to their generosity, we are sharing tips on starting out, attracting clients, marketing, networking, setting rates and continuing professional development. All members are welcome to join the lively discussion in the Editors Canada Student Affiliates Facebook group!


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

11. CONNECT: La Vigne des réviseurs takes place tonight!

The second edition of our French-language online meeting, la Vigne, takes place tonight (Thursday, July 16) at 7 p.m., EDT!

What led you to editing? That’s our topic of discussion tonight. We’ll explore the many paths that can inspire someone to become an editor.

Be ready to hear and tell some invigorating stories, and why not enjoy a glass of wine as we discuss?

The next meeting will take place on Thursday, August 20. For more information about upcoming meetings of la Vigne, please email Agnès André.

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

12. 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.

13. NEC: Notes from your national executive council

I, like many of our members, am feeling the loss of not being able to attend the Editors Canada conference in Montreal this year. Running the AGM on June 20 was bittersweet for me: I was proud at how everyone had pulled together to hold the AGM virtually, but I truly missed being able to hold the AGM in person, at the conference. Our conferences are a place to learn, network and connect with friends that we only get to see once a year (at the conference), and I feel this loss keenly.

As we look forward to the conference in 2021 in Edmonton, I, as the conference chair, am already thinking about various scenarios in how we hold our conference. Ideally, we would hold an in-person conference, but this may not be possible due to the global health situation. I’m already in discussion with Breanne MacDonald, the national conference adviser, about different ways we could hold the conference, including having a hybrid in-person/virtual conference or an entirely virtual conference. As we begin the planning stages, we will focus on making sure whatever plans we make can be modified quickly and easily to reflect federal and provincial health guidelines and the safety of our attendees.

Heather Buzila

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

To top