National e-news update, July 20, 2018

News, events, tips and updates from Editors Canada

In this issue:

1. IN MEMORIAM: David Harrison
2. PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION: Registration opens this month
3. BOOST YOUR RESUMÉ: Get involved
4. VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH: Dwain Richardson
5. PLAIN LANGUAGE: Check out the latest Editors Canada video
6. MEMBER SERVICES: Should we keep insurance as a member service?
7. LOCAL SERVICES: Help us improve access to member services
9. WEBINARS: Train online with Editors Canada
10. MEMBER NEWS: A round of applause!
11. NEC: Notes from your national executive council

1. IN MEMORIAM: David Harrison

David Harrison, an Editors British Columbia member and respected friend and colleague to many in the editing profession, passed away on Thursday, June 14. David served as branch secretary and was an indispensable member of the executive team. Not only did he record minutes, he streamlined the way the branch files and manages information, and contributed sound and original ideas to every discussion. He did this with unflagging energy and welcome humour—characteristics that he brought to his volunteer work at the national level, as well, when he served as national executive council secretary in 2012–13.

A celebration of David’s life was held in Vancouver on Saturday, June 30. In lieu of flowers, David’s family has requested that donations on his behalf be made to Amateur Sport British Columbia – KidSport BC or the Crane Library For the Blind.

2. PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION: Registration opens this month

Registration for this year’s professional certification tests in proofreading and structural editing is opening soon. If you’ve been considering professional certification in one or both of these editing disciplines, or if you’re ready to become a Certified Professional Editor, your time to act is approaching.

A grey computer monitor in front of various clouds

Tests that reflect real-world editing

Thanks to our new onscreen testing platform, the structural editing test is more like the “real-world” editing experience you’re familiar with. The test will be administered in computer labs to ensure test security and reasonably similar testing conditions for all candidates.

Candidates will edit in Word for PC. We regret that we are unable to offer the test on Macs at this time because that would have driven up the exam fees substantially; however, if there is sufficient demand for testing on Macs we will look into that as an option in the future.

The proofreading test will be written on paper.

Are you ready to register?

Registration for the 2018 tests opens later this month. Look for the email announcement from Editors Canada. If you’re ready to tackle this year’s certification tests, make a decisive move. Take a pivotal step in professional development, and make this the year you commit to professional certification.

3. BOOST YOUR RESUMÉ: Get involved

Want to stand above other contenders? Consider volunteering for Editors Canada. Volunteering has many benefits for the association, as well as being beneficial to your career. Engaged members and affiliates work with influential members of the publishing and communications industries, learn new skills (at any experience level), expand their portfolios and enhance their career options.

Calling all editors: Certification pilot testers needed

The certification steering committee is recruiting members in Vancouver and Toronto to pilot the structural editing and proofreading exams in September (exact date to be determined). The structural editing exam will be on computer, and proofreading on paper.

Why help out?

  • There is no better way to practise for the actual certification exams than preparing for and writing a pilot test.
  • Editors Canada will give you a free copy of the newly updated Test Preparation Guide, a $70 value, for each test you pilot.
  • You will be notified of your result, which will help you to gauge whether you are ready for certification.

To ensure the validity of the pilot tests, volunteers should have at least five years’ experience in structural editing or proofreading, and should prepare as thoroughly as they would for the actual exams. Volunteers can write one or both tests; certified editors are welcome.

Testers will not be eligible to take the certification exams they have piloted in November 2018, but they can write them during the next administration, in two years.

Find out why pilot testers say this experience is an outstanding professional development opportunity. Contact the national office to volunteer.

4. VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH: Dwain Richardson

Headshot Dwain Richardson

Dwain Richardson, volunteer of the month for July, is the face behind the Editors Québec posts: his Tweets and Facebook updates help keep branch members informed and connected.

As the communications agent at Editors Québec, Dwain also organizes professional development seminars for English-speaking members. So far, he has spearheaded two seminars: one on technical editing and another on proofreading. In the past, Dwain’s biggest challenge was recruiting attendees for English-language workshops. While participation has improved, there are other challenges. Distance and language are also issues for Editors Québec members.

“In some areas across Québec, participants are mainly native French speakers. Some of the seminar topics don’t necessarily resonate in a French-language editorial environment,” says Dwain.

However, Dwain and other branch volunteers challenge themselves to find topics that cater to English- and French-language milieus. An academic editor by profession, Dwain finds his work exhilarating as it has fed into a growing interest in diverse disciplinary topics. He is a copy writer, translator and occasional interpreter, and is also a professionally trained classical singer who has performed with numerous ensembles in the Montreal area.

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.

5. PLAIN LANGUAGE: Check out the latest Editors Canada video

Check out the latest in Editors Canada short-video series: What Is Plain Language?

It’s not about dumbing down text. And it’s not even just about the words. It’s about understanding your audience and giving them writing that is clear, concise and well-organized. That way, they can find what they need quickly and easily, understand it and act on that understanding.

Many thanks to Gael Spivak and the talented Karina Sinclair of Line By Line Studio.

For more videos in this series, subscribe to the Editors Canada YouTube channel.

6. MEMBER SERVICES: Should we keep insurance as a member service?

Over the years, we’ve had various challenges with the insurance that Editors Canada members can purchase. The national executive council (NEC) has decided that the association should re-examine this service and determine what the best options are.

We’re setting up a task force to do the following:

Phase 1

  • research and analyze the current situation
  • make recommendations to the NEC about how to proceed

Phase 2

  • research insurance companies, if required
  • make recommendations to the NEC and executive director about which company to use

If these type of business questions get your heart going (in a good way!), you can join the task force and influence the recommendations.

  • We’re looking at a timeframe of about July to November, for both phases of the task force.
  • We have more detailed information in the task force brief, which we can send to anyone who is interested.

If you are interested in participating, email

7. LOCAL SERVICES: Help us improve access to member services

Do you live far away from where your branch or twig events usually take place?

Do you have trouble accessing Editors Canada services for other reasons?

If you do, the improving access to member services task force would love to have a few minutes of your time. Please watch for our short member survey later this month. Let us know why you can’t access services and what we can do to help.

Thank you!


Mentorship can help you develop your knowledge and skills, build confidence, get feedback and encouragement, and much more. As mentor Anita Jenkins put it, “One-on-one interaction with a wise and supportive mentor is an incredibly important component of the learning curve.”

The Editors Canada mentorship program is two months long, and can be extended to six months. A committee matches mentors with mentees. The mentee then has a free, two-hour meeting with their mentor to determine if it’s a good fit. A fee of $250 covers the cost of administering the program and a modest honorarium for the mentor.

To apply to be a mentor or a mentee, visit the John Eerkes-Medrano Mentorship Program page.

What they’re saying about Editors Canada mentorship

“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 the opportunity!”
– Claire Wilkshire

9. 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 online? Check out our upcoming webinar:

July 30: Achieving Editorial Excellence in K-Adult ESL/ELT Materials with Marilyn Rosenthal

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.

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.

Have an idea for a webinar or want to present a webinar in 2018–19?

Editors Canada seeks proposals from qualified editors and consultants to prepare and present webinars or programs of webinars on topics of high interest to its members in English and/or French. We are interested in all proposals; however, we are particularly interested in the following topics:

  • working with Indigenous authors and Indigenous themes, practices, and styles;
  • editing for sensitivity;
  • editing for digital accessibility;
  • editing tables, charts, and other data visualizations and graphics;
  • proofreading digital material—practices and standards;
  • managing the business side of editing (such as tax preparation, financial planning, billing);
  • managing content;
  • managing people;
  • managing projects;
  • preparing resumés and online profiles; and
  • any aspect of structural editing, copy editing, comparative editing, or proofreading.

Please email your proposal to the director of training and development.

10. MEMBER NEWS: A round of applause!

Editors BC member Philip Sherwood and his company,, recently privately published three books:

  • Reading the Rocks, a professional memoir of geologist David Cooke
  • Stability, Chaos, and Opportunity, is a 140,000-word, lavishly illustrated account of an immigrant family
  • First with the Finest, a book that recounts the early years of Vanderpol’s Eggs, one of Canada’s largest egg processors

Sherwood’s involvement included project management, interviewing, ghostwriting and all levels of editing.

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. Each item will be posted on our website and will be included in the Editors Canada e-news updates.

11. NEC: Notes from your national executive council

The national executive council did not have an in-person second quarter meeting after the conference this year. We did this to save money.

We replaced that meeting with a two-hour Zoom meeting on June 23, 2018.

These are some of the things we covered in that meeting.

  • budget update (including conference numbers)
  • review of outstanding action items from previous meetings
  • update on priority projects
  • news from branches and twigs

The office also had several items to report on, including

  • a possible move (the rent is really going up at our present location)
  • challenges with the insurance for members
  • issues with our membership software
  • fixes for the website and the Online Directory of Editors (ODE)

Looking to the future, we talked about 2020 conference locations because we’ll need to start sourcing a city and venue soon.

Having an online NEC meeting is not ideal. We simply cannot get done two days’ worth of discussion and decisions in a two-hour online meeting (especially with about a dozen people present). But it was the best option, given the budget. We’ll work hard to continue to deliver on our work for members.

In July, we also had an orientation meeting for the new directors, something the NEC has been doing for several years. While this sounds massively unexciting, certain practices are important for organizational continuity, especially with a member-run organization. Over the past three years, the NEC has been adding to that orientation by introducing new practices and making them second nature for the NEC. These practices make the association more stable and they help each new NEC build on what went before (such as the various cycles of strategic planning over the years or the best practices that previous directors passed on).

Gael Spivak, president

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

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