National e-news update, October 19, 2015

News, events, tips and updates from Editors Canada

In this issue:

1. CERTIFICATION: Registration closes October 23
3. GET INVOLVED: Volunteer opportunities to boost your resumé
4. SO YOU WANT TO BE AN EDITOR: New edition now available
5. CONNECT ONLINE: Join us in the Editors Canada private Facebook group
6. CONFERENCE 2016: Speaker wish list and volunteer opportunities
7. NEC: Notes from your national executive council
8. MEMBER NEWS: Promote yourself

1. CERTIFICATION: Registration closes October 23

Sharpen your test-taking skills

Sign up for this year’s Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada) certification exams before it’s too late! Registration closes October 23.

Date: Saturday, November 14
Exams: Copy editing and stylistic editing (proofreading and structural editing will be offered in 2016)
Locations: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax

Has it been a few years since you’ve written a formal exam? As you brush up on your editorial expertise and aim for certification, be sure to hone your test-taking skills too.

Preparing mentally and physically

  • Pack everything you need the night before: books, pens or pencils (that’s plural—bring a spare or two), photo ID, a healthy snack, water.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Practise deep breathing and relaxation.
  • Eat a nutritious meal beforehand.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.
  • Know where you’re going—and arrive 15 minutes early!

Writing the test

  • Before you begin, scan through the entire test.
  • Look at the marks awarded for each question, then budget your time accordingly. (Keep an eye on your watch!)
  • If you get stuck on a question, leave it for the moment and move on (but write yourself a note to return to it later).
  • Don’t panic when other candidates start handing in their papers. There’s no reward for finishing first.

Looking for more tips? Check out our #EditorsChat: Certification Q&A and Study Tips recap on Storify.

Registration is still open, but only until Friday, October 23. The copy editing and stylistic editing tests won’t be offered again until 2017. See how Editors Canada certification can help your career and register today.


Headshot of Ann Kennedy

Ann Kennedy became a member of Editors Toronto in May and has already taken an active role in the association. She volunteers with other members across Canada to promote the association’s student affiliate status. This team of members has now officially been designated the student relations committee. Ann also volunteered for the Editing Goes Global conference in June, overseeing registration.

Ann began her career as an advertising copywriter. Much like editing, copywriting was a position that required attention to detail and accuracy. As she worked in various jobs, she found herself spending a lot of time proofreading. Her passion to continue developing this skill led her to her new career: editing. She is currently enrolled in the Editing Certificate program at George Brown College.

Her experiences volunteering with the student relations committee and at the national conference have taught Ann a lot about the profession. “Meeting editors from all over the world and finding out how warm and welcoming they are as a general rule really reinforced my decision to enter this new career,” she says. After the conference she connected with other editors through Facebook, and she has been getting great insights by watching them collaborate with one another about real-life professional challenges.

“Every experience I’ve had volunteering with Editors Canada in the short time I’ve been affiliated with it has been terrific,” she says. “The people I have met are so supportive of each other!”

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.

3. GET INVOLVED: Volunteer opportunities to boost your resumé

Are you looking for valuable experience and accomplishments to highlight on your CV? Here are some opportunities that are available.

Awards committee: members needed!

The brand new awards committee is seeking members to help develop and administrate the awards program and evaluate existing services. The association’s current national awards are the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence, the Claudette Upton Scholarship, the Karen Virag Award and the President’s Award for Volunteer Service.

Until 2014, the awards committee operated as an administrative committee chaired by the association’s past president. It is now a full-fledged committee, and I am excited to be the first chair appointed by the national executive council (NEC)!

We have a mandate in place in the form of a report from the awards task force, and there is plenty of work to do.  The committee requires representation from at least half of the branches and twigs, so I’m aiming for a half-dozen members to fulfill that criteria.  Contact me if you are interested in being part of the brand new awards team and helping to recognize stellar editors in Canada.

Tamra Ross
Chair, awards committee

Tell us about student benefits

Last month, the NEC voted to make the student affiliate project team a standing committee. The student relations committee is developing print and web material and a marketing plan to promote the association’s student affiliate status to students in editing and editing-related fields. Committee members are Anne Curry, Ann Kennedy, Claudine Laforce, Tiffany MacDonald, Christina Vasilevski, and Wendy Barron (chair).

In our promotional copy, we’d love to include testimonials from current and former student affiliates (previously known as student members), and from members. How has the association benefited students? What do an increasing number of students bring to Editors Canada? How is the association helping to support the next generation of editors? Please email your thoughts to Wendy Barron by Monday, October 26.

Call for articles for the Language Portal of Canada

Would you like to see your name on a byline on a website with a national audience? We’re looking for pitches for articles of 500 words on the theme of editing.

Since 2011, Editors Canada has contributed four articles a year to the Language Portal of Canada, a federal government website that showcases Canadian expertise in the area of language. Articles submitted have included the role of the editor; editing, translating, and bilingualism; Cree language facts for editors of English and French; and editing measurements. Visit the Language Portal to see the Editors Canada submissions to date.

Have an idea for a Language Portal article? Please contact Lisa Ng.

Website beta testers

We’re hard at work on a new association website. Last month we put out a call for volunteers to test the development site for core functionality and user experience. There’s still time to get involved, and you can be part of this cool online volunteer opportunity wherever you live. Beta testing is expected to begin next month and will continue to the new website launch. If you’re interested in being one of the new website beta testers (and being one of the first people to see the new website!), please contact Michelle Ou.

4. SO YOU WANT TO BE AN EDITOR: New edition now available

A red background featuring various writing utensils, a mouse and keyboard, and the Editors Canada logo

“A career in editing goes beyond a love of language. Successful editors turn that interest and skill into a way to earn a living and have an impact on the world around them.”
– So You Want to Be an Editor

The latest edition of our popular career guide, So You Want to Be an Editor, is now available! This booklet is full of information about an editor’s career path, as well as the working conditions, rewards and drawbacks of the profession. It’s also chock full of stats and profiles from our own membership.

Do you know someone who is thinking of becoming an editor, but they’re not sure what that really entails? Invite them to download So You Want to Be an Editor free on our website. Look for print copies at your local branch and twig events.

5. CONNECT ONLINE: Join us in the Editors Canada private Facebook group

Except for staff and executive use, the Interactive Voice online forum has been largely inactive for a year. We recognize the value of being able to communicate with other editors in a private place, but this format doesn’t seem to be working; it never really reached critical mass, and many members found its user interface awkward. So we’re retiring it, and working to find other ways to help our members communicate with one another—one of an association’s most important roles. We’ve launched a members-only Facebook group. This new group and the email list (which remains alive and well—if you haven’t checked it out, why not do so?) give members two convenient ways to talk to each other in a forum that is just for association members.* See you there!

*Because the Facebook group is closed, your activity in the group will be private and will not be visible to anyone who isn’t also in the group. This group is as closed to non-members as the email list is. Just like the list, it’s a space for members to discuss association issues. Plus, you can go ahead and share those “seen in the wild” jokes with your fellow members on Facebook.  Your non-member Facebook friends will never know!

6. CONFERENCE 2016: Speaker wish list and volunteer opportunities

It’s Conference 2016 wish list time! Conference speaker co-coordinators Wendy Barron and Mike Culbertson would like to know: who and what do you want to hear, see and learn next year in Vancouver?

To help you brainstorm, Wendy and Mike ask:

  • What sessions did you miss at the 2015 conference that you’d like to have repeated?
  • Who would you like to see as a speaker, either at a learning session or as a keynote?
  • What gaps in knowledge or professional development would you like to be able to fill?
  • If you’re on the fence about attending, what would tip you over into can’t miss that?
  • What sessions do you think would be useful to other editors?

Any suggestions or questions can be directed to the speaker coordinators.

Thinking about sharing your own expertise and knowledge with the assembled editorial masses? An official call for speakers will be sent to members soon.

Lastly, the 2016 conference team needs volunteers for the billeting committee, the translation committee, the social media committee, and the vendor fair committee, particularly its coordinator position. Many tasks can be done remotely, so volunteers from across the country are welcome. We are also looking for volunteers for the conference weekend itself. If interested, please contact conference co-chairs Amy Haagsma and Lynn Slobogian to join the team and find out more!

7. NEC: Notes from your national executive council

The national executive council has been busy following up on the activities we discussed at our September meeting.

The Editors Canada Facebook group is now open! Join this members-only discussion group to share information, discuss Editors Canada issues, and talk about your challenges and successes.

Our first #EditorsChat on Twitter, Certification Q&A and Study Tips, took place on Tuesday, October 6. Check out the Storify recap of the conversation. Join us on Tuesday, November 3, at 7 p.m., EST, for our next chat, Finding Work: Tips for Updating your ODE Profile and for Networking. An email reminder and a web page with tips for participating in our Twitter chats are coming soon!

What we’re working on now:

  • Planning webinars for 2015–16
  • Updating the Standard Freelance Editorial Agreement
  • Recruiting committee chairs and members: volunteers are always welcome! (Being on a committee is an excellent form of professional development that also allows you to network with editors across the country.) 
  • Reaching out to students in editing and publishing programs
  • Initiating the Karen Virag Award
  • Planning for the soon-to-be national mentoring program
  • Talking to associations of editors in other countries to compare best practices and learn how they do things
  • Drafting the 2016 members’ survey
  • Preparing to draft a new five-year plan to guide the association until 2020

Stay tuned for updates on all of these activities.

8. MEMBER NEWS: Promote yourself

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.

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

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