National e-news update, September 28, 2018

News, events, tips and updates from Editors Canada

In this issue:

3. SHOP EDITORS CANADA: The tips calendar is now available!
4. MEMBER SERVICES: Researching insurance offerings (survey coming)
5. DIVERSITY, INCLUSION AND EQUITY: Draft values statement
6. MEMBER NEWS: A round of applause!
7. PARTNER NEWS: Editors Canada support helps the Language Portal of Canada win a Public Service Award of Excellence
8. STAFF NEWS: Changes in the national office


Registration for the professional certification exams is open, until 11:59 p.m., PDT, on Friday, October 19, 2018. Register now and showcase your skills in proofreading and structural editing!

Exam date: Saturday, November 17, 2018

Exams offered: Structural editing (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and proofreading (2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.)

Locations: Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa (we may add other cities to this list if enough registrants request them)

Already registered? It’s time to hit the books! Visit the Preparing for Certification page for resources to help you get ready for the exams, and here are some tips from certified editors to improve your chances of passing:


  • Familiarize yourself with Professional Editorial Standards 2016 and with the reference books you plan to use. You’re allowed a Canadian dictionary, Editing Canadian English and up to three more style guides. Know your way around them!
  • Order and work through the updated Certification Test Preparation Guides.
  • Practise your test-taking skills, including speed (time yourself), and writing in longhand for the proofreading exam (the structural exam is taken on a computer).
  • Budget your time. Look at the marks allotted per question, and spend more time on the ones worth the most.
  • Follow the instructions!


  • Assume you don’t need to practice because you’re a professional editor.
  • Wait until the last minute to begin studying.
  • Arrive late, flustered, hungry or tired.
  • Stray outside the scope of the skill being tested. If you’re taking the proofreading exam, don’t start copy editing the exam.
  • Leave questions unanswered. Keep an eye on the time so you don’t run out.

Try a sample proofreading question!

Which two of the following tasks are the responsibility of the proofreader?

a. remove jargon, outmoded expressions, and wordiness
b. check that cross-references are accurate
c. improve transitions between sentences and paragraphs
d. ensure that tables follow their in-text call-outs

Click for the answer.


Headshot of Melva McLean

Melva McLean (Editors Manitoba) is a talented and award-winning editor and writer. We are pleased to name Melva as the Editors Canada volunteer of the month for September for her contribution to the success of this year’s Editors Canada conference in Saskatoon, where she was a member of the organizing committee and coordinator for the 2018 Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence.

For our first ever conference in Saskatchewan, Melva took care of numerous tasks, from editing session blurbs to contacting partner organizations. Melva also co-presented one session, hosted two more, and participated in speed mentoring. As the coordinator for the Tom Fairley Award, Melva helped to recruit and orient the judges. Thanks to this volunteering experience, Melva has learned about conference organization and what it takes to run a successful virtual volunteer committee.

Away from her volunteer commitments, Melva edits short stories, novels, screenplays, and non-fiction texts in both the humanities and sciences. She is herself a past recipient of the prestigious Tom Fairley Award (2008).

And Melva’s accolades go beyond editing: three of her screenplays have won awards, and Chopin’s Heart—a short film she wrote and produced—was part of a Telefilm showcase at Cannes 2016. She is currently working on her third short film. She plans to retire in 2020 to “do something completely different.”

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.

3. SHOP EDITORS CANADA: The tips calendar is now available!

This 16-month (September 2018–December 2019) bilingual wall calendar is full of advice from Editors Canada members and student affiliates. A huge thank you to everyone who submitted and voted for the tips!

Special dates for word lovers

Any calendar could tell you when New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving are, but a calendar for language enthusiasts by language enthusiasts? You know we went the extra mile. Wondering when Read a Book Day and Dictionary Day fall? You’ll find these and other dates for word lovers in our calendar.

Get your calendar now

Purchase your calendar online now. The cost per calendar is $25, which includes shipping in Canada.

Spread the word

Want to help raise awareness for Editors Canada and its expert editors? Please tell your fellow communication professionals about our calendar of editing, grammar and writing tips. And consider picking up a few for the writers in your network, your business partners and colleagues. The calendar makes a great gift for back to school, graduations, birthdays, holidays and as a thank you for subcontractors or clients!

4. MEMBER SERVICES: Researching insurance offerings (survey coming)

Editors Canada regularly reviews the services we offer so we can better meet member needs. The national executive council (NEC) has put together an insurance task force to research and analyze the current insurance offerings (e.g., liability, disability, life) for members.

After the initial review, the task force will gather information to determine whether offering discounted insurance is worth continuing. If so, the task force will look into other insurance plan options that are available. The task force will then report on its findings and make its recommendations to the NEC this fall.

The first step is to learn what types of insurance members have. That information will be used as the base for the review.

Your input is an essential part of this process. In the coming days, you’ll receive an email asking you to complete a short survey. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

5. DIVERSITY, INCLUSION AND EQUITY: Draft values statement

Dear colleagues,

A number of us have been discussing opportunities for building diversity, inclusion and equity in Editors Canada. There’s room for growth in these important areas. As a starting point, I’ve drafted a public statement, like the Statement of Human Rights on our website, that defines diversity, inclusion and equity, and identifies the reasons why increasing our organization’s capacity for these is important for Canadian editors. The NEC has approved the draft statement for circulation among members for discussion ahead of being ratified at the next annual general meeting, which will be held in Halifax in June 2019.

This is an important first step in beginning discussion among the membership about these issues and confirming that these values are important to Editors Canada. Your thoughts on the statement, its relevancy, and what it means for the organization are most welcome; you can reach me at If our discussions identify a need for it, the next step will be to create a task force on diversity, inclusion and equity that will lead any initiatives to put the following statement into practice. I welcome your support!

Fazeela Jiwa

[Draft] Statement of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

In our organization, Editors Canada affirms the value of 1) diversity (increasing the presence of people of diverse identities, like those related to gender or race), 2) inclusion (creating an environment where all those with diverse identities are welcomed and valued), and 3) equity (recognizing that identity-based advantages and barriers exist in our industry and working to correct and address this imbalance).

Because part of the editing profession is to see bias and root it out, we strive to acknowledge, welcome, and respect the differences of our members along spectrums of ethnicities, genders, sexualities, abilities, languages, religious affiliations, ages and levels of professional experience. We understand that each person’s identity is composed of multiple, intersecting factors that contribute to their experiences as an editor.

6. MEMBER NEWS: A round of applause!

Editors British Columbia member Merrie-Ellen Wilcox has written a new nonfiction book for young readers (ages 9–12) called After Life: Ways We Think About Death (Orca Book Publishers). The book, which launched on September 8, has been generating lots of buzz. Says Publishers Weekly: “Thorough and well organized, this book honors its intended audience’s ability to handle the subject matter, offering detailed scientific, mythological, historical, cultural and religious takes on how people handle death.”

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.

7. PARTNER NEWS: Editors Canada support helps the Language Portal of Canada win a Public Service Award of Excellence

In March 2018, Editors Canada submitted a letter supporting the nomination of the Language Portal of Canada team for the Public Service Award of Excellence.

We mentioned the Portal’s exceptional contribution in these areas:

  • language services to the public,
  • linguistic duality and the vitality of Anglophone and Francophone minority communities in Canada, and
  • support to freelance and in-house writers and editors all across Canada.

The Portal collaborates with Editors Canada through educational and promotional activities.

  • The Portal has participated in three of our recent national conferences, contributing to marketing, support, and professional development.
  • It motivates Editors Canada members to grow their skills, build their networks and contribute to Portal initiatives, for example, the Ambassador program, the Our Languages blog and usability testing.
  • It disseminates Editors Canada news using communication tools and provides customized promotional material and support in various activities.
  • One of its programs allows certified Editors Canada members to earn points as part of our English certification credential maintenance program.

We received an update in September 2018, telling us that the Language Portal of Canada received First Prize in the Official Language Category of the Public Service Award of Excellence. The manager of the Language Portal Division told Editors Canada that our letter of support was an important factor in this win. And he said that the Portal is privileged to count Editors Canada among its valued partners.

8. STAFF NEWS: Changes in the national office

We are happy to announce that Cléo Sallis-Parchet has joined the national office in Toronto as our part-time membership and professional standards coordinator.

Cléo has a BA in Art History and Film Studies from Concordia University. Beginning in 2014, she worked for the Contemporary Art Galleries Association, and coordinated large-scale events such as Papier foire d’art contemporain in Montreal in 2014 and Feature Art Fair in Toronto in 2015–16. Most recently, her role was at the British Council Canada as Arts Project Coordinator for more than three years, where she coordinated and delivered events and activities as part of the arts and cultural program across the country.

Cléo’s responsibilities include processing new memberships and renewals, supporting our professional certification and agrément programs, and providing national administrative support for our branches and twigs. Welcome, Cléo!

Correct answers

b. check that cross-references are accurate
d. ensure that tables follow their in-text call-outs

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

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