Notes from your national executive council: A report from the November 2015 (Q4) meeting

Your Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada) national executive council met in Ottawa on November 28-29 for our final quarterly meeting of 2015.

What did you talk about?

We continued the work we started in September and reviewed the budget for the year ahead. As always, we want to provide as many member services as possible while living within our means. Here are the topics we discussed:

  • Launching the new website in early 2016. Watch for an announcement about the launch date; new and improved features will be added throughout the year.
  • Setting up online training. We’re planning to offer three or four online training courses in the spring. Members will get a discounted rate! Stay tuned…
  • Offering more member services. These include waiving the fees for an email address and for employers to post ads on our job board (both as of January 1), doing online training (see above), and providing more member discounts.
  • Finding ways to better serve francophone members. Since we’re working to become a truly bilingual organization, we’re looking at services we can offer to support francophone members, and ways to make our operations more truly bilingual.
  • Supporting branches and twigs. We’re putting together an online tool kit of resources to help branches and twigs grow and thrive.
  • Planning more Twitter chats. Our first three chats were informative and action-packed. If you missed them, check out the Storify summaries on the Editors Canada website.
  • Creating a national mentoring program. The Prairie Provinces and Toronto branches have run successful mentorship programs. We’re following their lead to create a program for members nationwide. We know that our experienced members would make great mentors for new editors. And who doesn’t need mentoring when starting a new career?
  • Creating and renewing partnerships with related organizations in Canada and around the world. Watch for information and discounts on partner conferences, online training and more.
  • Increasing our number of student affiliates. The student relations committee has a brochure in the works, and is busy planning campus visits to reach students in programs related to editing.
  • Preparing our brand-new volunteer handbook and volunteer directory. We are a member-run association, so volunteers are our lifeblood. These two resources will help members engage and find the information they need as volunteers.
  • Promoting our publications. We’ll be spreading the word about our excellent resources (Meeting Professional Editorial Standards, Certification Study Guides, Editing Canadian English, and Editorial Niches) to publishing programs across the country.
  • Supporting the 2016 (Vancouver) and 2017 (Ottawa) conference committees. The 2016 team is in full swing: registration will begin in February. The 2017 co-chairs are doing some logistical planning to kick off their work.
  • Finalizing the 2016 member survey. We want to know more about you and what you do as editors. Our last survey was in 2012, so it’s time for another one. The survey will take place in the spring.
  • Drafting the strategic plan for 2017–21. We spent Monday, November 30, with an experienced facilitator. He led us through a well-structured step-by-step process to think about what we do well, identify our vulnerabilities and risks, set strategic priorities to address these issues, identify outcomes of the strategic priorities and indicators of success, and identify specific approaches to achieving the outcomes. Several Ottawa-Gatineau members joined us in this stimulating exercise. (The facilitator also spoke by phone with six members from across the country before the session.) Participants felt energized about what they accomplished during this session and optimistic about our ability as an association to move forward with a solid strategic plan. Members will have the chance to comment on the draft strategic plan and then vote on it at the AGM in June.

How can members help the association to thrive?

We talked a lot about new projects to support editors throughout their careers. Wondering what you can do to help Editors Canada flourish as an association that’s doing good work for editors and the editing profession? As members, you are our greatest ambassadors. Here are a few ways you can help the association to grow and succeed:

  • Tell your employer, clients and co-workers about Editors Canada.
  • Encourage editorial colleagues who are not members to join the association.
  • When a would-be editor asks you about your career choice, direct them to our website and the newly revised brochure So You Want to Be an Editor. Answer their questions and encourage them to become a member or a student affiliate.
  • Share information on social media about our publications, local seminars, upcoming Twitter chats, annual conference and more.
  • Purchase and promote our publications: Meeting Professional Editorial StandardsCertification Study GuidesEditing Canadian English 3 (print or digital edition) and Editorial Niches.
  • If you work in-house, make your membership part of your professional development plan. Ask your employer to pay your membership fees so you can network with other editors and get discounts on seminars and the conference. If a seminar has direct links to your work, ask your employer to pay for you to attend. Or arrange for one of our members to offer in-house training.
  • Volunteer for your branch or twig, a committee or task force, or the conference. There are plenty of ways to get involved. Volunteering lets you learn new skills and network with colleagues. You’ll get back much more than you put in!

Did you see any local members while you were in Ottawa?

Yes! We met up with about 25 local members, over drinks one evening and for dinner the next. It was great to see so many friendly faces. Thanks for the warm welcome, Editors Ottawa-Gatineau!

When’s your next meeting?

Our next meeting is on April 9-10, 2016 (location to be determined). Until then, members of the national executive will keep in touch with each other by email and one or two teleconference calls.

Wishing you happy holidays and countless good things for 2016!

Anne Louise Mahoney, president

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