With a doctorate in English from Oxford University, Dania Sheldon knew that becoming an academic was an obvious choice. But other aspects of life beckoned—particularly her passion for animal rescue and advocacy—and academia wouldn’t leave room. Still wanting to work with language, she volunteered for Douglas & McIntyre and Ronsdale Press, which led to freelance editing opportunities. Soon, Dania was reconsidering a career in editing.
In 2005, an information session inspired Dania to join Editors Canada and begin many years of volunteering—as professional development co-chair and social coordinator of Editors British Columbia, and as the branch’s representative on the national executive council. Since 2012, Dania has also co-developed each of the four professional certification exams.
In the past, her tendency to overcommit was her biggest challenge and she “learned the hard way.” That said, she thoroughly enjoys her volunteer experiences. “I always come away having learned a great deal from working with my colleagues.”
Dania was one of the judges for the 2019 Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence. She is also a past recipient of the award for her work on Charles Gretton: Clock and Watchmaking Through the Golden Age. Her editing centres primarily around academic articles and books in the humanities, sciences and education-related fields, and she enjoys working on fiction, including as a ghost writer. “I specialize in being versatile,” she says.
Volunteering informs Dania’s personal life too. She has been with the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA) since 2005 and advocates for differently abled cats. In 2017, she published The Book of Lua: Stories and Wisdom from a Little Cat with Mobility Challenges, for children who live with physical, mental, emotional and other differences. Whether for VOKRA or Editors Canada, Dania takes volunteering very seriously, although it’s “never a hardship,” she says. “I just need more hours in a day!”
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.
Want to make a difference in your association? Find out more about volunteering for Editors Canada.