Jessica Coles

As an administrative assistant for an engineering consulting business, Jessica Coles sought a broader scope for her abilities beyond document quality control. To show her manager that her writing and editing skills were “part of a whole profession,” she joined Editors Canada in 2009. The result? She now specializes at work in technical reports and marketing proposals under the well-earned job title “editor.”

Jessica was previously a member of the former Prairie Provinces branch of Editors Canada as well as a member of Editors British Columbia before returning to Editors Edmonton in 2018. “I promised myself I’d find a way to volunteer [in Edmonton] because I didn’t want to lose the sense of professional community I’d had in BC,” she says. Jessica enthusiastically volunteered as twig coordinator when the position became available. Along with her co-coordinator Alicia Chantal, Jessica organized events and promoted the editing profession locally. Jessica and Alicia’s combined efforts resulted in what Editors Canada president Heather Buzila calls “unique, interesting programming” that has served the twig well through the pandemic.

Although Jessica’s two-year term as twig co-coordinator ended in July 2020, the rewards of volunteering continue. Asked what she enjoys most about belonging to Editors Canada, she says “finding a community of people who share one of my passions, but who aren’t afraid to share opinions and disagree with each other. Simply interacting with other professional editors has changed the way I do my work and improved my abilities.”

Jessica’s interest in language goes beyond editing. She has a BA in linguistics and self-published her first poetry chapbook, Unless You’re Willing to Evaporate, in 2019. In the summer she loves relaxing in her garden where she can spend time “thinking about the similarities between weeding and editing.”

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.

~S. Robin Larin

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