A passion for literacy drives Laura Van Alphen, a former educator turned freelance editor. After her years teaching high school and community college English, Laura volunteered in various capacities at her daughters’ grade school. As school council chair, she arranged an author visit through Telling Tales, a non-profit literacy organization, and has since become their school liaison across Hamilton.
In 2018, when Laura began considering a shift to an editing career, her previous volunteer experience prompted her to join Editors Canada. Here she discovered many opportunities for professional development, networking and mentorship through volunteering, “the best way to build connections and learn new skills,” she says. Laura soon found herself on the executive of Editors Hamilton-Halton, planning meetings, greeting other new members and—perhaps most importantly—bringing the cookies, tea and kettle to each session. By 2019, she was the twig’s co-coordinator.
“Laura is always ready to help arrange our meetings and brings a calm thoughtfulness to our twig’s planning,” says Julia Kollek, her appreciative co-coordinator.
Laura’s editorial interest remains in education, literacy and writing for children, and her love of language and creative expression has rubbed off on her family: they are all avid fans of musical theatre. Focusing on academic editing and working with children’s authors, Laura hopes to expand further into middle grade and young adult fiction editing.
Attending the 2019 conference in Halifax has been a highlight of Laura’s involvement so far with Editors Canada. “It was incredible to be surrounded by so many like-minded people who share my love of language,” she says. “I’m already looking forward to the conference in Montreal next June.”
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