The day Nicola Aquino purchased her student affiliate membership for Editors Canada, she learned the 2019 conference would be held practically in her backyard. She promptly sent an offer of help. “I didn’t know a lot about Editors Canada,” Nicola says. “I wanted a time-limited, task-defined role.” As session host coordinator, Nicola contributed meaningfully to the success of the Halifax conference.
Although volunteer editing had long figured in her life, Nicola planned a career in science. With her BSc (Hons) and MSc in Microbiology, she pursued technician and research positions. But soon she was volunteering full time with La Leche League Canada (LLLC), organizing conferences and producing its professional newsletter.
After 18 years at LLLC, Nicola began exploring editing as a career. She established Spit & Polish Editing in 2018 and completed her Professional Editing Standards Certificate at Queen’s University the next year. Nicola now specializes in developmental editing of fiction, bringing to it the skills learned during her years in science: critical reading, succinct wording and a desire for clarity.
Nicola has not stopped volunteering with Editors Canada. When the member services task force advertised for a host for an online gathering space, “I put my (virtual) hand up,” Nicola says. She and Lenore Hietkamp, her co-moderator of the Editors’ Vine online meeting, plan topics, contact presenters and maintain the ever-growing participant list.
As an introvert, Nicola enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy, cross-stitching and knitting as hobbies. “But, like all humans, I need connection with other humans,” she says. The connection is what she enjoys most about belonging to Editors Canada.
“Getting to know people from across the country has allowed me to build social networks to replace the ones lost when I left LLLC.” In Editors Canada, Nicola has found a new home.
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