Margaret Shaw, Editors Canada’s regional director of Western Canada’s branches and twigs, attended her first meeting as a member of the National Executive Council (NEC) in September, and at yesterday’s BC branch meeting she gave us a rundown of some of our association’s plans to increase the value of membership and more actively engage members. Here are some highlights:
- Editors Canada plans to launch its rebranded website later this year and is looking for volunteers to beta test.
- The association held its first monthly Twitter chat about certification in October, and the topic for November will be finding work and networking. Join in on November 3 at 4 pm PST and follow along with the #EditorsChat hashtag.
- A private Facebook group has been set up for Editors Canada members.
- The committee that publishes our magazine, Active Voice, hopes to create a hard copy in April and possibly another in September or October.
- A task force has been struck to develop a national mentoring program, modelled on the Toronto branch’s successful program and named in honour of the late John Eerkes-Medrano.
- Editors Canada hopes to start offering webinars (three in the year ahead) so that members living outside of Canada’s major centres will have more professional development opportunities.
- A central repository of professional development ideas has been proposed.
- Editors Canada launched the third edition Editing Canadian English this past year, along with the companion Editorial Niches volume. Members at yesterday’s meeting suggested having Editors Canada publications available for sale at local branch meetings and seminars.
- In the works is a welcome package for new members and a toolkit to support new branches and twigs.
- A membership survey is planned for the spring, and exit surveys are planned to find out why people who don’t renew their memberships choose to leave the organization.
- The Online Director of Editors now has its own direct link: findaneditor.ca
- The national job board will be revamped. Once it is relaunched, employers and clients will no longer have to pay to post a job.
- Student affiliates will have a new committee to champion student issues.
- The Standard Freelance Editorial Agreement is being updated.
- The NEC is also aware of—and aims to solve—server problems affecting affected people with editors.ca addresses.
Standards and certification
Vacancies on committees
Volunteering allows you to build network with colleagues across the country and add skills to your CV. Editors Canada is seeking volunteers for the following committees:
- nominations committee
- member services committee
- communications and marketing committee
- publications committee
- standards task force
- awards committee
At the next NEC meeting, planned for November in Ottawa, the executive will take the first steps to draft a new five-year strategic plan. The plan we have now will expire in 2016–2017.
EAC-BC held its first meeting of the 2014–2015 season yesterday evening, and, along with wine and cheese, we got a dose of professional development. Programs chair Roma Ilnyckyj and committee member Frances Peck asked us to share our favourite resources. Here’s a rundown of what people mentioned:
- Words into Type: Although no longer in print, this classic reference still has a lot of good tips about grammar and style.
- Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writing by Constance Hale
- The Subversive Copy Editor by Carol Fisher Saller, who edits The Chicago Manual of Style Online’s Q&A. Her blog is also useful, as is her Twitter account.
- EAC-BC’s branch chair, Micheline Brodeur, mentioned that she uses the Chicago Manual of Style for every project. Its Twitter account, which tweets a daily tip, is also worth following.
- Edit Yourself: A Manual for Everyone Who Works with Words by Bruce Ross-Larson.
- Bill Walsh’s Lapsing into a Comma, Yes, I Could Care Less, and blog.
- Woe Is I by Patricia T. O’Conner
- Out at the end of the month is Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. (I haven’t written up my review of it yet, but suffice it to say that it will be effusive.)
- Typography for Lawyers by Matthew Butterick, who also has a website, Butterick’s Practical Typography.
- Garner’s Modern American Usage
- On Writing Well by William Zinsser
- Editing by Design by Jan V. White
Websites or blogs
On top of the ones already mentioned, members of our group suggested following:
Workshops or classes
Beyond EAC-BC’s excellent professional development seminars and EAC’s annual conference, here are some workshops or classes that attendees have found useful:
Upcoming professional development events include:
- Word Vancouver, September 24 to 28, which will host a series of free workshops on everything from making chapbooks to creating a publishing roadmap to digital publishing.
- Communication Convergence, October 5, which explores “the tendency for different communication fields over time to apply a common range of methods.” Frances Peck will moderate a panel (of which I will be a member). Tickets here. (STC and EAC-BC members get a discount, and students get a special rate.)
This list is by no means exhaustive, of course—it includes only what people mentioned at the meeting. Add your favourites in the comments.
If you found this list helpful, you may also be interested in the results of last year’s season-launching audience-participation meeting: Editors’ show and tell: time-saving tips and tricks.
1. Catch up
After a long summer break, why not head down to the Y and see some familiar faces?
2. Learn from others’ mistakes (#LFMF)
Your fellow editors have erred so that you don’t have to. The EAC-BC’s Twitter feed will be on display, and members, attending or not, are encouraged to live-tweet their most memorable editorial mistakes to @EditorsBC so that we can all know what not to do.
3. Enter for a chance to win a free professional development seminar
We’ll be drawing the name of one lucky winner, but you have to be there to enter.
4. Score a free book
The books I’ve reviewed on this blog so far will be up for grabs in the same draw.
5. Wine. Cheese.
This first meeting of EAC-BC’s 2012–13 season happens Wednesday, September 19, 2012, from 7 to 9 pm on the fourth floor of the YWCA, 535 Hornby Street.
Pamela Findling (@pfindling) gave a presentation at last evening’s EAC-BC monthly meeting about how to use Twitter to find writing and editing work. The key is to exploit the medium’s uniquely informal social atmosphere and its capacity for quick and far-reaching community building to network and find contacts.
She outlined seven tips as part of her Twitter strategy:
1. Know whom to follow
- Start with people you know; search for colleagues and see who they’re following.
- Start following potential clients. Pamela began following magazines and businesses that she was interesting in working for. What’s handy is that the person tweeting is usually the editor or the communications coordinator at a publication/organization, so Twitter allows you to build an immediate connection and a direct link to the editor. And Twitter’s casual, quick-response environment means that an editor is more likely to respond to a tweet than an email query. Further, Twitter is basically free, so organizations may opt to tweet about a job before paying a job-search site like Monster to advertise an opportunity.
- Follow professional organizations; once in a while they will tweet about job postings. Branch out beyond the writing and editing organizations; follow designers’ groups, the Society for Technical Communication, the Board of Trade, Chamber of Commerce, etc.
- Follow job-search sites. Jobsprout often posts writing- and editing-related jobs.
2. Chat people up
- Don’t be afraid to jump into conversations, even with strangers. Twitter doesn’t carry the same kinds of social barriers to participation that other settings might.
- Ask questions and try to give people a sense of who you are and what you’re interested in. Once you’ve started conversing with someone on Twitter, it becomes much easier to introduce yourself in person. (At networking events, Pamela often puts her Twitter ID on her name tag.)
3. Search for keywords
- Search Twitter for key phrases, like “editing jobs” or “hire an editor.” Doing so will bring up opportunities all over the world, many of which will allow you to work remotely. (Pamela does caution that searching also brings up a lot of garbage, so you’ll have to sort judiciously.)
4. Use hashtags
- Highlight particular subjects—your interests—with hashtags in your tweets. People interested in the same things will able to find your tweets just by clicking on a hashtag, so this is a way of getting your name out faster.
5. Post interesting content
- Talk about projects you’re working on, emphasizing specific skills you’re using when you’re working on particular projects.
- Post links to your work. Using an author’s or client’s ID in that tweet allows them to see that you’re actively promoting them.
- Post about your area of expertise. For example, if you’re an editor, post grammar, spelling, or punctuation tips. Doing so establishes you as an expert in your field.
- Post about events.
- Post links to interesting articles.
Just be aware that Twitter is public—anyone can see your tweets. This presents a huge networking opportunity but also means that your tweets should reflect your professionalism and editorial standards.
6. Check in and post regularly
- Check in at least once a day. Twitter moves really quickly, so job vacancies are often filled shortly after they’re posted.
7. Share the love
- Twitter has Follow Fridays (hashtag #FF), where you list the IDs of other people and organizations you think your friends should follow. It’s essentially an informal referral, giving recognition to others, and it shows that you’re not just about you. Use this to build your network.
- Use others’ Twitter IDs in your tweets.
- Thank people for excellent service or for their help. Because of Twitter’s rapid and wide reach, a thank-you on Twitter goes far.
The presentation was excellent—engaging and informative. I have to confess to being a social media hermit myself. I’m on neither Facebook nor Twitter, primarily because I realize that they can be time vacuums. Although I occasionally wonder what I’m missing out on, I must say that I rather appreciate the quiet. So for now, this site is probably as deep as I’ll get, though having Pamela’s tips may come in handy some day, if I find myself wanting to branch out.