New year, new skills

Writing Tools

Is this your year to finally fulfill all those wishes to improve your editorial skills? EAC’s seminars are well-respected and provide editors, writers, and communicators with excellent value.The National Capital Region Branch has a great winter and spring lineup: eight half- and full-day seminars from January 2014 to May 2014. Upcoming seminars include the following:

Editing for Non-Editors: Find and Fix the Most Common Errors in Documents
Wednesday, April 30, 2014—9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Are you responsible for the quality control of documents, but you’re neither an editor nor a proofreader? Does your work involve correcting other people’s writing (or your own)? Or are you a beginning editor looking for a fast track to working productively?
In this seminar, you’ll learn to
• organize your work according to the four levels of editing
• find and fix the most common errors in grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, clarity, style, and layout
• work efficiently using an editorial process, version control, Word’s editorial tools, style sheets, checklists, and error-checking software
You’ll also get hands-on practice with electronic files and hard copy, have an opportunity to ask decision-making and process questions, and find out where to learn more.

Elizabeth Macfie has 17 years’ experience as a freelance editor, proofreader, and indexer for government departments, university presses, research organizations, and authors. She is an EAC-certified copy editor, stylistic editor and proofreader, and she is a past chair of EAC’s National Capital Region branch. Elizabeth presents popular seminars and conference talks on editing, proofreading, and business networking.

Clear and Concise Style
Thursday, May 22, 2014—9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Clear, concise style is the backbone of strong writing. It’s also the result of cold, hard revision. This seminar presents a variety of stylistic editing techniques that help language do its job. We’ll look at how to create flow, eliminate sloppy shifts and inconsistencies, link ideas using parallelism and subordination, tighten sentence structure, and trim wordiness. Through discussion, examples, and exercises, we’ll examine surefire methods for polishing any type of document.

Frances Peck has been working with words for over two decades, whether writing them, editing them, or teaching people about them. The author of Peck’s English Pointers (available through the Language Portal of Canada—http://www.noslangues-ourlanguages.gc.ca) and co-author of the popular HyperGrammar website (http://www.arts.uottawa.ca/writcent/hypergrammar), Frances teaches editing at Simon Fraser University and Douglas College. She is a partner with West Coast Editorial Associates and a long-time member of EAC.

Punctuation and Mechanics
Friday, May 23, 2014—9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
This seminar takes an appropriately detailed look at punctuation and mechanics, including commas (what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s optional), semicolons, colons, quotation marks, apostrophes, dashes, hyphens, italics, and the ever-perplexing bullet points. We’ll cover the most up-to-date rules and guidelines, examine how punctuation and mechanics affect meaning (for instance, the relationship between commas and modifiers), and look at some of the most useful style guides available.
Expect a variety of exercises, and feel free to bring your own examples for discussion.

Frances Peck has been working with words for over two decades, whether writing them, editing them, or teaching people about them. The author of Peck’s English Pointers (available through the Language Portal of Canada—http://www.noslangues-ourlanguages.gc.ca) and co-author of the popular HyperGrammar website (http://www.arts.uottawa.ca/writcent/hypergrammar), Frances teaches editing at Simon Fraser University and Douglas College. She is a partner with West Coast Editorial Associates and a long-time member of EAC.

Register soon for these seminars so that you don’t miss out. Pay by credit card through the secure online registration process, or download the registration form and pay by cheque through the mail.
Seminar registration closes one week before the seminar. All seminars will be held at the Capital Hill Hotel & Suites, 88 Albert Street. Lunch will be served at the full-day sessions.

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The power of simplicity (Aaron Beaudoin, TWR Class of 2014)

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As proprietary technologies fight for relevance in a competitive market, it becomes increasingly important to establish a recognizable brand through an on-line presence. As such, I predict that brand recognition will become a higher priority than content development. Corporations will attempt to become household names based on certain typefaces and colour schemes.

Colour scheme and typeface identifiers can already be seen in social media circles, with Twitter and Facebook each claiming their own shade of blue and their own sans-serif fonts. However, where this change will be most noticeable is in small to mid-sized businesses, where on-line presence is not yet fully recognized.

Small and mid-sized businesses are sure to allocate resources to the development of extra-graphic visual elements that are simple but memorable. Logos will have high figure-ground contrast within web pages and will be scalable based on the type of device that the audience is using. At the same time, these businesses will seek to create content that is easily digested through the reduction of intra-graphic elements and the increased spacing between textual units.

Time spent developing visual elements for company websites will lead to the conveyance of the intended tone of the company and will increase ethos in terms of the customer’s interactions with on-line content over various medias. The ultimate goal for these companies will be to have the public associate certain colours and typefaces with the particular company, even when observed out of context.