Upcoming Events

Book Club: Editing Canadian English — December 5

We’re reading Editing Canadian English, third edition. Need a copy? Order it from UBC Press, Indigo, Amazon or your favourite bookseller. The Ottawa Public Library has 12 copies in circulation. There’s also a Kobo edition. This meeting will focus on Chapters 1-5.

Tuesday, December 5, 5:30 p.m.

Le Moulin de Provence KD, 30 Metcalfe St., Ottawa (Not the Byward Market location)
Seminars — November 30December 12

Invest in yourself at every stage of your career with our professional development seminars. Take advantage of discounted rates for members. Learn more and register on our website.

Creating a House Style Guide: A Simple Tool for Producing Better Documents Faster: Thursday, November 30

Stylistic Editing: Tuesday, December 12

All seminars are held at the Capital Hill Hotel & Suites, 88 Albert Street, Ottawa, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

My thoughts on Writing and Editing for the Web—By Virginia St-Denis

Note from Bhavana Gopinath, Blog Editor: Editors Canada Ottawa–Gatineau presented Moira White’s seminar, Writing and Editing for the Web, on November 8, 2017. I attended that seminar, and found it be informative and thought-provoking. Here’s another take from an Editors Canada member, who took the same seminar in 2016.

I am a 25-year publishing professional—writing, editing, photographing, desktop publishing and managing newspapers, magazines and journals. The majority of my work has been in print and I have personally experienced the decline in this industry. To help me transition into online and social media platforms, I am taking various courses and seminars.

One such seminar was Writing and Editing for the Web through the Ottawa–Gatineau Branch of Editors Canada. I read printed material differently than I read web pages and I don’t think I’m alone. I wanted to learn the difference so I could better use online platforms to meet my readers’ wants and needs.

Moira White of Ubiquitext and past president of Editors Canada presented the full-day seminar on November 24, 2016. I was particularly interested in learning techniques that draw readers to web pages and creating engaging content to keep them there longer.

For Moira, the answer to my question of how people read online today is simple: They don’t! (How’s that for a quotable quote? lol) Most people skim for information.

As a November 2013 report showed, more people get information on their mobile devices than their laptop and desktop computers. Mobile devices have narrower columns of text, giving the illusion of longer, more intimidating paragraphs. I need to remember to provide bite-sized chunks of information in smaller paragraphs because of that one fact.

As well, people retain less information when reading online, which makes organizing information into small chunks and providing plenty of headings even more important.

Moira suggests writing for the web should answer only three questions in this order:

  1. What?
  2. So what?
  3. Now what?

This gets the take-home message out quickly and succinctly, then provides context before making a call to action.

She also suggests starting each paragraph with a topic sentence (remember those from grade school?) For those who don’t remember, the first sentence of each paragraph introduces what the rest of the paragraph will be about. If readers want more information, they will read it. If not, they go to the next paragraph.

As an Editors Canada member, I get a $125 discount on each of their seminars. (http://www.editors.ca/local-groups/ottawa-gatineau/seminars-ottawa-gatineau) The majority of the six seminars I took last year and two I’ve already taken this year (I have one more in March), have been invaluable. I expect I will take more next year. I highly recommend them.

Writer-Reader-Loop2-DSC00307

During the Writing and Editing for the Web seminar for Editors Canada, Moira White explains how writers encode and readers decode information. Depending on which medium the writer chooses to share their message, readers can provide feedback.

Photo by Virginia St-Denis

 

2017–18 Seminar Overview

By Elaine Vininsky

We’re excited to announce the seminar lineup for another season at Editors Ottawa–Gatineau.

Just like one stretches before exercising or warms up before the cardio in a fitness class, the 10-seminar season starts on September 21 with a good grammar warm-up and with Graham Young at the helm of Grammar and Punctuation.  Last year’s seminar evaluation sheets indicated a strong demand for Substantive and Stylistic Editing, so we’re bringing back these two seminars on October 16 and December 12, respectively.  On November 8, Moira White returns to teach Writing and Editing for the Web. Creating a House Style with Elizabeth Macfie is offered on November 30.

Elizabeth Macfie and Moira White will ring in 2018 together, co-presenting Copy Editing II: Judgment Calls and Added Value on January 11.  We are pleased to offer a French seminar this year: on January 31, Louise Brunette of the University of Ottawa will teach Révision de textes unilingues et bilingues. On Saturday, February 24, Christine LeBlanc leads two half-day seminars:  Starting a Freelance Career and Social Media Marketing. The latter course is a more advanced version of her previous Social Media seminar. As the weather warms up, we’ll have Practical Proofreading on March 15 and conclude the season on April 10, 2018, with 8-Step Editing.

Past seminar participants will be happy to learn that our host hotel, the Capital Suites, has changed the modem (routers) in the meeting rooms to improve the Wi-Fi.

Please visit the Editors Ottawa–Gatineau seminars web page < www.editors.ca/local-groups/ottawa-gatineau/seminars-ottawa-gatineau > for complete details.

Winter 2017 Seminar Season by Elaine Vininsky

We are in the second half of the seminar season and first up this winter is Stylistic Editing on Monday, January 23, 2017. It is interesting to note that Editors Canada will be having a Stylistic Editing certification exam in the fall of 2017. Accordingly, Instructor Carolyn Brown will provide those who want to do the exam with a rundown of the Professional Editorial Standards to orient them. She emphasizes that her course will also be useful for those who do stylistic editing as part of their day-to-day work, whether or not they wish to try the exam.

Graham Young gets to celebrate Valentine’s Day when he teaches Plain Language. “The most powerful language is also the simplest, he says.  “When each word has a clear meaning and purpose, readers can move easily through a text and focus on its message. Unfortunately, much writing today is needlessly bureaucratic and difficult to read…This seminar will help you overcome these pitfalls and create documents that say what they mean—efficiently.”

Moira White and Beth Macfie will team teach Copy Editing II on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. They have subtitled this seminar Judgement Calls and Added Value, and they aim to help registrants gain the expertise and experience necessary to make more complicated decisions about and contribute more value to each project.

We have a new instructor this year for Electronic Editing, offered on Friday, March 24.       Cecile Dubois has six years of experience as a software trainer and has worked as a corporate trainer and manager. “She is a creative professional with an outgoing, passionate and natural ability for management/motivating/instructing different personalities and building relationships”. You’ll hear more about her in a future Capital Letters blog.

We’ll be enjoying the third week of spring when Laurel Hyatt steps up to teach Editing Government Reports on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Her seminar will aim to demystify the process of breaking into this large market—from the legislative requirements that start the ball rolling, to the sign-off before publication.

Speaking of signing-off, Eight-Step Editing will close the seminar season on Tuesday,         April 25, 2017. I often refer to this seminar as the “workhorse” of all the courses in our inventory because of its inherent practicality. When I first took the course, I well remember Jim Taylor, who originated the seminar saying that if you were severely pressed for time, using the eight simple steps to go over a document would clean it up nicely. Since then, Moira White has taken over the course and updated the material.

You can register for any of these full-day seminars at the following website: http://www.editors.ca/branches/ottawa-gatineau/seminars

Look Who Is Talking! Meet the instructor for our Substantive Editing seminar

jlatham-2016-1Jennifer Latham started her editing business in 1998. The same year she volunteered as the Public Relations Chair for the NCR Branch. She led volunteers in organizing an EAC conference in Ottawa and later went on to be the Chair of the NCR Branch and the National President of EAC.

“I was very fortunate to have been mentored by senior editors, who taught me the ins and outs of the editing business. From the very beginning, I was constantly asking questions about editing standards, how to estimate jobs, and other practicalities of the work,” says Jennifer.

For the past 11 years, Jennifer has managed editing and production services at the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. For her upcoming seminar, Jennifer will present in her area of expertise —substantive editing. She looks forward to sharing tips and strategies for dealing with the inherent dangers of substantive editing, such as asserting your editorial authority and knowing when to suggest improvements for the author to make and when to rewrite yourself.

Don’t miss this great seminar on October 14! Register at http://www.editors.ca/branches/ottawa-gatineau/seminars

Seminar Overview for Fall 2016 by Elaine Vininsky

The goal for the 2016-2017 seminar season is to look at all the levels of the editing process, from the big picture down to the proof stage: Substantive Editing, Stylistic Editing, Copy Editing and Proofreading. Substantive editing, (also referred to as Structural Editing), involves big-picture changes such as cutting chapters or sections, adding in chunks of new material, moving things around and perhaps inserting facts of cross-reference.  The stylistic editor makes the tone of the document appropriate to the audience and applies syntax for maximum effect. Copy editing is concerned with spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, house style and facts. The proofreader checks the designer’s work, to make sure that the manuscript content appears correctly in the final version, and also aims to catch all the errors that slipped through the previous stages of editing.

This fall, Frances Peck is again leaving her home in British Columbia and teaching Grammar Boot Camp and Punctuation and Mechanics on September 28 and 29, respectively. Grammar Boot Camp focuses on high-level grammar errors, the ones that make it past editors and proofreaders and into print.  Frances always invites participants to bring along any difficult examples they’ve encountered in their work.

Jennifer Latham returns after a two-year-break to teach Substantive Editing on October 14, 2016. Ten days later on October 24, Moira White will offer Copy Editing I. Elizabeth Macfie, whose notes described the above-mentioned levels of the editing process, will offer Practical Proofreading on November 9, 2016. To conclude the fall session, Moira White will return on November 24 to teach Writing and Editing for the Web.

Also note that the Editors Canada Structural Editing and Proofreading certification exams are taking place in Ottawa on November 19, 2016. Although the Structural Editing and Proofreading seminars are not directly related to the more challenging exams, they could serve as a review or perhaps an introduction to those looking at future certification exams.

You can register for any of these full-day seminars at the following website: http://www.editors.ca/branches/ottawa-gatineau/seminars

Now, get to it!

Meet the Instructor: Fact Checking by Laura Byrne Paquet

 

laura byrne-paquet

Laura Byrne Paquet has an extensive portfolio. She edits both fiction and non-fiction and has written for more than 80 magazines and newspapers in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, including National Geographic Traveler, Islands, enRoute, Chatelaine and The Ottawa Citizen. She recently co-authored an article on rural life for the spring 2016 issue of Ottawa Magazine. Laura has written or co-authored 12 books and novellas, including Wanderlust: A Social History of Travel (Goose Lane Editions). She is past president of the Travel Media Association of Canada.

“Finding out what makes people, places and processes tick is my specialty,” says Laura, “whether that involves delving into the history of Avon ladies, writing about Canada’s largest coffee pot or flinging myself off a B.C. mountaintop (the latter because a friend dared me to try paragliding”). Visit Laura’s website at http://www.laurabyrnepaquet.com for more information on her professional activities and personal interests.

Fact Checking, or checking the accuracy of names, dates, dollar figures, and other facts, is a half-day seminar offered on Friday, April 29, 2016. Laura will help participants develop this important editing skill that prevents mistakes, avoids loss of money and lawsuits, and establishes client/author credibility. She will share her wealth of knowledge and equip participants with the skills to perform the job effectively. Registration for this morning workshop will close one week before the seminar. Click here to register: https://www.gifttool.com/registrar/ShowEventDetails?ID=29&EID=20352

 

 

Meet the Instructor: Eight-Step Editing by Moira White

 

Moira White

 

Moira White entered the work world as a social worker and later moved into social policy. In both professions, she found that her organizational skills, attention to detail, and love of words were pointing her in a new direction—the world of editing. Currently a freelance editor, writer, and trainer with both public and private sector clients, she has decades of experience editing print and electronic publications. Moira is a director of professional standards for, and a past president of, Editors Canada.

Eight-Step Editing is one of the most practical workshops in our canon. It takes the skills that are second nature to many professional editors and breaks them into a sequence of tasks that will improve the readability of the final product. If you’re an editor, whatever your experience level, this seminar will help you develop a systematic approach to editing and identify functions you may have been performing only intuitively. If you’re a writer, the Eight-Step process will give you techniques for improving your manuscript before it goes to an editor. This full-day seminar is offered on Thursday, April 14, 2016 and registration closes one week prior to the event.  To register, go to https://www.gifttool.com/registrar/ShowEventDetails?ID=29&EID=20352.

Meet the Instructor – Electronic Editing

Graham Young

Graham Young is an independent writer, trainer and communications consultant with more than 30 years’ experience helping business and government clients communicate at work. It is not an understatement to say that he can compose anything. He writes web content, annual reports, brochures, promotional flyers, data sheets, case studies, white papers, sales letters, advertorials, magazine and newsletter articles, news releases and speeches. Since 2000, he has conducted more than 500 writing and presentation-skills seminars and taught some 6,000 participants from the public, private, and non-profit sectors how to write and speak effectively.

Electronic Editing, offered on February 26, will allow you to take advantage of all the editing “horsepower” that Microsoft Word has to offer. Among other on-line editing topics, participants will become more confident with track-changes and compare-document tools and increase their proficiency at managing and merging changes by several reviewers. To sign up, go to https://www.gifttool.com/registrar/ShowEventDetails?ID=29&EID=20352. Registration closes on February 18. Bring a version of Word 2010, a laptop and an AC cord.

Practical Proofreading Seminar

 

“Loved the day. Glad I came.”

“Very knowledgeable, great presentation style.”

“Good series of seminars by Editors Association. Please keep them coming.”

“Great handout/booklet.”

These were just some participants’ reactions after attending the Practical Proofreading seminar on January 19. Instructor Elizabeth Macfie has 18 years’ experience as a proofreader, freelance editor, and indexing for a range of clients including government departments, university presses, research organizations and authors.

At the seminar, she guided participants through the basics of proofreading and through a series of exercises, shared her methods and shortcuts to proofread better. Participants worked on a variety of proofreading exercises and study material, and received a certificate at the end of the day.

Editors Canada supports professional development through seminars; to learn more about upcoming seminars, go to https://www.gifttool.com/registrar/ShowEventDetails?ID=29&EID=2035