A group of people are sitting on the grass in a circle putting one of their hands toward the middle of the circle in a show of camaraderie.

Recognizing the Efforts of Iva Cheung and the Editing Community

Written by Janine Harker; copy edited by Meagan Kus

I am terrible at making choices, especially between good things. Put a menu in front of me and at best, I’ll have narrowed my choices to two or three equally desirable options by the time the server arrives.

Imagine my trepidation, then, when asked to participate in the selection of the 2019 Karen Virag Award recipient. I can barely manage to choose what to eat—how was I going to help select an award recipient?

Our selection committee received a number of nominations, each showcasing the nominee’s exceptional ability to raise the profile of editors and editing. Editors Canada features a wonderful community of editing ambassadors, and it was a pleasure to have the difficult task of choosing among several strong candidates.

After much deliberation, the committee selected Iva Cheung to receive the 2019 award due to the breadth of her outreach activities. From blog posts to cartoons to live-tweets of meetings and seminars, Iva continues to find creative and accessible methods of spreading the word about editing. She is an effective advocate for plain language and clear communication, and her timely, topical messaging has attracted audiences both within and outside the traditional editing community.

For me, the best part of participating in the selection process was being able to learn how much good work is occurring in the Editors Canada community. I learned about several editors who, like Iva, are using their unique skills and connections to ensure that others understand the impact of a professional editor on the written word. We don’t get to hear those stories nearly often enough, and I feel very lucky to have been exposed to a little more of that good work through the award selection process.

To those of you volunteering, networking, and spreading the word about editors and Editors Canada, thank you. I hope we find opportunities to recognize your good work just as we were able to celebrate Iva’s efforts in 2019.

Janine Harker is a freelance editor who also works full-time for the Canadian government. She has been a member of Editors Canada since 2017 and currently chairs the Communications and Marketing Committee for the organization.  

Meagan Kus is a freelance copy editor and proofreader with a 20-year background in arts administration.

Image by Pexels

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