Rows of desks face a projection screen in a classroom-like environment.
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April 22, 2017: The Secrets of Syntax

What: Editors BC professional development seminar
When: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Room 810, 8th floor, BCIT Downtown Campus, 555 Seymour Street, Vancouver | map
Cost: $165 for Editors Canada members ($135 early bird), $230 for non-members ($200 early bird), and $100 for student affiliates. Advance registration required. Registration closes April 14; early-bird rates are in effect through March 31.

We’ve all flipped a sentence around, or dismantled it and then recombined it, only to discover better clarity, emphasis, rhythm, or flow. Why does that happen, and how can we become more adept at manipulating word order—or syntax—to improve prose? This seminar looks at syntax from various angles, including how to shape it for different documents, styles, and readers.

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Member Interview: Margaret Shaw

Written by Frances Peck; copy edited by Karen Barry

Margaret ShawMargaret Shaw is a Coquitlam-based writer and editor of mostly scientific and technical material, ranging from manuals and books, to reports and procedures. Besides EAC, she belongs to Plain Language Association International and the Society for Technical Communication. She holds EAC certifications in structural and stylistic editing and copy editing.

You’re kind of an earth girl, Margaret. Your B.Sc. was half in geology and your M.Sc. was in earth sciences and hydrogeology. What (on earth) led you to editing and writing?

I suppose I came full circle. I wrote my first book in Grade 1, at my teacher’s request. It was called In the Hospital and was a detailed account of having my tonsils out. It was bound with green construction paper folded in two and stapled.

I consider my dad, who was a chemist, to be my first and most important writing teacher, even though he never knowingly taught me anything about writing. He has always been a great natural writer and fantastic at explaining the essence of things simply. My mum, who was a nurse, was the one I asked about spelling. I remember how pleased she seemed as she spelled out words.

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Event Review: Getting the Message Across: Clear Writing Tips with Frances Peck

Written by Amy Haagsma; copy edited by Karen Barry

Review of seminar Getting the Message Across: Clear Writing Tips with Frances Peck (offered by EAC-BC on March 19, 2015).

Frances Peck is a writer, Honorary Certified Professional Editor, and long-time EAC member and volunteer. She has taught at the University of Ottawa, Douglas College, SFU, and UBC; presented seminars for EAC branches across Canada; and delivered training for a number of government and private-sector organizations.

One of Frances’ specialties is editing and rewriting for clarity, making her the perfect choice to teach EAC-BC’s recent half-day seminar, Getting the Message Across: Clear Writing Tips. The seminar focused on techniques to improve clarity in workplace and public documents to better communicate the intended message.

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Member Interview: Janet Love Morrison

Written by Frances Peck; copy edited by Karen Barry

Janet Love Morrison is a writer, editor, and speaker based in Maple Ridge. Her five books include The Crazy Canucks: Canada’s Legendary Ski Team, winner of the 2009 One Book, One Vancouver award, and the illustrated kids’ book Radar the Rescue Dog.

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Rows of desks face a projection screen in a classroom-like environment.
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March 19, 2015: Getting the Message Across: Clear Writing Tips with Frances Peck

What: EAC-BC professional development seminar
When: Thursday, March 19, 2015, 8:30 am – 11:30 am
Where: Library Square Conference Centre, 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver | map

Workplace documents have one goal: to deliver a message quickly and clearly to a particular audience. But too often that message gets buried by weak organization, wordiness, abstract language, jargon, unhelpful design, and other barriers to readability.

This half-day introduction to clear writing shows you how to remove those barriers and build a document that says what it means. We’ll talk about the all-important reader, including the different types of readers and their varying needs. We’ll cover seven practical techniques for making written documents clearer. We’ll finish with a look at how page layout affects readability. (Detailed agenda below.)

The workshop includes short exercises to help you apply what you learn. You’ll also receive a list of recommended resources.

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Member Interview: The Many Faces of John Eerkes-Medrano

Written by Frances Peck; copy edited by Meagan Kus

John Eerkes-Medrano is a freelance editor based in Victoria. A winner of the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence and a former vice-president of EAC, he also taught for many years in Simon Fraser University’s book editing immersion workshop.

John talks to EAC-BC member Frances Peck about editing narrative non-fiction, working with talented authors, and some of the quirkier experiences from his long and rich career.
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An Interview with Roma Ilnyckyj, EAC-BC’s Programs Chair

Written by Frances Peck; copy edited by Meagan Kus

Roma Ilnyckyj WCERoma Ilnyckyj is an editor at Vancouver-based Talk Science to Me. She sits on the EAC-BC executive as programs chair, which involves organizing the monthly meetings and social events.

Here, she tells EAC-BC member Frances Peck about the twisty road that led her to editing (a road that passed, interestingly, through China). She also talks about her book, her volunteer work, and her favourite editing habits and moments.

Tell us a bit about the editing you do. What sorts of projects do you work on?

I work for a science communications company, and I do mostly copy editing and proofreading. I work on research reports, some books, and also websites. Lately I’ve been working a lot on blogs—editing blog posts but also doing search engine optimization and helping out with social media. Continue reading

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Event Review: Communication Convergence

by Amy Haagsma

Review of Communication Convergence (co-organized by EAC-BC; held on October 5, 2014)

“Communication convergence: The tendency for different communication fields over time to apply a common range of methods.” – Dr. Neil James

On October 5, EAC-BC participated in a new event, Communication Convergence, focused on clear communication and the importance of using plain language. It was held in conjunction with and in celebration of International Plain Language Day, which is recognized annually on October 13. This year’s theme was “Working Together to Promote Clear Communication.” With this in mind, Communication Convergence aimed to bring together different organizations with a focus on communication.

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An Interview with Naomi Pauls, EAC President’s Award Recipient

Written by Frances Peck; copy edited by Joanne King

NaomiPaulsA highlight for EAC-BC over the summer was learning that Naomi Pauls, a long-time member of our branch, received a President’s Award for Volunteer Service at the EAC conference. The President’s Award recognizes outstanding service to the association by member volunteers.

EAC-BC member Frances Peck asked Naomi about the roles she’s taken on over the years and her most memorable volunteer moments.

First, a little background. Could you tell us how you got into editing?
Definitely through the back door. After majoring in anthropology, with a focus on museum studies, I worked in community museums in the mid-1980s. I enjoyed the research and writing aspects of this work, which also involved working with community volunteers. Moving on, I had ambitions of becoming a freelance magazine writer but ended up working on a small quarterly publication in an administrative role. Two years later, I was hired as an editorial assistant at a weekly newspaper, which is where I got real hands-on training in editing. I enjoyed editing, joined EAC, and have been an editor ever since. Now I work mostly on book-length manuscripts.
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Event Review: Battling Woes & Busting Myths

 by Amy Haagsma; review of seminar Usage Woes and Myths with Frances Peck (offered by EAC-BC on April 12, 2014)

Although an EAC member for almost a year, I hadn’t yet had the opportunity to attend one of EAC-BC’s professional development seminars. Usage Woes and Myths with Frances Peck caught my attention right away, as I had learned a lot from Frances through her courses at Simon Fraser University. It initially occurred to me that I might not need the seminar, as I thought I had a pretty good grasp of word usage, but as I started reading the description I realized how wrong I was.

“You’ve sorted out imply and infer.” (Check!)

“You know it’s not all right to use alright.” (It’s not?)

“But what about more troublesome usage points, like the difference between may and might?” (Hmm. I may [or is it might?] need to take this seminar after all.)

“Or such commonly misused words as dilemma and fulsome?” (What’s a fulsome?)

“Is it true that you should always change though to although, till to until?” (I definitely need to take this seminar. Sign me up!)

“Is impact now officially a verb?” (Stop the madness!)
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