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October 26, 2019: Plain Language from Start to Finish

What: Editors BC professional development seminar
When: Saturday, October 26, 2019, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Room 840, 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 October 22; early-bird rates are in effect through October 9.

Being able to convey information clearly and succinctly is an essential skill for editors, especially those who work on documents for the public. In legal, medical, and emergency situations, having clear communication may be a matter of life or death.

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Meet the Instructor: Frances Peck

Written by Carl Rosenberg; copy edited by Kristin Lathrop

This image displays a head shot of Frances Peck smiling.

On Saturday, February 23, Editors BC presents Frances Peck’s seminar, “Getting the Message Across: Clear Writing Tips.” So if you want to improve your ability to quickly convey a clear message to your audience, you’re in luck.


The ability to be concise when dealing with reports, briefings, emails, or any other documents is crucial for an audience to get your message. But too often that message gets buried by weak organization, unnecessary detail, abstract language, and other barriers to readability.

Whether you’re a writer or an editor, this seminar will show you how to create documents that meet readers’ needs and get the message across. Topics include writing faster and better (a four-step process); understanding what your readers want (and don’t want); highlighting your key messages; making ideas flow; and eliminating wordiness, abstractions, and jargon. (See the registration page for more details.)

Frances Peck, a partner with West Coast Editorial Associates, is a writer and Certified Professional Editor (Hon.) who specializes in editing and rewriting for clarity. She has taught for the University of Ottawa, Douglas College, SFU, UBC, Editors Canada, and many public and private sector organizations. Frances wrote Peck’s English Pointers, a free collection of articles and quizzes available on the Language Portal of Canada, and is a co-author of the HyperGrammar website.

Carl Rosenberg, a volunteer on Editors BC’s communications and social media committee, spoke to Frances about her work on writing.

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Meet the Instructor: Peter Moskos

by Connie Behl

Peter Moskos_CROPPEDEditors BC is pleased to present Peter Moskos and his workshop Plain Language: The Basics, which explores the purpose and key techniques of plain language. The workshop will be held in Vancouver on February 24 and in Victoria on May 14, with the Victoria workshop put on in conjunction with the Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island.

Peter is a writer and editor who specializes in plain language. He has a passion for simplifying complex documents and making them clear and easy to follow. He has written and edited reports to Parliament, technical reports, manuals, student handbooks, training materials, speeches, legislation, marketing materials, and advertising brochures. Now based in Vancouver, Peter is retired but continues to offer courses in plain language and in how to build a writing and editing business.

Peter played a formative role in the development of Editors Canada’s certification program and for his contribution was designated an Honorary Certified Professional Editor. In the past, Peter taught in Douglas College’s Print Futures program and was an online instructor for Ryerson University’s Diploma in Publishing.

Connie Behl, a member of Editors BC’s professional development committee, recently interviewed Peter about his journey from teacher to editor, his perspectives on plain language, and challenging plain language work he’s faced.

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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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Event audio: New Plain Language Certificate

Couldn’t attend EAC-BC’s March 20, 2013, presentation on plain language certification? Listen to the audio recording.

Couldn’t attend EAC-BC’s March 20, 2013, presentation on plain language certification? The presentation was given by Katherine McManus, director of the Writing and Communications Program at Simon Fraser University and the only Canadian member of the International Consortium for Clear Communication (IC Clear).

Katherine discussed the program’s goals and time lines as well as what the new certificate will mean for editors. She also talked about the latest on this year’s PLAIN (Plain Language Association International) conference, coming to Vancouver October 10–13, 2103, where IC Clear hopes to launch its first pilot course.

Listen to audio recording (EAC log-in identity and password required).

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EVENT LISTINGS: March 2013

Do you have an event planned (or know of one) that you’d like to appear in these listings? Send us the details.

March 13, 2013: Canadian Authors Association: Crossing Boundaries—Writing in Different Genres

Save the date—the Canadian Authors Association (CAA) will be hosting a panel discussion about writing in different genres: fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Panelists will include Ian Weir (Daniel O’Thunder, 2009), Eileen Cook (The Almost Truth, 2012), and Margaret Anne Hume (Just Mary: The Life of Mary Evelyn Grannan, 2006). The discussion will be moderated by Dennis E. Bolen, recipient of the Writers International Network Canada’s 2013 Distinguished Writer Award.

  • Time: 19h00–21h00
  • Cost: free for CAA members; $10 for non-members; $5 for students with valid ID
  • Location: Alliance for Arts and Culture, 100-938 Howe Street, Vancouver
  • Registration: at the door

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March 16, 2013: EAC-BC seminar: Ethics for Editors

To edit and publish language is to mediate knowledge and culture—quite the responsibility! In this seminar, you will explore ethical questions for editors, from the gravity-defying act of juggling the needs of writers, advertisers, and readers, to the sensitive diplomatic mission of pointing out a racist or sexist passage, to the daredevil feat of deciding just how creative a piece of creative non-fiction can be. By working through exercises and sharing experiences, you will find new entrances to the questions and new ideas for solutions.

About the instructor: Mary Schendlinger has worked as a writer, editor, and publisher for 42 years. She is senior editor of Geist magazine, a member of the SFU Master of Publishing faculty, and an instructor in the UBC Creative Writing Program.

  • Time: 13h00–16h30
  • Cost: $60 for EAC members who register by March 1, 2013 (after: $70); $90 for non-members who register by March 1, 2013 (after: $100)
  • Location: SFU Vancouver, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • Registration: closes March 8, 2013, at 17h00

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March 20, 2013: EAC-BC meeting: New Plain Language Certificate

Calling all plain language advocates! Come to our March meeting and get the scoop on a new certificate program in the works for plain language practitioners.

Join Katherine McManus, the only Canadian member of the International Consortium for Clear Communication (IC Clear), as she runs through the program’s goals and time lines and discusses what the new certificate will mean for editors. You’ll also hear the latest on this year’s PLAIN (Plain Language Association International) conference, coming to Vancouver October 10–13, 2103, where IC Clear hopes to launch its first pilot course.

About the speaker: Katherine McManus is director of the Writing and Communications Program at Simon Fraser University. She specializes in adult learning and was recruited for the plain language certificate project because of her background in blended and online education.

  • Time: 19h00–21h00 (speaker starts at 19h30)
  • Cost: free for EAC members; $10 for non-members; $5 for students with valid ID
  • Location: YWCA on Hornby, 535 Hornby Street, Welch Room, 4th floor, Vancouver
  • Registration: at the door

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