Written by Frances Peck; copy edited by Karen Barry
Margaret 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.