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Event Review: Editors BC’s Seminar, “Getting the Message Across: Clear Writing Tips”

Written by Joanna Vandervlugt; copy edited by Maggie Clark

On Saturday, February 23, 2019, I attended Frances Peck’s seminar for Editors BC, “Getting the Message Across: Clear Writing Tips.”

Despite coming over from Vancouver Island, I found this seminar’s location convenient. The seminar was set up in Vancouver at the BCIT Downtown Campus. This place was an easily accessible one for those who were familiar with the SkyTrain routes like myself.

After reaching my destination from the SkyTrain and settling in, I got to know a bit more about the other class participants. We introduced ourselves, and it seemed that the seminar participants ranged from proofreaders, editors, writers, and academics. Many commented that they were a fan of Frances, and I soon learned why.

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Rows of desks face a projection screen in a classroom-like environment.
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April 27, 2019: Editing Cake and Proofreading Compote: A Recipe for Successful Cookbook Editing

What: Editors BC professional development seminar
When: Saturday, April 27, 2019, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Room 381, 3rd 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 23; early-bird rates are in effect through April 9.

Serves: A room full of editors

Time: 6 hours

Cookbook editing can be a satisfying niche with a feast of opportunities. Calling for equal amounts of editing skill and culinary knowledge, the recipe for successful cookbook editing can be mastered by those willing to put in a little time in the editing kitchen. 

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Meet the Instructor: Ruth Wilson

Written by Carl Rosenberg; copy edited by Malvika Kathpal

Photo of Ruth Wilson smiling while dressed in a dark blue jacket and light blue top and wearing a necklace.Are you ready to extend your proofreading skills beyond finding typos and knowing how to mark up copy? On Saturday, March 30, Editors BC presents a six-hour seminar by Ruth Wilson on advanced proofreading.

This exercise-based seminar focuses on beyond-the-basics proofreading skills. It offers participants the opportunity to examine excerpts from complex documents and learn how to fine-tune their proofreading eye to catch every error. With documents ranging from recipes to journal articles, participants will be challenged to use their judgment to weigh the pros and cons of making changes, querying authors, or making no changes at all.

This seminar will help anyone wishing to advance their proofreading skills, prepare for job advancement, or study for future offerings of the proofreading certification test given by Editors Canada. Participants should have some proofreading experience and be familiar with conventional markup. See the registration page for more details.

Ruth has more than 30 years’ experience editing and proofreading trade books, professional journals, association publications, and corporate materials. She worked for many years with Vancouver book publisher Self-Counsel Press, several as managing editor. Since 1998, she has been a partner with West Coast Editorial Associates.

Ruth leads training workshops in all aspects of editing, and for many years, was an instructor in the Writing and Communications program and the summer publishing workshops at SFU. She has also served on several national committees of Editors Canada. In 2011, she was honoured by Editors Canada as a recipient of the President’s Award for Volunteer Service. In 2014, she was recognized as a Certified Professional Editor (Hon.) for her work in developing and launching Editors Canada’s world-class certification program.

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

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Rows of desks face a projection screen in a classroom-like environment.
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March 30, 2019: Advanced Proofreading

What: Editors BC professional development seminar
When: Saturday, March 30, 2019, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Room 476, 4th 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 March 26; early-bird rates are in effect through March 12.

Are you ready to extend your proofreading skills beyond finding typos and knowing how to mark up copy? This exercise-based workshop focuses on beyond-the-basics proofreading skills. It offers participants the opportunity to examine excerpts from complex documents and learn how to fine-tune their proofreading eye to catch every error. With documents ranging from recipes to journal articles, participants will be challenged to use their judgment to weigh the pros and cons of making changes, querying authors, or making no changes at all.

At the end of this six-hour workshop, participants will

  • know what to correct, what to query, and what to leave alone;
  • understand how to adapt to and work within different types of production teams;
  • learn how to look at a document in different ways to catch all the errors;
  • understand the basic procedures and options for PDF markup; and
  • exercise sound judgment based on the process, policies—and even politics!

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Rows of desks face a projection screen in a classroom-like environment.
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February 23, 2019: Getting the Message Across: Clear Writing Tips

What: Editors BC professional development seminar
When: Saturday, February 23, 2019, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Room 476, 4th 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 February 19; early-bird rates are in effect through February 5.

Reports, policies, briefings, emails, and other informational documents have a simple goal: to deliver a message quickly and clearly to a target audience. But too often that message gets buried by weak organization, unnecessary detail, abstract language, unhelpful layout, and other barriers to readability.

This workshop will show you how to create and edit documents that meet readers’ needs and get the message across every time. Topics include

  • writing faster and better: a four-step process
  • understanding what your readers want (and don’t want)
  • organizing information to meet readers’ needs
  • highlighting your key messages
  • using layout to boost readability
  • making your ideas flow
  • eliminating wordiness, abstractions, and jargon
  • revising and proofreading your work

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Rows of desks face a projection screen in a classroom-like environment.
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January 26, 2019: Writing and Editing Childhood Memoirs with Carolyn Redl

What: Editors BC professional development seminar
When: Saturday, January 26, 2019, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Room 476, 4th 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 January 22; early-bird rates are in effect through January 8.

Has anyone ever told you, “You’ve had a very interesting childhood. You should write a book”? Or have you been asked to edit a memoir, but you don’t know where to begin? If so, the Editors BC January seminar is right for you. Continue reading

Rows of desks face a projection screen in a classroom-like environment.
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November 24, 2018: Grammar Rules and Myths

Our November seminar has been cancelled due to low registration. Please check back in January. In the meantime, you can learn about our cancellation policy for seminars.

What: Editors BC professional development seminar
When: Saturday, November 24, 2018, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Room 381, 3rd 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 November 20; early-bird rates are in effect through November 13.

In the November workshop, Frances Peck will cover tricky instances of agreement, pronoun case (including everyone’s favourite, who and whom), and modifier form and placement. She’ll discuss the most widespread errors, including comma splices and dangling modifiers. And she’ll investigate some tenacious grammar myths and review the rules that have changed over time. The seminar will include exercises, self-tests, and time for individual questions.

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