Meet Our Volunteers!

By Amy Haagsma and Maggie Clark

Behind Editors BC’s programming is a team of amazing volunteers who make it all happen. Our volunteers put on our branch meetings and professional development seminars and support our participation in blue pencil sessions and events like Word Vancouver. We would like to express a heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributes to our branch and tell you a little about the people behind the scenes.

Unsurprisingly, most of our volunteers love to read, with 80% preferring fiction and 20% choosing non-fiction. Collectively, our favourite genres are literary fiction, science fiction, and fantasy, with an honourable mention for mystery/thriller. We may be a little too fond of the semicolon, with 37% of us choosing this pleasing symbol as our favourite punctuation mark. As Emma Caplan says, “I often use the semicolon; it is quite useful.” We have similar feelings about proofreading marks, with 33% of us choosing the delete symbol as our number one. Also mentioned were the caret and the transpose symbol, with the latter noted for the enjoyment of “drawing that fun little curve.” Chocolate ranked high among our guilty pleasures, and most of us are quite content with where we live, choosing a location in BC as our favourite place in Canada.

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Volunteers Needed for Word Vancouver 2015

by Shelagh Jamieson, Communications & Social Media Chair

Volunteers needed!

Editors BC will be participating in Word Vancouver again this year. We need several volunteers to help staff the booth on Sunday, September 27, at the Vancouver Public Library downtown. If you are willing to spend two to four hours at the booth, please respond to

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Volunteers Needed for Blue Pencil Sessions

by Shelagh Jamieson, Communications & Social Media Chair

Volunteers needed!

For the first time, Editors BC is collaborating with the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) to offer a series of free Blue Pencil editing consultations to the public as part of VPL’s fall programming. We are very excited about this opportunity to get some mainstream exposure for Editors BC and are looking for volunteer editors to participate. It’s also a great opportunity for editors to connect with potential clients.

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Panellists Needed for Word Vancouver

by Shelagh Jamieson, Communications & Social Media Chair

Volunteers needed!

EAC-BC will be participating in Word Vancouver again this year. In addition to having a booth, we will be sponsoring a one-hour panel discussion on editing as a career. We need 4–5 volunteers to sit on the panel. We are looking for editors working in diverse fields and environments: freelance, in-house, traditional and self-publishing, academic, corporate, government, etc. Whatever your area of specialization, if you are comfortable talking about what you do and how you came to be there, and then answering some questions from the public, please contact by July 8, 2015. Please include a brief description of the kind of editing you do, to help us with the selection process.

The event will take place on Sunday, September 27 (time TBD), at the Vancouver Public Library downtown. This is a great opportunity to encourage people to consider a career in editing and to join EAC. You will also benefit from the chance to network, meet potential clients, have some fun, and check out Word Vancouver.

Word Vancouver is Western Canada’s largest celebration of literacy and reading. The festival promotes books and authors with workshops, free exhibits, performances, and hands-on activities for a wide range of ages and interests. More info on Word Vancouver is available at

EAC-BC is a volunteer-based organization, and without your help, we can’t promote our craft. Please consider volunteering an hour of your time at this popular event.

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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Elections cheat sheet

FROM: Jessica Lowdon, public relations chair

As if you didn’t have enough politics to think about, it’s time to elect your 2013–2014 branch executive. Elections will take place at EAC-BC’s May 15, 2013, monthly meeting, the last before summer break. If you’ve ever considered volunteering for the organization, take a look at the opportunities below. And if you’ve never considered volunteering and never will, come anyway and have some wine!

To get involved, chat up someone on the current executive at the May 15, 2013, meeting or email the branch coordinator or chair of the committee that you’d like to join.

Elected positions

We will be electing the following executive positions:

Appointed positions

The following volunteer positions are also available. These are not executive positions and not subject to election. If you’re interested in getting involved—but not ready to commit to an executive position—volunteering for one of these positions or on one of these committees is a great way to gain experience.

Individual positions

Committee positions

  • Events Committee
  • Member Services Committee
  • Professional Development Committee
  • Programs Committee
  • Social Committee
  • Social Media Committee
  • West Coast Editor Committee



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

May 11, 2013: Editing Workshop … For Writers Too

This workshop will also be held June 8, 2013, on Salt Spring Island; July 13, 2013, in Nanaimo; and August 17, 2013, on Salt Spring Island.

This summer, editor Cheryl Cohen will be offering four sessions of her hands-on editing workshop, which she describes as an “intensive, fun encounter.” Topics will include: substantive editing; copy editing; proofreading; the editor–writer relationship; and tips on how to become a professional editor. Each participant will receive an 18-page handout.

About the instructor: Cheryl Cohen is an experienced freelance editor who has worked on many high-profile books, including Miriam Toews’ widely read novel A Complicated Kindness, which won the 2004 Governor General’s Award for English Fiction. Cheryl spoke about the state of the publishing industry—and how writers should adapt—at the Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island (PEAVI) May 13, 2013, meeting.


May 13, 2013: PEAVI meeting: How Bright is the Future of Editing?

Editor Cheryl Cohen will be talking about the state of the publishing industry—and how writers should adapt—at the Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island (PEAVI) May 13, 2013, meeting. Says Cheryl: “The traditional book publishing industry is in chaos; newspapers are in chaos; an increasing number of authors are wading into self-publishing. The world as editors knew it is changing fast, which means this might be the perfect time for editors to reinvent themselves too.”

About the speaker: Cheryl Cohen is an experienced freelance editor who has worked on many high-profile books, including Miriam Toews’ widely read novel A Complicated Kindness, which won the 2004 Governor General’s Award for English Fiction. She is also a singer/songwriter and former senior editor for The Globe and Mail.

  • Time: 19h00–21h00
  • Location: Church of Truth, 111 Superior Street, Victoria
  • Registration: at the door


May 15, 2013: EAC-BC elections, book exchange, and networking event

Note: because there will be a wine and cheese social at the May meeting, there will be no Editors’ Pub Night beforehand; these popular pre-meeting gatherings at Elephant & Castle will resume in the fall.

The theme for EAC-BC’s May 15, 2013, meeting is “Elect. Exchange. Enjoy.” Elect: May is election month in BC, doubly so for editors. This meeting will be your chance to vote for the 2013–2014 branch executive. If you’ve thought about getting involved, consider standing for an executive position yourself or joining one of the many branch committees. Elections cheat sheet. Exchange: more shades of grey than you know what to do with? Bring along any books you’re finished with and swap them for new (to you) titles at the book-exchange table. It’s a great chance to stock up on summer reading. Enjoy: this is our last meeting until September 2013, so indulge in wine and cheese, toast a successful season, and catch up with fellow editors.

Bonus: enter the draw at the meeting for free admission to one of EAC-BC’s professional development seminars.

  • Time: 19h00–21h00 (elections start at 19h30)
  • Cost: free for EAC members, non-members, and students
  • Location: YWCA on Hornby, 535 Hornby Street, Welch Room, 4th floor, Vancouver
  • Registration: at the door


WOTS 2012 (slide show)

On September 30, 2012, we loaded the editormobile with EAC booklets and brochures and headed to Word on the Street Vancouver. There, we set up our booth under the Library Square colonnade and launched our campaign to bring EAC to the attention of book-loving passersby. Check out the slide show, below.

Thanks to the volunteers who made the event possible: EAC-BC members Iris Albina, Corinne Smith, and Michelle van der Merwe and executive members Cheryl Hannah (West Coast Editor co-chair), Jessica Lowdon (PR chair), Peter Moskos (BC Branch chair), Tina Robinson (professional development co-chair), and Eva van Emden (professional development co-chair).

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