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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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February 20, 2019: Discovering New Inspirations!

What: Editors BC monthly meeting
*When: Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 7:00–9:00 pm
Where: Alma VanDusen Room, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver | map
Cost: Free for Editors BC members, non-members, and students.

*Please note that there will be a 20-minute tour starting promptly at 7:15–7:35 pm.

Join us at our February meeting to learn more about the free technology, spaces, and events the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) has to offer you as an editor, writer, and/or content creator.

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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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January 16, 2019: How to Turn Secret Talents into Editing Super Powers!

What: Editors BC monthly meeting
When: Wednesday, January 16, 2019, 7:00–9:00 pm
Where: Alma VanDusen Room, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver | map
Cost: Free for Editors BC members, non-members, and students.

Join us at our next meeting to learn how education, past careers, personal hobbies and passions—basically, transferable skills acquired through experience unrelated to editing—have expanded the expertise of your editorial colleagues and contributed to making them better, more knowledgeable editors.

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Three rows of six posters with differently shaped heads face toward a window that is reflecting tree branches and fall leaves.
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Event Review: Vancouver Writers Fest 2018: Recap of “Three-Degrees-from-Normal”

Written by Nancy Tinari; copy edited by Katie Beaton

A yellow board has several posters advertising different Vancouver Writers Fest 2018 events.

The “Three-Degrees-from-Normal” panel event occurred on October 19, 2018, and it featured authors Kevin Chong (The Plague), Claudia Dey (Heartbreaker), Waubgeshig Rice (Moon of the Crusted Snow), and Rabindranath Maharaj (Adjacentland), with Claudia Casper moderating the conversation. In their new books, all of these authors wrote about crisis situations.

These writers also have in common tremendously vivid imaginations; however, the discussions about where the ideas for their books came from made these three-degrees-from-normal scenarios seem eerily plausible. Even though their settings and situations may seem extreme, they are all intimately related to what is happening in the world right now.

We got a taste of each writer’s imaginative world from Casper’s introductions and brief readings by the authors. Casper then asked the panellists to explain how the scenarios and ideas expressed in their novels could be related to current events.

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Meet the Instructor: Carolyn Redl

Written by Carl Rosenberg; copy edited by Katie Beaton

This photo depicts a headshot of Carolyn Redl in a yellow and dark green top wearing a necklace and smiling warmly while holding a copy of her memoir, "A Canadian Childhood."

So, are you thinking of writing about your childhood memories? Or maybe someone has asked you to edit a childhood memoir? In either case, on Saturday, January 26, 2019, Editors BC will present a seminar just for you. This six-hour seminar on writing and editing childhood memoirs will be presented by Carolyn Redl. She will introduce memoir writing and editing, with a mix of conversational learning, hands-on training, and practising a variety of memoir writing techniques.

Throughout the day, you’ll complete exercises that will make your own childhood experiences come alive. You’ll explore ways to organize events into stories using description and dialogue. You’ll hear editing hints for developing themes, settings, and personalities associated with childhood. By the end of the day, you’ll have written a draft chapter of your memoir! Continue reading

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