My Correction Connection – A first time go at the Editors Canada conference

Damn! In my hotel room the night before the pre-conference day, I realize I completely missed signing up for a conference buddies group, a program the organizing team had arranged for out-of-towners. Intrepid, I send an email and to my amazement someone responds.  Wow!  They are on the ball, these conference organizers.  The tone is set for the weekend, then, in lush downtown Vancouver, and the next morning I dive in to a three-hour practical session on PDF editing.  The rest of the weekend is a panoply of fascinating sessions, food, meeting new people, and connecting with some existing editor friends and colleagues.

English Bay Beach, near the conference hotel (image courtesy Kyle Pearce)

What I love most about going to conferences are the insights that emerge from happy accidents and unexpected presentations. These gatherings become a time for me to identify or fill in some blind spots, look for fresh ideas, just generally get enthused again about what I do. During my graduate studies I attended many academic conferences, but every time I was presenting a paper. While these conferences were rich experiences, attending them was always tinged with anxiety. Since becoming an editor, the professional conferences and workshops I’ve been to are just plain fun. I aim for a collection of sessions that will provide me with a mix of useful skills, general information, and exposure to some big personalities.

So, this time around the skills sessions allowed me to:

  • get the low-down on design and printing jargon and practices. And realize that as a substantive and stylistic editor (most of the time) I probably don’t really need to know this stuff in detail. Still, it’s certainly valuable to get a sense of the big picture.
  • learn more about editing on PDFs. I discovered that the tools I mostly need I can access for free. Didn’t know that.
  • listen to tips for building an ace professional website. Okay, okay, I have to quit procrastinating and make it happen!!! (And I know—my editorial voice is also saying “too many exclamation points here,” but since this is an opinion piece, I’m giving myself some latitude. Maybe they even signify motivation…!!)
  • find out more about useful software to tidy up some of those editing edges. So glad I already have one program on board. This session fired me up to get another few in my toolbox.

The more general sessions I attended meant I:

  • heard about tricks to avoid the insane highs and lows of the freelance life. This informative session is now spurring me on to pursue avenues I have previously avoided. I appreciated the comments about the importance of sometimes just saying NO to difficult clients.
  • confirmed my experience and approach to indie authors and their work. So, it is indeed quite typical to be as much a writing coach as an editor with this group of writers. My experience is not singular.
  • reaffirmed my desire to take this life on the road. It’s possible from time to time to actually become a “digital nomad,” eating tapas, while watching the waves of the Mediterranean, and editing a manuscript. In other words, my Spain plans sure got a boost from this session. It was useful to hear some practical ideas and just all-round confirmation that others can and do make this happen.

It was delightful for me to see and hear, live and embodied, these four well-known editor personalities. Maybe it’s just my own quirk, but after this in-person engagement I’m more interested in reading what they’ve written. I’m sure their work is no different than it was before, but I am different after this experience. In my imagination, I now filter their writing through their voice, tone, and bodily gesture:

  • Mary Norris discussed some of the stories in her book Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen during the opening keynote. Did you know she advocates hyphenating hubba-hubba?
  • James Harbeck writes the Sesquiotica blog, which I’ve followed but only half-read. I wasn’t so enamoured of its esoterica, but I’m in the game now. Since the conference, I’ve fully read each new post. His erudite talk reminded us all of the subtle relationship between writer and audience, and at the banquet, he literally sang his way into presenting the OOPS awards.
  • Greg Ioannou hosts the Editors’ Association of Earth FB page, and gave some juicy accounts of editors’ lives that have taken some hairpin turns. He looked a bit like he might have taken a few himself, but I kinda liked it.
  • Bill Walsh, copyeditor for the Washington Post and author of three amusing grammar books, gave the closing keynote. He chanted a mantra of “you’re the editor,” framed by the admonition that “not wrong ≠ right” and echoed this message in some hilarious video clips. A fine finish to the conference in my view.

Alas, with every conference, I always find I have to give up a few sessions I’d love to go to, so as to get to others that edge up slightly higher on my wish list. This time I missed a session on coaching that looked great, and another on academic knowledge transfer; then, of course, there were the sessions on web-editing and copyright issues that would also have made some good alternatives. I’m sure others would have their own favourites and I know I have next year to fill in the gaps. My true take-home this year is that these people are my tribe.

Looking forward to Ottawa in 2017.


Donna-Lee Wybert


Editors Canada Conference 2016

This weekend, editors from across Canada and around the world will be meeting in Vancouver for A Correction Connection.


The Calgary twig is co-ordinating a meetup for any Calgary-area editors attending the conference. If you’ll be there and want to grab a coffee with us, to catch up with editors you know and meet editors you don’t know (yet), email us

We’ll update this post with details once we agree on a time and place!

Join us for our AGM

All members of the Calgary twig of Editors Canada are welcome to join us on Tuesday, June 28, for our Annual General Meeting.

We’ll convene at 5pm in the 2nd floor boardroom of CommunityWise Resource Centre, 223 12th Ave SW, Calgary, for the business portion of the meeting. If you have any items you’d like to add to our agenda, please email us by June 15.

Then we’ll move down the street to the Upper Raw Bar, Hotel Arts, 119 12th Ave SW, for the social gathering, starting at 6:30pm, where we’ll nibble on appetizers and chat about editing in Calgary, what we did at the Vancouver conference, and upcoming events like When Words Collide.

If you plan to join us for either or both of these events, please RSVP to by June 21.

Voting at the National AGM

Those of you who are members of Editors Canada (EAC) will have already received an email inviting you to attend the AGM, held on Saturday, June 11 starting at 8:45 am in the Denman Ballroom of the conference hotel, the Coast Plaza. All Editors Canada (EAC) members are eligible to vote on matters at the meeting.


If you don’t plan to attend the AGM in Vancouver next, month, you can vote by proxy, either by contacting the national secretary (see above) or by giving it to a member who is attending. Chrissie Mains will be attending and will be happy to do this on your behalf.

If you do plan to attend the AGM, please let us know if you are willing to do this for other members (feel free to comment on this post or email Chrissie). And of course if you are planning to attend the conference, whether or not you will be going to the AGM, let us know that too, and we can make plans to meet up in Vancouver.

Coffee in Kensington (May)

UPDATE to the UPDATE: We’ve been able to reschedule for the following Wednesday, May 18, same time, same place.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, we’ve had to cancel this get-together.


Once again, we’ll be at the Second Cup in Kensington between 5 and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11, for coffee and conversation with Calgary-area editors.

There are so many topics we could talk about:

  • our recent Grammar Boot Camp workshop and our plans for a Social Media for Editors workshop later this spring
  • the upcoming national conference in Vancouver from June 10-12; if you’re planning to attend, it would be great to make plans for lunch or coffee while we’re there
  • the twig’s first Annual General Meeting scheduled for the end of summer
  • finding a more permanent place for get-togethers and workshops
  • creating study groups for the November certification exams
  • networking opportunities

…. and so much more!

Looking forward to seeing some of you there. RSVP’s are appreciated (so we have an idea of how large a table we need to find) but feel free to drop by for a few minutes or longer. For RSVP’s and questions, email us at



WHEN:                  9am to 4pm, Wednesday, April 6

WHERE:                CommunityWise Resource Centre, 223 12th Ave SW, Calgary, AB


Frances Peck has been working with words for over two decades, whether writing them, editing them, or teaching people about them.  The author of Peck’s English Pointers and co-author of the popular HyperGrammar website, Frances teaches editing at Simon Fraser University and Douglas College. She is a partner with West Coast Editorial Associates and a long-time member of EAC


Seminar Description

Want to flex your grammar (and punctuation and usage) muscles? This intensive seminar will put you through the paces. It focuses on high-level errors, the ones that make it past editors and proofreaders and into print.

Seminar Content

  • Identify and fix easy-to-miss grammar, punctuation, and usage mistakes
  • Decide when (occasionally) to leave mistakes alone, depending on audience and genre
  • Apply the most up-to-date rules and editing practices
  • Explain your corrections to others




  Students EAC Members CAFE/PWAC NonMembers
Early Bird

(by March 23

$100 $175 $195 $225

(after March 23

$110 $200 $225 $250




Click on this link to register at Editors Canada.

Save the Date: Grammar Boot Camp with Frances Peck

Editors Calgary (a twig of EAC) is happy to announce a professional development workshop featuring Frances Peck, who is bringing her Grammar Boot Camp to Calgary on Wednesday, April 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Watch this space for further details about venue and pricing.

Frances Peck of West Coast Editorial Associates.

Frances Peck of West Coast Editorial Associates

Frances Peck has been working with words for over two decades, whether writing them, editing them, or teaching people about them. The author of Peck’s English Pointers (available through the Language Portal of Canada) and co-author of the popular HyperGrammar website and Peck’s English Pointers, an ebook available through the Language Portal of Canada, Frances teaches editing at Simon Fraser University and Douglas College. She is a partner with West Coast Editorial Associates and a long-time member of EAC.

About Grammar Boot Camp

Want to flex your grammar (and punctuation and usage) muscles? This intensive seminar will put you through the paces. Focusing on high-level errors—the ones that make it past the eyes of language professionals and into print—this session will help you identify and fix the most puzzling mistakes in grammar, punctuation, and usage.

Editors Calgary March Social

The holidays are behind us and we’re into a new year of editing in Calgary. The Calgary twig is holding an informal gathering, a chance to chat and to talk about our upcoming workshop.


When: Wednesday, March 2, from 4-6pm

Where: The common room of the CommunityWise Resource Centre (the old YMCA) at 223 12th Ave SW in the Beltline

CommunityWise Resource Centre
CommunityWise Resource Centre

The facilities include a kitchen for making tea and coffee and we’ll bring some cookies. If you’re thinking of stopping by, please drop us a line at


Editors Calgary holiday social

Get out and mingle with fellow word elves  at the Editors Calgary’s holiday gathering. This will be a pay-as-you-go event at Brewster’s in Crowfoot (accessible from the Crowfoot C-train station, and with lots of free parking). We will have a professional holiday mingle activity or two on the go.

Date: Friday, December 4
Time: 4 to 7 p.m.

Our apologies that it’s not more central — we will aim for the next event in the south and hope that people can make this event this time.
In the spirit of the season, you are welcome to bring holiday guests!

RSVP not necessary, but appreciated, to Christa Bedwin at

A quick checklist: Ten things to think about when creating a style guide

Our language has boundless possibilities. The purpose of an editorial style guide is to impose order and consistency. But where do you start? Here are some great ideas from a workshop in Calgary Oct. 3, hosted by local members of Editors Canada, and led by editing veterans Christa Bedwin, Lori Burwash, and Sue Ridewood.

  1. Target of the style guide: Who do you hope will use the guide: in-house writer, freelance writer, copy editor, proofreader, designer, researcher, employee, volunteer, or club member? Should the guide be more prescriptive, or less? The user’s level of knowledge should shape how much detail you include.
  2. Purpose:  What do you hope to achieve with your style guide? If your goal is standardizing terminology within a horse club, then a more project-specific style sheet might be all that’s needed. Are you articulating the values and communication culture of an entire workplace? Then a more fulsome style guide might be in order, along the lines of the inspiring MailChimp Content Style Guide.
  3. Think about the audience: The style guide should help writers adjust their language for the intended audience. Who is your publication is trying to reach? “Speak in the language of the people you are speaking to,” Lori says.
  4. Organized: Make your style guide digestible, searchable, and visually attractive. Include a mission statement, clear structure, headings, and perhaps a table of contents. In our digital age, wasting paper on a lengthier style guide may not be an issue.
  5. Authority: Is the style guide mandated or endorsed within the hierarchy of your organization?
  6. Words and caps, consistency: Flesh out the preferred styles for capitalization, level of formality, tolerance for jargon or specialized terms, writing tense, acronyms, etc. Include a list of slippery or sensitive words. Make note of exceptions. “Consistency builds understanding in our audience,” Sue says.
  7. Best practices: Include and explain examples of effective approaches.
  8. Resources: Link to related sources such as online dictionaries, abbreviation guidelines, or other style guides.
  9. Cultural sensitivities: If your context is global, what geographic or corporate variations should be taken into account?
  10. Legal and ethical considerations: As needed, spell out standards for copyright, trademark, attribution, and defamation.

– Posted by David Hedley

Read more about the Calgary twig of Editors Canada.

Editors Calgary workshop 2