Meet the Instructor – Fact Checking

Laura Byrne Paquet has an extensive portfolio. She edits both fiction and non-fiction and has written for more than 80 magazines and newspapers in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, including National Geographic Traveler, Islands, enRoute, Chatelaine and The Ottawa Citizen. She has written or co-authored 12 books and novellas, her most recent being Wanderlust: A SocialHistory of Travel (Goose Lane Editions). Laura is past president of the Travel Media Association of Canada.

“Finding out what makes people, places and processes tick is my specialty,” says Laura, “whether that involves delving into the history of Avon ladies, writing about Canada’s largest coffee pot or flinging myself off a B.C. mountaintop (the latter because a friend dared me to try paragliding”). Visit Laura’s website at for more information on her professional activities and personal interests.

Fact Checking is a new half-day seminar offered on Thursday, February 5, 2015. Laura will help participants develop this important editing skill that prevents mistakes, avoids loss of money,avoids lawsuits, and establishes client/author credibility. She will share her wealth of knowledge and equip you with the skills to perform the job effectively. Registration for this three-hour morning workshop will close on February 2, 2015.

Finally, a companion for The Canadian Style!

Since its last print edition in 1997, the federal government’s style guide has found a comfortable enough home in the Language Portal of Canada, bunking in with Termium, Writing Tips, HyperGrammer and Peck’s English Pointers. But as a publication conceived before there was a Web, the helpful-if-dowdy Canadian Style  lacks advice on working in this now-not-so-new medium.

Thankfully, the matchmakers at Treasury Board have found a younger, plain-spoken, suitable new partner. The new Web Content Style Guide was written to complement The Canadian Style, offering higher-level advice on using plain language in web content, striking a consistent tone, organizing content into a logical structure and making it findable by browsing and by search engines. Who says you can’t find companionship later in life?

For the time being, however, this new guide is only available to federal employees on GCDOCS.

Tom Vradenburg, an editor inside government for 18 years, will discuss the key parts of the new guide that will interest editors and writers, both inside and outside government.

When: Wednesday, January 21, 7:30 pm
Where: Capital Hill Hotel & Suites, 88 Albert Street
Free for members, $10 for non-members


Moira White

Moira Rayner White entered the work world as a social worker and later moved into social policy. In both professions, she found that her organizational skills, attention to detail, and love of words were pointing her in a new direction—the world of editing. Currently a freelance editor, writer, and trainer with both public and private sector clients, she has decades of experience editing print and electronic publications. Moira has volunteered at both the local (seminar chair and branch chair of the National Capital Region Branch) and national (branch rep, president, and past president) levels for the Editors’ Association of Canada.

Registration for Moira’s Copy Editing I seminar closes on January 19. She will introduce participants to some of the perennial problem topics that copy editors face such as

  • spelling: determining capitalization and hyphenation; forming compounds; choosing American, British, or Canadian variants
  • grammar: ensuring subject–verb and pronoun–antecedent agreement; avoiding dangling or misplaced modifiers; maintaining parallel structure
  • punctuation: clarifying meaning; dealing with hyphen and dash difficulties; determining whether punctuation goes inside or outside quotation marks
  • word usage: sidestepping commonly misused words; avoiding noun strings; eliminating redundancies
  • mechanics of style: using or creating a style sheet to maintain consistency; dealing with abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms; knowing when to italicize

This is a learn-by-doing seminar with many exercises to illustrate the content.

When: Thursday, January 22, 2015

Where: Capital Hill Hotel, 88 Albert St., Ottawa

Upgrade Your Skills: A Wise New Year’s Resolution


As all good editors know, learning is a lifelong process. So why not make a resolution to bolster your skills and attend some first-rate editing seminars in 2015? In addition to offering in-house seminars to groups of 10 or more, the NCR Branch has a great lineup of workshops ready to be presented at our regular venue in downtown Ottawa.

Here’s what’s up next:

Copy Editing I: Armed with decades of editing experience, Moira White returns again this year with her popular Copy Editing I seminar. It appeals to both novice editors and those who want to improve their skills. She’ll delve into spelling, grammar, punctuation, word usage and style mechanics in this learn-by-doing seminar. You’ll learn basic techniques for improving text and get good at spotting the types of errors and difficulties typically found in everyday writing. So reserve your seat and mark January 22 on your calendar.

Fact Checking: We are pleased to offer this new half-day seminar to editors in the National Capital Region. Instructor Laura Byrne-Paquet will help participants develop this important editing skill that prevents mistakes, avoids loss of money, avoids lawsuits, and establishes client/author credibility. She will share her wealth of knowledge and equip you with the skills to perform the job effectively. This three-hour morning workshop is scheduled for February 5. Don’t miss out!

Editing for Non-Editors: Find and Fix the Most Common Errors in Documents: Are you a writer or designer? Are you responsible for the quality control of documents? Does your work involve correcting other people’s writing (or your own)? Or are you a new editor looking for a fast track to working productively? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this is the workshop for you. Let Elizabeth Macfie, seasoned instructor and EAC-certified editor, help you develop your editing skills at this full-day workshop on February 18.

Electronic Editing: Graham Young has conducted more than 500 writing and presentation-skills seminars and taught some 6,000 participants from the public, private, and non-profit sectors how to write and speak effectively. He will be back this year with his popular Electronic Editing seminar on February 27. You will learn a variety of electronic editing skills that can save you valuable time and simplify your work. Bring your laptop and be prepared to do plenty of hands-on exercises.

Take a look at what participants have had to say about our Fall 2014 seminars by clicking on the Testimonials tab above. We hope to see you at one of our 2015 seminars. For further details on all of our seminars planned for this winter and spring, go to Or if you’re interested in having a regular or customized seminar delivered in your workplace, you can find a full list of the workshops offered at

Here’s wishing you a happy and productive 2015!