Upcoming Events

Book Club: Editing Canadian English — December 5

We’re reading Editing Canadian English, third edition. Need a copy? Order it from UBC Press, Indigo, Amazon or your favourite bookseller. The Ottawa Public Library has 12 copies in circulation. There’s also a Kobo edition. This meeting will focus on Chapters 1-5.

Tuesday, December 5, 5:30 p.m.

Le Moulin de Provence KD, 30 Metcalfe St., Ottawa (Not the Byward Market location)
Seminars — November 30December 12

Invest in yourself at every stage of your career with our professional development seminars. Take advantage of discounted rates for members. Learn more and register on our website.

Creating a House Style Guide: A Simple Tool for Producing Better Documents Faster: Thursday, November 30

Stylistic Editing: Tuesday, December 12

All seminars are held at the Capital Hill Hotel & Suites, 88 Albert Street, Ottawa, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Join us for wine and cheese on November 15!

As the days get colder, what could be more enticing than spending a cozy evening with friends? Especially friends who love language, wine and cheese?

If this sounds like your idea of fun, then join us on November 15 for Editors Ottawa—Gatineau’s annual wine and cheese social. Our guest this year is Rod Phillips—a wine writer, wine historian, and wine judge who writes a regular column for the Ottawa Citizen.

Write down your top three favourite wines, and we’ll swap and collect them to build a list of editors’ recommendations! RSVP by November 10 to ottawa-gatineau@editors.ca.

When: Wednesday, November 15, 6:00 p.m.

Where: Capital Hill Hotel & Suites, 88 Albert Street, Ottawa

Cost: Tickets are $20 for members and non-members for sale at the door for cash only. Please also consider bringing a non-perishable, nutritious food donation for the Ottawa Food Bank.

Speed mentoring sessions available—deadline extended

Editors Ottawa–Gatineau will close out its season May 17 with its annual general meeting, followed by a couple of rounds of speed mentoring.

Get expert advice and fresh perspectives from our Seven Sages on your editing business or career. Whether you’re just starting out, changing the focus of your career or wanting to discuss specific editing challenges with a peer who’s been there, the Sages will have…advice.

You’ll need to make a reservation, though, by emailing Tom Vradenburg by Tuesday, May 16. State your preference for up to three Sages—we’ll do what we can to match you up, according to demand. Each session will last 15 minutes.

The Seven Sages and their specialties are:

Laura Byrne Paquet: freelancing, copy editing, proofreading, government work, journalism, travel writing, genre fiction writing and editing, social history writing, blogging, teaching

Moira White: teaching editing and writing, building a diversified business, substantive editing, copy editing, plain language editing and writing, government reports

Elizabeth Macfie: copy editing, stylistic editing, proofreading, comparative reading of translations, training (groups and one-on-one coaching), style guide development, business networking, indexing, conference session delivery

Christine LeBlanc (Dossier Communications): marketing (for your clients and yourself), social media, event promotion, integrated communication strategies, project management (ranging from textbooks to journals), freelancing, editing and writing

Marion Soublière: winning Government of Canada contracts, writing and editing for the federal government (web writing, and plain language writing and editing), social media, copy editing, proofreading

Beverly Ensom: copy editing, proofreading, freelancing, prep for certification, transition from in-house to freelance, government work, House of Commons work

Carolyn Brown: scientific and medical editing and writing, managerial positions in editing, making the move to freelancing, money management, teaching and public speaking, stylistic editing, certification

Annual General Meeting

We will start the evening with our annual general meeting, which will include a recap of this year’s highlights, as well as elections for next year’s Executive.

Wednesday, May 17, 6:30 pm

Christ Church Cathedral, 414 Queen St., Lackey Room, 6:30 p.m.

Free for members; $10 for non-members

May Speaker Night – Jodi Di Menna on Big Picture Editing

Our Speaker Night in May will have Jodi Di Menna presenting on Big Picture Editing: Content planning with a purpose, from the editor-in-chief’s perspective.

Whether it’s to serve a readership, drive traffic, support a strategic message or simply to impart important information, there’s always a big-picture objective behind the written content we edit. From content planning for a website or hardcopy launch or re-launch, through to lineup selection, right down to story structure and word choice, the thought processes that precede the final stages of editing are as crucial to hitting the mark as getting the language just right. This session will draw on the speaker’s experience as founding editor and editor-in-chief of small magazines, as well as her role as senior editor for an organization whose key audience is the chief decision makers on Parliament Hill, to provide examples of how the big picture filters down to the subtleties of how we write and edit the content that supports it. It will also incorporate the viewpoints of several editors-in-chief and communications executives to provide a broad perspective of how editors and content producers can work together to achieve a goal, from concept to completion.

Jodi Di Menna spent ten years working for magazines, and led the launch of one small magazine, the re-inventing of another, and the re-launch of a couple of corporate websites. She is now Senior Writer/Editor for the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

When: Wednesday, May 18, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Good Companions Seniors Centre, 670 Albert Street (at Empress)

Free for members, $10 for non-members

Parking: Just behind the building, off Empress Avenue.


Speed mentoring is officially full. The January speaker night for Editors Ottawa–Gatineau has been fully subscribed in advance.

If you have not received a message from Speaker Nights Chair Tom Vradenburg with a schedule enclosed, you cannot be assured an opportunity to seek mentoring from the Sages.

Given the surprising enthusiasm for this event, Editors Ottawa–Gatineau will consider holding another fairly soon. Thanks for your interest and support!

When: Wednesday, January 20, 6:30 pm

Where: Good Companions Seniors Centre, 670 Albert Street (at Empress)

Free for members, $10 for non-members

Parking: Just behind the building, off Empress Avenue.

Fun at our wine and cheese party – Bhavana Gopinath


We had a grand time at our wine and cheese party on November 18. The highlight of the evening was Tom Vradenburg’s “Editors’ Challenge”. In the first part of the quiz, Tom showed us some quotes, and we were to match the person to the quote. In the second part,  Tom provided some quotes and biographical details about famous editors and challenged us to  identify them. The editors included Rachel Carson, Elizabeth Smart, Harold Ross, Robertson Davies, William Lyon Mackenzie, Robert Fulford, Thomas Bowdler, George Brown, Robert Weaver and Samuel Johnson. Interesting challenges indeed! We had two first place winners:   Gillian Scobie and John Gillmore. Congratulations to both!

If you missed the party, here’s a small sample from Tom’s quiz:

Match the person and the quote:

  1. Write drunk, edit sober.
  1. You can’t read writin’ if it’s written rotten.
  1. The essence of writing is rewriting.
  1. Learn to write well, or not to write at all.
  1. Fine writing is next to fine doing, the top thing in the world.
  1. Why not (pay me more than the President)? I had a better year.
  1. When you get to a fork in the road, take it.
  1. That place has become so popular, nobody goes there anymore.
  1. You can observe a lot by watching.
  1. Our similarities are different.


Your choices are:

a) Charlie Farquharson

b) John Keats

c) John Dryden

d) Ernest Hemingway

e) William Zinsser

f) Yogi Berra

g) Dale Berra

h) Yogi Berra

j) Babe Ruth

k) Yogi Berra

And here is the answer key: 1.d, 2.a, 3.e, 4.c, 5.b, 6.i, 7. Yogi, 8. Yogi, 9. Yogi, 10.g.

Drinks and Dinner with the National Executive Council


As you are aware, we planned drinks and dinner events with members of the National Executive Council of Editors Canada (details below). As Director and President, Anne Louise Mahoney says, “The Council would love the opportunity to meet with our members in the Ottawa–Gatineau area. This is a great way to get to know the people who run Editors Canada, and to give us first-hand feedback on what you would like your Association to do for you. As Director, and as a member of the Ottawa–Gatineau branch, I’d like to personally invite you to join us next weekend.”

The following members will be joining us for drinks on Friday, and drinks and dinner on Saturday:

Anne Louise Mahoney, Director and President

Patrick Banville, Executive Director

Greg Ioannou, Director, Past President

Gael Spivak Director, Vice-President, Co-Director of Training & Development

Stacey Atkinson, Regional Director of Branches and Twigs (East)

Alexandra Peace, Recipient of the 2015 President’s Award for Volunteer Service

David Johansen, Director, Treasurer

Elizabeth d’Anjou, Director, Director of Professional Standards

Breanne MacDonald, Director, Co-Director of Training & Development

Marie-Christine Payette, Director, Director of Francophone Affairs

Margaret Shaw, Director, Regional Director of Branches and Twigs (West)


The following members will join us for drinks and dinner on Saturday:

Patricia MacDonald, Director, Director of Volunteer Relations

Donalee Moulton, Director, Director of Publications

Michelle Van Der Merwe, Director, Director of Communications


RSVP to Maureen Moyes at ottawa-gatineau@editors.ca by Monday, November 23. We hope to see you all soon!


Drinks at Hotel Indigo Bar (123 Metcalfe St.) on Friday, November 27, 5 to 7 p.m.

Drinks/dinner at Tosca (144 O’Connor, Esplanade Laurier) on Saturday, November 28, from 5:30 p.m.


Editors Ottawa–Gatineau Annual Wine and Cheese Party

You are invited to a party! Editors of Ottawa–Gatineau, enjoy the company of like-minded people, those who care about commas and em dashes as much as you do!

Join our wine-and-cheese shindig on Wednesday, November 18, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Good Companions Seniors Centre, 670 Albert St. (at Empress Ave.)

There will be a Christmas trivia contest with prizes too!

There will be a $10 fee for Editors Canada members and non-members. Good Companions in on the Transitway and there is free parking behind the building. The building entrance is on Empress Avenue.

Please RSVP if you are attending to ottawa-gatineau@editors.ca by November 13.

How April’s town hall went By Tom Vradenburg, Chair, EAC NCR

Before relinquishing the chair in May, I wanted to bring forward some questions about the progress and future of the branch—some straightforward; others, difficult. This is why I held April’s membership meeting as a town hall.

I am worried about the eroding of branch membership, which has slipped gradually from 300 a decade ago to 200 or so the last few years to 173 as of this month’s report.  However, size is only one indicator of the health of a branch: a less tangible one could be called ‘vitality’. Buying an EAC membership represents a basic level of commitment; coming out to meetings, taking part in discussions and volunteering are subsequent rungs on that ladder.

In late 1990s, we had 130 or 140 members, but 30 to 40 people came out for a meeting. In recent years, we have had 200 or more members, but lower attendance at meetings. The meeting programs year after year tend to cover similar subjects, and are of good quality and value to professional editors. Why is such a small portion of our membership coming out to meetings? What has changed?

I asked the town hall for suggestions about the meeting format. Some members said earlier meetings would be better. If meetings started at 6:00 or 6:30 pm, they could leave work, get together for dinner, then go to EAC. The executive meeting, now held before the membership meeting, would have to be held at another time.

As well, people like to socialize at meetings, and the current format leaves little time for that. Sometimes I have started meetings 5 or 10 minutes late, just to give people a bit of mingling time. In the 1990s, meetings typically started with a short segment of association business, then 15 minutes to socialize, then the program.

So, there’s more than one way to manage meetings. The executive is working on options for a different meeting format for next year: I hope a new format will inject some new vitality.

A Good Bunch

Cheers to all who came out to the EAC-NCR’s Wine & Cheese!