2017–18 Seminar Overview

By Elaine Vininsky

We’re excited to announce the seminar lineup for another season at Editors Ottawa–Gatineau.

Just like one stretches before exercising or warms up before the cardio in a fitness class, the 10-seminar season starts on September 21 with a good grammar warm-up and with Graham Young at the helm of Grammar and Punctuation.  Last year’s seminar evaluation sheets indicated a strong demand for Substantive and Stylistic Editing, so we’re bringing back these two seminars on October 16 and December 12, respectively.  On November 8, Moira White returns to teach Writing and Editing for the Web. Creating a House Style with Elizabeth Macfie is offered on November 30.

Elizabeth Macfie and Moira White will ring in 2018 together, co-presenting Copy Editing II: Judgment Calls and Added Value on January 11.  We are pleased to offer a French seminar this year: on January 31, Louise Brunette of the University of Ottawa will teach Révision de textes unilingues et bilingues. On Saturday, February 24, Christine LeBlanc leads two half-day seminars:  Starting a Freelance Career and Social Media Marketing. The latter course is a more advanced version of her previous Social Media seminar. As the weather warms up, we’ll have Practical Proofreading on March 15 and conclude the season on April 10, 2018, with 8-Step Editing.

Past seminar participants will be happy to learn that our host hotel, the Capital Suites, has changed the modem (routers) in the meeting rooms to improve the Wi-Fi.

Please visit the Editors Ottawa–Gatineau seminars web page < www.editors.ca/local-groups/ottawa-gatineau/seminars-ottawa-gatineau > for complete details.

Meet the Instructors – Copy Editing II


Elizabeth Macfie and Moira White team up to share their combined copy editing expertise on taking your skills to the next level at Copy Editing II.

Elizabeth has been a freelance proofreader and editor since 1997. After working as a coordinator of provincial park visitor services and then as a manager of adult education, she has chosen a career clarifying written communication. Her clients include federal government departments and agencies, book publishers, research organizations, and a university publications service. Elizabeth is an EAC-certified proofreader, copy editor and stylistic editor, a past chair of the Editors’ Association of Canada’s National Capital Region branch, and past president of the Indexing Society of Canada.

Moira 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 is a director of professional standards for, and a past president of, the Editors’ Association of Canada.

When: March 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration closes March 5.


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 www.editors.ca/branches/ncr/seminars. 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 www.editors.ca/branches/ncr/in-house-seminars.

Here’s wishing you a happy and productive 2015!


It`s getting colder, so let`s hunker down in warm surroundings. And what better way than to sip coffee and engage in a seminar with your writing and editing peers? Writing Proposals is a new seminar, which started off as a presentation during one of our Speaker Nights last winter. Participants were keen on Chris Lendrum`s talk, so we thought a half-day seminar would satisfy those with an additional thirst for information on writing proposals. Time is running out on this November 6 event.

Veteran seminar leader Elizabeth Macfie is back on November 18 for the perennially popular Practical Proofreading. Trained proofreaders see the errors that escape other eyes because they read in a special way using tools and techniques that focus their attention on everything in the document. She`ll show you how it`s done. You are encouraged to bring a laptop (PC or Mac) equipped with MS Word 2007 or newer to facilitate completing the exercises.

Many freelancers eventually find their way to working in the federal government. However, the requirements for government report editing can seem daunting. In this December 3 seminar, which will suit both freelancers and government workers, Laurel Hyatt will demystify the process of Editing Government Reports—from the legislative requirements that start the ball rolling, to the sign-off before publication.

What do you do when your client sends you a document to copy edit, but you quickly realize it needs much more? Substantive Editing requires a whole range of editing skills that go far beyond stylistic and copy editing. In this first seminar of the winter, instructor Jennifer Latham will share with you tips and strategies for dealing with the inherent dangers of substantive editing. This includes knowing when to rewrite and how to avoid being seduced by the text. Share your questions with her during this January 12, 2015, seminar.

Online registration for seminars is available at http://www.editors.ca/branches/ncr/seminars