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Why Are You Coming to Conference 2015—Editing Goes Global?

Norah Myers says:

“I studied publishing abroad and moved back to Canada in early 2014. I attended the conference to meet new people and to gain further perspective on Canadian publishing. I am happy to have made new friends through the conference and to have secured an editorial position with an independent publisher.”

Tammy Burns says:

“When I first joined EAC, I stayed on the association’s periphery. I’d go to the monthly programs and seminars put on by my Toronto branch, but other than that, I wasn’t involved. I didn’t know anyone, I knew little about the association beyond its educational offerings, and, out of shyness, I generally arrived and left the few events I did attend far too quickly and quietly to make connections. That was, until two things happened: I started volunteering and I went to my first annual EAC conference. It was Vancouver 2011, and by that point, through volunteering, I had become familiar with enough names on the attendee list to at least feel like I wasn’t walking into an event full of strangers. And it was at that conference that I felt like I finally fully "joined" EAC. I came to understand some of the inner workings of the association by sitting in on my first AGM. I met people face-to-face whose names had previously only been email addresses. I stayed up late, giggling in hotel rooms. I spent my free hours exploring a city far from home, high on the fun of a minivacation. And I came away with real connections to people who are no longer just EAC acquaintances, but genuine friends.”

Jeanne McKane says:

“Last year’s EAC conference came as a big surprise to me, mostly because I had a great time. I had always managed to use finances, travel, kids, scheduling — anything — as an excuse to miss the conference, but if I’m honest, I was just intimidated by the idea of walking into a room full of people and having no one to talk to.

But it turns out I had nothing to worry about. From the moment I approached the registration desk last year, I was surrounded by all kinds of people I knew: from Facebook, from my certification committee work, from local meetings, from shared clients, and even from my neighbourhood. Everyone was so warm and friendly, I could only laugh at myself for being anxious. (I also lost count of the number of people who told me they had worried about the same thing. Clearly I have found my people.)

This year brings even more surprises: not only did I sign up for the conference on the day registration opened, but I will also be helping to lead a session! (Come join Anne Brennan and me for a discussion on how to set up a certification program.) I’m so glad I finally took the leap and registered last year, and I can’t wait to spend a terrific weekend this June visiting with editors from around the globe.”

Julia Cochrane says:

“I’m going to Conference 2015 to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. It’ll be great to put faces to the names of people on the Editors’ Association of Earth Facebook page.”

Anne Godlewski says:

“Before last year’s conference, I had never gone to a conference before and was quite nervous about being in a crowd of people in my field of work, many of whom have much more experience than I did. I was also going to be a speaker at the first conference I was attending. Did you know that more people are afraid of public speaking than death? Or even spiders? Well, I’m part of that group—the one fearing public speaking, not spiders—which didn’t help my overall anxiety about going. But I digress.

I had volunteered as Web coordinator for the 2014 conference, and since I knew only some EAC members, and many only by name, uploading speaker photos and session descriptions to the EAC website was like peeking into a world of celebritydom. Going to the conference was my ticket to meet editors whose names had appeared in Active Voice or whose comments I read on the EAC email list from time to time. It was my chance to meet stars. Well, I didn’t end up meeting nearly as many editors as I had hoped, but even those whose hand I shook excitedly as I introduced myself were less intimidating than I had anticipated. I connected briefly with editors I was meeting for the first time, I bonded with editors I knew already, and one editor I got to know better even became my mentor.”

Marie-Christine Payette says:

“The topics addressed and the workshops offered during a conference are also a good incentive for members to register. As far as I am concerned, at the 2014 conference in Toronto, two workshops were of particular interest to me with my background: Subcontracting: Options, Opportunities, and Risks; and Travailler dans l’édition français-langue-seconde. These also deal with topics I want to learn more about or an area I want to upgrade my expertise in. So, I’ve been well served by both the content and the professionalism of the speakers in charge of these sessions.”

Sue Archer says:

“I attended my first conference in 2014, shortly after joining the EAC. I saw it as a great opportunity to network with my fellow editors. As someone who works in-house for a corporation, I don’t get the chance to talk editing with others very often.

I enjoy meeting people, but I am an introvert. Although I’ve attended many business events, I do find large conferences a little overwhelming, especially when I don’t know anyone. At last year’s conference, I didn’t want to find myself standing alone at the side of the room while all the other editors chatted with each other. So I signed up for the Conference Buddies program. This fantastic program helped me meet with other editors online before I attended the conference. I also volunteered at the conference, so that I could get to know people while helping out the association.

As I attended my first session, I immediately felt that I was surrounded by my tribe—other communications professionals who understood what I go through every day. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, and the sessions were top-notch and full of useful tips. It was a fantastic experience.

I’m back again this year and excited to be meeting editors from around the world. If you’re planning to attend but you feel like you don’t know anyone, don’t worry—we have a great set of networking sessions for you this year. I look forward to meeting you!”

Arlene Prunkl says:

“For me, the Editors’ Association of Canada conference is about people. Specifically, editor people. My people. Yes, it’s also about learning, and I do learn a lot, but that’s secondary to me compared with the opportunity to see my edibuddies.

It all started when I joined Facebook six years ago. Prior to that, I was a solitary, loner editor, only taking in occasional branch meetings in Vancouver. Although I’d been a member of the EAC since 2003, I’d never attended a conference. But when I joined Facebook, a huge new world of editor friendships opened up to me, and I could hardly wait to meet them in person. I attended my first conference in Vancouver in 2011, and my expectations were exceeded beyond anything I’d imagined. I met dozens of editors, many of whom were already good friends from FB and others who weren’t. It was a profound joy to get to know them better. Because of all the new friendships I’d made, that fall I embarked on a three-week ‘editour’ of Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, Quebec City, and Ottawa just to spend more time with some of them.

Then in 2014, I attended my second EAC conference in Toronto. It proved to be even more fun than the first, since I’d come to know so many editors so much better. I don’t know how I could be more excited about this year’s Editing Goes Global conference, where I’ll get to meet edibuddies from all over the world.

EAC conferences are networking at its finest. Relationships aren’t forced or phony; instead, they develop organically. Largely because of EAC conferences and FB, I’ve come a long way from my early days of editing in solitude and isolation. I’m so proud to be a member of this fabulous organization!”

Suzanne Purkis says:

“The EAC conference is an excellent networking opportunity, especially for freelance editors. Not only is it a chance to meet lots of wonderful people, but it’s also a chance to get to know fellow professionals with diverse editing expertise. You can make the kind of contacts that will help you expand your business—or hone in on your niche. When you add that to all the fantastic learning opportunities offered in the sessions, you’ll never find a better place to be if you want to grow in your profession.

The thing I remember the most about the first time I attended an EAC conference is how amazing it was to walk into a room filled with so many like-minded people. When you work in isolation, as many editors do, you can forget how important it is to spend time with other people who do what you do. Along with all the opportunities for professional development, the conference is also the perfect place to let your hair down and socialize with other word nerds.”

Gael Spivak says:

“When I go to the EAC annual conference, I get to meet other editors and communications professionals from across the country. Talking to them helps me learn more about writing and editing.

In the Blueprint 2020, the vision of where the federal public service should be heading, the head of the Public Service of Canada talked about improving how government employees network. He reminded us about the importance of talking to, and learning from, people across the country, as well as people who work outside of government. The EAC community, and its annual conference, is a perfect illustration of quality networking.”

Julia Cochrane says:

“I’m going to the conference because I’ve attended every one since 1995 in Kingston, Ontario. Gotta keep the streak going. Plus, I love to hang out with my people—the word nerds.”

Ryan Dunlop says:

“As luck would have it, I finished my editing courses at Ryerson University in Toronto the same year that Toronto would be hosting EAC’s annual conference. Two of my instructors told me that EAC would be one of my most productive resources, so I should get involved as a volunteer and attend its annual conference. And they were right on both counts!

I volunteered as a coordinator for the conference and met plenty of other Torontonians (and those from the Greater Toronto Area) as a result. EAC’s conference provided me with all the networking possibilities I could’ve wanted, and volunteering ensured that I’d get acquainted with some editors before I arrived—the same people who introduced me to other editors and the same people who’d later pass work along to me, recommend me for projects, or endorse me on LinkedIn.

But I made more than just acquaintances. I also made some friends—people whom I still volunteer with and talk to on Facebook and Twitter and people whom I turn to for advice. The conference provided the space in which I met face to face with people from EAC’s national committees too.

I doubt that I could have entered into freelance editing fresh out of school without volunteering for EAC’s conference and attending it, what with all the opportunities for meeting people. I probably owe the early stages of my career to the conference and the special few people who helped me find work and build my reputation.”

Una Verdandi says:

“When I attended EAC’s 2014 conference, I had only been freelancing for a year and a half. In the two days I was there, I learned new skills, got great tips on handling social media, and even made wonderful social connections that helped me expand my business!”

Patricia MacDonald says:

“In 2012, I decided to go to the EAC conference in Ottawa so I could meet many of the editor friends I had made on Facebook in the past year. I was feeling rather nervous as I stood in line to register, basically surrounded by strangers. Then Christine LeBlanc came up to me to say hello, and not long after that I received the warmest of greetings at the registration table from Joanna Odrowaz. Still, I was hesitant about mingling at the welcome reception. Enter Sandra Otto and then Debra Roppolo, who rescued the shy editor from the east coast and made me feel at home.

By the end of the weekend, I didn’t want the conference to end. Everyone was so nice and so much fun to hang around with. I’m especially grateful to Christine, Joanna, Sandra, Debra, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, Danielle Arbuckle, Gael Spivak, and Greg Ioannou for welcoming me into the fold. I had finally found my tribe.”

Joanna Odrowaz says:

“I landed a splendid project in the spring of 2012, the developmental and substantive editing of a report on the environmental impacts of shale gas extraction. And, although I’d done a lot of work for this not-for-profit and a fair bit of structural editing, I felt I needed to speak with people who really knew a lot about these particular sets of editorial skills.

Two names from the list of speed mentors lined up for the 2012 Editors’ Association of Canada conference caught my eye. They were editing gurus, with decades of experience between them, equally famous for their generosity in helping others in the field. I registered for the conference, applied to the speed mentoring session, and bought my rail ticket all on the same day.

The substantive editing gods looked favourably upon me, and I got to pick both Rosemary Tanner’s and Peter Moskos’s brains.”

Vanessa Ricci-Thode says:

“At the 2014 EAC conference in Toronto I had more fun than is probably legal, and I suspect I learned about as much to boot. My one regret is not being able to attend all of the sessions. The sessions were all inspiring and boosted my confidence as an editor. In addition to learning more about self-publishing and social media, I met some great editors and industry experts, and had the chance to reconnect with editors I don't see very often. The keynote speakers were enlightening and amusing. Terry Fallis gave an inspiring closing talk on self-publishing that makes me hopeful about my own books and also in my career path as an editor who works with authors who self-publish in addition to those going more traditional routes. With every EAC conference I have been to, I always come away with a lot of energy that I channel into improving myself as an editor and as a business professional.”

Gael Spivak says:

“I choose conference sessions to get exposed to a topic and to see if I need to take a more formal course or do some intensive reading. At the 2013 conference, the session on author queries made me realise that I was doing everything right and I didn’t need any more info. But the session on charts showed me that I’d really benefit from the presenter’s half-day seminar (which I took later in the year). I did the same with the proofreading session at the 2010 conference, taking the full-day proofreading seminar that my branch offered a few years later, by the same person who did the conference session. It’s a good way to see if you like someone as an instructor.

And, quite often, a conference session gives me exactly enough information to expand my knowledge or to understand a topic well enough to go exploring it on my own. As someone who gets fidgety in a day-long seminar, the hour-long conference sessions can be a really useful for my professional development.”

Stacey Atkinson says:

“In 2013 I was enrolled in the editing certificate program at Simon Fraser University when I learned about the Editors’ Association of Canada. I soon found the local branch and started attending meetings in Ottawa. Everyone was friendly and the session topics were so interesting that I decided to join the EAC.

A few months later, the national EAC conference took place in Toronto and I decided to take a chance and go. Since it was my first conference and I was still a new EAC member, I had no idea what to expect. But right from day one of the conference, I knew I was going to leave with so much new information to think about. I attended sessions on things I was personally interested in, such as self-publishing, and I learned a lot of new things too, such as ‘dirty editing’ (when a client wants all forms of editing done at once). I also took in a session on how to improve my LinkedIn profile. Because of this great experience I had with my first conference, I’ve already signed up for 2015.”

Marie-Christine Payette says:

“Living in a remote area and not being able to participate in most EAC’s events, whether it is branch social events or workshops, one of the major benefits of attending a conference for me is definitely networking. For example, at the 2014 conference in Toronto, I was able to meet one of my regular clients who is also an EAC member and who I had never met face to face before. So, that was a highlight of the conference for me.”