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Conference '007 sessions and pre-conference workshops

Conference 2007

Conference '007: Licence to Edit takes place June 1 to 3, 2007, at the Ottawa Congress Centre.

Venue information
Pre-conference workshops
Keynote address
Conference sessions
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The Indexing Society of Canada will be celebrating its 30th anniversary at its annual conference and general meeting in Ottawa from May 31 to June 1, 2007.

Pre-Conference Workshops – Friday, June 1

Organized by EAC's National Capital Region (NCR) branch, all pre-conference workshops will be held at the Ottawa Congress Centre. All workshops are three hours.

A Talk Is Not a Speech: Delivering successful presentations

9 a.m. – Noon
Capital Hall 1B
Instructor:  Dennis York

The best speeches don't sound like speeches. They sound like conversations. Unfortunately, most of us write and deliver speeches that sound like we're doing exactly what we are doing—reading from a printed page. Doing so rarely engages an audience. That's why it's usually better to avoid giving a speech at all and instead prepare a structured talk. This workshop will be a talk about giving a successful presentation that is more than just a rambling conversation. You'll experience the very process the seminar is all about. You'll learn the basics involved in giving a successful presentation, explore ways to overcome potential barriers and examine a structure for keeping your talk from becoming disjointed. If you're the nervous type, you'll learn ways to minimize that tendency. After all, nervousness is probably the biggest barrier many of us face.

Dennis York is principal of SimplyWrite Communications and an editor, writer, teacher and consultant. He has worked in advertising and as a freelance reporter for CBC Radio, taught communication skills at Algonquin College and written and/or edited everything from fiction and op-ed essays to art proposals and multimedia CD scripts. Dennis has published a book of poetry and photography, an experimental novel, and essays and articles for magazines, newspapers and textbooks. He is a member of the Editors' Association of Canada and sits on the Editorial Advisory Committee of Carleton University Magazine.

Hard Copy Markup: Reviewing the basics

9 a.m. – Noon
Capital Hall 2B
Instructor:  Beatrice Baker

Because many editors now work almost exclusively on computer, younger editors may never have learned the conventions of working on hard copy—and older editors may find that their skills have become rusty. But every editor should be comfortable working on paper, whether copy editing or proofreading. Review the differences between working on screen and on paper. Then roll up your sleeves and get out your red pencils for a series of exercises in using copy editing and proofreading marks.

Beatrice Baker has been writing and editing professionally for more than three decades. During 18 years as a federal civil servant, she wrote and edited numerous reports of all types. As Manager, Writing and Editorial Services for Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada, she supervised the work of other writers and editors. Over the past seven years as a freelance editor, she has edited some 75 government reports for almost a dozen federal government clients. In addition to offering workshops for EAC, she teaches workshops on writing and editing for the University of Ottawa's Professional Training Service and for government clients.

Estimating: The key to making money

1 – 4 p.m.
Capital Hall 1B
Instructor: Jennifer Latham

This workshop for in-house and freelance editors focuses on costing a job, developing a realistic work plan and preparing fair and accurate estimates. Participants will learn the standard practices, tips and strategies for breaking down a job according to task, costing out each task, tracking your estimating accuracy and including terms and conditions in your contract to avoid getting burned by unexpected costs. Bring your calculator and be prepared to do some number crunching.

Jennifer Latham is a past president of the Editors' Association of Canada. She has learned everything she knows about estimating from editing colleagues across Canada, and is happy to report that she has never lost her shirt on an estimate. Jennifer has worked as a full-time freelance editor offering editing, writing and project management services to government and private sector clients. She is currently Director of Editorial Services with the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.

Getting It Right on the Web

1 – 4 p.m.
Capital Hall 2B
Instructor: Mary McGuire

The challenges of writing and editing material for presentation on the Web are unique. People don't read online the way they do on paper. That's because the Internet provides a new type of visual medium. Fortunately, there's more and more research being done into the way people interact with information online. This workshop will provide tips and guidelines for communicating messages online and adapting written material for online readers.

Mary McGuire is Associate Professor of Journalism at Carleton University. She teaches courses in online and broadcast journalism, including one in which students create written stories accompanied by audio, visual and interactive features, and then produce a bi-weekly online magazine about national affairs As a journalist, Mary worked for 11 years at CBC Radio News as a reporter, editor and documentary producer. She has led workshops in online journalism, writing for the Web, and researching on the Internet for many professional organizations, including the CBC, National Public Radio in the US, the American Press Institute and the Canadian Association of Journalists. She co-authored The Internet Handbook for Writers, Researchers and Journalists.

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Keynote Address – Saturday, June 2

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Congress Hall, Salon E

The Grammar Wars: Standard Written English and Its Discontents

Author, columnist and radio host Russell Smith

Do the old rules of language and grammar matter any more? Keynote speaker Russell Smith takes a whimsical and provocative look at the grammar wars—before his most challenging audience yet.

Smith is well known to EAC members. Smith is the author of seven books, and his most recent novel, Muriella Pent, was shortlisted for the Rogers Fiction Prize and listed for the Impac Dublin Literary Prize. He writes a weekly column on culture and language for The Globe and Mail, and hosts the weekly CBC Radio show about the English language, And Sometimes Y. Smith grew up in Halifax, has an MA in French literature and now lives in Toronto.

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Conference Sessions – Saturday, June 2

All sessions will be held at the Ottawa Congress Centre.

How Do I Get Work?—Networking for freelancers

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Capital Hall 2B

People tend to give jobs to freelancers with whom they have a connection (directly or through a trusted referral) and who they believe can do the work well. This presentation is about the first criterion: How do you make those connections?

Elizabeth Macfie, who has accumulated 75 per cent of her clients through networking, will share the varied methods she uses to make those connections. To prepare for this session, think about what you want to improve in your networks and your networking abilities. Bring business cards if you have them, as well as your anecdotes about connecting with clients.

Elizabeth Macfie has been a freelance proofreader, editor and indexer for 11 years. She also presents EAC seminars on proofreading and style guide development. Her clients in Canada and Europe include government departments and agencies, publishers, universities, design and communication companies, research organizations, businesses and authors. She has accumulated that varied client list because she enjoys looking for opportunities. "Networking is meeting people and finding out about them, linking them up with other people and sometimes landing new clients. That's fun!" Elizabeth is a past chair of EAC-NCR branch and past member of EAC's national executive council.

The Minister Wants It by Monday

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Capital Hall 3B

Working on reports for the federal government brings many unique challenges. In this workshop we'll look at scenarios typical of what editors, writers and project managers encounter when they work on government reports. What do you do when the minister wants the final draft by Monday and it hasn't yet been translated? Or when one branch submits 16 pages while another submits one? You get to say how you would solve the problem and hear what others would do. Workshop leaders Peter Moskos and Moira White will moderate and add their two cents' worth based on years of dealing with clients who just don't understand.

A Vancouver-based writer and editor, Peter Moskos managed hundred of government reports when he was Director of Writing at gordongroup in Ottawa. He now teaches an online course on government reports for Ryerson University. Moira White is an editor well versed in government reports. She heads a new Ottawa editorial service called Ubiquitext.

Editing with Webbed Fingers

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Capital Hall 4B

They say that web writing must be concise, scannable and written using simple language. Sounds like a dream assignment for an enthusiastic editor with a little experience. What could go wrong? Plenty! The Web breeds ambiguity, frustrates surfers and mixes messages. And how do you explain the need for simple language to your complex client? This presentation looks at how to anticipate your client's needs and design better text concepts. We'll share ideas on making less text do more by giving it visual impact and making it a vibrant source of energy on each page.

After living in a Cree and Métis community where she directed a living skills program for developmentally challenged adults, Christine Hastie set herself up as a communications healer in Montreal in 1993. She was delighted to find EAC and was a member of the executive of the QAC branch for several years. Now with Communications and Public Affairs at the Canadian Space Agency, she writes and edits text for web and print publication.

Straddling the Text: Editors who write

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Capital Hall 1B

This panel discussion examines what it's like to work on both sides of texts, as creators and as correctors. Some questions these seasoned editor/writers will tackle:

  • What are the joys and woes of being both an editor and a writer?
  • Does being a writer make you a better editor?
  • Does being an editor make you a better writer?
  • Can you properly edit your own writing?
  • When doing one job, how do you stifle your tendency to do the other?
  • Which is more satisfying: creating or correcting?

Frances Peck (moderator) has been a freelance editor and writer since 1990, always doing both jobs in equal measure. She has also taught writing and editing for two decades for educational institutions (University of Ottawa, Douglas College, Simon Fraser University), organizations (including EAC) and government and corporate clients. A regular contributor to the periodical Language Update, she recently compiled her articles into an online writing resource for the Translation Bureau. Frances currently chairs EAC's Professional Standards Committee. She lives in North Vancouver and is a member of West Coast Editorial Associates.

Katharine Fletcher (panellist) has been happily involved in the business of writing, editing and publishing since 1974. She has edited more than a hundred books, designed many publications, developed style guides for government and corporate clients, and acted as managing editor of 16 authors writing manuals on international trade located throughout Canada. Katharine's passion is writing: she is author of five ecological and historical guides to the National Capital Region and Quebec. Her travel, Canadian heritage, gardening and environmental articles are published in such markets as The Globe & Mail, Canadian Living and Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Panellist Wendy Gokhool's passion for editing and writing started with magazines at the early age of 14. Benefiting from youth magazines made her want to get involved in return. With an academic background in literary and professional writing, she has contributed to the Montreal community through literary magazine editing and online fashion writing. In 2004, working with a team of editors and authors, she helped launch her first magazine. She is now a full-time in-house editor in research and development, and a part-time freelance editor and writer. Wendy's experience covers diverse areas, including magazine structure, style and content; instructional edutainment for children and instructors; marketing material for businesses; and biographies for record label producers.

Georgina Montgomery (panellist) works as an editor and writer for a wide range of corporate and government clients. Most of this work is made to order ("You want onions with that annual report?"; "Those news releases – over easy or scrambled?"), but often she screws up the courage to freewheel, pitching stories to magazines on topics she chooses. In addition to co-authoring a travel guide, she has written numerous articles over the past 20 years on subjects such as campanology, the Siberian city of Irkutsk, air medevac action in northern Alberta, the history of cosmetic powder box design, and a quilt artist whose exquisitely stitched erotica brings to mind those famous words: Is that a gun in your pocket or just cotton wadding?

Laura Byrne Paquet's (panellist) first encounter with the written word was not an auspicious one: her birth announcement appeared in her hometown newspaper under the heading "Livestock for Sale." Despite that literary embarrassment, she decided to become a writer. After earning a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University and working as a newspaper reporter and magazine editor, Laura became a freelance writer and editor in 1992, specializing in social history, retail and travel topics. Her articles have appeared in more than 80 publications. She has also written 10 books, including Wanderlust: A Social History of Travel (Goose Lane Editions, 2007).

Editing for Art Museums

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Capital Hall 3B

This session will focus on two overlapping specializations, art editing and museum editing, with particular attention given to the separate as well as collaborative activities of text editor and picture editor. Topics will include the museum's role as publisher, the distinctive nature of exhibition catalogues and the kinds of style problems they present, different audience levels, research tools and art book designers. Various aspects of picture editing will be examined in detail: procuring images for publication, clearing copyright, securing permission to publish, proofing layouts and ensuring quality control on press.

Usher Caplan has been a publications editor at the National Gallery of Canada for close to 25 years and has freelanced occasionally for other museums.  Andrea Fajrajsl has worked as a picture editor at the National Gallery of Canada for six years and has also been a managing editor of the Gallery's quarterly magazine, Vernissage.

How to Chair a Meeting

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Capital Hall 4B

Sometimes it seems as if everyone hates attending meetings. How often have you heard the lament, "I might get some real work done if only I didn't have all these meetings to attend!" This session begins with the premise that a well-organized meeting with a strong chair can actually help everyone get their "real work" done.

The session will explain how to plan meetings, write realistic agendas, focus discussion and control input from attendees, and document what everyone has agreed to do. With the right tips and tools, you can learn how to chair a meeting, and enjoy it!

Jennifer Latham is a past president of the Editors' Association of Canada. As president, she chaired national executive council meetings, and as a career project manager she has organized and chaired meetings with production teams, committees and clients. Jennifer has worked as a full-time freelance editor offering editing, writing and project management services to government and private sector clients. She is currently the Director of Editorial Services with the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.

The Editors' Great Debate

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
Congress Hall, Salon E

Sit back and listen to four of EAC's sharpest minds take on one of the profound issues of editing. With James Harbeck and Karen Virag as team leaders, the exchange is bound to be lively, imaginative and lots of fun. Moderator Peter Moskos will maintain order and keep things moving. And you are part of the proceedings. You will vote on the resolution and your comments on the resolution will be welcomed from the floor. The Editors' Great Debate promises to be one of the highlights of the conference.

James Harbeck (team leader) is Senior Editor with MediResource Inc. He edits health information web content, studies linguistics, and is always game for a good discussion of points of usage. Perhaps too game sometimes, in fact.

Edmonton-based writer and editor Karen Virag (team leader) was the chair of the Prairie Provinces branch of EAC for a number of years and also served one year as national vice-president. She began her career in language as a technical writer, turning engineerese into English and spent a number of years working in the oil and gas industry. She currently is the supervisor of publications and a senior editor at the Alberta Teachers' Association.

Les Principes directeurs en révision professionnelle : un outil fondamental

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Capital Hall 4B

En décembre 2006, l'ACR a publié la première édition du document intitulé Principes directeurs en révision professionnelle. Élaboré à l'intention des réviseurs francophones, tant chevronnés que débutants, et des personnes qui souhaitent faire appel à leurs services, ce nouvel outil est novateur à plus d'un égard. Les réviseurs anglophones disposaient déjà depuis plusieurs années d'un outil semblable, mais les professionnels francophones n'en avaient aucun. Le document innove d'une manière encore plus fondamentale. Il recense et décrit les principales tâches associées à la révision professionnelle, mais il propose aussi une répartition plus réaliste des catégories de tâches. Pour l'une des toutes premières fois, le modèle proposé fait ressortir plus clairement que jamais l'agencement des tâches selon les étapes logiques des travaux de révision professionnelle à exécuter, faisant disparaître presque complètement les chevauchements et les flottements entre les catégories. Découvrez les facettes qui font des Principes un outil novateur et fondamental en révision professionnelle.

Titulaire d'un diplôme en communications, Louis Majeau offre depuis 1991 des services de révision, de traduction et de rédaction sous la raison sociale de SPEC enr. Une trentaine de ministères ou organismes fédéraux et une quinzaine d'organismes privés ont déjà fait appel à ses services. De 1978 à 1991, il a été recherchiste, reporter et coordonnateur, à l'emploi du Réseau de télévision TVA, au bureau de la colline du Parlement, à Ottawa; de 1973 à 1978, il a enseigné le français langue seconde. Ancien secrétaire national de l'ACR (1993 1996), il préside depuis 2002 le sous comité des normes françaises de l'ACR qui a rédigé les Principes directeurs en révision professionnelle.


Annual General Meeting (EAC members only)

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Congress Hall, Salon E

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Conference Sessions – Sunday, June 3

All sessions will be held at the Ottawa Congress Centre.

Senior Editors' Roundtable

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Capital Hall 2B

Compare editorial ideas with experienced colleagues and talk about strategies for substantive editing in this group workshop. This session is for editors with a minimum of 10 years' experience. Limit of 15 participants. Participants must pre-register and will be asked to review a designated document published in both official languages and bring their ideas with them to the session for discussion. 

Tom Vradenburg (facilitator) has volunteered for EAC as NCR chair from 1995 to 1998, as NCR representative to the national executive three years ago and as a member-at-large for the past two years. From nine to five, Tom shows math nerds how to communicate with the rest of the human race: it's a living. Tom's been a journalist, writer and editor, for about 20 years. When Tom's not enforcing rules from a style guide, he's enforcing the rules of baseball. Wouldn't you just love to say "strike three" to a client sometime?

Certification: The next step—copy editing

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Capital Hall 3B

In November 2006, EAC administered its first certification tests: Proofreading and Elementary Knowledge of the Publishing Process. Next up: Copy Editing. Rosemary Tanner, chair of the Certification Steering Committee, will explain certification in general, with an emphasis on the copy editing test. Questions will be welcome.

Rosemary Tanner is a freelance science textbook editor who also enjoys volunteering for EAC. While sitting on the national executive, she made friends across the country. Now, as chair of the Certification Steering Committee, she welcomes new challenges and gathers new friends. She is grateful to EAC for this opportunity.

Le travail à distance : révision en ligne (wiki-auteurs) ou modification de documents Word

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Capital Hall 4B

Aujourd'hui, le travail de révision à distance se fait souvent grâce au suivi des modifications dans Word, système adapté au travail à domicile. Pour les documents web, une nouvelle technique permet d'intervenir directement sur les sites: le travail en wiki-auteur.

Cette présentation a quatre objectifs :

  • les différentes manières de travailler avec le wiki-auteur (auteur, réviseur)
  • la description des tâches et du travail (équipement nécessaire, compétences)
  • une réflexion sur les avantages et les inconvénients dans le travail à la pige
  • la gestion des contrats et du temps (modalités de collaboration du travail en équipe, définition des tâches, estimation du temps).

Anna Olivier a plus de 10 ans d'expérience en rédaction et révision. Elle est géographe de formation (PhD), membre de l'ACR depuis 2004. D'abord pigiste, elle a fondé en 2006 Athéna Rédaction, entreprise spécialisée dans la rédaction et la révision de documents scientifiques et techniques. Grâce au système wiki, elle travaille actuellement entièrement à distance avec la SOFAD sur un projet de cours d'histoire en ligne fondé sur des interactivités. Elle travaille également depuis plusieurs années avec le méthode de suivi des modifications dans Word.

Latent Text and Patent Text: Editing translations

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Capital Hall 1B

Editing a translation involves two texts: one that is patently presented to us as a project to edit, and another latent source text. As a translation, the patent text makes a special claim to accurately represent the latent source document—hidden but ever-present. The editor cannot ignore the normative authority of the latent text over the patent text. The editorial process involves verifying the accuracy, style and continuity of the translation, but also making sure the translation can stand alone as a natural and readable text in its own right. These issues will be discussed, with examples.

Julian Thorsteinson is a Vancouver-based freelance translator, editor and writer. She studied at the University of Manitoba (BA Hons English and German; MA German and Icelandic), completed her PhD course work and comprehensive exams in Comparative Literature at the University of British Columbia and earned a Diplôme des Études Approfondies at the Sorbonne. She has taught literature, languages, translation and creative writing in Canada and France, has published short fiction and has worked as an editor and translator for numerous publications in varied fields. During a long sojourn in Paris, she worked in international finance and—more importantly—raised her two children.

EAC Town Hall Meeting
Giving and Getting:  Being an active EAC member

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Capital Hall 2B

This is a time for members to find out about volunteering for the association—what is needed as background, the time commitment involved and the rewards reaped.

Faith Gildenhuys (facilitator) is outgoing past president of EAC and a member since 1996. For 25 years she was a professor of English at Carleton University, where she was managing editor of English Studies in Canada for 10 years and produced scholarly editions of 16th- and 17th-century texts. In 1997, she moved to Victoria, BC, and launched a freelance editing career which has included academic editing, trade fiction and non-fiction and government documents.

Plain Numbers

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Capital Hall 3B

As editors we're all familiar with the plain language movement, but few of us are familiar with the plain numbers movement. In fact, the proliferation of software that offers hundreds of options for creating tables and charts has taken us further away from numerical literacy and into a jungle of ill-conceived, poorly organized tables and charts in which information is buried under "chart junk." Learn how to help authors write about numbers honestly, logically, clearly and memorably—and stay reader-focused. Learn when and why to choose tables or bar, line or pie charts.

Beatrice Baker has been writing and editing professionally for more than three decades. During 18 years as a federal civil servant, she wrote, edited and proofread documents of all types, and as Manager, Writing and Editorial Services for Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada, she supervised the work of other writers and editors. Over the past seven years, as a freelance editor, she has edited over 85 government reports for over a dozen federal government clients. In addition to teaching for EAC, she teaches workshops on writing and editing for the University of Ottawa's Professional Training Service, the Ontario Cabinet Office and other government clients.

Research Fraud, Plagiarized Papers and Editorial Freedom: Ethical issues in scientific publishing

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Capital Hall 4B

In the scientific world, the old adage "publish or perish" is truer than ever. The scientific publishing arena is becoming as fractious as the hockey arena. Several factors are feeding this trend: the explosion in scientific information, the competition to get published and the emergence of science in developing countries. Desperate or unscrupulous scientists are falsifying experiments and passing off papers by others. As well, editors' traditional autonomy is threatened by publishers' politics. Learn why mild-mannered folks in lab coats have become ruthless Machiavellians, and what publishers and editors are doing about it.

Carolyn Brown manages the editorial and production functions for NRC Research Press, publisher of 16 peer-reviewed journals in a wide gamut of scientific disciplines. Before joining NRC, Carolyn held a variety of positions with Canadian Medical Association publications.

Closing Plenary:  What are you worth?

1:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Congress Hall Salon E

The universal question that plagues all editors is not about grammar or punctuation. It's not even about style or syntax. The burning question on every editor's lips is about money. In the closing plenary, representatives from each of the branches will come together to resolve the question "What Are You Worth?" Informed by the results of a national rate survey, the discussion will try to determine how much an editor should (or could) charge. 

Michelle Boulton (moderator) has been refining her skills as a writer, editor and designer for almost 20 years. She began her freelance career while completing a BA in English and history at the University of Saskatchewan. Having developed a clientele between stints in sales, marketing and print production, she launched her freelance consultancy, Michelle Communications, in 1997.

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