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A strong spirit of volunteerism keeps our branch vibrant and active, and it benefits all Editors BC members. From meeting contacts in the editing world, to gaining work experience through volunteer editing, to connecting with potential clients, there are many opportunities to strengthen yourself as an editor. You might even meet some new friends along the way.
Have a question? Want to get involved? Email Barb Johnston at email@example.com for more information.
The volunteer opportunities below are for members and student affiliates of Editors BC. Not a member? Join Editors Canada.
Federation of BC Writers publishing fair
Editors BC will have a booth at the Federation of BC Writers publishing fair on February 23. The fair is focused on helping writers navigate the publishing world. We are seeking one or two volunteers who can help run our booth and answer questions about editing and/or self publishing.
The event runs from noon to 3 pm in the Alice MacKay Room at the Central branch of the Vancouver Public Library. For more information on the event visit: www.bcwriters.ca/events-for-writers.
If you are interested, email Jesse Marchand at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring 2019 Blue Pencil sessions
You are invited to be part of Editors BC’s popular Blue Pencil series!
Editors BC and the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) are again offering the public a series of free editing consultations. These popular events build awareness of Editors BC and are a great opportunity for editors to build their skills and connect with potential clients.
If you find the whole idea a little bit intimidating, check out what our previous participants had to say in our January 2017 panel discussion. New editors are always welcome—and you never know, you may even meet a future client.
How does it work?
Authors sign up through VPL. The author will submit a one-page summary of their project, a question or concern for the editor to address, and up to 2,500 words of writing, at least a week before their scheduled consultation.
The volunteer editor reviews the material and provides one to two pages of written feedback to be discussed during the half-hour session. Any actual editing of the submission is at the editor’s discretion; it is not a requirement.
How do I sign up?
This season’s Blue Pencil sessions are happening at the Central, Britannia, and Dunbar branches in Vancouver. Editors can sign up for one or more sessions, on one or more days.
Dates: February 6, March 6, April 3, 2019
Times: Sessions will start at 6:00 pm, 6:45 pm, and 7:30 pm. Each session is a half-hour long.
Signing up is easy. Here’s how:
- Click the link for the VPL branch you’re interested in:
- Central: 350 West Georgia Street (Downtown)
- Britannia: 1661 Napier Street (off Commercial Drive)
- Dunbar: 4515 Dunbar Street (Westside)
- Sign in with Facebook or your email address. No need to create an account or set a password.
- Review the available times and choose the one(s) you’d like to volunteer for.
- Provide your name and phone number (for use on the day-of-event contact list only).
You will receive a confirmation email immediately after you sign up and a reminder email two days before the event.
Questions? Email Jesse Marchand at email@example.com.
Editors BC member involvement in events like these is invaluable in promoting our craft and raising the profile of our profession. Your participation and commitment are sincerely appreciated.
Editors BC volunteer positions
If you'd like to lend a hand with refreshments at our monthly meetings, please contact Barbara Johnston (firstname.lastname@example.org). This is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to take on an active role in Editors BC without making too great a time commitment. It's also an excellent way to get to know others in the editing community.
Other ongoing and recurring positions
The BC branch is always looking for more volunteers from across the province. Some of the ongoing and recurring positions you can help out with are below. We’ll be updating this page with more on these roles in the coming months. In the meantime, contact email@example.com for more details.
- Member sign-in desk assistants
- Refreshment coordinators
- Professional development committee members
- Programs committee members
- Communications and social media committee members
- Holiday helpers (for our annual December party)
We also have the following ongoing, appointed positions that report to our executive:
- Hotline coordinator
BC branch executive elections
Date: May, annually
Executive positions come up for election annually at our May monthly meeting. Executive members work together to help shape Editors BC.
You can click on the position titles to find out more about these positions and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. A full list of contact information for our executive can be found on our Contact and Executive Information page.
- Branch chair
- Communications and social media chair
- Member services chair
- Past chair
- Professional development co-chair (2 positions)
- Programs co-chair (2 positions)
- Publications chair
- Volunteer coordinator
Details on the Editors BC executive
The branch chair runs executive meetings, coordinates executive and branch activities, and acts as the spokesperson for the branch.
Skills helpful for this position: Good organizational skills and some public speaking experience are helpful. Diplomacy and people skills are key!
Branch chair Marianne Grier says: “My colleagues are wonderful and make executive meetings enjoyable. There are so many inspiring members in our branch, and it’s been great to get to know them. Everyone has something to share, and the tips I’ve picked up from my peers have helped me in my day-to-day work. I’ve also picked up some skills that I wouldn’t have developed in my 9–5 job, which will serve me well as my career progresses.”
Communications and social media chair
The communications and social media (CSM) chair keeps members and the public informed of branch activities. They also coordinate Editors BC’s participation in editing-related public events, such as Word Vancouver, the blue pencil sessions at the Vancouver Public Library, and various writers’ conferences. These events help raise awareness of editing and the association, help raise the profile of the profession, and help editors and authors connect with each other. The CSM chair also arranges Editors BC’s participation in national-level activities, such as university and college visits, to help support the next generation of editors. The chair manages the branch’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn channels. The chair also orders, manages, and stores Editors BC’s supply of promotional material.
Skills helpful for this position: Organizational, writing, and communication skills. Public speaking is helpful but not required. Some familiarity with social media is useful.
CSM chair Wendy Barron says: “Realizing how little the public understands about our profession has inspired my personal and professional mission to raise the profile of editors and editing. Much of the social media work is routine and can be scheduled days or weeks ahead of time, which can help with managing workload. One of the things I love about this role is being a part of running the branch and knowing what’s coming before the members do. Plus, the networking opportunities are great.”
Member services chair
The member services chair encourages membership and works to improve the membership experience. This position supports the monthly meetings by checking in members and guests and supports the overall branch by participating in the executive meetings.
Skills helpful for this position: Word processing skills, including Microsoft Excel to manage the member lists and Microsoft Word/email for welcome emails to new members.
Member services chair Heather Ross says: “Through this role, I’ve met lots of the branch members, and I’ve learned more about the way the branch operates and how it relates to the national office. This is a great introductory position for anyone looking to get more involved with the branch.”
The past chair serves as the connection between the past executive and the current executive. The past chair supports the current chair by filling in when the chair is unavailable and by offering guidance and advice based on their experience as chair. Often the past chair acts as an extra voice when the executive is trying to solve a problem. The past chair can also be a great source of institutional memory. This position is filled by the previous branch chair.
Skills helpful for this position: Knowing how to run a meeting, people management, and the ability to listen.
Past chair Roma Ilnyckyj says: “The title might be ‘past chair,’ but the role is often very much in the now! It’s so important for the chair to have someone to talk to who has served in the same position. While an outgoing chair hands the reins over to someone new when they step down, they take on new responsibilities and are just as vital to the executive.”
Professional development co-chair (two positions)
The professional development (PD) co-chairs provide cutting-edge learning opportunities, inspiration, technical skills, and relationship-building moments for the participants who attend the seven to eight full-day workshops that the committee plans, arranges, and follows up on each year.
Skills helpful for this position: A passion for learning, initiative, the ability to multitask, and good organizational skills. There is a little bit of public speaking, but it’s in front of small and generally familiar groups.
PD co-chair Amy Haagsma says: “I’ve really enjoyed meeting our presenters and learning about career paths that are different from my own. We’ve had such interesting seminars, and I’m very proud of the programming we put on. Being a PD co-chair and a member of the Editors BC executive has also been a great way to connect with other editors, both within and outside of our membership.”
PD co-chair Erin Parker says: “I’ve gained better project management skills, expanded my editing network, and had the opportunity to apply the lessons learned at our fascinating seminars to my own work. I love the chance it’s given me to meet and work with other editors—whether they’re participants at a seminar, presenters, or fellow volunteers on the PD committee and the Editors BC executive.”
Programs co-chair (two positions)
The programs co-chairs arrange speakers for the monthly meetings. This involves coming up with program ideas (and asking others for suggestions), contacting potential speakers, introducing speakers at the meetings, and coordinating the details to make the meetings run smoothly. As members of the executive, the programs co-chairs also attend executive meetings and participate in branch decision making.
Skills helpful for this position: The ability to self-initiate (to generate topic and speaker ideas), attention to detail, and a willingness to do some public speaking (when introducing the speakers).
Programs chair Lana Okerlund says: “It’s fairly easy and fun to approach potential speakers to invite them to present their expertise at our branch. I’ve also learned more about the diverse needs of our membership and that the programs chair has quite a lot of latitude to respond to those needs through the programs we present. I love meeting and getting to know more of our branch’s diverse membership and the creative opportunity to come up with an overall program that is of interest to people at different stages of their career and in different parts of the editing profession.”
The publications chair manages Editors BC’s blog, West Coast Editor. This involves seeking out potential contributors, suggesting article topics to them, responding to authors who are interested in contributing, scheduling articles for the blog, finding copy editors to edit these articles or sometimes even doing the copy editing, and publishing the copy-edited articles on the blog. The publications chair reports all of these activities once a month to the branch executive.
Skills helpful for this position: Some knowledge of HTML and WordPress, as well as structural editing, copy editing, proofreading, writing, providing feedback and guiding writers, and organizing both people and a publishing schedule.
Publications chair Maggie Clark says: “I have learned how to further develop my editing and organizational skills, use WordPress, and be more thorough and diplomatic in my guidance to and feedback for volunteers. I love having the ability to copy edit interesting articles, connect to other Editors BC members, and contribute to the branch by publishing thoughtful articles that other members can explore.”
The secretary takes minutes at the eight executive meetings and distributes them to the executive. The secretary also updates the executive handbook as required and maintains the Dropbox account where the branch documents are stored. The secretary gains an understanding of the issues of the branch through listening and summarizing the discussion that takes place at executive meetings.
Skills helpful for this position: Being organized and detail oriented. Being able to listen well, summarize discussion, and write clearly.
Secretary Lynn Sackville says: “I’ve learned a great deal about Editors Canada in general, and the BC branch in particular. I now have a much better understanding of the organization. I’ve also developed a strong respect for the energy and dedication of the volunteer group that runs and contributes to Editors BC. In addition, I’ve loved developing stronger relationships with other editors and getting to know and work with the Editors BC executive.”
The treasurer manages the branch’s finances by doing the bookkeeping, cutting cheques to vendors, distributing regular financial reports, drafting the annual budget, and occasionally liaising with other branch treasurers and the national office.
Skills helpful for this position: The bookkeeping software we use is very simple, so you don’t need any prior experience—just a willingness to learn.
Treasurer Tiffany Sloan says: “I’ve gained a lot of insight into how the branch works, plus I learned basic bookkeeping skills. Being the treasurer has introduced me to a great team of people on the executive, and the position is flexible enough that—aside from the monthly executive meetings—I can choose when and where I do the job, which makes it easy to fit into a busy schedule.”
The volunteer coordinator oversees the BC branch’s volunteer program and acts as the first point of contact for any new volunteers. The coordinator manages the volunteer database, writes calls for volunteers, liaises with potential volunteers about existing opportunities, and works with the executive to find the best home for volunteers. This position has a lot of room to grow as it was just introduced in the spring of 2017.
Skills helpful for this position: An outgoing personality, either in person or over email, and being an innovator.
Volunteer coordinator Jesse Marchand says: “This has been an amazing position for networking with other members of the organization and making new friends and colleagues. I think this role would work well for a brand-new member or a long-time one, because it’s such a unique role with lots of room to grow. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with the other incredible members of the executive team.