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Professional Development Seminars

Registration fees and policies

  Early bird registration Regular registration
Members $250 + tax $275 + tax
Non-members $375 + tax $400 + tax
Students $200 + tax

Note: The early bird discount is automatically applied to registrations made 6 weeks or more before the seminar date.


Cancellation policy

If Editors Ottawa-Gatineau cancels a seminar, we will refund your paid registration fee in full.

If you wish to cancel your registration, the following terms apply:

  • You must send an email to to notify us that you are canceling your registration.
  • If you cancel before registration closes (up to one week before the seminar) we will refund 50 percent of your paid registration fee.
  • If you cancel after registration closes (within seven days of the seminar), no refund is possible.

Contact for all seminar registration and cancellation enquiries.


2019-20 Professional Development Seminar Series

Time: 9:00am to 4:00pm

Location: Sheraton Ottawa Hotel at 150 Albert St.
                     On-site valet parking available ($20).

Seminar schedule

Winter/Spring 2020

Eight-Step Editing with Moira White — April 15, 2020

Stylistic Editing with Carolyn Brown — May 13, 2020


Seminar descriptions​

Eight-Step Editing

Eight-Step Editing breaks the editorial process down into a series of tasks that will improve the readability of the final product.

If you're an editor, whatever your experience level (from novice to expert), this seminar will help you develop a systematic approach to editing and identify functions you may have been performing only intuitively. If you're a writer, the Eight-Step process will give you techniques for improving your manuscript before it goes to an editor.

The eight steps

  • Step one: shorten sentences
  • Step two: take out the trash
  • Step three: eliminate the negatives
  • Step four: deflate long words and phrases
  • Step five: eliminate the equations
  • Step six: activate the passives
  • Step seven: lead with strength
  • Step eight: parade your paragraphs

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 is a past president of Editors Canada.



Stylistic Editing

Whether you edit novels, reports, websites or magazines, stylistic editing is a key skill. Editors Canada’s professional editorial standards define stylistic editing as “editing to clarify meaning, improve flow, and smooth language.” It is the domain of those editors who want to communicate: to get the message from the author to the reader accurately, honestly, and even elegantly. It also relies on developing that rare commodity, editorial judgment.

This seminar is based on the Editors Canada standards for this skill, but it will also look at how stylistic editing is done in a variety of publishing settings. Expectations for stylistic editing can vary widely. How can editors adapt to the needs of their employers and clients?

We will cover

The context for stylistic editing

  • Who are the readers, and how does that determine the approach to stylistic editing?
  • What is the medium, and how does that affect the approach?
  • What is the purpose, and how does stylistic editing help communicate that purpose?

Judgment in approaching editing decisions

  • Paragraph-level decisions (length, structure, logical flow, connection with other paragraphs)
  • Sentence-level decisions (length, sentence construction, logical flow, connectors, as well as common problems such as passive voice, noun strings, etc.)
  • Word-level decisions (word choice geared to readers, omission of unnecessary words)

The toolkit

  • Subordination and coordination
  • Affirmative constructions
  • Judicious use of passive voice
  • Disentangling noun strings
  • Resolving ambiguity
  • Strengthening verbs and correcting nominalizations
  • Reorganizing paragraphs and sentences
  • Gentle rewriting
  • Working with visuals (illustrations, photos, tables, graphs)

Communicating with authors

  • When and who to query
  • Using Comments to query
  • Whether and when to use Track Changes
  • Amount and level of editing
  • When to honour the author’s voice

The approach to this seminar will involve lively discussions, tales from the trenches, and hands-on exercises. Join us for an enriching and informative day devoted to our craft.

Carolyn Brown is a Certified Professional Editor and Editor in the Life Sciences. She has edited a wide variety of material for 35 years, specializing in scientific and medical publications for the past 25 years. She is the author of the chapter on citation in Editing Canadian English 2nd edition and a perennial seminar leader.