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Volunteer of the Month
Volunteers are the backbone of Editors Canada, a member-run organization, and we are grateful for the many volunteers who answer the call when help is needed. On this page, you'll meet some of the dedicated people who keep Editors Canada going.
March 2020: Glenna Jenkins
2013 was the perfect time for Glenna Jenkins to join Editors Canada. As a proud Nova Scotian, she volunteered that year at the Halifax conference, filling swag bags and organizing the indexers' evening dinner. When the annual conference returned to Halifax in 2019, Glenna upped her volunteer game by providing website content, organizing a dinner and a walking tour, and presenting a session on academic editing. The biggest reward in volunteering, she says, is seeing positive collaborative outcomes. Currently she's on the new finding work for members task force intended to help freelancers find meaningful, well-paid work. "Stay tuned!" she says.
Glenna's passion for editing emerged long before her first conference. She "became an editor by happenstance" when a friend turned her blog into a book and asked Glenna to edit it 10 years ago.
"That's how I got hooked," she says.
To develop her editing skills, she took courses from Ryerson University's Chang School of Continuing Education and from UC Berkeley. Now she specializes in academic editing, mainly for non-native English speakers. The work can be challenging. "It oftentimes means working with text that is so convoluted I have to try to figure out what the author is trying to say, take a stab at it and query in the comments pane," she says. But Glenna brings her attention to detail to the job—a skill honed during her years as an economist.
When not wearing her editor's hat, Glenna enjoys writing young adult fiction, running and cycling long distance ("because I can do this sitting down"). But volunteering for Editors Canada remains an ongoing part of her life because her fellow volunteers are "a joy to work with."
"Editors are smart, courteous, civilized and a lot of fun," she says.
- S. Robin Larin
February 2020: Raya P. Morrison
Raya’s path to becoming an editor was "a winding road." After graduating from Seneca College’s Digital Media Arts program, she worked as a web developer before becoming a writer for and later managing editor of a music magazine. In 2018, she completed her Editing Certificate at George Brown College. Now editor-in-chief of the literary journal Blood & Bourbon, Raya is also an in-house editor and proofreader for Diamond Integrated Marketing in Toronto. Her interests and training have led her to specialize in marketing communications, social media, articles and short stories.
"Next up," says Raya, "I want to edit novels."
Although balancing work and volunteering can be challenging, the "biggest reward is all the lovely people I get to meet through every new role I take on!" says Raya. In particular, the team for the task force "was golden. They allowed me to learn to be a leader by being patient and kind."
Raya will be assisting again at the International Editors Conference 2020 in Montreal.
"I love travelling," she says, "so I get extra excited for the annual conference. It’s such a great way to see more of Canada!"
- S. Robin Larin
January 2020: Jess Shulman
After 17 years in the corporate world, Jess Shulman was ready for a change. Her experience with business writing and editing prompted her to join Editors Canada in 2013 and—after serious study—to tackle the challenging certification exams. Emerging as a certified professional editor (CPE), Jess volunteered as a session host at the first international conference of editors and joined the certification steering committee in 2015. Her confidence buoyed, Jess began her own freelance business in 2016 and hasn't looked back.
As a volunteer, Jess has been an exam marker and a "test shepherd" overseeing the creation of the Proofreading exam. Now co-chair of the CSC, Jess is helping to "rethink" the certification program "to find ways that we can make it run more efficiently, attract more candidates and modernize it."
In her freelance work, Jess says, "I like to keep my options way open." She happily edits, at all levels, everything from corporate documents to textbooks to novels by indie authors. She also enjoys writing web copy, social media posts, marketing materials and reports for corporate clients.
Beyond editing, Jess keeps busy with her family, yoga, hiking, travel, and singing and playing mandolin in a band. "It's really just for fun," she says, "but we do one or two gigs a year as charity fundraisers." Fitting volunteer work with Editors Canada into her active life can be a challenge, but Jess "blocks out time for it to make sure things get done." Anne Brennan, director of publications for Editors Canada, sums up Jess's attitude of commitment succinctly: As a mother, singer, CPE and "very capable committee member," Jess, she affirms, "is amazing."
- S. Robin Larin
Want to make a difference in your association? Find out more about volunteering for Editors Canada.