Coming Up November 8: Editing Indigenous Writers, with Rick Revelle

Rick Revelle photo

Rick Revelle is the author of three YA novels—I Am Algonquin (2013), Algonquin Spring (2015), and Algonquin Sunset (2017). Published by Dundurn Press, the books recount the adventures of a fourteenth-century young Algonquin man named Mahningan.

Revelle didn’t even know he had native heritage until he was in his thirties, when a relative’s off-hand remark startled him with the news, he told the Whig-Standard in 2015. The discovery sent him on a research quest to find out all he could about Algonquin culture, both present and past. His books are a way of sharing that knowledge.

Rick will be our guest at Editors Kingston on November 8 to talk about his unique vision as a writer, his experiences of being edited, and what knowledge and skills editors need to work with Indigenous writers.

His visit coincides with a growing interest throughout the Canadian publishing community in editing Indigenous writing. Editors Canada’s 2017 conference featured a keynote adress by Cherie Dimaline and a panel discussion of Indigenous writers and editors; Humber College’s Indigenous Editors Circle workshop sold out all 50 spots; and Greg Younging’s The Elements of Indigenous Style, due out this winter from Brush Education, is generating media buzz already. (A recent workshop at Editors BC previewed Younging’s book; member Iva Cheung has posted an excellent summary on her blog.)

“Working with indigenous manuscripts,” Cherie Dimaline told her Editors Canada audience, said, “requires craft, skill, and respect.” We’re looking forward to taking more steps toward acquiring these on November 8!

Rick will also bring books for sale (remember to bring cash so you can shop).

I Am Algonquin cover Algonquin Spring cover Algonquin Sunset cover

Join Us!

We meet at the usual place and time:

Ongwanada Resource Centre, 191 Portsmouth Avenue

7 to 9 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30)

Light refreshments

Both Editors Canada members and non-members welcome

Free

Make Word Work for YOU: Hands-on Workshop November 18

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“I just love Microsoft Word!” said nobody, ever. But after taking Adrienne’s workshop, you might end up liking Word (just a little bit).

Don’t miss this great opportunity to improve your mastery of the tool most editors use every day. Learn tips and tricks to work more efficiently and effectively from Kingston’s own editing tech guru Adrienne Montgomerie, take home a comprehensive handbook (including links to video tutorials), and enjoy the opportunity to network over a tasty lunch.

Check out the details in this post.

Then hurry up and register! Space is limited.

Talking Editing with Merilyn Simonds & Wayne Grady—October Meeting Report

Merilyn Simonds and Wayne Grady (centre) answer questions and sign books after their presentation at the October 11 twig gathering.

by Greg Murphy

Sharing a room with Wayne and Merilyn, two of Canada’s top literary talents and guests at our October 11 meeting, I gladly opened my mind to learn how to be a better editor.

Kingston-based authors and life partners Wayne Grady and Merilyn Simonds have between them penned more than thirty fiction and non-fiction works for adults and young readers. Over the span of forty years, their writing has been published by giants Doubleday Canada, Macfarlane Walter & Ross, McClelland & Stewart, and others, and sold around the world. Wayne is also an award-winning translator. I would list their accumulated awards and accolades here—but they won’t all fit.

At the Editors Kingston October gathering, they offered us an intimate peek into their lives as writers, touching upon why they value good editors and what qualities they look for in them; they’ve worked with some of the best—Ellen Seligman, Jan Walter, and Nita Pronovost, to name a few. Merilyn’s opening remarks were well received by the company of sharp eyes and tuned ears: “To me, editors are essential. I rely on editors to pull me out of creating to remind me what I’m doing.”

Writers, she said, are so involved in the process of creating that they often don’t have room in their mind to be keenly aware of correctness, clarity, and consistency. Merilyn’s message served to remind that a writer has a starkly different job than an editor’s—writers are responsible for creation; editors, for editing. Merilyn said, “The best editors don’t have opinions but rather help a writer with her vision.” She added that every writer has different needs—that a good editor can still be the wrong one. (Indeed, she told one tale of trying to work with an editor who was so very wrong for the project at hand that many in the audience gasped audibly at some of the details.)

Merilyn values editors who’ll push her to write better, someone who’ll not only notice the holes and know how to help her fill them but also notice “the meat” and know how to help her expand upon it. “A good editor, to me, is someone who can explain the points of craft—and who is loyal. Loyalty is very important.”

Her description of the almost superhuman dedication and work ethic of Ellen Seligman, with whom she worked on several books, confirmed all the stories any follower of Canadian publishing has heard. “She wouldn’t even give me Christmas Day off,” Merilyn chuckled.

Emancipation DayWayne began his portion of the night by recounting his experience working with editors on his acclaimed debut novel, Emancipation Day, published in 2013 by Doubleday Canada. His inspiration for the novel arrived after learning the startling truth about his family: his father was black, and perhaps didn’t want his family to know. Having decided to fictionalize the story, Wayne, who until then had been a non-fiction writer, found himself unable to know where to draw the line. The novel’s first draft almost reached a thousand pages and encompassed a story told over a century. It even featured a cameo of “Victor Hugo in Vietnam.” Wayne knew he needed help to focus it. He finally found that help when Nita Pronovost read the manuscript and promptly ticked off three specific areas that needed his attention in order for it to work.

“The ability not only to see what is wrong with the book but also to tell you specifically what is wrong is worth an editor’s weight in gold,” Wayne said. “An editor also should be able to read a book five times but read it each time as though it were the first.”

Emancipation Day ended up a novel of 336 pages that focuses on the story of a complicated love between a black musician passing as white, his wife, and his father. It was long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2013 and claimed the 2013 Amazon.ca First Novel Award.

Coming Up Next: Editing Indigenous Texts, with Rick Revelle

For our next gathering, on November 8, we’ll be hosting indigenous writer Rick Revelle, who authored the bestselling YA books I Am Algonquin (2013), Algonquin Spring (2015), and Algonquin Sunset (2017), published by Dundurn Press. He’ll be sharing with us his experiences, including working with non-indigenous editors.

Seminar November 18: Make MS Word Work for YOU!

On Saturday, November 8, Adrienne Montgomerie will be teaching our Fall Seminar, Make MS Word work for YOU. Bring a laptop and join in as she shows how editors can get the best out of Word so that they can focus on more meaningful tasks.

Register at www.editors.ca/twig/Kingston .

For more information, see this post or email Elizabeth: elizabeth@danjou.ca.

 

Make MS Word Work for YOU

Make MS Word Work for YOU

A Hands-On Workshop on Saturday, November 18

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After taking this workshop, you might even end up liking Word! (Maybe just a little bit.)

Are you slogging through revising documents onscreen, giving your fingers more of a workout than your brain? Do you find making edits in Word time-consuming and annoying, a drain on your focus and creativity?

Expert instructor Adrienne Montgomerie shows you how to level up your Word game and lighten your workload. Get the software to do the heavy lifting, so you can focus on the meatier issues in your writing or editing project! Learn skills that make editing faster, more accurate, and efficient.

During the course, you will be guided through the steps on your own familiar laptop. There will be opportunities to practice and trouble-shoot. Coffee and lunch breaks will give you time to network and process what you’ve learned.

Workshop Topics

  • Get the most out of Track Changes.
  • Speed up editing with shortcuts and customizations.
  • Make formatting a snap with Styles.
  • Automate complicated or tedious tasks with macros.
  • Use wildcards to turbo-boost the search-and-replace function.
  • And much more!

Registrants will be surveyed before the course to determine which topics they most want to focus on. Any material not covered in the workshop will be included in a 100-page handout with demo video support, so you can keep learning on your own time and review what we covered when it comes time to put it to use.

Registration is limited to 25 people.

What You Need

  • Mac or Windows laptop loaded with MS Word—preferably Word 365 or Word 2016, though efforts will be made to support a couple of versions prior. (Note: For this workshop to be useful, you must have a version of Word that includes track changes and comments. Web-based programs such as Open Office are not sufficient.)
  • Good understanding of basic Word functions such as menus and ribbons, cut, copy, paste, undo, save as, spellcheck, bold, italic, and indenting.
  • Good fundamental computer skills such as mousing, keyboard navigation, and file management.
  • Good night’s sleep and confidence that you can make Word work for you!

About the Instructor

Adrienne MAMontgomerie medontgomerie has been teaching people to make nice with Word since 2003. This specialized editors’ course has been a sellout since she first offered it in 2012. She is a Certified Copyeditor and a 20-year veteran of freelance editing. She used to work mainly on high school science materials, earning her the moniker of scieditor, and today she can be found on the roster of Canada’s largest remaining publishers when she’s not teaching and writing about editing. Right Angels and Polo Bears is her home base.

When: Saturday, November 18, 9:30­ a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Tett Centre, Kingston

Instructor: Adrienne Montgomerie

Early-bird price (until October 20):

  • $160 Editors Canada members
  • $140 student affiliates
  • $195 non-members

Regular price (after October 20):

  • $185 Editors Canada members
  • $160 student affiliates
  • $220 non-members              

Includes lunch by Epicurious!

Click here to register now!

For additional information, contact Elizabeth d’Anjou at elizabeth@danjou.ca or Nancy Wills at nancwills@gmail.com

For more about Editors Kingston, see www.editorskingston.org

Editors Kingston is a part of Editors Canada, Canada’s national professional editing organization.

Keyboard photo by John Ward. Used through Creative Commons licence.

Coming Up October 11: Authors Talk Editing—Merilyn Simonds & Wayne Grady

Well-known Kingston-area writers Merilyn Simonds and Wayne Grady will discuss how the editorial process and relationships with editors, agents, and publishers have changed over their 40 years as authors. They’ll also describe their work as mentors/editors to emerging writers.

Merilyn Simonds_hi resWayne SM

Merilyn Simonds is the author of 17 books, including a Canadian classic, The Convict Lover. Her most recent book, Gutenberg’s Fingerprint: Paper, Pixels & the Lasting Impression of Books, explores the digital shift and how we read today.

Wayne Grady is the author of 14 books, the translator of 15 novels, and the editor of 11 anthologies. His first novel, Emancipation Day, won the 2013 Amazon.ca First Novel Award.

Wayne and Merilyn co-authored Breakfast at the Exit Café: Travels Through America.

Join us for an intimate look at the Canadian publishing scene.

The Convict Lover: A True StoryGutenberg's FingerprintEmancipation DayBreakfast at the Exit Cafe: Travels Through America

The speakers will have books for sale; bring cash and get your CanLit fix straight from the author!

Come Join Us!

We meet October 11 at the usual place and time:

Fall Seminar

Don’t forget to register for our fall seminar with twig founder and editing tech guru Adrienne Montgomerie!

  • Do you often find yourself slogging through tedious editing tasks onscreen, thinking “There must be a better way”?
  • Have you sometimes suspected that some advanced features of Word (such as Styles, Macros, and Wildcards) might be useful to you, but feel intimidated by them?
  • Would you like to edit more efficiently and accurately?

Make MS Word work for you for a change, so you can focus on the real editing issues.

The workshop includes a 100-page handout with demo video support and lunch by Epicurious.

Register now!

Download the poster and spread the word!

How I Read My Summer Vacation—September Meeting Report

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by Greg Murphy and Elizabeth d’Anjou

The theme to kick off the year at our September meeting was “How I Read My Summer Vacation.” At times we laughed, at times we sighed, as we recounted the books with which we enriched our minds in spare moments. Some of us read non-stop while others read hardly at all (or, as some editors in attendance put it, “only when paid to do so”).

Everyone had been encouraged to bring a book they read that related to work and one they had read for pleasure. Ellie carefully recorded all the picks (and posted the list to the Editors Kingston Facebook group). A few examples of the work-related books presented:

  • the new edition (seventeenth!) of the Chicago Manual of Style and an old Louis Menand New Yorker article, still hilarious fifteen years after its publication, about the fifteenth edition
  • the classic On Writing Well by William Zinsser
  • the guide by Editors Canada’s own Marion Soublière, Getting Work with the Federal Government
  • You Are a Badass, a guide to career and life subtitles How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero
  • Write No Matter What, in which author Joli Jensen runs through and all-too-familiar list of barriers to writing and proposes tools to work around and through them

The exercise helped members reconnect, to shake off that isolation some of us might have felt at times over the summer.

It also gave us a lovely way to get to know some first-time attendees: Beth Bedore, an Editors Canada member for some years but new to the Kingston twig “just down the road” from her home in Belleville, who enjoyed Nike, Nurses, and Neon: The Ancient Greek and Latin Words We Use Every Day, by Nigel P. Brown, and newcomers Brenda (The Life and Death of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan), “twig Facebook groupie” Jenn (Open Veins of Latin America, by Eduardo Galeano), and John (Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann).

A Warm Welcome Home

The group welcomed home long-time friend of the twig Bob MacKenzie from the prestigious Summer Literary Seminars, held this year in Tbilisi, Georgia, where he, with Kingston poet Meg Freer, shared his writing talents with the world. (He and Meg created a blog with stories & photos from their adventures.)

Upcoming Programs

 We’ve packed our fall program!

At our gathering next month, Wednesday, October 11, well-known Kingston authors Merilyn Simonds and Wayne Grady will join us to discuss how the past forty years have changed the editorial process and relationships between author and editor, agent, and publisher. Merilyn and Wayne will also talk about mentoring emerging writers.

On Wednesday, November 8, we’ll be hosting Algonquin author Rick Revelle, writer of the three young adult novels I Am Algonquin (2013), Algonquin Spring (2015), and Algonquin Sunset (2017) for Dundurn Press. He’ll be talking to us about the skills we need to work with Indigenous writers.

Our Seasonal Social will be on Wednesday, December 13. Watch this space for details.

Download our fall program flyer and share it around!

Fall Seminar

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Make Microsoft Word work for you for a change!

Adrienne Montgomerie will deliver the workshop Microsoft Word for Editors on Saturday, November 18. She’ll be teaching everything editors need to know to make Word work for them (for a change!), so you won’t want to miss out. See the twig web page for more details.

Claim your spot early to get a fee discount: Until October 13, Editors Canada members pay $160; non-members pay $195. After October 13, Editors Canada members pay $185; non-members pay $220.

The workshop will be held at the Tett Centre, 370 King Street, Kingston, Ontario, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Register here.

Download the flyer/poster here.

Please help us spread the word wherever and whenever you can!

Announcements & Business

Elizabeth opened the evening with a few announcements:

  • Nancy Wills has stepped down from the role as twig co-coordinator after many years of service, including managing the money and filing reports to national—and bringing meeting munchies! She was warmly thanked in absentia. Nancy plans to continue as an active Twig member and volunteer.
  • The Editors Canada mentorship program is now up and running! Members and student affiliates can apply to have or be a mentor. Mentorships focus on whatever area(s) both parties agree on; someone could even be both a mentor in one area and a mentee in another.
  • Check out the new Editors Canada webinar series! First up are macros and breaking the rules.

Ellie led a discussion about a possible new policy of charging a small fee (in the neighbourhood of $5) to non-members who attend Twig gatherings. (Attendance would continue to be free for members and student affiliates of Editors Canada.) This would help cover our upkeep (room fees, honoraria for guest speakers ,snacks and drinks, etc.). However, it’s important to the twig leadership that everyone  feel welcomed. Most of the comments, from both members and vistors, were in favour of the policy—with some suggestions for tweaks and exceptions. We’ll bring up the issue on the Facebook page and perhaps another meeting before making a final decision.