As the leaves turned red and the air turned cool in October, Editors Kingston gathered to talk books.
Everyone had been asked to talk about a book they’d read recently, with a particular (but not exclusive) focus on reads that had taught them something, about editing or otherwise.
We welcomed three newcomers: Jane Kirby, who had come to share some information about the Kingston chapter of the Freelancers Union (see under Announcements below), but was persuaded to stay for the bookish chat and excellent snacks (thank you, Brenda!); Jonathan Balcombe, a long-time professional editor and writer recently returned to Ontario, and Anne Marie Benoit, who is exploring editing as a career and heard about the group through a family friend.
Anne Marie graciously agreed to take notes on people’s picks:
- Jane recommends Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin. Le Guin gives tips on writing and provides writing exercises.
- Jonathan recommends The Childhood of Jesus by J.M. Coetzee, about a man and a boy who immigrate to a new land. They face many challenges from learning a new language, to locating the boy’s mother, to fitting into a new culture with varying degrees of success. Also Underbugs by Lisa Margonelli, a pop science book about termites and how they live.
- Greg recommends (with reservations) The Artful Edit by Susan Bell. This book is about how to edit your own writing and gain the objectivity to do so. Some of the points the book makes will be frustratingly obvious to experienced editors, but it may prove useful to new editors.
- Anne Marie recommends The Way We Hold On by Abena Beloved Green. This is a semi-autobiographical book of poetry. It is interesting because it successfully commits spoken word poems to the page.
- Brenda recommends The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne. This book is based on a podcast that features an experienced editor mentoring a new fiction writer; it will be of use to editors interested in editing fiction who need to learn the conventions of different genres of fiction.
- Elizabeth recommends The Canadian Press: Caps and Spelling by James McCarten. A book to use rather than read, this slender volume makes a useful companion to the Oxford Canadian Dictionary. It gives updated spellings and capitalization conventions and adds new words that did not exist at the time Oxford released its last Canadian edition. Also: February by Lisa Moore, which tells the story of a woman who loses her husband when the oil rig Ocean Ranger sinks off the coast of Newfoundland on Valentine’s Day, killing everyone working on it. It shows what the woman’s life was like before the event as well as the lingering effect it has on her life afterwards.
Freelancers Union: Jane Kirby, visiting from the Canadian Freelancers Union (Unifor), spoke about what the organization has to offer Kingston freelance workers, which includes many editors. Health insurance, support in cases of grievances with clients, and advice related to contracts are some of the services. The union also puts on some local events, including a panel discussion, Decent Work Under Ford, coming up on November 7. We hope to see Jane again!
Webinars: Editors Canada upcoming webinars include a four-part series on plain language led by Kate Harrison Whiteside, a well-known expert in the area.
Recordings of earlier webinars are available for purchase, including
- Starting a Freelance Editing Career (with Christine LeBlanc)
- Manuscript Evaluation (with Greg Ioannou)
- Eight-Step Editing (with Elizabeth herself)
AGM: The Kingston twig’s first-ever AGM was held on Wednesday, September 19,online using Zoom meeting software. Elizabeth gave a brief report on how the twig has fared over the last year; a few questions were answered; and members officially elected the twig leadership. Seven members (about half) and one visitor attended. The door prize of an Editors Canada calendar went to Greg Murphy.
Fee policy: The twig’s fee policy is in effect: Editors Canada members continue to attend twig meetings free, and visitors are charged $5 per meeting (after the first).
Coming Up: Editors Talk Poetry
On November 14, a panel of Kingston editors who are also poets will share their thoughts and experiences about the writing and editing of poems. Join us!