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By Celina Fazio
The April program meeting featured Editors Canada co-founder Greg Ioannou. The topic of the evening was finding freelance work, and, in addition to listening to Ioannou’s talk, attendees had the pleasure of viewing a series of short video presentations by four freelance editors: Jahleen Turnbull-Sousa, Susannah Noel, Adrienne Montgomerie, and Carolyn Camilleri.
These guests shared some tips and strategies on how to generate freelance editing work and illuminated the variety of sectors that editors work in—everywhere from trade publishing to government branches. The question addressed was, how do we connect editors with people who need work edited?
Jahleen Turnbull-Sousa spoke about the importance of not being shy and reaching out to online networks: social media platforms are great places to meet people and connect with other professionals in the industry. Maintaining a presence online makes you easily discoverable by people looking for editorial services. She also discussed cold emailing ideal clients—in addition to the possibility of getting work, cold calling gets your name out and recognized. Turnbull-Sousa also suggested trying mentorship programs, such as the one that Editors Canada offers, to work closely with someone in the industry who can share their experiences and expertise. Finally, Turnbull-Sousa shared her number one tip: volunteering! By offering your skills and services for the greater good, you not only gain valuable experience, but also express your interest in becoming more involved in the editorial field.
Interview conducted by Jennifer D. Foster.
A career as an editor is often a solo adventure, especially if you’re a freelancer. So we thought one way to better connect with fellow editors was to ask them the W5: who, what, where, when, and why. Read on for some thought-provoking, enlightening tidbits from those of us who choose to work with words to earn our keep.
Please tell us a little about yourself, the kind of work you do (and where you live), and how long you’ve been an editor.
I am a freelance writer and editor based mostly in Toronto but also in Victoria. I have been doing this work since 1996, and I have been self-employed since 1998. I write for and edit magazines, mostly custom and trade publications now, but I have a few consumer magazines on my resumé. I especially enjoy launching and rebranding publications; it’s a lot of work, but it’s exciting and fun. I also help businesses with websites, marketing materials, and anything else they have that might need new words or better words.
By Carolyn Camilleri
For many people, doing taxes is like going to the dentist—a necessary evil that adds pressure more than it creates fear. So says Sunny Widerman, accountant and owner of Personal Tax Advisors. Unless, she adds, you are self-employed and looking at a mountain of receipts that you are not sure what to do with.
“People are always afraid that the Canada Revenue Agency is going to be very angry with them for not doing it right, even though most people don’t fully understand what they are doing in the first place,” she says.
Not knowing what to do leads some people to not file their taxes for a couple of years—and so the terror builds. But for self-employed people, a bigger concern than being audited should be GST/HST registration.
“People are afraid of the wrong things. The thing that everyone is afraid of—getting audited—almost never happens,” says Widerman. “The thing that does happen a lot is that [the CRA] comes back years later and says, ‘You should have been registered for the GST/HST, and we want the GST/HST that you should have been collecting three years ago, even though you never collected it.’ And it is hell.”
Keep in mind, too, that the cut-off for having to register for and file GST/HST is $30,000 income in any 12-month period; it isn’t based on the calendar year. So if you have one $15,000 job in December and another $15,000 job in January, that’s it—you have to register. It doesn’t matter that it was split over two years.