by Ann Kennedy
I joined Editors Canada as a student affiliate looking for opportunities to network with “real live” editors. I was partway through the Editing Certificate program at George Brown College and already thinking past graduation. Three years on, I don’t remember my exact Google search term, but I was thrilled to discover that the 2015 Editors Canada conference—their first international one, no less—was taking place in Toronto. I’m an old hand at conference planning, having worked at the local NXNE Music Festival and Conference for nine years, so I jumped at the chance.
I had no qualms about joining the organization in order to volunteer with it. I recognized the enormous potential for meeting people who could definitely advise me in my new career. And the Editors Canada website promised all manner of other benefits to members, too.
I’m so glad I did.
Volunteering at the registration desk was the ideal way to learn who was who in the editing world. I quickly found out that editors are an extraordinarily friendly and supportive group. My Facebook friend list doubled after the conference!
I went on to volunteer at the Editors Toronto booth at Word On The Street and join a national committee. The student relations committee represents the interests of students and fledgling editors in the association. Our mandate is to raise awareness of the association in editing and journalism programs and grow Editors Canada membership through attracting new student affiliates.
I was also honoured to be asked to join a task force whose goal is to improve access to member services for people who live in remote areas or who cannot access Editors Canada services for other reasons, such as disability.
All of this activity has paid off! I’ve made some great friends and I’ve done two copy editing contracts that were referred to me by members I’d met through volunteering. I highly recommend both joining Editors Canada and volunteering. The more you give of your time and talents, the more you’ll get!
Ann Kennedy is dedicated to reviving the skills and importance of excellent spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax in the digital age. She specializes in biography and memoir, travel literature and plain language.
This article was copy edited by Ambrose Li .