Executive Unplugged: Catherine Dorton, Co-chair

We want to give the Editors Toronto members and student affiliates another way to get to know the executive and find out what is involved in being on the committee. So, we asked executive committee members to introduce themselves and their roles by answering a few questions.

Meet Catherine Dorton, co-chair. She’s been a member of Editors Toronto for four years. Catherine has chalked up a shocking (to her) number of years shaping words, primarily as a freelance editor for major Canadian publishers. Recently, she has returned to her love of writing and has signed on as a volunteer reader for a literary magazine.

Photo of Catherine Dorton, Editors Toronto co-chair

What kind of editor are you? Tell us a bit about your experience.

I would describe myself as a seasoned editor and proofreader of all kinds of books, especially literary and commercial fiction, memoir, and books for young people. While most of my work is for publishers, I love the opportunity to work with independent authors as well.

What is your favourite part of the role you hold on the executive committee (or the “exec,” as we call it)?

That’s easy—it’s the people I work with. As one of a tag team of two co-chairs, I share the position with the inimitable Raya P. Morrison, who works hard and brings joy and creativity to every aspect of the job. Being a co-chair means knowing a bit about every chair position and supporting the whole exec team, which I love to do.

Give us an elevator pitch for your role.

I find that working as a freelance editor can be isolating. Being a member of the exec helped change that. I don’t know what took me so long! As a co-chair, I’ve learned to lead and support others, to be better organized and accountable to the whole, and to take the time to give back to my profession. If you like people and being part of the big picture, this might be a role for you.

What’s your favourite part of an exec meeting?

I like the mix of the formal structure, where each chair shares their report, and the relaxed and collegial atmosphere of the meetings. We accomplish quite a bit! I have to confess: I loved the sugary snacks we used to share at our in-person meetings. Now, with Zoom, the big group wave at sign-off makes me smile.

If you didn’t have your role on the exec, what role would you pick?

This is my last term. I’ve served two years as secretary and two as co-chair, so I’m taking a break. If I were to return, though, I might choose treasurer, because, like the role of secretary, the duties are fairly circumscribed. Or I’d go for programs chair, so I could reach out to people I admire and invite them to share their expertise.

Editors Toronto holds elections to fill the executive committee positions every May. If you are interested in the positions and/or their availability, please contact us at [email protected].

This article was copy edited by Jennifer D. Foster.

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