Island Editor: November 2017

In this bulletin:

Mark your calendar 

  • November 22, 2017: Member meeting
  • December 13, 2017: PEAVI Christmas Party 🎄 at Fran Aitkens's lovely home
Member meeting location: Community Room, Greater Victoria Public Library, 735 Broughton Street (between Douglas and Blanshard). The Community Room is on your right as you approach the main entrance. FREE PARKING in the parkade underneath GVPL 

Next meeting — 
Professional Editorial Standards: How do they work for you?

Date: November 22, 2017
Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
Place: GVPL, 735 Broughton Street

Join fellow PEAVI members for a viewing of the Editors Canada webinar "Professional Editorial Standards: How do they work for you?" followed by a lively discussion and networking. 

Webinar presenters: Michelle Boulton and Moira Rayner White
Length: 25 minutes

Many of Canada's editors use new technologies and work in industries that are far from traditional print publishing. Technological advances and current working methods are at the heart of the latest edition of Professional Editorial Standards, Editors Canada's cornerstone publication. This new edition took effect January 1, 2017, and is now available as a free download.
So, you have your copy of Professional Editorial Standards. Now what?
  • What do you do with them?
  • How are they relevant to your work?
  • Are they only for book editors? (Spoiler: no!)
  • What kinds of changes did Editors Canada make in this new edition and why?
  • What should people who hire or work with editors know about the standards?
  • What should people who teach editors know?

We will try to have PEAVI greeters to help you find your way around through the children’s library on the main floor to this terrific location, and there will be HOT DRINKS and TREATS on offer!

See you Wednesday, November 22.

Saturday Morning Gatherings:
Letter from Sally Jenkins

We are experiencing an irregular turnout for our Saturday coffee get-to-know-you sessions, so I wonder if you would like to chime in with your own suggestions. 

Are you interested in the Saturday morning coffee/breakfast? If yes:
Would you like another location? Where?
Would you prefer another time or day?
Should we reduce the coffee to one day a month?
Any other suggestions? Please send them to

Member news

New member
Welcome to new member Burgle Mitenko. We look forward to meeting you at one of the monthly member meetings.

Your news
Do you have a story to share about an interesting project or a new job? Has a book you edited recently been published? We'd love to hear your editing news

Profile series: PEAVI's founding members

Two years ago PEAVI celebrated its twentieth anniversary, and starting now, each issue of Island Editor will profile one member of the intrepid group of founding members. The first profile is a delightful read from Jean Layland. Enjoy!

Jean Layland

When did you join PEAVI?
PEAVI was born in my living room in 1995, when several Victoria EAC members formed a society to meet our unique Vancouver Island needs. In the early years, we met at members’ homes, often mine. Starting with chair in 1996, I served in many roles over the years, along with a crackerjack team of executive members. We worked hard and laughed a lot! In those days, my surname was MacDonald. (I adopted my husband’s name on our 20th wedding anniversary, prompting him to remark he was glad he’d passed the probationary period.)
What do you like about this group?

The collegiality. Working as a freelance editor can be a lonely job. PEAVI gives me a chance to connect with other editors, to ask questions of my peers, and to learn about editing issues, trends, and resources.

Describe some highlights of your editing career.

My work as a print production manager in Vancouver honed my proofreading and copyediting skills on projects from marketing materials to visual identity systems. I loved discussing fine points of typography with Robert Bringhurst when he came to pick up galley proofs for the J.J. Douglas books he designed. Once, I worked all night to meet a moved-up due date for a Royal Commission report. (I had more stamina 30 years ago.) At dawn, I delivered artwork for the Queen’s Printer to the heliport minutes before the first flight left, and, most fortunately, the report was printed in time to reach the hands of its dying author.

I enrolled in the first courses in Simon Fraser’s writing and editing program, and later in UVic’s PR program, then worked in government communications and policy, where writing and editing are as indispensable as breathing. Since retiring from full-time work in 2011, I’ve written annual reports for the Royal BC Museum, and edited copy for various RBCM projects including the online gallery 100 Objects ( p/). Delicately balancing the roles of editor and spouse, I did the initial editing of my husband Michael’s first two books (

What are you doing now?

I am working on Michael’s third book, about early naturalists on Vancouver Island. I enjoy getting together with friends, taking long walks, gardening, yoga, and reading in the garden with a cat by my side. Michael and I have travelled to Costa Rica and England, and we regularly visit communities up and down the island for his book talks, where I act as presentation techie and bookseller. I meet monthly with a writing group, putting my hand to creative projects of my own. This summer we adopted a bonded pair of adult cats from the SPCA. The picture shows me holding Tobermory, 18 pounds of bodacious boycat. His adopted sister Dundee is a pretty calico. You might expect to find them in some of my stories!

Tell us about your editing goals.

Clarity, conciseness, and pleasing rhythm; finding le mot juste; accuracy, of course; and appropriateness to audience and medium, whether print or online, text, image or video.

Words of wisdom for developing editors?

Read voraciously and well, to attune your ear to the rhythm of language. Practice paring down your own writing – think Haiku, twitter, restaurant napkin. Everything from a tweet to an email to a Facebook or blog post is an opportunity to hone your skills. Consider the subtle meanings of words, and how they may be changing. Most of all, relish your role as editor –  it’s an old and honourable profession.

Thank you, Lenore Hietkamp for the idea for this series and Jean Layland for coordinating it.
In 2015, early members celebrated PEAVI’s 20th birthday:
Audrey McLellan, Georgina Montgomery, Judith Brand, Merrie-Ellen Wilcox

Blue pencil session:
Editing and networking with the Victoria Writers Society

PEAVI members met with VWS members on November 1 to provide speedy feedback on short pieces of writing. Here is some of the feedback from the session.
Feedback from three writers:

"I believe your Rosalind was the editor who read my travel story . . . . She offered excellent comments – particularly a few preferred alternative words – that made a wonderful difference."

"This gave me confidence."

"I learned I should just write and not edit as I go along."
Feedback from a PEAVI editor:

If you're on the fence about participating in the next blue pencil session, Jennifer Kaddoura's feedback will likely convince you of the benefits of participating. The following are excerpts from Jennifer's review.
  • I found the engagement beneficial and fascinating. It was well worth two hours of my time!
  • I was able to practice my introductory pitch, discover what sort of writers are attracted to my personality, and work on my networking skills in a safe and open environment. 
  • During the evening, I conversed with four writers . . . All of these conversations were interesting. Three of these writers gave me their contact details and the fourth has since contacted me via email. I consider this to amount to four leads from the event. 
  • Since the event, two writers (one from a consult; one from a chat) have reached out to me via email to engage my services.
  • I look forward to my next opportunity to participate in this event. I'll be sure to do it again!

Book review volunteer

Would you like to write a monthly book review for Island Editor, or share the task with one or two others? If so, please let us know at

Interesting reads

We found these interesting and thought you might, too:

  • PerfectIt for Mac: Mac users will soon be able to experience firsthand the joy of using PerfectIt, and understand why those of us who use Windows cannot imagine editing without it. Read the article in the recent issue of Editors Canada's Active Voice:

  • "When It Comes to Inclusivity in Publishing, Editors Also Play a Role":

  • "Top 10 Websites for Book Lovers":

  • Writing Strategies for for Theses and Dissertations: A guide available for free from

    The author, Dr Robert Runte, is also an editor, and he writes this about his book:

    "In Canada, at least, the rate of those who fail to complete a thesis or dissertation runs about 50%, and the great majority of those drop out AFTER having successfully completed all their course work, their exams, and even all their data collection and analysis. The problem is that the supervisor then tells them, "now go write that up" as if writing were not a skill requiring instruction and support as much as methodology and theory. My little guide tries to address some of those issues to help graduate students who don't understand why they suddenly can't write when facing a thesis. 

    The pamphlet may be useful to you as an editor, first in understanding why intelligent, articulate and formerly successful students suddenly fold when faced with a thesis; and second, suggest some of the coaching that one could ETHICALLY provide graduate students on writing strategies without addressing the specific content of the manuscript."

On the lighter side

  • If you heard CBC North by Northwest's interview with Jan and Crispen Elsted of Barbarian Press, you know it was a treat. If you missed it, we've included a link to the nxnw Facebook page, where you'll find both the interview and gorgeous photos of the Elsteds' hand press machines — works of art. (Scroll to the post for Saturday at 7:55 a.m. To listen to the interview, open the post and fast forward to 1 hour 20 minutes.)
  • How strong is your vocabulary? Try the Merriam Webster vocabulary quiz

Editing quote

"Inside every fat book is a thin book trying to get out." – Unknown  
Thank you, Cathy Reed, for sharing.

Ideas? Content? Feedback?

Do you have content, ideas, or feedback you'd like to share, an idea for a monthly meeting topic or a suggestion for a particular speaker? We're all ears!

Please contact Island Editor's coordinator Lynne Graham at
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