Island Editor: March 2018

In this bulletin:

Mark your calendar 

  • March 28, 2018: Pub Night at the James Bay Inn
  • April 25, 2018
Member meeting location: 
Greater Victoria Public Library, 735 Broughton Street (between Douglas and Blanshard).  FREE PARKING in the parkade underneath GVPL. 
Join our coffee get-to-know-you sessions on Saturdays at 10:30 am at the Breakwater Cafe, Ogden Point. Delicious breakfasts, the best views in town, and excellent company!

Coming? Need a ride? Contact

Next meeting: Annual Pub Night

Please join us at the annual PEAVI Pub Night!
Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Location: James Bay Inn (JBI) Pub,  270 Government St, Victoria
Time: 6 to 9 p.m.

#indexday this year is Thursday, March 29. Celebrating book indexes, indexers and the profession of indexing. There will be online activity that can be followed and joined in with #indexday, and we are holding an event for editors and publishers in London.

Here's the link to join in via FaceBook:

Thank you, Sally Jennings, for letting us know!

Profile series: PEAVI's founding members

Continuing our profile series featuring PEAVI's founding members, March's contribution from Lisa Leighton is truly insipring. Thank you, Lisa, for sharing!

Lisa Leighton

When did you join PEAVI ?

As the late (and still much-missed) Bob Amussen might say, I joined PEAVI when we “went to the barricades” and elected to form our own association rather than continue as an offshoot of the Vancouver branch of what was then FEAC. Mutiny was so out of character for a group of editors that it reminded me of the piratical accountants in Monty Python’s “The Crimson Permanent Assurance” skit that opens The Meaning of Life, but with less death. I was honoured to serve as the founding chair of PEAVI, which we named in Jean Layland’s living room, and to work with so many talented and committed early members. 

What drew you to this group?
I knew Georgina Montgomery’s brother in Toronto, and he suggested that I connect with her when I moved to Victoria in 1992. She kindly invited me to the next FEAC meeting, at Yvonne Van Ruskenveld’s home. I wasn’t group-inclined in Toronto, but everyone was very welcoming and generous – and they spoke editing! It was like finding my tribe.
How did you learn to edit?
Like Faith Gildenhuys, I learn by doing. From the moment I could read, I consumed everything, including reference works. That gave me a pretty good grasp of the fundamentals. I studied history, English and languages through university, and then backed into editing by way of magazines. As I’m sure we all did, I read the standard references on style, usage and grammar. Grammar was always a tough read for me, but I admit to digging into things like dictionaries, Fowler’s Modern English Usage and The Chicago Manual of Style just for fun.

Describe some highlights of your  editing career?

When the kids were still shorter than us: Sarah, Mark, Charlotte and I, heading to the beach in Tofino.
It really has all been a highlight. For 37 years, I’ve been lucky enough to make my living doing what I love for fascinating people, editing often extraordinary voices, learning production and photography, working with some of Canada’s top professional performing arts companies, stepping into diverse fields like law and medicine, travelling, writing and mentoring. I’m so grateful for all of it.

Tell us about your editing goals.
I am an advocate for the reader. Is it accurate? Is it clear? Is it necessary? Does it fit? Does it flow? Can it be more concise? If something stops me, it will stop a reader, so it needs to be re-examined.
I am also an advocate for my own ability, as an editor, to remain open, curious and flexible in my work. I consciously work to stretch my boundaries and adjust my perceptions, because the language is always evolving. So is how we use it.

What are you doing now?
I still work with some long-time periodical clients, but these days, the universe mostly sends me books. One of those is my husband Mark Heine’s book Sirens, which ties into his painting series of the same name. I’m nearly done the first :: big :: edit, and I designed and created the costumes for our models for the underwater location photography we did as painting reference. Since 2001, I’ve worked on nearly 20 stage productions at Langham Court Theatre, mostly as a costume designer, and in 2015, I costumed the award-winning B.C. short film, The Cameraman. I’m teaching myself to quilt, and we’re spending more time with our family. We are avid square-foot gardeners, and we grow a lot of our own food. Ahead? Writing. And finding a good editor, because I’m rubbish at editing myself.

Words of Wisdom for developing editors?
I echo what Faith said: read! Read deeply and widely, with passion and an open mind. Go down as many rabbit holes as you can, especially the ones that intimidate you.

Ask questions – of anyone. Be humble: ask for help. Trust your instincts. Don’t leave footprints.

Most of all, if you love what you do, be grateful, and then put it back out there.
Favourite editorial break time
Thanks to Lenore Hietkamp for the idea for this profile series and to Jean Layland for coordinating it.
Blue Pencil Session 

The Victoria Writers Society seems to love working with PEAVI editors! They've invited us to do another blue-pencil editing session with their members on April 4. This is a fun thing to do and is a great way to exercise your analytical and commenting skills. Editors often get work from this session, too. Watch the email listserv for further details.

Members corner

Your response to the call for member news far exceeded my expectations.  Thank you! Some of you sent news; others responded with positive comments. Please keep the news coming!
Ursula Viara writes:

Map credit: Times Colonist
I work in Lantzville, all alone in my little office here. Anyways … just finishing up editing an exciting crime novel with a heroine who just won’t quit when police fail in the search for her kidnapped husband. I’m loving the dialogue and the characters; and especially the contemporary local settings and situations: Vancouver, Bowen Island, Galiano Island, Bowyer Island, The Vancouver Police Department, illegal gambling, guns, kayaks and BC Ferries! And a writer who is a joy to work with. I love my job.
And this from Jean Layland:

My much-anticipated copy of Elements of Indigenous Style arrived in the mail today. A guide for writing by and about Indigenous Peoples by Gregory Younging, it is the first published guide to answer questions and issues of style and process for writers and editors. From my first brief sampling of its pages, I would say it’s also a valuable reference for to how to think about and interact with Indigenous Peoples respectfully. See for more information, price, table of contents. I’ll use the principles in the first edit of my husband’s next book, about early BC naturalists.

Elsa Jones sent the following:

While out somewhere, in a situation where I couldn’t make off with the copy, I browsed through a BC Bookworld, and what should I come across but a reference to our Rhonda Ganz, praising her new book of poetry! It’s in their alphabetical listing, so was entitled “G is for Ganz“.  I think this is worth applauding!  I read this a couple of weeks ago, so I’m not sure if it’s the most recent issue.

Leslie Prpich no longer lives on the Island, but keeps in touch:

Since I left Victoria to live on and edit from a farm in the northern bush ten years ago, I’ve missed PEAVI’s monthly meetings. I maintain my membership because I so appreciate having a professional network of colleagues I can learn from, laugh with, and consult, even though it’s limited to email now. On a recent visit to the unexpectedly frigid garden city, I seized the opportunity to meet some colleagues in person at the February meeting. I was surprised to discover a tag with my name has lurked in the bin all these years! I felt welcomed as part of the group, which is a lovely feeling for someone who works in isolation. Thank you!
For PEAVI members who haven’t met me and may wonder who I am when I post on the listserv, about 95% of my editing work is academic. I started my career serendipitously in 2003 when a UVic “writing for government” class was renumbered and I landed in Susan Doyle’s editing class by mistake. I decided to take the class, and when Susan gave my name to a UVic department, my “accidental” career was launched: copyediting master’s theses for $14/hr. I had no clue at the time that within the next year my partner and I would buy a farm in northern BC and academic editing would turn out to be not only a portable source of income, but my true vocation. I learned on the job and through self-education. Today I work across the country and around the world. It’s stimulating, varied, well-paid, challenging, and rewarding. I feel truly blessed!

On my desk right now: several book manuscripts, two on Indigenous language revitalization, one on feminist postqualitative research in early childhood, and one on BC’s failing child protection system; journal articles on Islamophobia in Canadian schools and masculinities in elite ice hockey; and several doctoral dissertations in education and child and youth care. I love to develop coaching relationships with doctoral candidates and then work with them as they establish their careers as researchers and scholars.
If you’re new to editing, have an academic bent, and are wondering how you want to shape your editing career, I highly recommend this path.

Leslie Prpich 
Beyond Words

Do you have news you would like to share, an interesting project, perhaps, or a new job? Has a book you edited recently been published? We would love to hear your editing news

Volunteer corner

Professional Development Coordinator/s: PEAVI's workshops are always a treat. We all leave feeling inspired and excited to get back to editing. We've enjoyed vibrant discussion, learned a lot, made new friends and reconnected with old ones. We're already looking forward to the next event.

The challenge this year is we don't have folks to coordinate a workshop. What we do have are excellent notes from past coordinators. Our previous team of Paula Marchese and Rowena Rae described the role as
 "very rewarding . . . a wonderful opportunity," and Paula would be happy to mentor the next coordinator/s. 

If you'd like to facilitate PEAVI's professional development or share the role with someone, please contact Did I mention the great notes?

Editors Canada Annual Conference

This year's EAC conference<> is in Saskatoon, May 25-27. Yann Martel, author of the Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi, will be one of the keynote speakers. A number of sessions will focus on Indigenous publishing issues. 

Interesting reads

Thanks to Lenore Hietkamp who sent links to the following articles.
  • Getting the edits back on your debut novel: A survival diary, by Robert Lukins

  • Make Your Memoir’s “Characters”—Yes, Those Real Ones—More Real to the Reader,  by Shuly X. Cawood

On the lighter side

And because it's almost Easter . . .

Place Easter egg to reward careful readers by Rob Bignell

Ideas? Content? Feedback?

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

Please contact Lynne Graham at
Island Editor is coordinated and compiled by Lynne Graham and copyedited by Dave Henry. PEAVI members provide the content.
Copyright © 2018 Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island, All rights reserved.

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