I’m back from four and a half days in Toronto, where I attended ISC’s and EAC’s national conferences. As in previous years, I’ll be posting summaries of some of the talks I attended—a process that, as I’ve learned, will take me several weeks. Both conferences were excellent, featuring a variety of sessions that appealed to novices as well as seasoned pros and that tackled not only the technical aspects of indexing and editing but also the business side of freelancing. Best of all was being able to see old friends and pick up conversations as if no time had passed, as well as meeting new colleagues and putting faces to names.
My days were packed: I had the privilege of introducing indexing superstar Enid Zafran at her talk about indexer–author relations at the ISC conference, and at the EAC conference I ran a two-part senior editors’ unconference: at a lunchtime session on Saturday, editors shouted out topics they wanted to discuss. I recorded the topics on a flip chart, then, with the help of sticky dots, the editors voted on their favourite ones. I ranked the topics based on votes and created our discussion agenda for our session on Sunday. It was impossible to get through all fourteen of the proposed topics, and it would have been great to have more time, but in general I thought the format worked reasonably well. It also helped that we had a great group; I’m consistently amazed by how much can happen when you just get a bunch of smart people talking to each other about what they know.
The highlight of my week, though, was the EAC banquet. Not only did we learn from Moira White that EAC has established a new award—for a person or organization that has helped advance the editing profession—in memory of our late friend Karen Virag, but we also saw Certification Steering Committee co-chairs Anne Brennan and Janice Dyer acknowledged for their enormous volunteer contributions to the association. Both won the President’s Award for Volunteer service—a well-deserved and long-overdue recognition of the hours and hours and hours of work they put into steering the certification program. Congratulations go out to all the President’s Award winners, including Lee d’Anjou Award–winning volunteer of the year, Michelle Boulton. (Just as note to the national executive, I would have loved to hear what these fantastic volunteers had done for EAC, not just their names! Please consider a giving one-sentence summary of each volunteer’s contributions at next year’s banquet.)
Congratulations, also, of course, to Claudette Upton Scholarship winner Daniel Polowin, and to University of Alberta Press’s Peter Midgley, who finally, finally received the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence he so deserves.
For me, the most exciting part of the evening was being able to present, on behalf of the Certification Steering Committee, designations of Honorary Certified Professional Editor to six pioneers of EAC’s certification program. Without them, the program simply wouldn’t exist. As someone who’s benefited tremendously from certification, both as a CPE and as a CSC member who’s had the privilege to work for the past two and half years with some of the most brilliant, funniest people I know, I want to thank and congratulate these champions, mentors, and friends for their dedication: Lee d’Anjou, Peter Moskos, Maureen Nicholson, Jonathan Paterson, Frances Peck, and Ruth Wilson. I would not be where I am today without them.
If anyone has any photos of the presentation they could send me, I’d be grateful for them. Believe me—the amount of restraint it took to keep from spilling the beans about this surprise was enormous!