Past Events

Seminars & Workshops
February 20, 2021: Create a Thriving Editing Business by Understanding Your Mindset
April 18, 2020: Something’s Missing – a workshop by Betsy Warland
February 2, 2019: Literary Citizenship 101 and Marketing Strategies for Writers
May 27, 2017: Usage Woes and Myths
Nov 26, 2016: Skilful Structural Editing
May 14, 2016: Plain Language: The Basics
November 28, 2015: Beyond the Basics Workshops for Editors
May 9, 2015: Workshop – MS Word for Editors and Writers with Esther Hart
January 19, 2014: Workshop – Eight-Step Editing with Jim Taylor
February 9, 2013: Workshop – Editing Fiction with Caroline Adderson
October 20, 2012: Workshop – Advanced Proofreading with Ruth Wilson
January 28, 2012: Seminar – Writing and Editing for the Web

Workshop – February 20, 2021

Create a Thriving Editing Business by Understanding Your Mindset

Malini Devadas guides editors in examining our internal beliefs that prevent us from growing our freelance businesses.

Workshop – April 18, 2020 – postponed indefinitely

“Something’s Missing…”
presented by Betsy Warland

Location: Accent Inn, 3233 Maple Street, Victoria, BC, facing Douglas Street

Fee: $95 for this day-long workshop (fee does not include lunch)

Refreshments: Snacks and tea and coffee provided.

Lunch: One-and-a-half-hour lunch break. There are several places nearby to buy lunch, including Bin 4, the restaurant attached to the hotel. Or bring your own.

How often have you been hired to edit a piece of writing, short or long, fiction, non-fiction, or poetry and you discover it requires more than copyediting, or that it is not ready for copyediting? Or you know of a writer whose manuscript, which they thought was finished, was rejected by a publisher, with little explanation or guidance? Or you read a published book that doesn’t quite work? Something’s often missing. Fundamental problems with structure or writing have not been addressed.

With the dramatic decline of in-house editors, it is up to freelance editors to fill the gap. An early intervention is often required, a sort of intense, extended blue-pencil session that will help an author look with fresh eyes at the architecture of their manuscript. At this stage, the editor’s role is to help shape the manuscript by providing the author with tools and ideas to hone their writing craft, to tighten (or deepen) the writing.

This day-long, hands-on workshop will expand on the skills editors use in blue-pencil sessions or manuscript evaluations and introduce some new ones. It will also provide insights into how to present this service to authors.

Participants will work on a few pages that they are already familiar with (for the sake of convenience, we’ll refer to this sample as the “manuscript”). Participants will receive further instructions after registration.

Part 1
Beyond the Blue Pencil

Learning techniques: identifying different kinds of chronology and narrative positions, identifying each writer’s tics, optimizing the style and variety of sentences, matching word choice with evolving content, identifying accurate pacing, and using depth of field
Practicing on sample pages
Identifying the pace and level at which each author can work

Part 2
The Business Opportunity

Expanding your editing services: identifying what types of writing you are best suited to work on and how to “sell” this additional service
Determining how to make an accurate estimate based on types of, and extent of, editing needed
Assessing how to discuss with each writer what additional editing is needed
Defining specific editing plans and estimates
Conversation about future mentoring for workshop participants.*

*When the workshop is over, Betsy welcomes further one-on-one mentoring (at a special workshop reduction of her hourly fee) for those who want to further develop the skills learned in this workshop.

Betsy Warland is both an author and an editor. She has written thirteen books, and has more than thirty years’ experience as a writing teacher, manuscript consultant, and editor. She works with authors to help them identify the strengths and weakness of a manuscript, its most compelling focus and corresponding structure, and the revisions needed. Her bestselling 2010 book on writing, Breathing the Page—Reading the Act of Writing, continues to be used by editors and writers alike. Betsy works with creative nonfiction manuscripts, nonfiction (essays, memoir, etc.), poetry, mixed genre, and experimental fiction manuscripts. Writers with whom she’s done manuscript development and editing have gone on to publish books, and to win, or be shortlisted for, such prizes as the Griffin Award, BC Book Award, Pat Lowther Award, Writers’ Trust Award, Great BC Novel Contest, CBC Literary Competition, City of Victoria Butler Award, Poets’ Corner Award of the Maritimes, Trillium Book Award of Toronto, Governor General’s Award, and Surrey Writers’ Guild International Competition.

Workshop – February 2, 2019


Presenter: Lori A. May

Literary Citizenship 101

Writing may be a solitary profession, but it is also one that thrives within a healthy community. Writers, editors, and readers rely on one another professionally and personally. This interactive session shares ideas and inspiration for audience outreach, networking, and community building opportunities. We’ll explore online and in-person options for enhancing your literary circle, locally and beyond.

Marketing Strategies for Writers

Plan for your best freelance year to date! This interactive session explores passive and targeted marketing opportunities for expanding your audience and broadening your portfolio. We’ll discuss social media and your online presence, targeted marketing and pitches, along with networking strategies. Come with your goals in mind as we discuss short and long term action plans.

Lori A. May is the author of six books, including The Write Crowd: Literary Citizenship & the Writing Life (Bloomsbury). She writes across the genres and has work published in The AtlanticBrevityCanadian TravellerMidwestern Gothic, and Writer’s Digest. As a freelance editor, Lori has worked with Kaylie Jones Books (an Akashic Books imprint), Creative Nonfiction, and other presses and journals. Lori also teaches in the University of King’s College-Halifax creative nonfiction MFA program.

SEMINAR – May 27, 2017

Instructor: Frances Peck

You’ve sorted out imply and infer. You know it’s not all right to use alright. But what about more troublesome usage points, like the difference between may and might? Or such commonly misused words as dilemma and fulsome? Is it true that you should always change though to althoughtill to until? Is impact now officially a verb? For anyone intent on preventing (not avoiding) word errors and avoiding (not preventing) usage myths, this seminar will help. We’ll take an up-to-date look at some of the most misunderstood and contentious points of English usage, and identify helpful guides and other resources. Bring your top usage questions to share with the group.

Frances Peck is a writer and Certified Professional Editor (Hon.) who has worked with words for over 25 years. Author of Peck’s English Pointers and a co-author of the HyperGrammar website, she teaches editing at Douglas College and UBC and gives workshops across Canada. She is a partner with West Coast Editorial Associates and a long-time volunteer with Editors Canada.

WORKSHOP – Nov 26, 2016

Instructor: Ruth Wilson
Presented by PEAVI

Many editors are intimidated when they are asked to do a structural edit. Unlike other stages of editing, structural editing has fewer “rules,” and there is never just one way to solve structural problems. Structural editors are called upon to clarify, reorganize, and even rewrite. Negotiation with the author is also often part of the job.

This one-day workshop examined a sure-fire approach and process to structural editing. Participants learned how to break down structural editing into manageable tasks, resolve imbalance in content, and ensure manuscripts are appropriate for the intended audience. At the end of the workshop, participants had learned:

  • How to assess a manuscript to identify structural issues
  • How to use an outline to reveal structure
  • What questions to ask when analyzing problems
  • How to avoid over editing and respect the writer’s work
  • How graphics and design can support structural editing decisions
  • Why diplomacy can be just as important as editorial skill
  • How to estimate how long editing will take

WORKSHOP – May 14, 2016

Instructor: Peter Moskos
Presented by Editors BC in partnership with PEAVI

This course demonstrated basic plain language techniques and provided “before” and “after” examples, practical exercises, and an easy-to-use checklist. Participants learned how to appreciate the need for plain language writing; how to recognize writing that needs to be rewritten in plain language; and how to use 10 techniques to write materials in plain language, so a broad spectrum of readers can understand them quickly and easily.

Peter Moskos  is an accomplished writer and editor who specializes in plain language writing—organizing unstructured, complex, or overwritten materials and making them clear and easy to follow. Peter has written and edited reports to Parliament, technical reports, manuals, student handbooks, training materials, speeches, legislation, marketing materials, and advertising brochures. Now based in Vancouver, Peter is retired but continues to offer courses in plain language and in how to build a writing and editing business.

In the past, Peter taught in Douglas College’s Print Futures Program and was an online instructor for Ryerson University’s Diploma in Publishing. Peter played a formative role in the development of Editors Canada’s certification program and for his contribution was designated an honorary Certified Professional Editor.


WORKSHOP – November 28, 2015

Presented by: PEAVI Members
Organizers: Paula Marchese and Rowena Rae

This workshop, for new and not-so-new members,  included four different mini-sessions on subjects including marketing oneself and finding clients, how to run a freelance business, setting rates, and learning more about the different types of editing. Held Saturday, November 28, 2015, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Church of Truth, 111 Superior Street, James Bay, Victoria, B.C. A light lunch and snack was included.


WORKSHOP – Saturday, May 9, 2015

Presenter: Esther Hart

This workshop will help you make the most of Microsoft Word when writing or editing articles, books and other documents. The workshop will be in two parts:

  1. General overview: Formatting, Format Painter, Alignment, Line Spacing, Borders, Tab Stop, Bullets
  2. Specific book-related instructions: Create Styles, Find/Replace, Page Layout, Insert Page (or Table or Picture), Online Movies, Smart Art, Chart, Clip Art, Header/Footer, Page Break, Bookmark, Comment, Spelling, Track Changes, Password Protection

Esther Hart has been continually upgrading her proficiency with MS Word since the Windows version was released in 1989. Since 1996, when she did all the layout—including illustrations—for her first self-published book, she has been using MS Word for book publishing. Esther is an active member of PEAVI, currently serving as secretary and professional development co-chair.


WORKSHOP – Sunday, January 19, 2014

Instructor: Jim Taylor

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned editor, this course will help you make your words work better. Using a step-by-step process, the program identifies the most common factors that become obstacles for readers. It not only helps recognize the problems, it shows quick and simple techniques for fixing them. Professional editors tend to make these corrections intuitively. Eight-Step Editing helps them ensure they haven’t overlooked some crucial readability factor in their zeal to track down spelling or punctuation inconsistencies. Novice editors often suffer from paralysis. Eight-Step Editing gives them a starting point that doesn’t depend on subjective assessments of a manuscript’s worth.

Jim Taylor developed Eight-Step Editing as a workshop for the Editors’ Association of Canada in 1985. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, Jim Taylor has over 50 years experience in writing and editing. He has worked as a managing editor of a national magazine, and he is the co-founder of the publishing house, Wood Lake Books Inc., which has published over 200 titles. He is himself the author of 17 books, and has had “somewhere over 800” periodical articles published.


WORKSHOP – Saturday, February 9, 2013

Instructor: Caroline Adderson

Behind every great novelist and short story writer there is a great editor. In this course, acclaimed author and writing teacher Caroline Adderson will share techniques to help editors bring out the greatness in their writers, from dazzling openings to moving endings, and the whole story in between, including effective plotting, pacing, and dialogue. She will also offer advice on the all-important writer-editor relationship.

Caroline Adderson is the author of three novels (A History of Forgetting, Sitting Practice, The Sky Is Falling), two collections of short stories (Bad Imaginings, Pleased to Meet You), as well as six books for young readers. Her work has received numerous prize nominations including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, two Commonwealth Writers’ Prizes, the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist, the Governor General’s Literary Award, and the Rogers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Winner of two Ethel Wilson Fiction Prizes and three CBC Literary Awards, Caroline was also the recipient of the 2006 Marian Engel Award for mid-career achievement. She lives in Vancouver where she teaches in SFU’s Writing and Publishing Program.


WORKSHOP – Saturday, October 20, 2012

Instructor: Ruth Wilson

This exercise-based workshop focuses on beyond-the-basics proofreading skills. It offers participants the opportunity to examine excerpts from complex documents and learn how to fine-tune their proofreading eye to catch every error. With documents ranging from recipes to journal articles, participants will be challenged to use their judgment to weigh the pros and cons of making changes, querying authors, or making no changes at all.

Time will be spent discussing the process a proofreader must follow when part of a larger production team, and examples of process checklists from publishers and organizations will be provided.

This workshop will be helpful to anyone wishing to advance their proofreading skills, prepare for job advancement, or study for EAC’s upcoming Proofreading Certification test this fall. Participants must have proofreading experience and be familiar with conventional mark-up. Course material will be supplied, but participants should bring a current dictionary, pencils and pens, a calculator, and a ruler or other measure that they now use on the job.

Ruth Wilson  has more than 25 years’ experience editing and proofreading trade books, professional journals, association publications, and corporate materials. She worked for many years with Vancouver book publisher Self-Counsel Press, but in 1997 she decided to spread her wings as an independent consultant. She is now a partner in West Coast Editorial Associates (

Ruth is also a respected instructor in the Writing and Communications Program and the Summer Publishing Workshops at Simon Fraser University, where she teaches proofreading, editing, and plain language skills. She has also served on several national committees of the Editors’ Association of Canada. In 2011 she was honoured as a recipient of EAC’s President’s Award for Volunteer Service.


SEMINAR – Saturday, January 28, 2012

Instructor: Lisa Manfield

Writing and editing for websites is not the same as writing for print media. The web requires writers and editors who understand its possibilities, its limitations, its interactivity, and how people use the web differently than print. This course will introduce you to a range of skills needed by interactive writers and editors, including content research and development, search engine optimization, adapting print materials for the web, and understanding Web 2.0.

Lisa Manfield is the editor of, Canada Wide Media’s first online-only magazine. In her 15 years in print and online publishing, she has also been managing editor at, marketing manager at, contributing editor for Backbone Magazine, business and finance editor at, associate editor at CGA Magazine, and editor of Realm magazine. As a publishing consultant, she has developed print and online content, marketing collateral, and courseware for Canada Wide Media, UBC, CBC TV, the Knowledge Network, WorkSafeBC, the BC and Alberta Magazine Publishers Associations, and Magazines Canada. She was a member of the editorial collective that produces Room literary journal for eight years, and on the board of directors (three years as vice-president) for the Magazine Association of BC. She also teaches Writing and Editing for the Web for SFU’s Writing and Publishing Program.