Category Archives: Ontario Regional news

Ontario chapters launch fall season

Kim Arnottby Kim Arnott

The season of cottages and barbeques has sadly passed, but the three seasons of professional development are now upon us!

Mark your calendars for the following exciting PWAC events:

PWAC Toronto

PWAC is poised for Culture Days 2014 with the panel discussion ’10 Things That Nobody Told You About Freelance Writing’ hosted by Nate Hendley (Vice-President, PWAC). Join us and guest speakers Corbin Smith (award-winning photographer), Suzanne Bowness (PWAC Executive Board Member), Stacey Marie Robinson (Publisher and author), Jennifer Foster (freelance writer and editor) and Camille Dundas (News writer) on September 27 at 10 a.m. at Metro Hall Room 308.

This promises to be an insightful discussion with leading publishing professionals as they provide tips about the trade and what they learned on the job versus what they were taught in the classroom.

PWAC Guelph

Ever have clients ask you for a lead on a good local writer/editor/designer/web developer? Ever wonder how your colleagues handle the issues you battle with every day: staying fresh, keeping projects on track, managing client/supplier relationships and keeping abreast of the e-revolution?

The Professional Writers’ Association of Canada (PWAC) Guelph Chapter invites you to join us for an evening of networking and facilitated discussion with other local communications professionals. We’re inviting writers, editors, designers and website developers to join us for an evening of refreshments, trend talk, insights and connections. The Joint Cafe, 43 Cork Street East, Guelph. Tuesday October 14, 7:00 to 9:30pm

PWAC Waterloo

Ann Douglas, author of 30 books, advocate and successful freelance writer shares her secrets for crafting a successful freelance writing career. She’ll talk about self-marketing, becoming THE subject matter expert that media comes to, contracts and what you need to know, how to find balance and happiness in a freelance writing career. Here’s the best part: Participants can send questions in advance.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, Oct. 25 from 9:30am-12:30pm at the Kitchener Public Library (85 Queen St. N.). Cost is $20 for PWAC members, $30 for non-members and $10 for students.

Kim Arnott has been a freelance writer and editor since 1994, writing on a variety of topics for newspapers, magazines and digital media. She is PWAC’s current Regional Director for Ontario.

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Post-AGM 2014 Letter from Ontario Regional Director Kim Arnott

Hello Ontario PWAC Members,

PWAC’s annual conference and AGM were held at the beginning of June, as part of MagNet in Toronto. As always, the opportunity to meet new PWAC friends and renew acquaintances with others from across the country was wonderful. The conference offered professional development sessions, an awards dinner and our annual business session.

At our awards dinner, I was thrilled to be able to present PWAC Toronto president Jaclyn Law with Ontario’s Regional Volunteer Award. As many of you will know, Jaclyn’s superb leadership and cheerful volunteer energy has helped our Toronto chapter continue to thrive.

Jaclyn Law PWAC volunteer of the year award

Toronto Chapter president Jaclyn Law receives the Ontario Regional Volunteer Award from Ontario Regional Director Kim Arnott – image from PWAC at MagNet

I was also pleased to see and chat with delegates who came out from chapters across the province to attend the AGM, as well as a town hall session. The feedback from members was really useful to me as I enter my second year as your Regional Director. I promised at the time that I would post all of the information that was gathered on a Forum thread and on our Ontario blog (, and I will do that over the coming few weeks.

One of the main topics of conversation this year involved the future of our national conference. As you may know, we have organized our annual event in conjunction with Magazines Canada as over the last three years. At this point we do not have a specific plan for the national conference next year, but a task force has been established to develop options for 2015 and future conferences. Possibilities include partnering with other organizations, holding a virtual AGM and developing regional conferences, or moving to a bi-annual conference.

I believe this year’s business sessions generated some significant enthusiasm and energy to work toward important PWAC goals, including re-orienting the organization to better serve member needs, developing a plan to provide regular online professional development to members, and finding ways to stabilize and enhance the organization’s financial state.

To that end, the Professional Development task force and a Member Services task force are both soliciting volunteers. You should have received a bulletin about this last week, but if you are interested in volunteering and don’t know who to contact, please let me know and I will direct you to the appropriate person.

I wish all my PWAC colleagues a fun, productive and safe summer. I look forward to staying in touch and continuing to cooperatively build our careers and our professional association.


Kim Arnott
Ontario RD

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Voting Counts… it really does

Kim Arnottby Kim Arnott

While Winston Churchill famously exhorted citizens to cast their votes to make a difference, Joseph Stalin more cynically noted that it was those who counted the votes, and not those who cast them, who actually decided an election.

The good news when it comes to the PWAC Annual General Meeting (AGM) is that votes are taken with a show of hands, so it’s easy to see your decision making a difference.

The annual call has been issued for delegates to attend the PWAC AGM and help shape the future of our organization. Ideally delegates – who vote as chapter representatives at the AGM – should be directly chosen by their chapters at meetings organized to discuss any issues or concerns the chapter would like to bring to the attention of the national organization.

However, in the case of less active chapters, members may express their interest in serving as delegates by contacting me directly at The list of delegates is to be finalized by May 15, so if you are interested, please let me know quickly.

Electronic information packages will be sent out to delegates to familiarize them with items to be considered at the AGM. Additional information can also be found at  under the “my profile” tab. By reading the board minutes from the year, as well as AGM minutes from past years, members can familiarize themselves with the organization’s main issues and challenges.  (Look under PWAC governance, at the bottom of the “about us” page.)

This year’s AGM will be held on Friday June 6 at 2pm, at the conclusion of MagNet. While only official delegates are entitled to vote at the meeting, all PWAC members may attend and observe. There is no requirement for anyone (delegates or observers) to register for MagNet in order to attend the PWAC AGM. If you are within a reasonable drive of Toronto and simply wish to learn more about how your professional association operates, please come out and join us for the meeting.

The number of delegates each chapter may send to the AGM is determined through a formula based on membership. This year’s numbers are below.

  • Guelph – 3
  • London – 4
  • Northwest Ontario – 2
  • Hamilton – 3
  • Ontario Outliers – 3
  • Ottawa – 4
  • Sudbury – 2
  • Toronto – 22
  • Waterloo – 2

Questions? Don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail.

In the meantime…
Do you remember?
AGM London
A group PWAC photo taken at the 1997 AGM in London. Can you find current Ontario members Catherine Cocchio, Suzanne Boles, Mark Kearney, Ann Douglas, Trudi Down (she’s hiding) and Leslie Smith? (Oh yes, and I’m in there somewhere too…)

Kim Arnott has been a freelance writer and editor since 1994, writing on a variety of topics for newspapers, magazines and digital media. She is PWAC’s current Regional Director for Ontario.

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Thank you, and Goodbye.

This is my last post as your Ontario RD, and I want to thank you all for your support, encouragement and help.

I do wish that I’d had more time to get to meet more of our members personally, or to visit all of the chapters. I am thankful to PWAC for having a small travel budget for the Regional Directors so that I was able to at least visit a few chapters.

It seems like the past two years has flown by–there was still so much that I wanted to do. Getting this blog up and running, and having more members contributing to it was part of my goal. So, the first part is done. This is YOUR PWAC Ontario blog, so please do contribute to it!

There is a Chapters page for updates and there is always room for good news!

Does your chapter have a regular activity at its meeting? Tell us about it. Other chapters might want to try it out.

In the Guelph chapter, members come prepared to share tips and tricks of the trade at monthly meetings. They have a “Tip of the Week” where members advise on “if you just do one thing this week….”

It’s great to get together and share those tips, but it’s also great to be able to share them online. Some of our Ontario members, me included, are in the “Ontario Outliers” so we don’t have a local chapter where we can meet colleagues in person. We NEED the online community.  This blog is part of that online community.

Another big part are the forums on  

The forums are a great place to share success stories, get help with an article, get market tips, and generally get support for the living the life of a freelance writer. If you haven’t stopped by lately, please do.

Update your profile–including adding a photo. Join the conversations on the Biz forum or the “L-General”

There are also forums archiving the PWAC Bulletins, offering technical assistance, and a new one creating a periodical database for market information.

I’ll be the first to admit that   has had its share of problems, and its full vision and potential has not yet been realized, but it can be, and will be so much more than it is right now, so please keep positive and look for what it can do.  It is much more than a database, which is all the old site was. Members wanted more, and our hard-working staff and Board are trying to deliver–but it takes time and money, both of which are often in short supply. So, please, be patient.

I ask you to be patient with our incoming Regional Director Kim Arnott too, although I know it won’t take Kim long to get up to speed. Kim is a long-time PWAC member and served as Ontario’s regional director in the mid-90s. PWAC is a much different organization than it was then, but Kim has been a stalwart at our AGMs and is not shy about voicing her opinions and concerns, as well as her praises. So, I am confident in passing the Ontario RD “torch” to Kim. She will serve you well.

I will be at the PWAC conference June 4-7 and I look forward to seeing many of you there. This is good bye for me as your RD, but I have no intention of leaving PWAC, so I’ll see you in the forums and at the conferences!

Thank you and Goodbye. I’m signing off for the last time as your RD.




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See you there! PWAC@MagNet 2013, June 4-7

Make sure you’ve marked June 4-7, 2013 on your calendars for PWAC@MagNet.

Our “host” region is British Columbia and our Regional Director there, Heidi Turner, has been hard at work with the conference team and with local (BC) industry reps on some special items and events.

The full conference program of Professional Development workshops and seminars is scheduled to be sent out before the end of March.

There will also be an array of social events, which will help you relax while you reconnect with colleagues, and make new friends.

Once again, PWAC will be offering subsidies to our delegates that will cover direct travel costs more than $175.00–Yes–you will be reimbursed for your direct travel costs over and above $175.  So we hope to see delegates from our northern and far eastern parts of the province!

The full program, and details about our special “PWAC Nights” will be out soon. For now–make sure you’ve marked those calendars!

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PWAC Ontario Member Achievements

Guelph PWAC’s Melody Wren is at it again – finding new publications for her travel stories. Here’s her latest, published in ActiveOver50 magazine, about the benefits of renting when visiting Paris.
“The publication is called,” says Melody.  “The print version is in California, with a vast readership, and their website attracts over 1 million viewers annually.  I am pleased that I have just started writing for them, and this article is my first of a few lined up.”
Stan Taylor, PWAC Toronto, has a new book, and presented a workshop based on the book. Here are the details:
Book: Taylor’s Pneumatic Toys ISBN 978-0-9918098-0-6
Publisher: Stanley R Taylor self published through LSI, Dec 24, 2012
My book is for parents/grandparents/educators to spend quality time with the children teaching and working with them to make pneumatic (air-powered) toys with moving parts out of wood. With care, these toys should last a lifetime.
Stanley R Taylor
Toronto Chapter
Workshop: I gave a successful workshop to scientists, engineers and educators from many countries at the Science Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC) at Johnson Space Center (NASA), Houston TX on February 9, 2013. I taught them how to make a miniature, pneumatically controlled Canadarm with two moving parts. This ‘toy’ as I call it is one of nine toys parents and children can make from my newly published book, Taylor’s Pneumatic Toys.
For more information about this, contact Stan:

If you have news about PWAC Ontario members, please share it!

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Hello PWAC Ontario

Greetings from  the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) Ontario Region

Hello Ontario Members, and PWAC members across the country who may have dropped in to check out our blog.

Welcome, or welcome back.

My term is ending as your Regional Director, and it’s been a whirlwind couple of years.  I’m looking for a strong finish! This isn’t my swan song yet though. That will come later. There are more important things at hand:

The Countdown has begun–we are less than six weeks away from PWAC@MagNet 2013! This is where PWACers will join others in writing and publishing to dish about the ever-changing world we work in.

The amazing Professional Development sessions are outlined on the MagNet website, and that’s where you go to register. You start by clicking “Add New Attendee” and go from there. You could get together with your PWAC buddies and register together!

All registrations are being handled by the MagNet conference staff, so please go to the FAQ

If you still have questions, please contact the PWAC National Office (

One of the highlights of the conference will be our Awards Banquet. This is where our Ontario Regional Volunteer Award will be presented–except that there are no nominees yet! I KNOW there are lots of hard-working folks giving their all to PWAC in the region. I want to present one of them with this award.

Please get nomination letters into me as soon as possible. Log into the Members Only Directory on and look under “PWAC Information” for “PWAC Awards Application information.”

Nomination letters require two signatures from members of the chapter and then are sent to me. I forward them to the national Board of Directors, and the other regional directors vote, based on the merits outlined in the letter. So while I may be asked some questions about the people nominated, I do not get involved in the voting process for my region (I will vote for other regional volunteer nominations)

Once voting is completed, I will be told of the winner, but I will not announce the winner until  our Awards Dinner at the national conference  in June, at which time it will be my pleasure to present the Ontario Regional Volunteer Award plaque.

At the banquet we will also present the PWAC Writing Awards. The Editor of the Year Award will be presented at the Writers Luncheon.

All of the details about this award are in the Members Only section on

The conference will be amazing, and our BC Regional Director has been working hard to make sure our BC Spotlight will be shining bright.  You won’t want to miss it.

In other PWAC news, I have been attending consultation meetings with Work In Culture, an organization dedicated to helping those in the cultural sector develop new and better business and marketing skills.

Finally, PWAC is doing a bit of “crowdsourcing” with ideaBOOST. By BOOSTing you can help PWAC get more funding to really push our Marketplace forward.

So that’s an update for now. As always, I remain,

Cheerfully your regional director

Christine Peets


Filed under Ontario Regional news