Ontario PWAC Member Jennifer Foster Shares Freelance Writing Tips and Truths

Freelance writer Jennifer Foster

Jennifer Foster

We asked Toronto-based freelance writer and editor Jennifer D. Foster from Planet Word to share some of her favorite tips and tricks for succeeding as a freelance writer in Ontario.

Jennifer has been in the writing and editing business for 18 years, 11 of those spent freelancing. Her clients are from the magazine, book and custom publishing industries as well as the marketing and communication sectors and include The Globe and Mail, Art Gallery of Ontario, Kids Can Press, Ontario Dental Association, Quill & Quire and Writer’s Digest Books. She works on everything from adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction, magazines, curatorial content and brochures to menus, book reviews, press releases, packaging and blogs.

Enjoy this Q&A-style interview from one of our PWAC Ontario members and email miranda@miranda-miller.com if you have tips or advice of your own to share in an upcoming post!

1. Which tools or software help keep your freelance projects organized?

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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 Writers.ca  

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 Writers.ca   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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Filed under Ontario Regional news, PWAC membership

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  ActiveOver50.com,” 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: SRTENT@ruralwave.ca

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 (info@pwac.ca)

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 PWAC.ca 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 PWAC.ca

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 Writers.ca 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