Tag Archives: Community

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 (pwacontario.wordpress.com), 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.

Thanks,

Kim Arnott
Ontario RD

kim.arnott@sympatico.ca

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Filed under Ontario Regional news, PWAC AGM

PWAC at MagNet 2014: Social & Professional Events You Don’t Want to Miss

by Miranda Miller

Miranda MillerIt’s almost here!

This week, PWACers will flock to the Courtyard Downtown Toronto in search of professional development, camaraderie and networking opportunities.

There’s a lot going on – and if you’re like me and don’t get out much, you won’t want to miss a thing. Here’s a roundup of the social and PWAC-specific events happening June 3rd to 7th :

The MagNet Soiree

This year, the MagNet Soiree at 7pm on Tuesday, June 3rd, shines a regional spotlight on Quebec. From MagNet organizers: “Yes, all your favourite flavours of Québec will be on offer: tourtière, braised duck, maple syrup, delicious poutine, craft beer from the region and even a délicieuxsignature cocktail. Come fête the publishers, contributors, industry allies, food and music of Québec while you mingle, reconnect, meet new friends and kick off a sensational MagNet week.” This event is free and no registration is required.

PWAC Town Hall

In addition to the AGM, in which board and staff report on the association to delegates and observers, PWAC is holding an Town Hall meeting Wednesday, June 4th, from 5-7pm. Members are invited to voice their ideas for the organization. Join the Town Hall meeting in the Spadina room at the conference hotel.

MagNet 2014

Cheers with Peers Pub Night 

Wednesday, June 4th, from 7:15 to 10pm, join fellow PWAC members for drinks and conversation at a downtown Toronto pub. Meet in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott Toronto Downtown at 7:15 to go with the group. Hosted by PWAC Toronto. Venue: Pogue Mahone at 777 Bay Street.

Rise & Shine 5K Run – Cancelled

Thursday, June 5th, meet up in the Courtyard Marriott Toronto Downtown lobby at 7:15am for an approximately 30-minute run through Queen’s Park and the historic U of T campus. Organizer Virginia Heffernan promises you’ll be back in time for breakfast! Updated: Unfortunately, the organizer has fallen ill and the run is cancelled. Sleep in and enjoy the other events!

PWAC Awards Dinner & Ceremony

The spotlight on Quebec continues with French Canadian delicacies served up alongside great conversation, memories and a celebration of our members receiving honours this year. Mitch Joel, president of Twist Image, will share a keynote speech on self-publishing. Join fellow PWACers Thursday, June 5th at 6pm – see more on the menu and agenda here.

PWAC logo

Talent Show

Crawl back to the Courtyard Marriott to cheer on creative performances in PWAC’s Legendary Annual Talent Show. Fun will begin about Thursday, June 5th at 10pm in the Coast to Coast Lounge. Anyone interested in performing should contact Nate Hendley at nhendley@sympatico.ca.

Magazine Publishers Success Stories Lunch

Take part in this lunch event from 12-2pm on Friday, June 6th. From MagNet organizers: “At this free lunch event, MagNeteers from all sectors can get valuable inspiration from the OMDC’s unique perspective on Ontario’s magazine sector as the organization presents high-performing print, digital, marketing and business development projects supported by the Magazine Fund. You’ll come away with project ideas, strategies for new business models, examples of best practices and insights on industry trends.”  See more information on the MagNet site.

PWAC AGM

Friday, June 6th from 2-4pm, it’s time to get down to business at the Annual General Meeting in the Spadina room of the conference hotel.

Virginia Heffernan’s House Party

Round out the week at Toronto PWAC member Virginia Heffernan’s house party. Members and partners are welcome. The festivities begin at 7:30pm – please check in at the PWAC booth at MagNet for directions to her house.

Hockey Hall of Fame Trip

Saturday, June 7th, join organizers PWAC Toronto in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott Toronto Downtown at 9am to depart for the Hockey Hall of Fame. It’s a one-block walk to College Station, where you’ll catch the subway to King Station. From there, it’s a two-block walk to the largest collection of hockey memorabilia in the world. Admission is $17.50.

St. Lawrence Market Tour

PWAC Toronto has organized a tour of the historic St. Lawrence Market in the heart of downtown Toronto on Saturday, June 7th. Meet in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott Toronto Downtown at  10am. Admission is $10 – please contact PWAC Toronto to register in advance and pay the day of the tour.

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Filed under PWAC AGM, PWAC Ontario Events

The Value of Belonging: Meet the PWAC Danforth Success Group

Danforth Success Group PWAC OntarioBy Jennifer D. Foster

Woody Allen once said that “80 percent of success is showing up.” He’s definitely onto something there. I’ve been a member of the PWAC Danforth Success Group (a subgroup of the PWAC Toronto chapter) for about four years and it’s proved invaluable.

Founded by freelance writer/editor and long-time PWAC member John Schofield in May 2008, our lively group of nearly a dozen like-minded writers and editors (who also wear many other hats, including award-winning authors, accomplished musicians and singers, mentors, tutors, web gurus, prize-winning photographers, health-care professionals, piano teachers, Amnesty International volunteers and TV hosts) has been meeting at various neighbourhood cafes to commiserate and share tips on freelancing ever since. John says he thought the group “would be a great way for PWAC members living in the area to meet, socialize and discuss our business challenges and triumphs. It was also a response to my own feeling of isolation as a freelance writer working at home.”

I missed our meetings for a while after joining (raising a family, work deadlines and volunteer commitments thwarted my best intentions!), but I’ve recently started attending again with regularity. And I’m so glad I have. Being part of this group is yet another way to get even more out of my PWAC membership. As John says, “There’s no substitute for sharing ideas and advice face to face.” I couldn’t agree more. The informal networking and support provided by our small group setting has provided myriad perks for me, including freelancing writing assignments from a member during her tenure as editor ofa meetings and corporate travel magazine. I wrote eight articles, learned a ton about that industry, increased the range of my portfolio and made several business-related contacts for future articles. I also suggested a fellow writer friend to the editor, who, like me, wrote many articles for the publication.

And our small group amazes me with its generosity, humour and expertise. Someone’s always willing to share sound advice, a great organizing tip or a time-saving technique or offer up a helpful contact or a useful website. And the group is great at brainstorming for story ideas, potential sources and prospective clients. The conversation is always stimulating and diverse, often veering way off (the freelancing writing) track and into life in general, providing much-needed social time and lots of laughs (added bonus: a great stress reliever)!

A number of members have been part of the group since its beginnings and that’s created a comforting sense of continuity. New members are always welcome, though, adding a fresh dynamic to the group and yet another chance to network and make new friends. I’ve made some wonderful friends by being part of this group, friends who totally “get” what it’s like to be a freelance writer.

I’ve also recently been inspired to join a few other writerly organizations, including the Toronto branch of the Canadian Authors Association. And some of our group members are actively involved in other writing groups. I’m considering joining yet another writers’ group to take the creative writing plunge.

Another bonus of belonging to PWAC Danforth Success Group? Being able to tap into a rich talent pool. I recently wrote a feature for the 2015 issue of the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market on the anatomy of a successful short story, and one of our members, who is an award-winning short story author, graciously agreed to be a source. His quotes and information brought much-needed depth and a unique perspective to my piece, thanks to his vast knowledge and experience. In a similar vein is being able to recommend my fellow group members, when possible, to (potential) clients. I’ve passed on work to group members – and vice versa – when I’m just too busy to juggle yet another project and crazy deadline, knowing that (potential) client is in good hands.

Our monthly lunchtime meetings provide an endless forum for sharing writing-, editing- and communication-related quandaries, frustrations, triumphs, milestones and the dreaded client horror stories. And I always leave the group meeting feeling not only energized and positive about the writing biz, but also quite gratified to be part of this fab little community of freelancers.

For more information about the PWAC Danforth Success Group, contact John Schofield at j.schofield@pwactoronto.org.

Jennifer D. Foster is a Toronto-based freelance writer and editor, specializing in fiction/non-fiction, custom publishing, magazines, and marketing and communications. Her company is Planet Word.

Image credit: sxc.hu

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Filed under PWAC Ontario Community, PWAC Ontario Events, Writing Tips & Advice