Tag Archives: PWAC Toronto

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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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

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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