Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Media Club of Ottawa Meeting - 16 February 2009

Sunday, October 26, 2008

PWAC Meeting a Great Success for Writers and Editors

PWAC Meeting a Great Success for Writers and Editors
by Nadine Hogan

These questions—the best way to get an editor’s attention, the smart time to query ideas, how much attention do our emails get, and when is it appropriate to follow-up if we haven’t heard anything back—were answered at the latest meeting of the Ottawa Chapter of PWAC.

On October 18, it was the writers who had the floor, and we had the chance to pick the brains of four of Ottawa’s editors in the magazine industry.

New on the scene are Ashley McConnell & Justyna Baraniecki, creators of the newly released on-line magazine, The Dinner Jacket <www.thedinnerjacket.com>. This publication was born from their desire to bring together a collection that has a local focus with an international reach. The heart of this magazine covers local events in the music, food, art, film, and fashion scenes.

The beauty of this project, beyond the visual creativity that jumps off the pages, is that these editors are anxious to work with contributors who are also passionate about what they do. They meet with everyone who contacts them to discuss ideas and access a potential fit with the magazine. They are open to all ideas, and encourage their contributors to express themselves.

From edgy fashion to the modern home, Kristin Harold, editor of Ottawa At Home <www.ottawaathome.ca>, spoke to the group. Started in 2003, it's a lifestyles magazine that celebrates home, food, and living in Ottawa. Having recently undergone quite a change—bringing about a cleaner, modernized look—this magazine is steadily gaining appeal.

Kristin Harold
Kristin usually works with about seven or eight freelance writers, and admits that while she likes to use people she has worked well with in the past, she encourages new queries all the time. If you are going to query, be sure to remember that this magazine works with a lead time of about four months. Furthermore, Kristin assured the writers that if they don’t hear back from her, not to give up. She may not use your idea at first, but there is ample potential.

Up next, we heard from Allyson Bycraft, the editor of FoodMODE Magazine <www.foodmode.com>, an Ottawa-based magazine that portrays the culture of food and beverages. In its first year, the mandate of FoodMODE is to re-connect people with food from a local, organic perspective. They like to keep things community focused, whether it's buying local, interviewing chefs in neighbourhood restaurants, or profiling particular areas of Ottawa and what they have to offer.

Sue Bowness (L) Vice-President, PWAC Ottawa, and Allyson Bycraft

Allyson was very open and encouraging, asking for writers who write passionately. She is very interested in people who can put a unique spin on something otherwise unrelated to incorporate the food/beverage side of things. She openly admitted that they currently have more ideas than writers, and once you start working with them, they are quick to use writers they worked well with in past issues.

Overall, this morning was a great success for writers and editors alike. It was fantastic to hear feedback on the questions we all have, but even more so, it was great to gain insight into the editor’s perspective.

Some take-away tips:
  • Query ahead of time, most magazines are working three, four, even six months in advance.
  • Ensure your material is in perfect condition: edit, and edit some more.
  • Keep in contact. Just because you haven’t heard back that doesn’t mean they are not interested. Even if one idea doesn’t fit, there is future potential.
  • Be creative. Submit unique ideas.
  • Editors like working with writers they can trust and depend on. Make a good impression, and your working relationship can only grow.
  • Don’t give up!
(photo credits: M. Lapointe, CD)

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

PWAC (Ottawa) Presents Louise Leclair of CUPE

Press Release

Join PWAC Ottawa on Wednesday, February 20th, 2008 to hear Louise Leclair — National Communications Director of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) — talk about what it is like to write for a national union.

She will tell us who to contact, how to get started, and what you can expect to write, either it be press releases or reports.

Where: The Bethell Fieldhouse (a part of the Jack Purcell Centre), 166 Frank Street. The Fieldhouse is located near the corner of Gladstone and Elgin Streets, next to bus stops.

Detailed directions to the Bethel Fieldhouse (including bus routes) are available by contacting Elizabeth (below).

When: Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Time: 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Cost: Free for current PWAC members, $5.00 for members of other writing groups and students (with membership or student cards), and $10.00 for the general public.

Contact: Elizabeth Lapointe, President, PWAC Ottawa, tel: 613.299.5975, email <ealapointe@aol.com
>, or visit our site at <www.pwacottawa.org>.

Afterwards, we meet at Maxwells on Elgin Street for coffee and conversation.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

PWAC Ottawa Welcomes Hate Hendley

On January 17, 2008, the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), Ottawa Chapter, has invited Nate Hendley, Ontario Regional Director, to talk about his new book, "Motivation for (Non-Fiction) Writers".

As he says himself, it is a book "Full of motivational quotes, quips, and practical exercises to get started and keep you going".

Where: Jack Purcell Centre (off of Elgin Street)
When: Thursday, January 17, 2008
Time: 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (PWAC members-only meeting from 7:00-7:30)
Cost: Free for PWAC members, $5.00 for members of other writing groups and students (with membership or student cards), and $10.00 for the general public.
Contact: Elizabeth Lapointe, President, PWAC Ottawa, tel: 613.299.5975 or email <ealapointe@aol.com>

Nate will be available after the talk to meet and talk with you at Maxwells on Elgin Street, where we will meet for coffee.

His website is <www.NateHendley.com>, and his book can be found online at <http://stores.lulu.com/natehendley>.

For more on PWAC Ottawa, please visit <www.pwacottawa.org>.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Coming this November to the Media Club of Ottawa

A workshop on intergenerational communication skills for today's professional.

Hosted by: Progress 4 Success, as a course requirement for Communication Skills Training at the University of Ottawa
  • Spend three hours with four communication professionals to learn skills that will benefit your career and social life. Participate in fun activities, engaging discussions, and interactive lectures that will provide the confidence and skill to communicate with people from any age group.
(with Erin Kristalyn, Sarah Watson, Courtney Daley, and Paula Bath)

When: Monday, November 26, 2007

Where: Library and Archives Canada, Wellington Street
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Cost: $20.00 Members; $25.00 non-Members; $5.00 Coffee only

Due to the duration of the workshop, please arrive by 6 p.m. even if not participating in the meal.

RSVP by Thursday Noon, November 22
Telephone June Coxon at (613) 521-4855 or email June at <juhal@ican.net>.

Email for information: <progress4success@hotmail.com>

OIW Meeting (with Charles Gordon) - 28 November 2007

Ottawa Independent Writers: November 28 Meeting

Guest speaker Charlie Gordon, an Ottawa Citizen columnist and veteran newspaperman, will discuss column writing and his experience teaching journalism in Rwanda. 7 p.m. Library and Archives Canada Building, Room 156, 395 Wellington St. Free for OIW members; $10 for guests. Info: (613) 731-3873

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Just call me Ernie" - Book Sale

Children's author, June Coxon, will be at the Glebe Centre Christmas Craft Sale at 950 Bank Street on Saturday, Nov 23rd, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m..

She will be there with her book, Just call me Ernie, along with the book's illustrator, Patricia Doyle.

Please stop by and see June and Patricia. They would be delighted to meet you, and talk about Ernie.

For information, contact June at <juhal@ican.net>.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

PWAC (Ottawa) Offers Writing Workshop


Our writer's group -- PWAC (Professional Writers Association of Canada), Ottawa Chapter -- is offering a presentation on writing for the government (which you or your members may wish to attend).

It is open to the public, with special pricing for students and members of other writing groups.

Would you mind letting your members and colleagues know, please?

Here are the details:

Date: Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Hosted by: PWAC (Ottawa Chapter)
Type of Event: Presentation
Open to: PWAC members + general public. $10.00 for non-members. $5.00 for both students with student card, and for members from other writing groups who present their membership card.
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Where: At the Jack Purcell Community Centre on Elgin Street in Ottawa
Description: Marion Soubliere, PWAC member, and Catharine Carroll, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, will talk on "Writing for Government - Corporate Writing in Ottawa".
After the seminar, PWAC members and the public are invited to a local pub (Maxwells) for coffee and continued good conversation.
Contact: Elizabeth Lapointe at 613.299.5975, or by email at <ealapointe@aol.com
>. Our website is <www.PWACOttawa.org>.

Thank you for your consideration.


Elizabeth Lapointe
President, PWAC (Ottawa Chapter)

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