EAC announces Claudette Upton Scholarship recipient

Via Editors’ Association of Canada

Scholarship Recipient Anticipates an Expanding Role for 21st Century Editors

The Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC) has announced that Heidi Waechtler of Vancouver, BC, is the 2011 recipient of the Claudette Upton Scholarship. The $1,000 cash award will be presented at EAC’s annual conference, scheduled for June 1 to 3 in Ottawa.

Building on a BA in English Literature from the University of British Columbia, Waechtler entered the Certificate in Editing program at Simon Fraser University. There, she fine-tuned her editorial skills and learned about sales and marketing, overall business operation and working collaboratively with other publishing professionals. She then worked as a freelancer for several years before enrolling in the Master of Publishing degree program at SFU. This summer the MPub’s practicum component will see her working as an editorial intern at McClelland & Stewart, focusing on literary fiction. She is also giving serious consideration to participating in EAC’s certification program, although this is a few years down the line.

Waechtler comments, “Editing in the 21st century is about being part of a conversation. The role of the editor-as-gatekeeper must evolve to that of editor-as-connector.” She anticipates an expansion of the editor’s role to include an increasingly direct relationship with authors who “want to be involved with what’s going on behind the curtain.”

Waechtler’s extra-curricular passion is her involvement in Vancouver’s literary community, where she volunteers for events such as The Word on the Street national book and magazine festival, Broken Pencil Magazine’s Canzine West, and several cultural and literary magazines.

Pleased and honoured to have been recognized for the Claudette Upton Scholarship, Waechtler notes “I’m not a traditional ‘EAC student member’ because, having worked a few years, I’m older than most students. But I hope to do justice to the scholarship with my future editing work.”

The selection committee for the Claudette Upton Scholarship was composed of several highly respected Canadian editors. Elizabeth d’Anjou, a 19-year freelance editor and member of EAC’s Kingston twig, has served as the association’s professional development chair and Toronto branch co-chair. She is also an instructor at Ryerson University. Peter Midgley is senior editor (acquisitions) at University of Alberta Press. His understanding of editing has been honed by his own authorship of published poetry, plays and children’s books. Dr. Peter J. Roccia teaches in Grant MacEwan University’s Bachelor of Communication Studies program. Past chair of the Prairie Provinces branch, and past editor of Active Voice/Voix active, Peter is EAC’s training and development chair.

The Claudette Upton Scholarship is an annual, national award that recognizes a promising emerging editor from among the Editors’ Association of Canada’s student membership. The award memorializes EAC honorary life member Claudette Reed Upton-Keeley, a gifted editor who loved the English language and was actively involved in social justice and environmental causes throughout her life. She is remembered for her wonderful sense of humour and her sharp mind.

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