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Anne Louise Mahoney

Giving It Up for the Editing Community

GivingTuesday campaign logo
GivingTuesday campaign logo
© GivingTuesday Canada

In anticipation of GivingTuesday, Anne Louise Mahoney talks about the Editors Canada awards program and the ways in which it recognizes outstanding editors.

Who doesn’t love awards? They offer us a moment to pause and recognize out-of-the-ordinary accomplishments and bask in the reflected glow as colleagues, friends or fans.

As editors, many of us work in the shadows, off stage. A small number of people — the author, client, managing editor or communications officer, for example — might see our work, but readers probably don’t think about us. As it should be. Still, once in a while we do well to shine a light on an exceptional seasoned or up-and-coming editor, for a whole lot of reasons.

Editors Canada has had a vibrant awards program for many years. The Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence honours an editor’s keen eye, sharp skills, good judgment and determination in the face of various editing challenges. The Karen Virag Award highlights someone who goes out of their way to raise the profile of our profession in their communities year after year. And the Claudette Upton Scholarship is given to a promising student editor. The total annual cash value for the three awards is $4,400.

But in giving awards to editors, we do much more than honour a handful of deserving nominees. Recognizing professional excellence — and the potential for excellence, in the case of students — through an awards program is one way we build and develop a professional editing community in Canada. Here is how that happens:

  • In putting the spotlight on the finalists and winners, the awards program reminds them, and all of us, that what we do is important and deserves to be appreciated in a public way.
  • Promotion of the awards, such as on social media, raises awareness in the wider community about the value of editing.
  • It gives both in-house and freelance editors credibility: this is a profession with standards to uphold, where we constantly strive for excellence and gather online and in person to network and learn.
  • It allows us to spread the word about the editing profession, which helps to attract clients and future editors alike.

That means giving to the awards program is really an investment in the future — for your profession, other editors and yourself. Now that’s a worthwhile investment!

You can donate anytime to Editors Canada’s awards program, but the GivingTuesday campaign allows you to give as part of a global movement for giving and volunteering. GivingTuesday takes place each year after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Described as the “opening day of the giving season,” it is a time when charities, companies and individuals rally for their favourite causes. This year, GivingTuesday will take place on Dec. 3.

In 2018, Editors Canada’s first GivingTuesday campaign raised $1,820 for the awards program. This year’s goal is $2,000. Give $5, $20 or whatever suits your budget so we can keep building up our awards funding and spreading the word about the value of editors. That’s a win for all of us!

Previous post from Anne Louise Mahoney: Listening With the Heart: Editing Indigenous Manuscripts

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