Featured Member: Kathe Lieber

Introducing Kathe Lieber!

Kathe Lieber walked away from a “steady but stultifying” job 30 years ago, and has never looked back. One of the first things she did after deciding to go freelance was join PWAC, which was then called the Periodical Writers Association of Canada.

“The connections and camaraderie I’ve found in PWAC have made all the difference,” she says. A naturally sociable person, Kathe relies on the PWAC “water cooler” when she needs to consult on a word or a contract, and for a large part of her social life as well.

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She’s served three stints on the PWAC Board, and was national president in 2000-2001.

Kathe wears three hats: writer, editor, translator (French to English), and frequently combines all three skills for the same client. She’s lived in Montreal nearly all her life and loves the spirit of this city. “For a person who’s culturally voracious, as I am, this is the perfect springboard for pursuing passions” – such as food (especially chocolate), theatre (especially Shakespeare), and travel.

In the 1980s, it was possible to earn a decent living writing for magazines, as many PWACers did. Working conditions for writers have, alas, not improved over the intervening decades. Many writers, like Kathe, now sing for their suppers by combining various talents, including but not limited to writing.

These days she writes mainly for universities, foundations and hospitals. She also edits manuscripts written in English by francophone doctors and scientists. In a similar vein, she recently earned qualifications in TESL (teaching English as a second language). She has co-led the popular Writing Skills Workshop at the Thomas More Institute for Adult Education since the mid-1990s. Teaching is “another string to my bow,” she says. “I’ll stop freelancing the day I stop learning. That hasn’t happened yet, and I don’t expect it ever will. My magpie mind never stops moving.”

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