Report from Meet the Editors

By Maria Polidakis

The annual Meet the Editors event was held on October 25 at the Atwater Library. Quebec PWAC members came to hear what local editors look for to fill the pages of their print and on-line publications. Attending editors represented Chocolat, Good Times, Hour, Maisonneuve, enRoute and Concordia University magazines; onAir.ca, Air Canada’s e-zine; and rd.ca, the on-line version of Reader’s Digest. Individually, editors presented the audience with a brief background on their publication and the kind of information it delivers to its targeted demographic segment. They also discussed guidelines covering ideal story length, content and writing style, pay rates, and the best way to pitch a story – by e-mail, of course.

Good Times editor Anna Cristofaro promoted a lesser-known demographic when she told writers that her magazine prefers positive lifestyle stories aimed at “YAPS”, or young, active pre-seniors. Poppy Wilkinson of onAir.ca reminded interested travel and lifestyle writers that the e-zine makes frequent use of Top 5 lists, as in, for example, the “Top 5 places to shop for shoes in Las Vegas.” Previously an alternative newspaper, HOUR magazine has been repositioned as a community newspaper featuring news and the arts, with a new lifestyle section as of November 2006. And Chocolat, yet another new lifestyle magazine launched in the fall, is a Montreal-based shopping publication for the home published simultaneously in English and French.

The presentations were followed by brief one-on-one sessions, where writers were able to meet with editors personally to ask questions or make a pitch. As always, it was an ideal way to meet local editors, put a face with the name, and more importantly for the writers, present themselves to the people who pay for our work. Unfortunately, we had a rather low turnout for what is our chapter’s premiere event. If you were not able to attend this year, we urge you to attend in the future. “Meet the Editors” is our one annual public event with the local media, and a strong showing by our membership is needed to better reflect the importance of our association.

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