Tag Archives: Montreal

Money Matters 2017

Hey, Quebec members – spring is far away, but tax time is approaching! And money management is always on freelancers’ minds…

Join us February 15 for PWAC’S Money Matters, an evening devoted to money management for freelance writers. Our speakers will be Chartered Accountant Harriet Kirshenblatt, who specializes in income tax for self-employed workers, and former PWAC member and journalist Jean-Benoît Nadeau, author of Le Guide du Travailleur Autonome (The Self-Employed Worker’s Guide).

They will answer questions about paying taxes, managing cash flow, charging GST and QST, buying insurance, getting paid (by clients who want to pay and clients who don’t…), and saving money – all the nuts and bolts of handling your freelance dollars.

See you there!

Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Time: 7pm – 9pm

Place: Atwater Library, 1200 Avenue Atwater, Westmount, Auditorium, 2nd floor

Admission: $15, $5 for students

FREE for PWAC members.

Refreshments will be provided.

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Meet the Editors Night 2017

Hey Quebec members – why not usher in the New Year with a slate of new magazine clients?

On January 18, PWAC Quebec will be holding its annual Meet the Editors Night, with editors from Reader’s Digest, Maisonneuve, Concordia University Magazine, the McGill News and content marketing agency 37ieme Avenue.

In the first hour editors will explain what they are looking for, how they work with writers, how to pitch, and what their expectations are for rewrites and publication dates. In the second hour the floor will be open to participants to ask whatever they want…

See you there!

Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Time: 7pm – 9pm

Place: Atwater Library, 1200 Avenue Atwater, Westmount, Auditorium, 2nd floor

Admission: $15, $5 for students

Free for PWAC members.

Refreshments will be provided.

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Lisa Hoekstra Is In Our Member Spotlight!

Lisa HoekstraHere’s another PWAC Quebec Member spotlight. Today we’re showcasing Lisa Hoekstra.

Why do you do the kind of writing you do?

I am a corporate/marketing writer. My talent is mimicking voice, tone and language – so I write for companies in their brand’s voice, ensuring that all content represents them and allows their target audience to think “oh, this is [insert brand name here].”

I do a bit of article writing and journalism on the side, but it’s not my forte… writing in my own voice can be  challenging after hours of being someone else!

I also write creatively… on the weekends, when my creative juices are ready to put my imagination on paper.

How do you deal with writers’ block? If you don’t experience writers’ block, why is that? What’s your secret?

Oh, the dreaded writer’s block. I get it often, regardless of what I’m writing about or the style I’m picking. Sometimes, it’s because I’m having a hard time transitioning into a client’s voice. Other times it’s because I feel like everything I’ve written is crap on a stick… or screen rather. And yet other times it’s because I’m not 100% sure how to write that particular piece.

To fix the first one, I read over the style guides, previous texts and other branded pieces so that I can get back into the head of the brand, so to speak. It usually doesn’t take long.

To fix the second, I just need to step away from the project/computer – go grab a coffee, make myself a sandwich, sit on the balcony in the sun. This lets my brain sift through all the things I want to say and form the right sentences. Then I can get back into it without any of that self-doubt lingering in there.

For the third, it’s all about the research. I will read everything and anything I can about how to write a particular form of content – like a Press Release, or a How to Piece on Optimizing SEO, whatever it is. I make notes and, as I’m researching, the content will form in my head almost naturally. It’s actually my favourite type of writer’s block to break down.

What’s the most unusual thing that you have experienced in writing, researching or interviewing for a story?

Hmmm… this is a tough one. I haven’t had that much “unusual” happen to me. Maybe the most unusual was having to interview someone in BC who didn’t have access to the internet (who doesn’t have access to the internet nowadays?)… and wasn’t available to talk on the phone. That was an interesting experience but the person was super awesome about it, answering my questions by email while he was on the ferry.

If you could interview anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Honestly? No one. I hate interviewing people. That’s why I’m not really into journalism. I much prefer a causal dinner talking about the meaning of life and what drives people to do what they do! I would love to sit down with Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Dickens or the Bronte sisters… anyone who has changed the landscape of literature.

I’d want to find out why they wrote about the topics they chose. There are so many interpretations out there about literature that it can get frustrating – what if they didn’t have any desire to comment on society! What if they were just writing because the story was in them and they needed to get it out? (That’s why I write stories, anyway!)

What made you want to join PWAC originally? What’s the best thing about being a PWAC member?

I joined PWAC because I was just starting out as a freelancer and I was told being part of a group like PWAC would help. It did! I love the workshops and the networking possibilities. I just wish I had more time to take full advantage of all the services/benefits PWAC offers.

If you were given $40,000 to fulfill a life-long dream, what would that be and why?

Oh man… I guess I’d take a year or two off of my corporate/marketing career and finish a 6-book fantasy series I’ve been building/developing for the last three years. Either that or I’d take two months off and travel the world. It’s a tough choice. One hand – I could finally put that story out of my head and get on with my life. On the other hand, I could see the world!!!

Maybe I’d do both at the same time. 😉

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Hawaiian Pub Night – April 26!

PWAC Quebec (1)This edition of the PWAC Quebec Pub Night has a special theme: wear something Hawaiian-related, and come prepared for an activity or two. 🙂  The item you wear could be a lei, a cap or T-shirt with something Hawaiian on it, a grass skirt, etc . . . Time to sweep out the winter cobwebs and get creative!

Why? Just for the fun that’s in it!

This is a monthly get-together for members of PWAC Quebec and those interested in finding out more about the Professional Writers Association of Canada.
Come on out and meet like-minded writers, & enjoy the hospitality of an Irish pub, with its good food and cheer. If you’d like to have dinner before the event, feel free to join us at 5:45pm.
To RSVP, send an email to pwacquebec@gmail.com.
See you there!
All the best,
Elizabeth Johnston, president
Quebec chapter of PWAC
UPCOMING PUB NIGHTS FOR 2016 – Save the dates!
April 26 – pub night – Fiddler’s Green, 6:30 to 8:30pm
May 17 – pub night – Fiddler’s Green, 6:30 to 8:30pm
September 20 – pub night – Fiddler’s Green, 6:30 to 8:30pm
October 18 – pub night – Fiddler’s Green, 6:30 to 8:30pm
November 15 – pub night – Fiddler’s Green, 6:30 to 8:30pm

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