Tag Archives: PWAC Quebec

Websites and Social Media Event

Spring is here and that means spring cleaning! Only we’re not cleaning our homes (well, you can if you want to), we’re cleaning up our websites and social media accounts.

Join us May 10 for PWAC’s Websites and Social Media event, during which we’ll learn how to optimize our websites for business so that more potential clients can find us and how we can harness the power of social media to help us get more work.

Our speaker will be Arnaud Joakim, a digital marketing and social media expert with 17 years of experience in the industry. He specializes in SEO and content creation and knows all about optimizing websites and social media so Google (and others) can find you.

Having a clean, clear website to promote yourself is invaluable in getting work as a freelancer today, as is having a strong social media presence. We’re really excited for this event.

See you there!

Date: Wednesday, May 10, 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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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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PWAC Quebec is kicking off 2017 with a new Chapter Executive

Hi Everyone,

I’m writing to let you know about the roster of enthusiastic members who have recently joined PWAC Quebec’s Executive.

I’ll start with the names you’ll soon see in your inboxes….our Communications Committee Co-Chairs:

Andrea Juhász is a new member, a science writer who is finishing a Magazine and Web Publishing certificate from Ryerson University and running a blog where she reads through the best science fiction novels of all time: thescifinovel.com.

Ceilidh Barlow Cash is an even newer member who became a freelance science writer after completing a degree in biomedical sciences. She writes for the fintech startup Hardbacon (and yes, we’re related – she’s my niece).

And here is the rest of the team:

Helen Wolkowicz has been a freelancer for over a decade and writes about transgender issues and identities…Liz Warwick was former Chapter and National President and is now an instructional designer and digital learning specialist who also does freelance writing…. longtime member Kathe Lieber (Vice President and Treasurer) was also a former Quebec Chapter and National President and works as a writer, editor and translator…and finally, longtime PWAC member and former National Executive member Bruce Wilson is a science and medical writer.

In case anyone missed my introductory note, I am a freelance journalist, travel writer and book author, and a PWAC member for over 20 years.

Please feel free to contact me with comments and queries. I’m looking forward to seeing you at our winter and spring professional development events, which you’ll hear about shortly from our new Communications Committee!

Julie Barlow Quebec Chapter President

pwacquebec@gmail.com

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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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