Editorial Professional Development Opportunities: The 2023 Edition

by Michael Bedford

Published at 2023-06-14

Summer is just around the corner, and in addition to higher temperatures and long-awaited vacation time, many editorial professionals are looking forward to the in-person return of Editors Canada’s annual conference, one of Canada’s most popular editorial events. Although Editors Canada’s annual conference is undeniably one of the biggest draws for editorial professionals, it’s certainly not the only one to look forward to.


Editors Canada: Editors in Real Life

After three years of the choppy audio, microphone issues, feline interruptions, and other technical limitations that relying on video calls entails, it’s a relief to know that 2023 marks the return of in-person attendance at Editors Canada’s annual conference. Being held from June 16 to June 18, the theme for the 2023 conference will be “Editors in Real Life,” and will explore how editorial professionals can work together to help rehumanize the face of editorial work in an increasingly technologically complex industry.

Registrants will have the opportunity to sign up for sessions on a wide variety of topics, including collaborative editing, self-publishing, and even on starting their own editorial podcasts.

Although Editors Canada assures registrants that all appropriate caution is being taken, for those who would like to remain at home, all the sessions will be available for online purchase after the conference has wrapped.


EXPROSÉ: Poet Showcase & Writing Workshop

The 2023 season of EXPROSÉ, which gives poets and writers opportunities to get together to exchange ideas and showcase their work, is well underway. Following their virtual launch and a program featuring Lisa Shen in May, EXPROSÉ returns on June 24 with Ramon Carty. All proceeds from the $5 per person admission fee will go to the Mississauga Food Bank to support local families in need.


Ottawa International Writers Festival

Looking a bit further ahead, in October writers from all over the world will have another opportunity to meet at the Ottawa International Writers Festival, which in the past has included guests such as David Johnston and David Frum.


The Toronto Public Library: Adult Literacy Services

Although networking face to face with other editorial professionals is an important way to rehumanize the face of editorial work, volunteer work within the editorial backdrop is also a great way to meet like-minded editorial professionals while also doing some good in one’s own community. So, even though popular annual events such as Word On The Street, TIFA’s MOTIVE festival, and The Indexing Society’s annual conference have all come and gone this year, there are still plenty of opportunities for editorial professionals to get involved in shaping the literary lives of their communities.

For example, literacy improvement is one area where editorial professionals of all experience levels can work together to effect real positive change in their communities. The Toronto Public Library offers Adult Literacy Services that match learners with tutors who provide their services in areas such as basic reading, writing, and mathematics. Always looking for volunteers to support its altruistic aims, the TPL offers a few fringe benefits to its tutors, including written confirmation of the services provided and hours logged by the volunteers—and a special rate on making photocopies!

The TPL’s Adult Literacy Services, though, are just one set of services among several dedicated groups all working toward the goal of improving literacy in their communities.


Back in Real Life

Technical limitations aside, meeting in person rather than over a video chat offers people a real chance to connect with each other in a more natural way than a virtual breakout session provides. Although the sessions and speakers at conferences and events are generally informative and helpful, some of the best conversations happen over lunch or during a walk through the hall to one’s next session.

In fact, as Editors Canada’s theme for its 2023 conference reminds us, there may be a place for technological advances such as video calls and artificial intelligence in editorial work, but that place should always be in support of, not as a replacement for, editors in real life.



Michael Bedford is a freelance editor, copywriter, and performer living in Stoney Creek, Ontario. He can be reached at


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